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I’m such a sucker for spinach and artichoke dip.
Creamy, cheesy, I mean what’s not to like? Also, I have a confession. There was a time that I did not like vegetables. What?! A dietitian that didn’t always love vegetables? Yes, it’s true. It’s not so much that I didn’t like vegetables, I just didn’t know I would like them. I wasn’t a very adventurous eater until I was in my late teens. However, one of the ways that I began to become a more adventurous was to combine new foods with foods and flavors that I knew that I loved. Slowly over time, I developed a palate for new foods. This extended beyond vegetables, but I did mostly have an aversion to vegetables.
It’s all about balance!
Back then, a cheesy, creamy dip was a perfect vehicle for vegetables. Today, I would still stand by they are a perfect vehicle for vegetables. 🙂 Nowadays, I do prefer to balance the nutrients a bit. I figured this bean burger would be a perfect way to do so by bumping up the fiber with the beans and decreasing the fat and overall calories by using a light cream cheese as a binder. The white beans are perfect as they will take on any flavors and typically result in being extra creamy when mashed or ground up.
Unlike my half bean/half beef umami bomb burger, I went fully vegetarian with this burger, and it’s just as good. (Tip: just like my umami bomb burger, I would recommend searing the burgers in a pan over using a grill.)
Maximize those toppings!
The toppings are another great opportunity to add in extra vegetables. I used more spinach and some tomatoes but go with what you love. Some red onion or pickles might be a nice touch as well. I also upped the creamy factor and threw in a small amount of Parmesan cheese with some light mayo for some extra flavor and texture.
Whether you’re a bona fide veggie lover or looking for ways to increase your consumption of vegetables, this burger is for you. Really it’s for us all – as only 1 in 10 Americans get enough fruits or vegetables. All the more reason to get cooking!
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 4 oz light cream cheese (aka Neufchatel cheese)
- 1 small jar (6.5 oz) artichokes, drained
- 2 cups (2 large handfuls) fresh spinach
- Zest of half lemon + squeeze of juice
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 can (15.5 oz) of cannellini beans
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 tsp. cooking oil
- 4 whole grain burger buns
- Optional: Parmesan mayo (4 tbsp. light mayo + 4 tbsp. Parmesan mayo), other burger toppings such as lettuce, more spinach, tomato, onion, etc.
- Grind garlic cloves in large food processor until minced and no large pieces remain.
- Add in cream cheese, artichokes, spinach, lemon zest, squeeze of lemon juice, ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese, and cannellini beans into the bowl of the food processor.
- Pulse the food processor 4-6 times or until ingredients are well combined, but pieces of the beans remain.
- Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Mix in panko bread crumbs and egg. Mix until well combined.
- Form mixture into 4 evenly shaped patties and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Chill bean patties for 20-30 minutes. Bean patties will be firmer and easier to cook. Season each side of the patties with salt and pepper.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat with 1-2 tsp. of light cooking oil or spray oil.
- Sear bean patties for about 5-7 minutes on each side.
- Mix 4 tbsp. light mayo with 4 tbsp. of parmesan cheese in a small, separate bowl.
- Place bean patties on burger buns and top with favorite toppings.
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