Black Bean Tofu Patties for dinner, served with rice (spiced to a golden yellow color) and a selection of colorful, fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, will look good enough to eat!

Ingredients (all approximate):

tofu, firm, 1 block (may be pressed*)
2 c cooked black beans and sauce
2/3 c uncooked rolled oats
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c ground raw cashews (if not in your diet, increase oats or yeast)
1-2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt or add to taste when served
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

the following should all be chopped very fine:
~1/8 c onion
~1/8 c carrot (or substitute red pepper)
~1/3 c crimini mushrooms (or substitute)**

Preparation:

Wash hands thoroughly (clean under nails if necessary).
If planning to eat as cold patties, you may want to steam the veggies, especially garlic and onion (I don’t digest either if raw).

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add tofu and beans and thoroughly mix with hands, squeezing and rolling
Add black bean sauce as needed to make the mix hold together.
Reserve extra sauce.
Whatever consistency you have will be the final consistency; if heated, it doesn’t dry out much. You could use a dehydrator if desired.

Refrigerate for a firmer patty; shape before refrigerating. You can brown in skillet before cooling for a crisp outside and a nice presentation (but good raw too).
You might try browning under the broiler. I don’t know how well this works, but if it does, you’ll have nice brown patties without having to use oil.
To heat in skillet, make into thick round or oblong patties, place in skillet and press down. Brown both sides and serve.

Use reserved black bean juice to make a topping sauce. Be creative if you like. Use the “gravy” as is, add hot sauce or cayenne, chop extra of the vegetable ingredients and saute, steam or microwave, and add to sauce (or lightly cook veggies in the black bean juice).

I like to serve this with brown rice made with diluted coconut milk and chopped, shredded coconut, adding spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, paprika — this requires a longer cooking time. The last two spices make for a rich, golden yellow color.

Garnish with a selection of colorful, fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit, and a sprig of cilantro (I served this dinner today with sliced baby bok choy, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and a large ripe strawberry — they’re plentiful and cheap right now). What a colorful dish this is.

* may then require extra liquid, but this will give a stronger black bean taste to patty
** use any mushroom you like, eg: oyster, shitake, portobella. Hint: I buy oyster and shitake mushrooms from a Japanese market where they cost less than half compared to most stores (like Whole Paycheck … ehr, Whole Foods).

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