Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers (Gluten-Free and Vegan-Friendly)

Happy Nutrition Month!

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty darn sick of this winter weather and cannot WAIT for spring to arrive!

Spring = sunshine. And warm weather. And patios. But most importantly, BARBECUING.

Need I say more?

If you’re going through BBQ withdrawal and are craving a burger, this is the perfect meatless recipe to satisfy your craving (and your waistline). I started out following a recipe from How Sweet It Is, but it ended up evolving into something a little bit different.

These burgers are hearty, a little bit spicy, and packed with superfoods like sweet potato, quinoa and coconut oil. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A and carotenoids, which help promote healthy skin and vision. Combined with the quinoa, these burgers pack a protein- and fibre-packed punch! Plus they can be easily modified to be vegan and/or gluten-free :) I wish I took some more photos of these tasty morsels, but they looked so good I just couldn’t wait to eat them.

So… while you continue to wait impatiently for spring, at least you won’t go hungry…

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers
Makes 4 patties

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet potato
½ large red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used gluten-free oats, pulsed in a food processor)
¼ cup parmesan cheese (use nutritional yeast for a vegan option – I used half of each)
3-4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 egg (for a vegan option, combine 1 tbsp ground flax seed with about 3 tbsp water to make a flax “egg”)
2-3 tbsp sunflower seeds (or other seeds like chia or pumpkin.. whatever you have on hand)
1 tbsp peanut satay sauce or natural peanut butter

sweet potato burger

Directions:

  1. Pierce the sweet potato a few times with a fork and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes, until tender. Let cool; peel and place flesh in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat half the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the peppers, garlic, chili flakes, and a dash of salt and pepper and stir fry until the peppers are tender. Transfer to the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well to combine, mashing the sweet potato as you go. Put in the fridge to chill for about 10-15 minutes. *Note: if the mixture seems too wet, add some more breadcrumbs. If it seems too dry, add some water 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Heat the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Form the sweet potato mixture into 4 equally sized patties and fry until golden – about 4-5 minutes each side.
  5. Enjoy on a whole grain bun, or simply on a bed of organic greens topped with your favourite condiments! I just added a few slices of avocado to mine :) Happy eating!

Be Well xo

Greek-Style Black Bean Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki

Why hello there! It feels good to be back and blogging again. Between moving to a new apartment in a new city and adjusting to a new job, I guess you can say things have been kind of busy – in a good way, though! Some random updates since my last post:

  • Apparently vegetable peels can be dangerous. I almost cut off the tip of my thumb one night while trying to peel a butternut squash. All is fine and well now, but I did end up needing a stitch! I couldn’t peel a vegetable for weeks afterwards.
  • Apparently shower doors can spontaneously explode. I wish I was making this up. Less than a month in the new place and… POOF… the glass in our shower door literally exploded into a million pieces, completely out of nowhere. Again, all is fine and well, but I’m starting to think maybe I just have bad luck!

Despite these unfortunate events, I appeared to have a stroke of luck with creating this recipe. I’ve been obsessed with Greek food the past few weeks. Imagine my delight when I came up with this tasty recipe – high in fibre, packed with protein, and made with whole grains. Yum yum! Of course, the homemade tzatziki is the icing on the cake.. or.. burger? Anyways.. enjoy!

Greek-Style Black Bean Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki

Makes 4 patties

Ingredients
Black Bean Burgers:
1/3 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1 can (15-oz.) no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole grain oats (whole wheat breadcrumbs are also fine)

Homemade Tzatziki:
250 g plain Greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1-2 cloves of garlic, grated
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Pinch of salt

Directions:
1. For the burgers: Add the onion wedges to a food processor and chop. Add the black beans and pulse 3-4 times, until the beans are just partially smashed. Pour the beans and onion mixture into a bowl and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and egg. Feel free to add more olive oil if the mixture seems too dry.

2. Add the oats to the food processor and chop until they look like breadcrumbs. Add to the bean mixture and stir until well-combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 equally-sized patties. Stack the patties, with a piece of wax paper in between each, and place into a freezer bag or container. Freeze for at least 2 hours before cooking. Once ready, I pan fried my burger in a little bit of olive oil until the outside was brown and slightly crisp.

3. While your burger is cooking, you can prepare the tzatziki. Simply combine the yogurt, grated cucumber, grated garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.

4. Top your burger with a dollop of tzatziki, along with your other preferred toppings. I had sliced avocado, baby tomatoes, and feta cheese – without the bun. DELISH!

Black Bean Burger with Tzatziki

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Two posts in a row, I’m on a roll!

I’ve got yet another tasty meat-free burger recipe for you all. Some of you may remember a couple of recipes I posted last year for asian-inspired quinoa veggie burgers and southwest veggie burgers. This recipe might be my favourite of the 3!

This protein-packed patty is chock full of heart-healthy fats and fibre, and not to mention super delicious. I got the recipe from my Canadian Living cookbook, “The Vegetarian Collection”. The full recipe is provided below, but I only made half of it since I was cooking for one :) I made one patty and saved what was left of the burger “meat” in the fridge for the following day. Hope you enjoy!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can no-salt-added lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp curry paste
1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet, toast the cashews over medium-low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a food processor.

2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; saute the mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until no liquid remains (about 5 minutes). I added a couple pinches of cumin and curry powder as well. Add to the food processor.

3. Add the lentils and curry paste to the food processor; pulse to combine. Mix in the bread crumbs and cilantro. Shape into four 1-inch thick patties.

4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat; fry the patties until crusty, turning once (about 16 minutes). Carefully transfer the patties to whole wheat buns and top with your favourite condiments. I topped mine with slices of red onion, alfalfa sprouts and fresh cilantro. Delicious!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Happy Meatless Monday!

Be Well xo