Mexican Black Bean Burgers Take Over the UNC Hospitals Kitchen!

Good morning!

I am SO glad this week is over. Two tests on one day yesterday = not awesome. But, our afternoon following the tests was fun! My Food Service Management class group and I met up with the UNC hospitals Executive Chef yesterday to make our Mexican Black Bean Burgers in their kitchen!


As I mentioned, our Food Service Management professor is the head of food service at UNC hospitals, so our project involves creating a new menu item for their hospital! Each group has to:

  1. Come up with a recipe, either for patient menus or for one of their retail restaurants/ cafes (we chose retail). Scale to 20 portions. (Done!)
  2. At the hospital, go in in the early a.m. to learn how to purchase food; give the staff our recipe and ingredient list. Help the team receive and store all the food shipments that came in that morning! (Done! This was HARD work!)
  3. Using the kitchen and supplies at the hospital, prepare our recipe!

Yesterday was the day to make our recipe on the large scale:


It was cool being in the kitchens at the hospital. It’s crazy how much behind the scenes work has to be done every day! Mad respect for everyone that works in food service.



Our first order of business? Getting suited up in hair nets! So sexy.


Heh. Once we put on the hair nets and some plastic aprons, we got right down to work!


We scaled our recipe to make 20 veggie burgers and wow was it a lot of stuff! We used their MASSIVE food processor to mix it all.

Jillian in action with her rockin’ hair net:


Libby and an entire of pitcher of black beans, no big deal:


(I prefer pitchers of margaritas.)

Prepped toppings:


Eventually, we processed all the ingredients and out it came looking like a large mush of… poop. Let’s be honest. It looks like poop.


Apparently their food processor is way better than mine and blends things much finer!

It looked better once they were actually in burger shapes :)


Then, off to the grill we went! We decided they would be more fun grilled than pan seared. Plus, it was easier for mass production!


Yum yum! Check out those beautiful grill marks :)


I felt like I was back in my high school cafeteria! (Except they didn’t have black beans burgers or wheat buns.)


Ready to knock the taste tester’s socks off:





The burgers were a big hit among the kitchen staff! Our professor even liked them, although he wanted to add in some finely chopped diced peppers, onions, or feta cheese (or maybe even some mashed black beans instead of processing all of them) to mix up the homogenized texture of the patties. The food processors in the kitchen there made them MUCH more finely processed than my one at home did!

They are going to think about implementing the burgers for a new “vegetarian concept” they want to try out in one of their retail cafes. We’ll see!

I’m off to school — we are getting our first Biochem exams back today, eek! Here’s hoping I did okay :)

Have a good one!


  1. 1

    How exciting to have the opportunity to work in the hospital kitchen. You are right, it does look like poop. Bet it taste better though(hehehe)

  2. 2

    Those grill marks make the burgers look awesome! (Not that they didn’t look awesome before, but you know what I mean!) It is SO exciting that you are inspiring better healthy choices at UNC – yay Annie!

  3. 3

    ow, ow!

    schmexy hairnet! haha. the bean burgers look phenom! :)


  4. 4

    Those look so fantastic! I hope they get implemented!

  5. 5

    Those look delicious – I would love to have access to a big kitchen. I bet it was so fun!

  6. 6

    good luck with the biochem…i have my second biochem test monday. ugh….hate that class! i also hope they give your bean burgers the green light! what a cool school project :)

  7. 7

    I think it is amazing that your hair still looks great in the hair net. It did make me laugh though. ;)

    That is awesome that they are thinking of implementing your veggies burgers into one of the little cafes. I’m surprised they haven’t done something like that already!

  8. 8

    I love all things black bean burgers! These look especially good, I need to get a grill! I’m so glad they might use them, more vegetarian options would make the world a better place:)

  9. 9

    What a great assignment. Congratulations on the results too. I am astonished that the UNC hospitals Executive Chef (health industry?) doesn’t regularly offer and promote a menu item like black bean burgers. YAY to your team for promoting healthful change.

    • 10

      Unfortunately they’ve tried to do vegetarian items before, but no one wanted them :( There’s only so much you can do offering healthy items if people don’t choose them! Sucks.

  10. 11

    Congrats on those amazing looking bean burgers ( <3 the grill marks!) Sounds like a very cool program you're in and a great way to help make our country healthier! :) Have a GREAT weekend!

  11. 12

    Those burgers look great! You should suggest the hospital participate in Meatless Monday offerings. I am a student intern at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which is one of the public health initiatives that runs the MM campaign, and they are adding Meatless Monday dishes to cafeteria menus nationwide. It would be a great way to incorporate vegetarian offerings into the regular menu!

    For more on Meatless Monday, visit:

  12. 15

    I work in a hospital. I wish our food services served black bean burgers. Maybe I’ll forward your post to the director and see if I get any response.

  13. 17

    I cant wait to try these!
    You girls look like you had a blast!

  14. 18

    I said it before and I say it again: this burger is a WINNER!

  15. 19

    Congrats on the success! You know I love that burger!

  16. 20

    Oh my word, those black bean burgers sound so delicious!

  17. 21

    Well, you make putting black bean burgers so easy! I must try that one:) Thanks

  18. 22

    Those look awesome. Well done!

  19. 23

    How exciting! They look super delicious too! :D

  20. 24

    Love it! Great stuff. And looks like a good time was had by all, too. Thanks, as always, for sharing more fun with us. And look forward to hearing about your long run this weekend!

  21. 25

    Love it!!!

  22. 26

    Those look scrumptuous! And the whole deal looks like fun, to boot. Good work!

  23. 27

    how awesomee!!!

  24. 28
    Meredith says

    Hi Anne, I’m new to your blog and love it! I made your black bean burgers tonight and they were so good! My omnivore husband liked them too, so that’s a really good sign that there was enough flavor! :) Thanks so much for the great recipes and fun feel of your blog.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.