By Jenna Weber

Skimping on fat doesn't mean skimping on taste! These black-bean burgers are deliciously spicy, hearty, and incredibly easy to make. I promise they won't weigh you down like fast food! Feed your family the Greek salad and eggplant soup for dinner outside and enjoy your meal while watching a beautiful summer sunset!

Grocery list
2 cans black beans
Ground flax
1 jalapeño
5 cloves garlic
1 small can tomato sauce
1 bag panko bread crumbs
Cumin
1 bag frozen corn
1 avocado
1 large eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 quart vegetable stock
1 jar tahini
1 lemon
2 red onions
Coriander
Cayenne pepper
1 jar pitted kalamata olives
1 can artichoke hearts
1 large cucumber
6 oz. cubed feta cheese
8 oz. extra-firm tofu
Fresh basil leaves
Red-wine vinegar
Dried oregano

Spicy Black-Bean Burgers
Zesty and delicious, these diet-friendly burgers are a great alternative for anyone looking to lower her cholesterol!

Makes 6 burgers

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. ground flax plus 3 tbsp. water
1 jalapeño
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. tomato sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
Avocado for topping
Olive oil (or canola oil)  for frying burgers

1. Seed and roughly chop jalapeño. Add to food processor (or high-speed blender) with garlic cloves and mince finely. (Alternately, you could chop them yourself very finely but it’s easier to throw them in a food processor.)

2. Add 1 can of beans to the jalapeño and garlic mixture and pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt and pulse until mixture resembles chunky black-bean dip.

3. In a small bowl, mix together ground flax and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer the mixture in the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, tomato sauce, flax, and corn. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining black beans.

5. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Form black-bean mixture into patties and fry for about 4 minutes per side, until crispy and golden brown.

Next page: Baba Ghanoush Soup

Baba Ghanoush Soup
My new favorite soup...I just can't get enough!

Serves 3 to 4

1 large eggplant
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant (don’t peel) and lay on a sheet tray lined with tinfoil. Press paper towels on top of eggplant slices and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove paper towels and dice eggplant. Spray foil with cooking spray and place eggplant back on. Sprinkle generously with salt and roast for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2. While eggplant is roasting, roast red pepper on a burner’s open flame (or just chop and roast with eggplant) until black. Let cool, then gently rub off blackened skin and chop.

3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add chopped red onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft, then add garlic. Sauté for 30 more seconds.

4. Add stock, roasted diced eggplant, and red bell pepper. Stir in spices and tahini. Bring to a simmer, then carefully transfer soup to blender. Process until smooth.

5. Ladle soup into bowls and finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Greek Tofu Salad
A delicious spin on the picnic-friendly classic!

Serves 6

1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 can artichoke hearts
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
6 oz. cubed feta cheese
8 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes
4 large basil leaves, torn
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients.

2. Place in the fridge and let marinate for at least an hour before serving.