Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Dear loyal blog readers (Mom) and friends,  

You may have noticed my absence over the past 5 days. Your day probably wasn't the same without me, I know. But for this, there is a reason. It's not a good one, but it is indeed a reason. On Saturday we had a BBQ. Now, you may or may not have had the privilege of attending one of our summer fetes, but let's keep it vague (and PG) and just say that they are usually pretty epic. We cook (a lot) we drink (a whole lot) and sometimes we (I) end up twirling around my living room in my undies around 8pm. It happened and I am not sorry. (Except to my mother...) Needless to say, my dancing skivvies and I have needed a couple of days of recovery time before I was ready to share this absolutely, most delicious veggie burger recipe with you. 

Veggie burgers are something that I have a pretty hard time with. The frozen ones are nasty and I try to steer clear from tofu and fake meat. So, really my only option is to make them from scratch. I've tried quite a few recipes and this one is by far my absolute favorite. Super moist on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. They are packed with protein and tons of nutrition so that if you have a few (hundred) cocktails your body might hate you a little less. *Note: If you make them, but then do not eat any of them, or anything at all, your body will hate you more. A lot more. Welcome to my Monday.

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup old fashioned oats 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder 
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the sweet potatoes: Slice the sweet potatoes down the center lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they yield to a gentle squeeze, 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (it should pull off easily) and roughly chop the insides. Set aside to cool completely.

Cook the quinoa. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Stir in the millet, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender (about 25 minutes). Drain off any remaining liquid and set aside to cool.

Grind the oats. Use a food processor or blender to grind the oats until the flakes are broken up, but not as fine as flour.

Mix the burgers. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cooled sweet potatoes and quinoa, black beans, onion, cilantro, cumin, chipotle, cayenne and salt and pepper. Use a potato masher, big mixing spoon or the paddle attachment of your mixer to mix really well. It’s ok if the black beans get smashed in the process.

Mix in the oats. Sprinkle the ground oats over the mixture and mix well with a big spoon until the mixture holds together when you shape a portion into a patty. If possible, cover and refrigerate the mixture for best results (the patties will hold together better during cooking if they are chilled first).

Shape the burgers: Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture. Gently shape it into a patty. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers and smooth out any jagged edges. Repeat the process for each patty; you should end up with 8.

Panfry the burgers: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, place several burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook each patty until browned and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet for each pan of burgers you fry

Pan frying the burgers give them a crispy outside. Then I threw them on the grill for a few minutes so they tasted more like BBQ!


(Recipe adapted from

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