These fritters pack in 3 vegetables – red kidney beans, mushrooms, and carrots – which means they pack a lot of nutrients in a small package.
These fritters taste best when they're served fresh from the skillet. Just like crabcakes, you can serve these on a bed of salad greens, or as an appetizer on their own.
A SKIN SAVING FOOD
Each of these ingredients packs a lot of power.
Start with the red kidney beans. Beans of all types are known for being high in fiber, but they pack in a lot of other nutrients as well. I consider them "power carbs" because they're a great source of energy, AND they provide fiber, protein, and some powerful phytonutrients.
Just 1 cup of cooked kidney beans provides about 15 grams of protein. Those kidney beans also provide a nice dose of both iron and zinc, nutrients which are important for hair growth.
They even supply antioxidants, such as the anthocyanins which give these beans their red color and which protect the skin from free radical damage. In fact, studies of the antioxidant capacity of different fruits and vegetables have found that beans are among the best sources. (And that's all in addition to their fantastic fiber content--about 11 grams of fiber in 1 cup.)
Carrots are also known to be a great health food. They're a great source of carotenoids, the red-orange pigments that act as as antioxidants and also help protect the skin.
As for mushrooms, I'm always trying to add them to all types of dishes. That's because mushrooms are low calorie, but high flavor, especially when cooked in a little olive oil. They're a good source of fiber and other vitamins and minerals, including several B vitamins. As for minerals, they're a good source of selenium. Selenium works on a number of functions in the body, including supporting the immune system and acting as an antioxidant.
Even the oats provide a powerful boost. These old-fashioned rolled oats are a type of whole grain, with a nice dose of fiber to help stabilize your body's blood sugar response. That fiber has another benefit also: the good microbes in your gut love the fiber found in oats. That means that oats are a great prebiotic food.
RECIPE FOR RED BEAN MUSHROOM FRITTERS
1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 6 oz cremini or portabello mushrooms, chopped 1 cup carrots, shredded 1 cup rolled oats [old-fashioned] 1 egg, beaten 1 tsp salt 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp soy sauce [low sodium] 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
DIRECTIONS 1. Coarsely mash kidney beans 2. Mix all ingredients together except for bread crumbs
3. Form into small patties
4. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes [to help fritters maintain shape when cooking]
5. Place Panko bread crumbs on plate, and gently press fritters into bread crumbs
6. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium heat
7. Cook patties 4-5 minutes [until brown], then flip and repeat
Dr. Rajani Katta is the author of Glow: The Dermatologist's Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. To receive future updates on preventive dermatology and the role of diet, sign up here.