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A Hermit Makes Her Recipe of the Week: Black Bean and Pineapple Burgers

March 5, 2010

Now that we’ve been in the apartment for several days… it’s time for me to get out and be social.  I’m such an introvert that although I enjoy meeting new people, too much social interaction with acquaintances makes me want to take a nap.  But in a new city where everyone’s an “acquaintance,” I have to do what I can.  As long as I remember to breathe…

On Tuesday I met up at It’s a Grind with the vivacious Stephanie Redcross of Vegan Mainstream, a local marketing company focusing on–as you might have guessed–vegan, vegetarian or veg-friendly companies.  She’s the first person I’ve ever met via Twitter!

After chatting with me about travel, life in San Diego, and her business, she invited me to a comedy show later that evening at U-31, a cocktail lounge on University Avenue.  After whining about it for a few hours to Andrew (“Do you think I should go?  Maybe I shouldn’t go… okay, yeah, I’ll go”) the time came for me to slap on some eyeshadow and leave.

Every time I drive in San Diego I get lost, despite the fact that we have a GPS system (“The Garmin Lady” or “The Garmin Bitch” depending on her performance).  Circling around to find U-31, searching for a place to park in a well-lit area, dealing with crazy drivers and sirens, and just general nervousness sent me over the edge–

I think I had a mild panic attack?  Sheesh.  When did I become such a basketcase?

After a few deep breaths, I drove around aimlessly for a few minutes, considering a retreat back home.  But why waste perfectly good eye shadow?

I eventually found a parking spot right across the street from U-31.  I paid $5 to get in, which I found out later I didn’t have to do.  And the rest of the evening was drama-free.

I’m glad I didn’t change into dressier attire to go to U-31, because it would have been completely unnecessary.  This little place has seen its fair share of flip-flops and t-shirts, I’m sure, and almost everyone that night was in jeans.  And that was fine by me–in fact, if I lived closer I could see myself getting a drink there regularly.  Sigh…

Stephanie, fellow blogger Paige Newman, a few other vegans and I formed a little cheering section for the funny and adorable Leo Flowers, a vegan comic.  Jokes about veganism?  And people laughed?  Fabulous!  Another comedian followed, and I can’t remember his name but I do remember that the word “nigga” was an overwhelming part of his vocabulary.  Eh, he was still funny.  Nigga.

After the show, Leo came over to thank us for attending, and he and Stephanie talked about marketing stuff for a few minutes.  We went outside, took some photos…

And that was pretty much it.  Not so bad, I had fun and met some very nice new people, so I can officially stop hating Californians.  (Neither Stephanie nor Paige are originally from California, I might add, but…)  Cool.

Stephanie–not stupid Garmin–gave me directions to get back home, and let me follow her on the expressway until I reached my exit.

And it was so good to be home, where sweatpants, an alcoholic beverage, hugs and kisses from my boyfriend, dinner and quiet decompression time awaited me.

While I like going out, maybe being a hermit isn’t so bad…?  :)


I’m proud to say that this week’s RECIPE OF THE WEEK is entirely my brainchild.  Look at me go!

For the past few weeks, Andrew has been on some weird pineapple kick.  He’s always liked pineapple on his pizza, but for some reason the fruit has recently become a monkey that won’t get off his back.  Everything from chili to sandwiches to cereal could benefit from a healthy scoop of pineapple tidbits, in his opinion.

We were both craving veggie burgers as well.  Not those thin, perfectly round ones you get at the store, but thick, sloppy ones that barely fit in your mouth.  My disgust for pineapple-everything quickly turned into inspiration.  I thought it might be a good idea to make…

Black Bean and Pineapple Burgers

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz. pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice (more or less as necessary)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated (I use a Microplane zester–is it sad that I don’t have a grater?)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp. almond butter
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tbsp. tamari
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup oats (I used the quick-cooking kind, as they “disappear” into the mixture better–and it’s all I had–but whateva)

Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Combine ingredients, then mash with a potato masher or fork until there are only half-beans left and no large chunks of pineapple. The mixture should be moist, but firm enough to hold together–you make the call. If it’s too wet, add more oats. Too firm? Add more pineapple juice (though I doubt it’ll get too firm).

Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.  Then wet your hands, scoop out big handfuls of the mixture (or use a spoon if you’re dainty) and form it into patties.  This will make 4-6 patties, depending on how big you make ’em.

Fry 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat in a skillet with 1/4 inch of oil or a nonstick pan with cooking spray.  The outside will be slightly crisp, but the inside will remain quite moist.

Though this hearty, sweet-and-spicy bean patty with just a hint of tropical flavor is not firm enough for the grill, it’s perfect with barbecue  sauce, mmm.  Make sure you use a really soft bun for this–we used ciabatta bread, which was a big mistake.  While you’re biting down forcefully to get through all that bread, the patty is falling apart onto your plate!

My pineapple-fiend loved it.  The next day, I went out (again!) and by the time I returned, the two remaining patties were gone.  Didn’t he tell me he didn’t like leftovers?  Hmph.

I welcome comments… try this recipe and let me know what you think.  :)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 1:16 am

    Hey Alecia!

    I like your blog! I’m a local and I had written you via Craigslist in response to your add. I sent you a ton of vegan food pics and a little bio about myself. Sadly, I never heard back from you. My gal friend just told me all my emails have been going to her junk inbox so just in case you never got my email feel free to write me a response at and I’ll go ahead and resend you the two emails I sent.

    P.S. Those burgers look so yummy!


    • March 11, 2010 3:47 pm

      LB: Thanks! I’m emailing you right now. :)


  1. Cooking Like a Dude: Guest Star Leo Flowers « Bang-Bang's Quest for Yay, Yum, and Yes

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