I always love trying new takes on traditional dishes, especially when it transforms them to have a better nutritional profile. Experimenting is definitely the best part of cooking for me. I have to admit, I’ve always been apprehensive about deviating away from recipes because I am a perfectionist and hate when things don’t come out quite right! Sometimes my deviations don’t turn out so well, but others turn out really good and it’s very rewarding. It keeps you on your toes, always learning and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. For this recipe I tried my take on the Sweet-Potato Black Bean Burger, or what I call southern falafel. It all came together really quickly and was full of flavor, protein, nutrients and fiber. You won’t miss the ‘meat’ at all!
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
(a.k.a. southern falafel – my measurements for spices are approximate because of the experimenting factor)
- 6 small sweet potatoes (or about 3 medium)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (I used the instant kind)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- dash cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- mrs. dash all-purpose seasoning
- 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp sumac
- olive oil for sautéing the patties
First, pierce potatoes with a fork and microwave until tender; peel the potatoes (you could leave the peels for added fiber and minerals). Add all the other ingredients and mash well with a fork or masher to your desired consistency.
Form the mixture into patties of your desired size (this makes a lot and they freeze well!)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat sauté the patties in a little bit of olive oil until they are nice and golden. Place on a plate with paper towel layers to drain off the excess oil.
I like to serve mine in a soft pita stuffed with various veggies (I made some caramelized onions and a salad) and a side of non-fat greek yogurt.
These are really filling and a great addition to a flexitarian meal plan.
What’s your favorite way to adjust traditional recipes to make them more nutritious?