Saturday, 24 September 2011

Sweet Potato - Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Its been a few good months now, since I made a veggie burger from scratch, so when I picked up some sweet potatoes it was with veggie burgers in mind. 

There are so many versions of 'Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers' on blogosphere. This particular 'Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger' recipe is adapted from The Bold Vegetarian Chef by Ken Charney (2002). In fact Ken Charney proudly exclaims in his book, that 'this burger stands out as his signature dish'. The original recipe also has caraway seeds, hot sauce and dried mushrooms. This was the first recipe I had ever come across that utilised the little known grain then - Quinoa, since then I have seen it lots, including in other veggie burger recipes.  I had made this original recipe way back in 2004.  It was accompanied with a roasted yellow pepper sauce, a sauce that was time consuming to make and one that I was not willing to make this time. This time, I put my own little twist to it - namely ease and it was still Dee-Licious!
These burgers are packed with flavour: sweet and spicy with crunch from the quinoa.  The light coating of cornmeal also gives it additional texture, to what otherwise could be deemed as a soft burger.  The only drawback about the cornmeal coating is that is hides the beauty of the mashed vegetables beneath (see below).  These burgers hold well when being cooked in the pan, but once stuffed between a burger bun or pitta bread, they squish up - Yum.

Well there are about six of these tasty red and black burgers left in the fridge for D to consume during the course of this week; as I will be away from my home and blog land for a week. My mother is not very well, so I am off to see her in Wales.  I should be back in October. Oh I have also made D a big 'Apple Cider Cake' to enjoy in my absence.  I will share that recipe with you when I get back.
Sweet Potato - Black Bean Quinoa Burger
Makes 8 -10
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 - 4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and grated
320g cooked black beans
2 tablespoons (sun dried) tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
140g mashed cooked sweet potato
150g fairtrade cooked quinoa (about 60g raw)
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoon fresh coriander, minced
1 tablespoon of Sri Racha sauce or other spicy hot sauce or to taste
40g - 50g fresh breadcrumbs
125g coarse ground cornmeal for coating
Sunflower or vegetable oil for shallow frying
In a wide pan, cook the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the garlic, carrot and black beans.  Cook and stir occasionally until the garlic is soft and fragrant. 
Remove front the heat.  With a potato masher, mash until the beans are about half crushed (see above).  Stir int he tomato paste and season to taste.
Place the bean mixture in a large bowl.  Add the sweet potato, quinoa, chilli flakes and coriander.  Mix thoroughly.  Season with the hot sauce.  Gradually add enough breadcrumbs to produce a firm enough mixture to hold together.  Let it cool. 
Form the bean mixture into 8 - 10 burgers.  Spread the cornmeal out on a clean plate. One at a time, dredge the burgers in the cornmeal, using your hands to carefully coat both sides.  Put on another plate.  Allow to chill in fridge before cooking.
In a wide pan, heat a little oil.  When hot, fry the burgers, turning once, cook until crispy and brown on the outside and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.  Do this until all the burgers are cooked.
Serve Warm.  Here they are tucked in some pitta bread with homegrown salad leaves, slices of red onion and served with homemade Sri Racha Mayonnaise.


  1. Love these sweet potato burgers!! gloria

  2. wat a tasty n healthy preparation...:)

    Tasty Appetite

  3. This looks like a wonderful way to combine some of my favourite foods. Great effort!

  4. sweet potato and black bean is such a great combination - love the sound of these burgers - hope you have a good visit down south and that your mother gets well soon

  5. i am always on the look out for a new veggie burger recipe...and this looks incredible! Do you use tinned black beans and if so any ideas on where to get them?? Hope your mother gets better soon :)

  6. I can never get enough recipes for quinoa, I just love it. Also, you have made a wonderful veggie burger here, black beans and sweet potatoes..I will need to try that combo. Have a great day.

  7. What can I say....nom, nom, nom...... that sounds delicious.

    I hope your Mum is on the mend soon, it's nice that you can be with her.

    Did you know that you are mentioned in the Spetember edition of Vegetarian Living magazine in their 'favourite foodie blogs' column. I was reading it last night (I'm a little behind in my reading at the moment, Novembers edition has just landed in the post box!).

    Sue xx

  8. This is fantastic! I love black bean burgers! and with sweet potatoes you can't go wrong!

  9. Thank you -


    gumboot goddess

    Get Skinny, Go Vegan.



  10. Thanks Johanna.
    My mother was due to have a knee replacement operation, that wss the reason I travlled down to be with her. Unfortunately, she picked up a virus, so the appointment had to be postponed. I will be going back down again in mid October.

    Thanks Victoria.
    I think this is a flavourful burger, though a bit on the squishy side.

    I actually used dried black beans for the recipe, but cooked tinned black beans will be fine too. You can find them at most supermarkets. Or even organic brand at Real Foods; Earthy Food in Edinburgh, but I think they are a litle pricey - esp with me now being unemployed :(. Hope you find some.

    Thanks for the warm wishes re mu mother :)

  11. Hi Sue.
    So pleased you like :)

    My mother was due to have a knee replacement operation, that wss the reason I travlled down to be with her. Unfortunately, she picked up a virus, so the appointment had to be postponed. I will be going back down again in mid October when the op has been re-arranged for.

    Re the September edition of Vegetarian Living magazine in their 'favourite foodie blogs' column. There is a little background to it and without meaning to sound unappreciative, the acknowlegement was kind of a tokenistic gesture, and included namely in response to an e mail I sent to them. One issue I raised was for them perhaps to be to be more inclusive of blogs. So this was part of that response. To be honest, I very rarely buy food mags these days, as I find a lot of inspiration on blogs (and my vast collection cookbooks that I am happily rediscovering!). You may have noted, but a lot of food mags are also getting inspiration from foodie bloggers too!

    Thank you Adriana.

  12. These look fabulous, brilliant for any vegetarian or even meat eater come to that. Who wouldn't turn one down?

  13. That's awesome, Shaheen. I like the combination of sweet potato and black beans.

    Spoon and Chopsticks

  14. Thank you Nicisme.
    I thought they were pretty awesome too!

    Nice to make your acquaintance Spoon and Chopsticks. I hope you will come back again.

  15. oh i always think about making my own veggie burger, but rarely get around to it. this version does sound tasty and look both colourful and pretty. bookmarked!

  16. Thanks Pia.
    Its really a lovely burger and hopefully you will get your hands mucky in the kitchen making these.

  17. I hope you like Lela.
    Please let me know how your variation goes :)


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