After my last final, I went on a mini family vacay to Utah – Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon!!! I will talk about Zion Canyon in this post! I was so excited to see the beautiful Zion since I have heard such great things about it. When we got there, we were in a cute lodge, Pioneer Lodge, in Springdale, UT, right outside the South entrance to the park. It was a cute country folk, western lodge with clean and comfy down comforters and pillows. Outside, the little town had other cute lodges, cafes, and shops. But the grand part was that the town was surrounded by the majestic, big, towering RED mountains of Zion. We dropped our stuff off and went into the park. The park is closed to vehicles in the Summer so there are constant shuttles that take you inside the canyon at the Visitor Center. Super convenient! It drops you off at the trail heads so you can take short or long hikes into the canyon. We went to the furthest stop first and hiked the Riverside Walk, which takes you along the Virgin River and winds through the canyons. It was so beautiful – words can’t describe. You need to see it for yourself! We also climbed onto the Weeping Rock, where water runs down the rocks and you are standing inside this cave-like thing and staring out into Zion Canyon. So beautiful! The next day, we went on a hike to the Emerald Pools, all 3 pools, Lower, Middle, and Upper. The moss/algae makes the bottom of the pool green-ish and it is pretty cool because these pools act like little oasis in the mountains. What is cool about Zion is that the canyons are formed through intense flash floods, which is crazy to me because the canyons are so tall, you can’t really imagine water running through at high, fast levels. What is beautiful though, because of the Virgin River and the water, there are tons of trees and vegetation throughout, with signs all over that tell you what certain trees/plants are. Super cool and it feels like I am at a garden or something. Here are some beautiful pictures. I hope that you can someday enjoy it! It is only about 2.5 hours away from Las Vegas!!!
Ingredients (~4 servings)
1 15oz. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2-1 cup)
1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), optional but totally delicious with it
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
hamburger toppings (I used jalapenos, red onions, chipotle mayo, and baby kale)
1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce, canned
3 tbsp mayo
1. Bake the rinsed black beans in a 350 deg. oven for 20 min, mixing around the beans half way through. This will ensure the patties aren’t mushy, since baking them dries them out a little. Necessary step. Don’t skip.
2. Mix together the mayo and chipotle. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the onions, red peppers, carrots, cumin, egg, salt, garlic, and panko.
4. Add the baked black beans. Mash the beans into the mixture using a potato masher or a spatula. Mash until it looks like all the baked beans are crushed.
5. Add the pepitas seeds. Mash the seeds a bit into the mixture.
6. Rub some olive oil on your hands, and form burger patties, however many you would like, and place them on a baking sheet. I did 8 mini patties since I had 8 mini hamburger buns. You can form 4 large ones or 6 medium ones.
7. Freeze the patties for 2+ hours. When ready to eat, heat up some olive oil and pan fry them on medium heat, 5-7 min each side. For the leftover patties, store them in a container or ziplock bag for future use!
8. Toast your buns and top your burgers with your toppings! So good! Yay!