I’m back! Maybe for good this time? That I’ve posted twice so far in 2012 is pretty impressive…
In the time I’ve been away, my attitudes and thoughts on food have continued to evolve, especially lately. Due to different health issues and emerging intolerances in my family, my eyes have been opened to different schools of thought on food, among them being what’s “good” for you, and what’s “bad,” how much protein I actually need in my diet, the effects of vegetarianism/veganism on health, and eating foods for certain ailments or parts of the body (who knew beets were so good for your liver? Or that black raspberries are excellent for the esophagus?).
With these things in mind, my diet has started to include less dairy and meats. I am in no place to give up butter yet (YUM). This has been made easier by my 2012 resolution to try one new recipe a week. I love food, and I definitely prefer to cook than bake, however, I was never very adventurous with it. I have my go-tos that are pretty quick, pretty easy to make and taste good enough and most importantly, don’t require a recipe. Recipes intimidate me! I’ve been facing my fear head on this year, and I am loving the results (though I rarely stick to the actual recipe at hand).
This week’s endeavor was a great one! My oldest friend (we go back to 1st grade!) was in town from New York, so I invited her for dinner. She is dairy-free and I am gluten-free, so I needed a recipe that catered to both, and something we both would like. Enter, Pinterest. I love Diana’s boards – I can always tell what pins are hers because of her distinct design aesthetic. Luckily one of her boards is dedicated to food, chockfull of handpicked recipes just for me. I had also pinned this sweet potato veggie burger recipe, so it was an easy choice. Ah, technology. Love it.
Last week I had made these cheesy quinoa bites, based off of this recipe. The sweet potato veggie burger recipe said they were mushy and fell apart easily, but the quinoa bites had stayed together well, and I had some quinoa leftover, so I decided I would combine the two recipes and see what happened (after almost twenty years of friendship, I figured I would be forgiven and probably not judged if my experiment failed…)! I also decided to sub black beans for the white beans in the original recipe, because I’m more used to black beans and thought maybe I’d add a southwestern flair to these veggie burgers (only evidenced by adding in cilantro and serving with my new obsession, honey-mustard chipotle sauce).
There was a dark moment when I thought the whole thing was going to end in disaster because the mixture suddenly turned much less firm and way mushier than I anticipated, but I improvised and brought out the cupcake tins. I was able to get patty-shaped burgers baked up that held together in the end, and weren’t all that messy to eat.
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Black Bean and Quinoa Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers
Yields 12 burgers
You will need:
- 1 large sweet potato, mashed
- 1 can of black beans, strained and rinsed
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa with diced onions
(I was SO confused what this meant in this recipe. Here it means that once the quinoa is cooked, you need two cups of that. I believe 1 cup dry quinoa yields 2 cups when cooked. I’m very much still a recipe-cooking beginner!)
- 1/2 cup flour
(I used Bob’s Mills Gluten-Free Biscuit and Baking Mix. I passed on regular gluten-free flour because it requires xantham gum to get that binding agent to help hold the burgers together, which is what the flour is included in the recipe for)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 breadcrumbs
(I used gluten-free corn Chex I mashed up in a baggie)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mash together the sweet potato and black beans, gradually adding in the quinoa and onions. Gradually mix in cilantro, maple syrup, egg and flour as you go. Spray cupcake tin with non-strick spray, and coat the bottom of each with breadcrumbs. Spoon sweet potato mixture into tins, filling about halfway to create a burger sized portion.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool for a few minutes. You can serve them like this, or take it a step further and coat in more breadcrumbs, and sautee with olive oil at medium heat on the stove top for a few minutes. Serve with your favorite fixin’s (I recommend avocado, honey mustard chipotle dip, and tomato!) on your favorite gluten-free bun (I love Rudy’s Burger Buns.)
These are delicious, healthy, satisfying and just perfect for summer! Bon appétit!
PS – thanks Diana for being my guinea pig and a wonderful dinner guest!