The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

boxed red wine | I saved the best for last

Peter Crosta | Features/Special Features Editor
[email protected]

Since this is my last column of the semester, I’m going to address two of my favorite things: homemade veggie burgers and tea.

If you’ve read my previous columns, you know I think ground beef is gross, but that’s only because of the unsanitary cattle lots most beef is produced in, the antibiotics the cows are pumped full of, and the outrageous fat content.

So people don’t think I’m being rude when I go to barbeques, I always take the veggie-burger option, but they usually have a soggy texture and bland flavor. That’s why I fell in love with this new veggie burger recipe. It’s mostly black beans, spinach and mushrooms, and it’s delicious.

Its salty flavor tastes natural rather than reminiscent of a mouth full of Morton’s salt with ground beef. The texture is different too. It’s crispy on the outside, and smooth on the inside. The inside is kind of like refried beans. The recipe will be posted with this article at

At the other end of my day, tea is my morning beverage of choice. It started because I was a contrary teen living in a house full of coffee drinkers. Over the years, I began to genuinely enjoy it. Now I have at least 20 ounces a day. Plus, you look very sophisticated having afternoon tea with friends, while meeting at Starbucks just makes you look like a tool.

I’d like to mention that the British should never be a source of culinary advice. Keep that in mind if a Brit ever tries to offer advice when making tea. Heat the water in a kettle on the stove until just before it reaches a rolling boil. Pour the water into a pot, then put the leaves, which should be in some sort of strainer, in the water.

For white tea, steep for two minutes, green tea, three minutes, and black tea, four minutes. I wouldn’t suggest milk or honey for anything other than black tea. My steeping suggestions will reduce astringency, which is usually the cause of aversion for the Western palate toward green and white tea. 

Hina’s, on K Street near 24th, is a great place to buy quality teas and get advice if it’s new territory for you.

When it comes to health matters of tea, green and white are where the antioxidants are at, but locally produced honey, which is absorbed easily by black tea, acts as a hypoallergenic. I was able to stop taking Claritin after I started buying honey at the farmers’ market.

It’s been a fun semester. I know idle time facilitates my drinking more than anything else, so if you plan on self-medicating to cure the boredom this summer, be sure to take a look at my blog, Peter’s Cocktail Corner, on Mainline Magazine’s Web site

Chipotle Black Bean Burger

  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1/4 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

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Sautee the onions and garlic on low heat (taking care not to burn garlic), until onions are soft. Roughly 3-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mash the beans until almost smooth. Add sauteed onions and garlic with the rest of the ingredients, except the oil. Add breadcrumbs a few tablespoons at a time to combine well. Mixture will be thick.

Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick and fry patties in a small amount of oil until slightly firm. Take care to not make them to thick, otherwise crumbling can occur. Make and enjoy!


Make 4-6 burgers.


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