It is officially patio season! It’s the time when we Canadians go crazy for a few short months and regret any meal cooked or consumed indoors.
If you’re looking for fresh, healthy and delicious solutions for patio dining, start with veggie burgers – and we mean the homemade kind.
Pre-packed veggie burgers can be mealy, mushy and tasteless. A bad experience with frozen, fast food or vac-packed veggie burgers can be enough to drive you back to ground beef patties.
Don’t be deceived! Homemade veggie burgers deliver great texture, taste and nutrition. If you master a winning recipe, you’ll become a legend at BBQs.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of Amanda Froelich, of Bloom for Life. Amanda is donating her incredible culinary talents to create a recipe book for Organics 4 Orphans. It’s a guide to nutrient-dense meal prep for our target communities: the poor in developing countries.
Surprisingly, one of the major barriers to changing nutrition – and changing mortality – is simply culture. Just as in North America where our food culture is killing us, in places like Africa, traditions and habits can be the enemy of healthy eating.
Of course, the first, essential step is making healthy food available and affordable. Our Organics 4 Orphans garden projects are doing just that, and at the same time, educating people on the importance of a plant-rich diet, to ward off disease.
The next step is helping them fall in love with the full spectrum of plant foods. We need to create a buzz around healthy eating. To supplant starchy, nutrient-poor staple foods, we need to make superfoods attractive, delicious and fun.
Amanda is helping us in that quest. We are so grateful. Check out her recipes and incredible health tips at Bloom for Life, and enjoy this recipe!
Note that these burgers should be baked first, and then lightly grilled. You can prep them in advance and just throw them on the BBQ for the finishing touches.
Sweet Potato Burgers
Preparation Time: (Total) 1 Hr 30 Minutes
Serving Size: 12
2 cups mashed sweet potato (2 Large Sweet Potatoes)
1 cup cooked & salted black beans (or other legume of choice), rinsed and well-drained
1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup walnut or pecan meal (or very finely chopped)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
Sprouts, lettuce, or parsley
Sliced tomato & onion
Sauce of choice
Bread (or bed of salad greens)
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cut sweet potatoes in half. Rub with olive oil and place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake sweet potatoes until soft and tender to the touch – about 30 minutes – set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
2) While potatoes are baking, cook rice (see notes for instructions).
3) Add black beans to a mixing bowl and mash half of them for texture. Then add sweet potato and lightly mash, then 1 cup rice, green onion, nut meal and spices. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more rice or nut meal if the mixture feels too wet. It should be very moist but moldable.
4) Lightly grease a baking sheet and line a 1/4 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap.
5) Fill the lined measuring cup with sweet potato mixture. Scrape down to pack, then lift out and transfer to the baking sheet and gently press down to mash. The thinner you press them, the faster they’ll cook, but no need to go too far. Just a gentle press will do.
6) Bake burgers for 30 minutes, carefully flipping at 15 minutes in to ensure even cooking. The longer you bake them the firmer and drier they will get – up to preference.
7) Grill on hot BBQ for 5 – 15 minutes. If making entirely in oven, increase total cooking time by 5 – 15 minutes.
8) Serve between buns, bread, or atop a salad with sliced avocado, red onion, greens, and ketchup or salsa.
9) Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a few days. Freeze for longer term storage.
Note: To cook rice, bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add 1 cup very well-rinsed rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until fluffy and tender. You will have leftovers.
Amanda Froelich, RHN, ACE, ISD, is a skilled healer, plant-based chef, and writer passionate about sharing vibrant living resources and healthy cuisine with the world. She is the founder of Bloom for Life, is a talented author who has published several books and resources, and is passionate about helping every individual attain vibrant health so they may experience positive transformation and thrive.
She frequently travels to work with various holistic healing clinics around the world, teaching “high-vibrational” plant-based food preparation and speaking on spiritual-based philosophies of life. Want to book her for your up-and-coming program? Check out her services here.