Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Spinach Black Bean Burgers

Do you ever have those days where you just don't know what to make for dinner?  Ok, let's face it, every day is one of those days pretty much... Last night as I opened my fridge I was stumped.  I had lots of options, but that was the problem.  Nothing I had looked appetizing to me.  So I made one of my all-time favorite fall back meals - veggie burgers.

No, you most certainly do not have to be a vegetarian to eat a veggie burger.  For years straight in college I would buy the prepackaged frozen ones and eat them several times a week.  (My favorites still are the Veggie Masala from Trade Joes and Morningstar Black Bean).  Then one day I went to the freezer and realized I didn't have any premade ones.  Tragedy.  I did however have a can of black beans and some spices... so I started making my own.  Sometimes they would turn out great, other times I would be eating more of a pile of black bean mush.  It took me several tries to learn there are a few keys to making good home made veggie burgers.

First, they can't have too much liquid. Duh.  Too much liquid equals pile of mush.  Second, there needs to be some sort of binding agent to hold everything together.  Otherwise you they crumble all over the place.  Third, don't pulverize them.  Some texture is a good thing!  If you pulse the ingredients together some of the beans will end up ground, and others will be in chunks.  It makes things interesting.  Fourth, they probably won't look that great all ground up, but this doesn't mean they won't taste fantastic.  Home made burgers are messy, and sticky, and wonderful.  It's fun to get your hands dirty, but just don't waste your time trying to make them look like perfectly round flat disks that come out of the freezer. 

These particular burgers are a little sweet and a little spicy.  They are a little soft due to the sweet potato, but totally delicious.
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t minced garlic (or 1 clove minced)
  • 1/2 c rolled oats

-Peel and chop sweet potato into 1 inch cubes
-Put sweet potato into microwave save bowl, cover with plastic wrap, microwave for 3.5 minutes to precook
-Put oats into food processor, pulse until roughly ground
-Add rest of ingredients to food processor
-Pulse 20-30 times until you get a mixture that is chopped, but still has some texture to it
Don't you want to eat that????
-Wet hands and form patties, I used a 1/3 c measuring cup for each
-Heat skillet to medium and spray with cooking spray, cook burgers 7-8 minutes per side, or until they start to brown (I'm sure these can be baked too, if you try it let me know how it goes!)

-To serve place on bun or bread of your choice and add toppings.  I used Sandwich Thins and topped them with avocado and tomato.  I also really like these served on a bed of spinach.  The possibilities are endless.


At March 6, 2012 at 7:52 PM , Anonymous Megan @ Megan's Munchies said...

What a perfect combination of flavors!

At March 6, 2012 at 8:05 PM , Blogger What's Annie Making? said...

Thanks Megan! I love sweet potatoes with just about anything, especially cumin!

At March 9, 2012 at 7:48 AM , Anonymous Amy @ CookingScraps said...

These look great! I've been looking for a good homemade veggie burger without breadcrumbs, and I think this will take the cake. I had a similar burger at a food coop once, with chunks of roasted garlic in it as well... this has inspired me to attempt my own version, thanks!

At March 9, 2012 at 10:49 PM , Blogger What's Annie Making? said...

Thanks so much Amy! I'm glad you're going to give them a try. I like the roasted garlic idea too! I'll have to try that next time I make them.

At March 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Love this blog :) I am trying out my first Annie-ism today with veggie burgers! I used to have a great recipe for a black bean burger that I lost (read: amtoolazytolookuponline). So I saw this version with sweet potato and thought I would use your base recipe and just sub what I had in the fridge.

It ended up like this:
Mashed up the beans and sweet potatoes, added cumin, lime for lemon juice, and threw in some cilantro. Didn't have spinach, so I poked around and found wilty mushrooms, poblano, shallot, garlic. Sauteed these together, and threw in some corn at the end (since corn has always been my favorite in store-bought veggie burgers!). I had like, less than an ounce of pepperjack I also threw in because I didn't know what else to use it for!

Right now I am trying to decide if I want to add oats or not (think I do!). And then I will cook up and post the verdict!

At March 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Annddd they were awesome! Great flavor. I did add the oats and loved it. I served in a whole wheat pita with a little bit of lettuce. I was worried it would be too bland without avocado or something on top, but it was ANYTHING but bland :) mmmmm...definitely a quick summery dinner fav!

At March 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM , Blogger What's Annie Making? said...

Oh Carolyn!!! I'm so glad you liked them so much. I love the idea of adding corn to them too. I'll have to try that next time I make them. And "Annie-ism", that's too funny.

At March 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Next I am going to make the pasta with the "hummus" sauce, sounds intruiging in the flavor department! I love this blog....I swear I will never blog as I am horrible at keeping up with things like that and taking pics...So I enjoy it when other people are good at it :)


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What's Annie Making?: Sweet Potato Spinach Black Bean Burgers

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Sweet Potato Spinach Black Bean Burgers