Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Sweet potatoes and black beans. Two things that always seem to go together. These easy, baked veggie burgers are a great way to combine the two. They always come out delicious, moist and tender; never too dry or crumbly. They also suit just about any kind of special diet: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low glycemic index, maybe even vegetarian paleo (is that an oxymoron?).
This is an adaptation from the recipe for Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers over at Budget Bytes. You can also try her version which does not use eggs. I consider myself almost a vegan- in that I don’t eat dairy (well, only very occasionally)- except that eggs are a big part of my diet. I find they are an excellent way to get protein as a vegetarian. And, to me, as long as the chickens are treated well, no one gets hurt.
A note on the corn flour: I have tried substituting other types of ‘flours' (chickpea, oat, quinoa), but I think the cornmeal is the best in this recipe. I also tried no ‘flour'. In all cases they still turned out well, but didn’t have quite the same substance, mouthfeel, or taste. I don’t use much corn of any type in my recipes, but now and then a little corn flour does come in handy.
Cornmeal flour is NOT the same as the corn meal that is used to make polenta. You are after the very finely ground cornmeal, it should look like pale yellow flour. (It’s also not cornstarch, which is the white powder used to thicken sauces.)
Of course you could serve these veggie burgers on buns or bread. Usually I put them on top of a salad of some sort... Quinoa Tabboulleh, Fresh Pineapple Slaw, and Raw Kale Slaw are favorites with this dish. I also love them with a side of carrot fries, roasted green beans, or with roasted brussells sprouts (as pictured above).
For more info on sweet potatoes, check out my Baked Sweet Potato Fries post.
As for the beans, I always make them fresh. It’s something I got used to doing when we moved to Argentina. They don’t have a lot of good precooked foods here. Which isn’t a bad thing really... fresh is always better.
Each week I make at least one pot of beans (black, pinto, chickpea, white, or lentils), which I then use to make meals throughout the week: Rice and bean lunch bowls, potato nachos on Sundays, and dinners like this one.
Beans are really easy to prepare at home. Although they take 60-90+ minutes to actually cook, you can have them boiling in the background while you do other things. Beans keep in the fridge for at least a week and also freeze well, so don’t worry about making too much.
Also, feel free to use canned beans if you’ve got ‘em.
Recipe for Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Makes five palm-size veggie burgers.
1 large sweet potato (1 3/4 -2 cups smashed)
1/2 cup diced red pepper (fresh or canned)
1 cup black beans (cooked and drained)
4 pickled jalapeños (minced), plus 2 Tablespoons juice (optional, or substitute what spice you have)
1/4 cup cornmeal flour (see notes above)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional, but delicious if you’ve got it)
For topping (optional)-
Heat the oven to 400F (200C).
Wash, peel, cube, and cook the sweet potatoes. I either steam them until tender (10-12 minutes for 1 inch cubes), bake them whole in the oven (about 1 hr at 350F), or I roast them uncovered in the oven at 400F (200C) for 30-40 minutes until tender. If roasting, I toss them with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice, which keeps them moist and soft and really brings out the flavor.
When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, combine all of the ingredients (except for the avocado) in a food processor and blend just until combined and smooth. (You can also mix this up in a bowl, it just takes a bit more elbow grease.)
Drop large cooking-utensil spoonfuls (see photo below) onto a greased cookie sheet or pan.
I like to use olive oil or coconut oil. Also, I usually re-use the same pan I just roasted the sweet potatoes in (without washing it). In that case extra oil isn't even needed.
Tuck the edges of each patty into shape if needed. They won’t spread much, if at all, while baking.
Bake 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch and browned around the edges.
Serve topped with avocado on a salad, or in a bun.
To ask questions or leave comments, please visit the original blog post here.