Spicy Black Bean Cakes

These yummy little bean cakes are a wonderful side dish, great for parties or on a buffet table. I love to serve them with a homemade spicy salsa, but a packaged salsa will work just as well, if you don’t have the time to make your own. The black beans are a rich source of calcium and other minerals, as well as plant-based protein to keep our bones strong.

Makes 6-9 servings

Ingredient List: 

3 ½ cups cooked black turtle beans
5-6 fresh green onions, finely diced
½ roasted red bell pepper, diced
5-6 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley, finely minced
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons finely minced, seeded jalapeno
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ pound firm tofu, finely crumbled
sea salt
organic yellow cornmeal

camelina or sunflower or avocado oil, for frying

tofu sour cream
½ pound firm tofu, crumbled
½ teaspoon sea salt
splash umeboshi or red wine vinegar
juice of ½ fresh lemon
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

Step By Step Instructions: 

Place cooked beans in a mixing bowl and using a potato masher or a fork, crush the beans coarsely. Stir in green onions, pepper, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and tofu, mixing well to combine. Stir in salt and about 2 tablespoons cornmeal to help the cakes hold their shape. The mixture will be stiff.  

Place about a cup of cornmeal in a bowl. Form 2-3 tablespoons of the black beans into small cakes, about ½-inch thick and dredge in cornmeal to coat. Place each cake on a plate and repeat with remaining bean mixture.  

Place oil in a deep skillet to generously cover the bottom and turn heat to medium. When the oil is hot (you’ll know it’s ready by the patterns forming in the oil). Working in small batches, fry the cakes until golden and crispy, turning them once to insure even cooking. Drain on parchment and repeat with remaining cakes. You may want to place the fried cakes in a warm oven while making the rest.  

Make the tofu sour cream by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and pureeing until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste and puree again. Arrange fried bean cakes on a platter and spoon a small amount of salsa and tofu sour cream on top of each cake.

Cook’s Tip: You may use canned organic black beans in this recipe. Just remember to rinse them very well before use.

Cook’s Tip: The black bean cakes freeze well. The tofu sour cream, not so much.