College swimmer shares secret recipe

    Learn how to make easy and healthy black bean burgers

    More stories from Thomas Hensen


    Photo by Thomas Henson

    Thomas Hensen also likes to eat his black bean burgers as a salad when he doesn’t have any bread. Here he added spinach and some tortilla chips, with two over easy eggs on top.

    Recently Tom Brady released a nutrition manual for those who aspire to be like the legendary quarterback.

    But since most college students don’t have $200 sitting around and probably want to take advice from someone who doesn’t allegedly deflate footballs, I thought I would provide you with a recipe for something I eat consistently throughout the swim season.

    For an entire season, I wanted to see the effects of not eating meat. So I became a pescatarian, meaning the only meat I ate was fish. Still, I was able to satisfy any cravings with healthy recipes like this one. This recipe is not only delicious, but it’s very cheap to make and extremely nutritious.

    The first recipe is a black bean and quinoa burger. To make this, you will need:

    – 1/2 cup of water
    – 1/4 cup of quinoa
    – 1 small onion
    – 1/2 cup chopped broccoli or other vegetable (fresh or frozen)
    – 2 garlic cloves
    – 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
    – 1 egg
    – 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
    – 2 tbsp. chia seeds
    – 1 tsp. salt
    – 1 tbsp. cumin
    – olive oil

    First, start by boiling the water with the quinoa in a small pot. Once the water reaches a boil, turn the stove off and let the quinoa absorb the water (no water should be left over).

    Chop the onion and broccoli into small pieces and mince the garlic. Next, open and drain the can of black beans. Take a medium bowl, dump the black beans in it and mash them until only a few big pieces of beans are left.

    Mix the chopped onion, broccoli and garlic into the black beans, adding the egg, breadcrumbs, chia seeds, salt and cumin next. After that, if all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, add the quinoa to the mix.

    Once everything has been thoroughly mixed, grab a small skillet and put enough olive oil to cover the bottom of it. Heat the skillet on a medium-high temperature until the oil is hot.

    Grab as big of a chunk of the mix as you’re hungry for and shape it into a patty. As soon as the oil is hot, gently place the patty on the oil. The burger will cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, usually leaving both sides fairly dark.

    At this point, you’re free to customize it however you want. Usually, I fry an egg or two and melt some cheese, then pack my burger with fresh spinach. You can use whatever kind of bun you want, but if you want to stay on the healthy route, I would recommend a bread with 100 percent whole wheat flour.

    I could go on for days about how great this recipe is so I’ll try to keep it short.

    These burgers allow you to throw in foods you might not usually eat on their own. For example, I used to put green peppers in my burgers until I realized I could eat something much more nutritious like broccoli and not give up much in terms of taste.

    These burgers are easy to freeze. Simply make the patties and then separate them with wax paper and store them in a tupperware in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook a patty, just place it frozen (not necessary to thaw) in the hot oil.

    In terms of nutrition, the most unhealthy thing you’ll find on that list of ingredients is the breadcrumbs, and that’s if you get store-bought breadcrumbs. It’s packed with protein, healthy grains, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

    What more could you ask for from something that tastes so good?