Mariel here. After four years of feasting on the cheap, this recipe is one of our first truly collaborative dishes. I found an inspiring Quinoa Veggie Burger over at Prevention RD (who had adapted it from The Foodie Physician) and since my son is now full-on eating finger food, I wanted to whip up something everyone could enjoy. My mom came over one Tuesday night – as usual – and in a twist on our tradition, I was the one who cooked HER dinner. We both loved these veggie burgers but agreed that the chipotle was a bit too spicy and bitter for the baby.
I then passed the torch to my mom, who took my notes on the original recipe and adapted it even further, adding sweet potatoes, honey and Old Bay. The results were phenomenal. And while neither of us are avid Veggie Burger aficionados, we both agreed these were the best we’ve ever had. They even pleased my little man who happily double-fisted sloppy gobs into his mouth, which is his highest culinary honor.
Mary Anne here. Like a beef or turkey burger, we served these with melted cheese on a whole wheat bun. Mariel’s go-to condiment of choice is ketchup but I liked whipping together some Greek yogurt with a dollop of leftover tomato paste, cilantro, and a splash of honey. I shared part of a batch with one of my very favorite anesthesiologists, Sara, and she suggested dousing them with salsa. In the end, Sara ate her first one RAW (I totally freaked out!), because she was seriously so starved from a full day in the O.R. and simply couldn’t wait to plow into one. She did cook the remaining patties (thankfully no salmonella reported) and is now patiently waiting for this recipe to appear here so she can make them for herself!
Veggie Burgers with Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, and Quinoa
Inspired by The Foodie Physician
½ cup raw quinoa – $3.29 (for a full box)
1 Tablespoon olive oil – stock
small Bermuda (red) onion (about ¾ cup), finely diced – $0.84
1 small Jalapeno, minced – $0.22
4 cloves garlic, minced – stock
1 cup ¼-inch diced cooked sweet potato – $0.71
1- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained – $0.79
1 egg, lightly beaten – stock
2½ Tablespoons tomato paste – $0.80
¾ cup corn kernels – $0.79
1 teaspoon honey – stock
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped – $0.99
1 ½ Teaspoons Old Bay seasoning – stock
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup rolled oats – stock
¼ cup wheat flour – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.43
Total Per Serving: $1.05
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. (In general, it’s 1 cup of water to a ½ cup of quinoa.) Set aside.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a full boil. Add the diced sweet potato and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain into a colander and run cold water over. Set aside.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook over medium high flame, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the onion is beginning to caramelize.
4. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium size bowl. Add the black beans and the cooked sweet potato. Using a potato masher or large serving fork, mash the mixture until the beans and the sweet potatoes create a pasty mix. (It will still be a bit lumpy.)
6. Gradually add the remaining ingredients, combining well after each addition.
7. Divide the mixture into 8 equal mounds and then form into patties. Place on a cookie sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
8. Spray a griddle or a heavy sauté pan with vegetable oil. Over medium high flame, “fry” the burgers for 6 or 7 minutes on each side until crispy and golden. Note: While cooking the second side, I melted a slice of cheese on the burgers. Serve hot with the condiment of your choice.