This is what I call good old-fashioned hippy food. Yup, you read that right, hippy food. The modern wave of vegetarian eating was kicked off by the hippies, the “back to the land” folks and the natural food movement that started the food co-ops that are sprinkled around the country. They wanted to eat what they could grow, live off the land, and withdraw from what they saw as a corrupt, consumer-driven society as much as possible. The Moosewood Collective and their numerous cookbooks are the most popular and utilized cookbooks of this tradition and they served me well. Funny, but so much of their beliefs are echoed in the locavore movement of today. History does repeat itself!
In case you haven’t gathered it from my previous posts, I have a deep longing/fantasy to live the back to the land life. My first attempt was the purchase of my small farm in hopes of creating an inn. That episode of my life included a 25 foot square vegetable garden, an 8 foot square herb garden, and several fruit trees that came with the property – two apple, a mulberry and a sour cherry. Needless to say I loved every moment of life there and hope to recreate it somewhere else in the near future. If this sounds like heaven on earth to you also, you can live vicariously by reading Prodigal Summer and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the fictional and non-fictional accounts of this lifestyle as written by Barbara Kingsolver.
All future fantasies aside, I deem this “hippy” food because it combines a few ingredients – cooked spinach, prepared beans – and patterns it after a traditional food – a burger. Hippy vegetarian fare of the 1970s was focused on either recreating traditional foods – like faux meat or the burger – or simply combining ingredients to produce a nutritionally balanced dish; taste and flavor sometimes took a backseat to nutritional value and homegrown ingredients. But not in this case! These patties taste incredible and while it would be easy to make your own beans, opening a can of prepared beans made these super quick!
Spinach Bean Patties
1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1 15 oz can Cuban Style Beans, drained (from Trader Joes)
1/4 cup chick pea flour (other flours also work)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
olive oil for frying
Combine all and mash beans and allow to rest at least 30 minutes to let flavors combine and absorb chick pea flour. Form into patties and flatten (should make 6-8 patties). Heat nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Fry until nicely browned on each side, flattening out when you place in the pan. Serve plain or in a roll with desired condiments.
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Warm Red Cabbage Slaw with Apple and Caraway at Pinch My Salt
Roasted Squash with Cranberries, Pepitas and Honey Lime Vinaigrette at The Perfect Pantry
Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad at Closet Cooking