Veggie Burgers

While I’m not a vegetarian, I really enjoy vegetarian foods. Veggie burgers are one of my favorites because they often highlight delicious vegetarian flavors and are so versatile. In addition to eating them as a burger you can put them on top of salads or crumble them in egg scrambles. Store-bought veggie burgers often are full of salt and additives, so I prefer to make my own. They can be a little time consuming, so I prefer to make a bunch of them and freeze them for use later. I had a.m.a.z.i.n.g. walnut veggie burger at Jac’s in Madison and decided it was time I tried a few few new recipes. These burgers turned out great. J and Eli love them too!

These burgers can be prepped and frozen to be cooked fully from frozen when you are ready. Another option that saves a lot of time later is to prepare them fully, let them cool, and them freeze them individually. The latter option allows you to just warm them up in the microwave, on a GF grill, or in a skillet when you are in the mood. It saves a lot of time and is less messy since they are fully cooked already.

The key to freezing these is to line a baking sheet with wax paper and place the burgers on the paper individually. Be sure they are not touching. Put this in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the burgers are hard. At this point you can remove them from the paper and place them in a freezer bag. It is critical that you do it this way so the burgers are individually frozen. If you don’t the burgers will freeze stuck together. This isn’t a huge deal if you plan to thaw them all at once, but it makes it impossible to remove individual burgers from the freezer. It is also a problem if they aren’t pre-cooked, because they will need to be thawed and then they will just a be a big pile of mush. This approach of freezing individually has been a live saver and can be used for anything you are freezing. We use it all the time in the summer when berries are in season!

 

veggie burgers-blackbeanSpicy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers
Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

 

 

veggie burgers-chickpea walnutChickpea-Walnut Burger
Recipe Adapted from Big Mike Eats

veggie burgers3veggie burgers2

 

 

 

 

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Smokey Sweet Potato Burgers

photo 1While I have taken a new liking to beef (poor J wouldn’t fare well eating an entire 1/2 a cow by himself), I still really love veggie burger. We had a few sweet potatoes on the counter that I was planning to into wedges and eat as a side, I stumbled across this recipe and my plans quickly changed. A smokey sweet potato veggie burger made with a few simple ingredients I had on hand – why yes, I will put on my grown-up cooking pants and actually make a dish instead of just throwing together the simplest thing I can think of (and this was pretty simple…I can’t take too much credit).

The original recipe (as with all veggie burger recipes) said to cook it in a pan. I don’t know about you, but I have never had luck with this. They always break into a bunch of pieces or stick to the pan. They never turn out like they look in the picture. For that reason, I opted to bake these in the oven instead. I am very happy I did because they turned out great and kept their shape.

Sweet potatoes and beans are both starchy, so the idea of putting it on a burger bun, no matter how healthy, wasn’t really of interest to me. Instead, I topped with with some mozzarella and served it over a bed of spinach with hot, sautéed veggies, pepitas (fancy word for pumpkin seed), and balsamic vinegar.

Smokey Sweet Potato Burgers
adapted from a recipe by How Sweet it is

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes with skins removed (I used 3 small potatoes)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (any white bean should work)
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup flour (any kind that suits you)
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 clove of roasted garlic, minced (maybe 1-2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line  baking sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes and beans in a large bowl. Mash up with a potato masher (Don’t use a food processor because the mixture will become too sticky – think hummus).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mash together. Mix well.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and begin making patties. Have some extra flour ready to make this process less sticky. Place your hands in the flour and then grab a small handful of the mixture. Form into a patty and place on the prepared pan. Dip you hands in the flour each time before you make a new patty.
  6. Once all of the patties are prepared, spray them on top with cooking spray and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and flip with a spatula. Spray the tops again and return to the over for 15 minutes. Remove and flip. If they seem sturdy enough, they are done. If they still seem like they could easily break or are soft in the middle, spray again and cook for an extra 10 minutes. Continue to flip and check until they seem to be cooked all the way through.
  7. Serve on a bun, over greens, or alone with freshly sautéed vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Pecan Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

Pecan Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes by A Year of Slow Cooking

Ingredients

  • 4 peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick) sweet potatoes
  • 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup nonfat evaporated milk (in a can in the baking aisle—I don’t know how fresh transfers)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 T butter (you can control the amount)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups crumbled pretzels

Directions

  1. Spray a 4qt crock pot with cooking spray.
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potato and stagger-stack in your crockpot. Cover with the 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Open the can of cranberry jelly and squish it out all over the top of the sugar and potatoes.
  3. Mix the 1 tsp of vanilla with the cup of milk, and pour over the entire top.
  4. Slice the butter, and dot it on top.
  5. Crumble the pretzels and mix them with the chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the top.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 5-6. This is done when the sweet potatoes have reached desired tendency.
  7. Unplug and uncover. Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting into.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Here is another recipes from The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. I made this back in the dead of a Wisconsin winter when there was a few inches of snow on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I substituted spinach for the kale in the original recipe because there was no kale at the local grocery store we went to. Jason loves soup in the winter and this is hands-down, Jason’s favorite. The spice from the sausage penetrates the soup and is calmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O hot sausages)
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I realized I had a long list of recipes in my “Recipes to Blog” folder that were naked. That is, I had no picture to show off their deliciousness. I contemplated keeping them there until I cook them, but have decided to post them anyway. There are about 6, so this week one will pop up everyday. As I have said in the past, if anyone cooks any of these recipes, fell free to send me the picture and I would love to post it and your information.
This recipe is from 101cookbooks. I never have all of the ingredients that Heidi has on-hand, so I usually have to alter the recipes from their perfection. Luckily, it has tended to work out for me in the past (Spinach-Rice Gratin was a real hit!) and this recipe is no different. The original can be found here. I am sure her’s is delicious as well, so try this one, that one, or both!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Recipe from 101Cookbooks.com “Roasted Pumpkin Salad Recipe”
Served 4 meals or 6 side dishes

Ingredients
  •  3 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 3 medium red onions peeled and diced
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes, onion, and slivered almonds in olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt. 
  3. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and pour vegetable mixture onto the baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are brown and caramelized. 
  4. Cook the rice.
  5. When the mixture is done, place the rice and the mixture in a large,  heated skillet. Add the remaining ingredients and saute for 5 minutes until well mixed. 
  6. Serve warm or cold.