I'm not a vegetarian. I never will be. I love meat. But in the past few years I've taken quite a liking to vegetarian meals (once I realized that it didn't just have to be a plate of vegetables or pasta). You won't miss the meat at all with these "burgers". Even Ross loves these and he's as far from vegetarian as they get! The black beans and sweet potatoes are a perfect combination. The sweetness of the sweet potato balances perfectly with the earthiness of the black beans.
The recipe calls for quinoa in the burgers. Quinoa is a grain that has a similar size and texture as couscous. If you don't have any, you could just use some brown rice, a handful of oats, or double up on the breadcrumbs. The burger is pretty loose so I don't know how well it would do on an outdoor grill. We used an indoor grill and chilled the burgers for 30 minutes before cooking so they were easier to handle. If you're using an outdoor grill you may want to add more breadcrumbs to soak up the extra moisture or even throw in an egg to help bind them.
This recipe makes a lot of burgers, but they freeze really well. They make an excellent weeknight meal when you don't have time to cook. (Or when you do have time to cook, you just don't want to becaues So You Think You Can Dance is on.) Just wrap each one individually with cling wrap then toss them on in a freezer bag. (I usually let them freeze for about 10 - 15 minutes on a baking sheet before I try to put saran wrap around them. That way they're not so flimsy and they're easier to handle).
I got the inspiration for the recipe from a few places (here, here, & here), but ultimately just ended up combining ideas and making own recipe. The lime sauce that I put on top adds the perfect touch to the burgers. It's very simple to make. Just a couple ingredients. In fact, I feel silly even writing a "recipe" for it but it adds so much to the burger!
Black Bean Burger
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cans black beans, drained
- 2 sweet potatoes, baked
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- Saute onions and garlic untill transulcent.
- Combine onions and garlic with black beans and spices in a large bowl. Mash the black beans untill they're half-crushed.
- Add sweet potatoes, quinoa, and breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. If the mixture looks too moist, add more breadcrumbs.
- Grill, bake, or pan fry. (I used an indoor grill with non-stick spray and they took about 5 - 7 minutes)
- 6 oz. greek yogurt
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix together.