Black Bean Burger with Swiss and Arugula Mayo

Our 4th of July this year may as well have been renamed “Food of July.” It was rainy and dreary in Georgia all day long, so naturally, I cooked. My mother-in-law is an incredible cook and has every kitchen gadget known to man, so cooking at the in-laws house is extra fun. While our furry friend swam, I was inside cooking up Caprese Salad, to-die-for homemade banana ice cream, and these incredible black bean burgers.

Black Bean Burger Recipe

Recently, Chipper and I watched Forks Over Knives. We’ve always been decently healthy eaters, but since that documentary, we’ve aimed to eat “meat light.” What exactly is “meat light,” you ask? Well… not quite vegetarian, but not a ton of meat. Everything in moderation, right?

Except for ice cream. Ice cream in excess.

With the 4th of July being a classic burger and hot dogs day, we brought the grill under the porch awning and out of the rain for a little “meat light” grilling. Here is the recipe for the black bean burgers  – and with a rating of 4.4 and 1,815 reviews, we bet our money on them being pretty good. And boy were they! And filling! After making the basic patty, we adapted it to fit our foodie desires.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Black Bean Burgers with Swiss & Arugula Mayo (serves 8)


  • 2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs


  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 bunch arugula (divided)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 8 ciabatta rolls
  1. Pre-heat your grill & lightly oil 2 sheets of aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, mash the black beans until they are thick and sticky.Black Bean Burger Mash
  3. In a food processor, finely chop the pepper, onion and garlic. Have paper towels on hand, as the mixture becomes very wet. Soak up some of the liquid from the mixture and then mix it into the mashed beans.Black Bean Burger Veggies
  4. In another bowl, mix the eggs, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce. Add to the mashed beans and veggie bowl.
  5. Mix in bread crumbs. The mixture will be surprisingly sticky and should hold together fairly well.Black Bean Burger Mix
  6. Divide the mixture into 8 patties and place on the greased aluminum foil. They will now look like massive chocolate chip cookies. However, don’t get confused and eat them yet. Wouldn’t be so good.Black Bean Burger Patty
  7. Place the foil onto the grill and grill the burgers about 8 minutes on each side. In the last minute, add the swiss to melt.Black Bean Burger Grill
  8. While the burgers are grilling, food process 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of arugula together until smooth and slice tomatoes. Ours were from our backyard!
  9. Once the burgers finish, compile your masterpiece. Ciabatta with a swipe of the arugula mayo, burger, tomato and a pile of fresh arugula.
  10. Woah yum.

Black Bean Burger Meal

So delicious. And easy. And good for the whole family. Highly recommended. Ok… now I will go eat ice cream.

So, I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are, meat light or not. Do share!


A Summer Staple: Caprese Salad

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a lot of tomato, basil and mozzarellay goodness on the feed lately. With tomato and basil plants in the backyard, Caprese Salad has quickly become a staple. Lunch, snack, dinner, dessert… it’s all of those things to me.

Caprese Salad Recipe 2- Mason Jar Moments

Part of the reason I love me some Caprese Salad so much is because it has the perfect combination of flavors.

The fresh, sweetness of the tomatoes. The peppery flavor of the basil. The cool, creaminess of the cheese (mmm… cheese). And the tang of the balsamic.

I have received a few requests for the recipe, so for those of you who want a step-by-step of this beautiful (and unbelievably easy) dish, here it comes.

Caprese Salad Recipe - Mason Jar MomentsIngredients

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 16 small basil leaves (or 8 large, cut in half)
  • Whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • Balsamic to taste (preferred is aged balsamic – about 25 years – our favorite can be found here)
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into equally thick pieces (about 1/4 inch). Mozzarella can be tricky to cut, so try a bread knife and it works wonders!

Layer the mozzarella, tomato and basil one after another on the plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Some people will also add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, but I am too much of a sucker for balsamic to add anything extra.

And you’re done! See – seriously easy. May just become a staple in your home too with how little time it takes.

And now, enjoy on the patio!

What’s your favorite summer dish? Hoping to give some great new recipes a try in the next couple months!

Craving Cancun

A year ago today we flew back from the most perfect and relaxing vacation we could ever imagine. After a week of this view from our room at Zoetry, we were ready to move to the beach forever.


Today… it’s cold and raining in the sweet city of Athens. However, no amount of rain or clouds could cover up that sunshiney feeling of honeymoon memories. (Yes… cue the “awws.”)

In honor of our fabulous trip, Chip and I made delicious avocado pico de gallo and orange mango margaritas yesterday. And per usual, I wasn’t even done taking pictures before Chip was already getting a second pico helping. But, rightly so, as it was seriously so good. Complete with goodies from our first (and amazing) trip to the Dekalb Farmer’s Market and our latest produce basket, we were loving it.

Avocado Pico de Gallo

No doubt that my super-on-sale mini margarita glasses that I found at Bed, Bath and Beyond really added to the whole experience. I am probably a little bit too giddy about them. I mean… 11 of them for $3.50? You’d be giddy too, admit it.

Overall, I’m really ready for another beach vacation. I’ll even take the lake. Just get me some sun, water and a good book, and I’m there.

Allright friends, meet you on the sand.

Produce Galore

Like I mentioned last week, I took part in my first Athens Produce Co-Op this weekend! Not only was I amazed by what we got for SO cheap, but since then, I’ve been prompted to get creative with my cooking instead of making the same ole’, same ole’. Chip is loving it.

Check out all that produce… for $16.50 per week! Unreal. And the fruit! Pears? Count ’em… 8. We’ve been enjoying our fair share of pears in the Carnes household.

Since then, we’ve made:

  • Beef stew with the carrots, onions and potatoes
  • Twice baked potatoes
  • Some delicious apple, pumpkin seed and goat cheese salads
  • Brown sugar glazed carrots

Now, I’m thinking of an apple crisp in the near future with the apples here and from our fall weekend. Top it with some vanilla ice cream and I’m sold. I might even get crazy and break out the ice cream maker. Mmm.

However, I’m not exactly sure what to do with all that celery, though. Regardless, I’ll absolutely be taking part in another weekend’s co-op here soon. It’s no doubt an amazing price for all of this goodness!

Anyone have any recipe suggestions to put this produce to use? I’m always open to giving a new recipe a try!

Homemade Pumpkin Granola for Supper

Last night I had the pleasure of joining in on my first Athens Ladies Supper Club. Breakfast for dinner was the theme, so I was instantly sold.


  1. I love breakfast foods.
  2. Chip doesn’t really love breakfast foods, therefore we don’t indulge often.
  3. The only thing better for breakfast, is breakfast for dinner.

The fabulously hilarious Morganster hosted this lovely shindig, potluck style. About a week ago, I gave a Skinny Pumpkin Granola recipe a try and fell in love with it. It’s healthy, delicious, super easy to make and much less expensive than buying fancy granola.

I highly recommend it. Naturally, I thought I’d whip up a batch for the Supper Club last night, and it was a hit.

Try it with a bit of vanilla yogurt or sliced Granny Smith apples and almond milk. Seriously, I could eat this stuff every day. And the other great news: Chipper loves it! A win/win!

Now, I’m on the hunt for a good Christmas-y granola as a potential for Christmas gifts in mason jars tied with twine. Anyone have any ideas?

My First Bountiful Basket

Fun fact: I love (and I mean really love) grocery stores. It’s a weird thing to love, but I can’t deny it.

Ever since my trip to Spain when I met my man, I have been intrigued by all the different types of grocery stores, markets, and road side stands. Bless his heart for walking through countless Spanish grocery stores to stare in amazement at things like white asparagus. Didn’t know that existed? Me either, until my love of grocery stores began…

Ever have those days where all you want to do is go home, put on PJs and indulge in a pint of Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato? I do… that’s for sure.

But before I do that, I typically can be found roaming the aisles of The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s or even the Publix at the corner. Something about it is so calming to me! The promise of delicious meals that I could potentially cook… ahh, sweetness.

And today, I took a leap into something new. I’ve contributed to my first Bountiful Basket at the local Athens Produce Co-Op!

I’ve thought about taking part for a while now, but just have never really had a Saturday where it seemed logical. Now I can’t wait for all the producey goodness to come my way this weekend!

Apparently, I’ll receive a basket full of goodies for only ~$15, but that would cost about double that in the store. I’m game!

Here’s an example of a basket:

This Saturday, I’ll be picking up my produce friends and am hoping to be wow’ed! We shall see.

The goal? To actually use everything in the basket before it goes bad. Hoping to live up to that! A token phrase in my household is: “I hate wasting food.” So waste food I will not!

Stay tuned for an update on what I got! If you’d like to take part, head here to sign up tonight.

So, do you all enjoy grocery stores and markets as much as I do?