Barbecue Anyone?

I personally love this time of year for a backyard barbecue.  The weather is warm but not too hot yet, all the flowers are in bloom (unfortunately so are my allergies but you can't have everything) and the days are getting longer!  Invite a few good friends, open a good bottle of wine and cook up some delicious food.  Things are different for me this year, however, since I decided to change my diet to a primarily whole-foods plant-based diet.  Last year the menu was an appetizer of cheese and crackers followed by burgers and grilled chicken with some vegetables to round out the meal.  This year the meat is gone but I refuse to give up on the backyard fun that comes with a barbecue. What if I could find a few recipes that still felt like my meat eating barbecues of the past but still allowed me to stick to my diet.  Well, I've found some delicious ones that I would like to share!  They are delicious and you don't have to feel guilty about eating either one!  Bring on the barbecues!

Salsa de Riley

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of corn (fire roasted really adds flavor)

1 cup of diced cherry tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 avocado, diced


  1. Combine all ingredients except the avocado.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes (or up to a day) to allow the veggies to marinate in the lime juice.
  2. Before serving toss in the avocado and mix to combine.  Serve with your favorite torilla chips or on top of a bed of lettuce for a delicious salad.


Grilled Black Bean Burgers


2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 red peppers, chopped

2 large carrots, grated

1/2 cup bread crumbs or oats

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3tbsps warm water.  Mix and set aside for 5 minutes.)



  1. Make the flax egg and set aside while combining the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash 1 1/2 cans of black beans with a potato masher.  Add the remaining 1/2 can of beans.
  3. Form into 4 large patties.
  4. Grill on a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill flipping once browned and beginning to crisp up on the bottom.  Repeat on the other side.
  5. Serve on you favorite bun (maybe put a little of the salsa over top of the burger).


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