There’s not much of a better way to start off your New Year than with a goal of a healthy diet. I know that’s definitely going to be a goal of mine- in particular, I really want to start eating less meat. I have been reading Mark Bittman’s book, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, lately, and its an eye-opening look at how the meat we eat affects our bodies, our environment, and of course the animals we consume.
That said, I’m definitely not going to be cutting out meat from my diet completely anytime soon- and I’m not sure a drastic removal of that kind of food from my normal consumption is something that is good for my body anyway. However, I’ve started making a more conscious effort to get protein from sources other than meat- and these veggie burgers are no exception.
I know, right? Veggie burgers? Ugh. I felt the same way throughout most of my life. I think the trick is actually to think of these as something totally distinct from regular burgers- they’re just a different animal (hee hee).
A friend of mine introduced me to this recipe over dinner at Dallas BBQ, one of my favorite, kitschiest and giant-margarita-serving establishments in New York. Which is ironic, since pretty much everything at this restaurant has meat in it, and is usually deep-fried for good measure. However, my friend managed to locate and ordered the veggie burger on the menu there- and when I literally gasped in her face at this atrocity, she explained that although she wasn’t a strict vegetarian, she hadn’t been eating meat for some time and wanted to eat something suitable for her diet rather than explode from carnivore-overload right off the bat.
She then told me about the recipe from the Edible Perspective I’m going to share with you guys today, which I guarantee tastes (and looks) better than any restaurant-ordered pre-frozen vegetable patty.
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes, cooked with skin on (~1.5lbs)
- ½ cup frozen or fresh corn
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 6 tbsp rolled oats, partially ground
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cook the quinoa: Add ½ cup quinoa to 1 cup water in a pot over high heat (or more, if you want extra, just keep the ratio of quinoa:water at 1:2), when it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes, untouched. When time is up, fluff with a fork and you’re good to go.
- Cook the sweet potatoes: Either steam or microwave your cubed potatoes until they are soft. I microwaved mine for about 10 minutes on high.
- Preheat your oven to 375° F once you finish cooking the quinoa and potato.
- Mash half of the beans in a bowl until paste-like, then add in the rest of the beans and give a very light stir/mash to combine.
- In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes. Each cube should be mashed, but you don’t want it creamy.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, coriander, chili powder, cayenne (if using) and olive oil, until combined.
- Mix in the onion, garlic, corn, black beans, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and ground oats, until just combined.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Form into balls, between your hands and flatten into ½”-3/4” thick patties. This should make 8 medium/large patties.
- Place on a pan lined with parchment paper (or lightly greased pan) and bake on each side for 15 min, flipping once, half-way through.
- Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!
In fact, these vegetarian (and vegan!) burgers were so good that my vegetable-hating boyfriend even liked them, as well as my veggie burger-doubting family! The great thing about these is that they are easy to freeze, and you can heat them up (or bring them to work) for a quick and easy meal.
As you can tell, I didn’t have any corn on hand to add, however next time I will definitely add that for some color and a nice sweet taste.
I prefer eating these without a bun, with ketchup and a spritz of fresh squeezed lemon juice on top. So good, and adds a nice note of tart freshness to the burger.
Happy Eating and HAPPY NEW YEAR!