Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

How to follow up the amazing post-workout banana-chocolate smoothie from last month? How about this great vegan, gluten-free recipe from Pulse reader Annie Shillington?

Mashing of ingredients about to begin.

After taking a quick glance over the ingredients, a couple of things struck us. Number one, this would get us back on the right nutritional track after eating one too many servings of steak tartare on a recent trip to France. Number two, what the heck is Nutritional Yeast? After consulting this appropriately named blog post, off to the local health food store we went where the mysterious ingredient was easy to find in the bulk section.

This was simple, fun and easy to make. There is something gratifying about mashing up so much colourful and nutritious stuff together to make a burger. Nope, this ain’t no average quarter pounder—especially when the only salsa on hand is extra-hot. We paired these with some goat’s cheese and a simple salad. Delicious.

As Annie points out in her notes below, these also make great leftovers. One was even consumed cold, without utensils, on a late-minute dash to yoga class. Just try that with a Big Mac.

•2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
•1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
•1 can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
•1 Tbsp olive oil
•1 Onion, diced
•2 cloves of garlic, minced
•3 Tbsp Salsa
•4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
•2 tsp lime juice
•1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
•1/8 tsp pepper (or more to taste)
•1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs, or for gluten – free, Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise cereal works (what I usually use), measure 1 cup of cereal and grind in (mini) food processor

1.Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees
2.Scrub sweet potatoes, either steam in microwave until tender (make pricks in skin with a fork to let steam out), or peel and steam on stove.
3.Cook quinoa according to package instructions, rinse prior to cooking if package does not say pre-rinsed.
4.Dice onion and mince garlic.
5.Heat olive oil in skillet on stove over medium-high heat, add onions and garlic and sautee until translucent, approx. 3-5 minutes.
6.Add steamed sweet potato to a large bowl, if steamed in microwave, let cool for a few minutes before scooping the flesh out with a spoon.
7.Add black beans,cooked quinoa, bread crumbs (ground cereal), nutritional yeast, salsa, salt, pepper, lime juice and onion/garlic mixture (let cool a few minutes).
8.With clean hands, mix everything together, making sure it is not too hot to handle.
9.Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray (to prevent burgers from sticking).
10.Shape into patties and place on cookie sheet (mixture will be sticky, if really wet/runny, add more bread/cereal crumbs). You will have around 8-10 burgers, depending on the size of sweet potatoes used.
11.Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a slight crust forms on the bottom. Flip gently, return to oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

Annie Says:
“Because there is nothing raw in this mixture, it can be tasted during mixing to allow for personal adjustments and add-ins for spice/flavour level.

Serve on a whole grain bun, or alone with a side of veggies for an awesome meal the whole family with actually eat! Toppings (or just plain) are endless. Traditional ketchup, tomato, lettuce, are a hit, or try avocado and salsa for something different.

This burger is great cold or heated up the next day. It has carbs and a ton of vitamins and minerals from the sweet potato for energy/recovery, protein and fibre from the black beans and quinoa, and great flavour from the salsa, and extra B12 from the nutritional yeast. They are always a hit!”

Thanks Annie for the great recipe!!

Have a recipe? We’re always looking to try new, healthy, running-inspired recipes. Send them our way at media@runottawa.ca.