You may remember I went off to Alabama last year to compete in Cooking Light’s Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest. By some stroke of amazing luck my recipe was one chosen out of thousands to make it to the cook-off. I didn’t win, but it was a fun adventure none the less to cook in the magazine test kitchens and hang out with the editors and staff at CL. My recipe was printed in the April 2010 issue of Cooking Light. I am so sick of this recipe that I will probably never make it again 🙂 I actually much prefer it in a pita to on a bun, but I think I figured that out after I submitted my recipe. Here it is…

Click here for the recipe on Cooking Light’s website for reviews, nutritional info, and more printing options.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 burger)


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped peeled mango (about 1 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 (2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • 6 green leaf lettuce leaves


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place black beans in a medium bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro and the next 7 ingredients (through egg whites). Shape bean mixture into 6 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Arrange patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, carefully turning once.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, mango, and the next 4 ingredients (through minced garlic) in a medium bowl. Place a patty on bottom half of each hamburger bun; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1/3 cup salsa, and top half of bun.