Dinner for Two: Spicy, Smoky Bean Cakes with Lime Slaw and Charred Avocado

Dinner for Two

Quick recipes for you and your dinner mate.


[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

I think it might have been a chemical reaction triggered by my thirtieth birthday a few weeks ago, but a little nagging voice in my head has been whispering to me: "eat healthy."

I could stand to take the advice. Between rushed office lunches and the inevitable chocolate craving at four in the afternoon, dinner at home with Mr. English actually becomes the time where we both reset and try to behave like the responsible adults we're pretending to be.

The cakes are awesome for this purpose. They're kind of like crab cakes, but a Tex-Mex bean version that are low in fat and brimming with flavor. And the best part is, you can whip the whole thing together in five minutes in your food processor.

Just chuck cilantro, garlic, green onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper into the machine, and blitz it to a rubble. Then add smoky hot chipotle, black and kidney beans, and a bit of flour to hold it all together. You can use an ice cream scoop to mound the cakes onto a lined baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and let them bake up in a super hot oven. They come out soft and cream on the inside, and so crisp on the outside you'd swear they'd been fried.

I serve them with a simple slaw of cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, green onion, and lime. And I char some avocado for a soft, smoky accent on top.