Friday, September 27, 2013

Vegan Burgers with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans!

**Warning! This recipe requires refrigerating your veggie burger dough prior to baking. Make sure you account for that time! I um, almost did not. It led to a very, very late dinner and a very unhappy family... until they tasted these little treats, after which their prior grumbliness faded away like vegan truffles on a hungry tongue!


To begin: I took forever to finally make this recipe. When first I began researching food processors, I stumbled upon an Amazon review that claimed something like: this made making vegan burgers a breeze!

And I thought "... vegan burgers? in a FOOD PROCESSOR?"

The idea stuck, but then I never did anything with it.

Until now! Buoyed by my delicious successes with tofu-alfredo sauce, I thought I'd raise the stakes. Vegan burgers. That even my family would love. So I threw out the question: did anyone have any special requests? The response I received was: yes! Sweet potatoes, please! Luckily I happened to be just then reading a post by Cookie + Kate on sweet potato-based black bean burgers, adapted from the Cafe Flora cookbook.

These are good.

My family loved them. They craved them. They ate the leftovers, even though I'm pretty much the only one in the house who eats leftovers.

Some caveats, though: I did not follow the previous cook's instructions, because I am lazy and don't like following instructions. Also, she did not want me to food process all the ingredients. To which I innerly responded: "How DARE you!" I'd started this game with the intention of using my new nifty machine. I did not care what ingredients were required, so long as they were vegan and could be stuffed into a 10-cup bowl. And I just happened to now be roped into making the one recipe that didn't want my 10-cup bowl.

So I did it my way, with a contented inner battle cry of: "Ah-ha! Take that!"

It turned out that doing things my way significantly altered the texture of the recipe, but so be it. If you'd prefer to mash your burgers the intelligent and possibly tastier way, you may follow the link I have posted here and above. However, if you prefer to live life on the wild side and throw both caution and sanity to the wind... then, my friends, I have the recipe that was made just for you:

Food-Processed Vegan Burgers with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans!

Makes 10 -12 burgers (half-inch think)

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 smallish potatoes)
1/3 cup quinoa or brown rice
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked)
1/2 small red onion, rougly chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

hamburger buns
lettuce, tomato, onion
saucy condiments

Begin by roasting the sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit (190 Celsius). While the oven is heating, slice your sweet potatoes lengthwise and place the cut sides down on a tin-foil lined baking or roasting pan. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until they are gentle and pliable. 

Meanwhile, cook your rice (or quinoa or couscous, etc.). Bring 1 cup of water to boil and then stir in your grains. Reduce heat and leave your grains to simmer, covered, for about 20 - 30 minutes. Once finished, drain any excess water. Your sweet potatoes should now be finished, too. You can now choose to either pull of the skin and coarsely chop your potatoes (once cooled, of course!), or to chop with the skins on.

(I always keep the skins on. Very healthy! Also, you'll never taste them once you've food processed them. And even when I pull off the skins, I just snack on them while I continue to cook/bake away...)

Leave your sweet potatoes and quinoa / rice to finish cooling completely.

Now: take out ye olde food processor and set 'er up. Grind them oats coarsely -- don't make it too fine. Pour your oats out into a large bowl and add your freshly cooked-and-cooled grains and set aside.

Now, back in your food processing bowl, add your rinsed black beans, onion, cilantro, spices and salt. Top it all off with your freshly baked-and-cooled sweet potatoes (or you can put those in with your oats and set aside for now). Blend those suckers. Make sure they're good and incorporated, and then stop. Don't over-do it. Dump out your mixture into your oats and quinoa bowl and mix it all up with your hands or a spoon. (It's sticky -- just a warning).

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Now, preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius). Grease the large baking or roasting pan you used earlier for the sweet potatoes (don't use the tin foil again -- the burgers will stick mercilessly). Take out your dough and start shaping it into patties. Bake your patties in the roasting pan for 15 - 20 minutes on each side, for a total of 30 - 40 minutes.

You can try panfrying, but beware the soggy middle of the burger.

Now load 'em up and get eating! Yum! Hooray! Vegan burgers in a food processor!!!

Hope you like :)

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