Good Eats Good Times

I think this is going to be a blog about cooking.

Tag: sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

If you’re a vegetarian craving the taste of meat (without changing your diet), look no further than this recipe.

It was a Friday evening. For me, it was one of those winter nights I just didn’t feel like going out. My friend Emma, laying low after a wild night at Igloofest, asked me if I wanted to get together and cook. We’ve long talked about trying to make sweet potato black bean burgers, and these did not disappoint.

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I used inspiration from various recipes… this one is definitely a mash up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large can black beans (28 oz)
  • 1.5 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1.5 onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • spices: salt, pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne, cajun, paprika, cumin, south african smoke

We didn’t mean to, but we ended up making a huge batch. This recipe yielded 20-25 burgers, so if you’re not looking to feed more than a few people, I think you could safely cut this recipe in half. You may still have leftovers. Prep time: approx 30-45 minutes.

For the fastest way to cook your sweet potatoes, cut some holes in them, put them on paper towel, and microwave them for 12-14 minutes. They should come out very hot, but also nice and soft. Cut them into cubes, and throw them into a large mixing bowl (we used a pot).

With the sweet potatoes, toss in the cooked rice and black beans (drain the can first). Begin to mash the mixture using a hand masher.

Chop the onions and garlic, and throw those in as well. Add the flour, worcestershire sauce, and tahini. Continue to mash as well as you can. Throw in your spices. If you don’t feel like using all of the spices we did, you obviously don’t have to. Since our recipe turned out to be massive, we threw in quite a bit of each spice (probably a few teaspoons).

Before you’re ready to make them into patties, taste it! Does it have all the flavors you want? Even after throwing a fair amount of spices in, they could’ve been even spicier.

"This semi resembles prison food, but I know it's gonna be good" -Emma

“This semi resembles prison food, but I know it’s gonna be good” -Emma

According to Emma, who was doing most of the mashing, “this semi resembles prison food but i know its gonna be good.” So if the mixture looks like prison food, you’re probably ready to form the patties.

We formed pretty large patties, probably about 2 inches in diameter (but it’s tough to say). They could’ve been smaller if you wanted to make them more like appetizer size (they’d probably stay together better, too). But we were feeling ambitious.

Since we had 23 uncooked patties on our hands, we weren’t sure what the best way to cook these the fastest. Therefore, we threw some in the oven at 350 while we were frying the first batch. I’m not sure if this made any sense or any difference, so you could probably skip this step.

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Now, to the frying. In a large frying pan, heat a layer of oil for a few minutes. Then, drop your patties in. They should take about 4-6 minutes to get nice and brown on each side. Once they’re done, I advise putting them in the oven at 200 to keep them warm and also to bake a bit of the grease off (this step I do advise).

Your burgers are now ready to be dressed. We settled on wrapping them in lettuce, with sliced tomatos, Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Salsa, and cilantro. Feel free to add ketchup, mustard, or cheese as necessary. It was a great choice and the burgers were delicious. They were definitely a bit delicate (probably in part to the size of the patties), but nonetheless some of the most awesome veggie burgers I’ve ever tasted.

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Midweek Feast: Gluten Free Meatballs, Herby Mashed Sweet Potats, Sautéed Spinach

It was around 9:00 pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday, but my roommate Josh and I (since we buy groceries together we usually cook together, too) felt like throwing a feast together. Although we don’t buy meat very often, there was a pound of ground beef calling our names in the freezer. Burgers? Meatballs? Tacos? We went with meatballs.

To add to the feast Josh made some herby mashed sweet potatoes, I sautéed some spinach, and also attempted a dairy-free creamy mushroom sauce to go with the meatballs, which ended up being a bit of a failure (so I’m leaving that one out for now). The meatballs are gluten free which makes this a great, filling, and easy meal for any occasion.

Photos by me this time (prob why they're a bit out of focus)

Photos by me this time (prob why they’re a bit out of focus)

Meatballs: 1 lb ground beef, handful of potato chips, 1 chopped onion, spices: garlic salt, chili, mustard powder, herbamare, black pepper, worcestershire sauce, south african smoke

The meatballs are pretty straightforward. Throw the ground beef into a medium/large mixing bowl. Chop the onion very finely and crush up the potato chips (for the record, I used Kettle Chips Sea Salt and Black Pepper, my favs) in a ziploc bag or with a spoon. I used the potato chips because they’re a nice, easy alternative to breadcrumbs (even the gluten free ones I bought still have dairy and other not-so-good stuff in them). You could also add an egg (but I have a sensitivity to eggs and am trying to be strict with my diet right now) to help hold the balls together. They definitely held up nonetheless.

Add a nice pinch of each of the spices and a splash of the worcestershire sauce. The South African Smoke is from Trader Joe’s and adds a a rich, smoky flavor. Herbamare has always been a mainstay in my kitchen growing up (we call it “herbie salt”) and I recommend picking some up in the health food aisle.

Anyways, after mixing the ingredients with your hands, form nice, approx 1 inch balls and put them on a cookie sheet. The recipe yields about 15-17 meatballs. Cook them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Josh’s Herby Sweet Potatoes: 2 sweet potatoes, olive oil, butter/earth balance, basil, italian seasoning, rosemary, herbie salt, pepper,

Rinse, peel, and cut the sweet potats into quarters (so that they cook quicker). Put them into a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Add a bit of olive oil and salt. Leave the pot uncovered and bring the water/sweet potats to a boil. Cover the pot and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are nice and soft, mash them using a hand masher or hand blender.

Add about 2 tablespoons butter/Earth Balance to give them a nice, creamy texture. Now add the spices. A healthy sprinkle of each is perfect. The idea behind the rosemary is that we usually put it on sweet potatoes fries when we make those. These savory sweet potatoes are quite mouth watering.

Sautéed Spinach: 2-2.5 cups fresh spinach, olive oil, 2-3 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes

This one is really easy and barely needs directions, but you can never underestimate the importance and deliciousness of adding some green to your meal. Rinse and dry probably about 2-2.5 cups of spinach (as you probably know, it shrinks). Chop the garlic (when cooking it with greens, I like to leave the pieces a bit bigger) and sauté it in a pan for a few minutes with some olive oil. Throw on the spinach and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and a few chili flakes. Sauté for a few minutes until the spinach has shrunk nicely and  you have a tasty, healthy addition to any meal.

In all, this meal should serve 2.5 hungry students.

There you have it. An easy, well-rounded, filling meal.

The Feast

The Feast