Thursday, March 28, 2013

Test Kitchen: Veggie Burger

Oh hey there!  I've resurfaced from all the pediatric illnesses that I managed to catch.

I must admit I'm not much of an original recipe creator.  I'm more of a recipe tweaker.  I enjoy trying and altering recipes that I find on other blogs, cookbooks, and cooking magazines using what I have in my kitchen and making substitutes for ingredients I don't like.

The recipe I most recently "tweaked" was a veggie burger I've been hoping to make from Feast on the Cheap (original recipe here).  I've made veggie burgers in the past-- maybe it's my crappy food processor or lack of a good recipe, but they never turn out as wonderful as I hope-- usually crumbly and dry.  I usually turn to Trader Joe's or Dr. Praeger's brands for my veggie burger fix and always have them in the freezer.

Despite my previous failures, I had faith in the recipe above based on the fact that it includes all of my favorite foods: sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, peppers, onions, and garlic.  How could it turn out badly?  It didn't.  It turned out wonderfully.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Burgers 
adapted from Feast on the Cheap

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into quarter inch cubes
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 T of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Creole Seasoning Blend (from the Savory Spice Shop)
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
Begin by bringing the quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil, then turn to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  At the same time, cover sweet potato cubes with water in a pot and boil also for 10 minutes.  

While cooking your sweet potatoes and quinoa, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add onions and jalapeno.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  

Scrape onion/pepper/garlic mixture into a small bowl and set aside.  Then add the sweet potato and black beans to the skillet.  Mash with a potato masher until they create a paste.  

From here on, start adding the rest of the ingredients, mixing well after each addition until thoroughly combined.  

Let mixture cool until it is safe to handle without burning your hands.  It makes about 8 large burgers.  Place burgers on a baking sheet, cover with saran, and refrigerate overnight or for 4-6 hours.  

You can cook these burgers one of two ways.  The original recipe recommends cooking in a pan for 6-7 minutes on each side.  I tried this, with just a mist of olive oil in the pan, and it got a little burnt in the center (damn electric stove).  So my personal recommendation is to bake the burgers in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  I did this for the remaining 7 burgers that did not burn.  

After the burgers cooled completely, I stashed three in the fridge for dinner this week and put the rest away in the freezer.  I ate two the first night and I've been microwaving them for a minute for dinner every night this week.  Love 'em.

Here's one wrapped in a corn tortilla with avocado, hot sauce, and a side of asparagus.

Here's another topped with avocado with a side of broccoli and sweet potato fries (Alexia brand, loving those too!)

Please let me know how these turn out if you decide to try and make them!  If you make any substitutes that work out well, tell me!  If you have another great veggie burger recipe I'd love for you to share the link in the comments section.  

Veg out! 
~ Mere

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