Thursday, April 3, 2014

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

How do you define a burger?

This was called into question tonight when I announced what was on the menu for dinner.

I got at least two questions wondering whether or not there was meat in those burgers. And, the muffled responses were less than thrilled.  Even from my husband, who knows that my meal failures are few and far between.

This debate took me to the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary where their definition of burger is a food that is like a hamburger but is not made from beef.

Ahhh, I felt vindicated.  I wasn't lying or trying to trick my family.  I just wanted to try something different.

There are lots of different kinds of burgers...hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, which is the avenue I took for tonight's dinner.

All of these doubts, before I even started the meal, made the process even more daunting, causing procrastination to set in.  But, finally dinner was started, served and ENJOYED!

Alayna's response after her first bite was "This is amazing!"

And, Jerry was reluctant to admit that it was really good and he did go back for seconds.

So, let me share how we got this party started.

One cup of dried quinoa was cooked in water, but broth or bouillon is always an option. (I always buy the pre-soaked quinoa to save on my prep time).

While the quinoa was cooking, the mini food processor was put to work.  Not to mention that this mini food processor is 14 years old and, did I mention mini?  A new food processor is definitely on the list as a future investment.

The mini-factor made this process a little more tedious as I had to work in small batches, but the same deliciousness resulted.

Two cans of black beans, rinsed with a half cup set aside, one medium sweet potato (with skin-on cooked in the microwave), 2 tbsp of minced garlic, 1 onion, chopped, one half cup of jarred roasted red peppers, one half tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper were all puréed in the processor and poured into a mixing bowl.

Then, then quinoa and reserved black beans were added to the vegetable purée and stirred well before forming into patties, using about a 1/2 cup of the mix yielded 7 patties.

These patties were baked for 20 minutes at 400 F before topping with shredded cheese, Libby's Chunky Guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

In an effort to reward my family for being good sports on this adventurous meal, I also served their favorite fruits and veggies…edamame (cooked, I might add!) and strawberries.

When I revisit this adventure, I might opt for some more sweet potatoes, could hard tell they were in there other than an occasional piece of skin and, I think I'd add some corn, for texture and visual appeal. 

Overall, it was a hit, but more importantly, I just can't say enough about how much it means to have my whole family around the dinner table, talking about our day and sharing a meal.  I'm sure it won't last forever, as the kids schedules get busier, but I will certainly cherish it while it lasts.


One cup of dried quinoa
Two cans of black beans, rinsed with 1/2 cup set aside, 
One medium sweet potato (with skin on cooked in the microwave)
2 tbsp of minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 half cup of jarred roasted red peppers
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of salt
a pinch of pepper 

For topping
Shredded cheddar cheese
Libby's Chunky Guacamole
Sour cream

Cook quinoa according to directions.
Puree together beans, sweet potato, garlic, onion, red peppers, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
Add the cooked quinoa and reserved black beans.
Stir until mixed well.
1/2 cup of the veggie mix makes 7 burgers.
Baked at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Top with cheese, guac, salsa and sour cream as you please and enjoy!