Black Bean Burgers with Personality…

We now have far more than 12 hours of daylight and afternoon temperatures almost reaching the 50s.  (I won’t mention that we broke the record for annual snowfall yesterday bringing our total to 134.5 inches in town and 836 inches at the resort.)  The birds and whales are soon to return, as are the bugs and the tourists.  At this time next month, I hope to be building a veggie garden to accompany the flower garden out front.  Summertime in Alaska is magical–there really is no other way to describe it.  This summer, without a doubt, will be like none other–weddings, family visits, more weddings, more family visits, millions of climbs, bikes, and runs, and an awful lot of yoga.  I can’t wait.

Of course these warmer temperatures give me the itch for summertime foods.  I can’t wait for corn on the cob, Alaska Grown carrots and potatoes, homegrown peas, and more.  To get the season started, we threw many of these ingredients into burger form the other evening.  Sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, sunflower seeds, oats, and some spices.  Yum.  They had great texture in addition to a tasty flavor profile.  An extra bonus was their low-cal but high vitamin and protein rich punch.

Hurry up summer!

Black Bean Burgers with Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Quinoa and Love:
Heavily inspired by this recipe.

  • 1 can of black beans drained (15 ounces)
  • 1 sweet potato, skinned, cubed, and boiled until soft
  • 3/4 cups frozen corn (this summer I will certainly use fresh)
  • 1/2 of a medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed into oblivion through a garlic press or other means
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 6 healthy tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (these aren’t necessary, but provide nice texture)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • black pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
  • a dash of paprika
  • 1T olive oil 
  1. Peal and cube your sweet potato.  Place in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until soft when punctured with a fork.  Drain and mash.  (But don’t mash to the consistency of baby food.)
  2. While the potato is cooking, prepare the quinoa.  To do so, heat a saucepan over medium.  Add 1 cup of rinsed and drained quinoa and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly.  Add 2 cups of water.  Turn the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil.  Once boiling, stir once, reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and leave it alone.  Cook for 15 minutes (without touching!).  Remove from heat and leave for another 5 minutes.  Uncover, then fluff with a fork.  Use 1/2 cup for the burgers, save the rest for something else or serve with your burgers.
  3. By now, your sweet potatoes should be mashed and your quinoa should be cooked.
  4. Add your 6 healthy tablespoons to a food processor and pulse til nearly a powder, but not too fine.
  5. Mash half of the beans in a bowl until paste-like.
  6. Add in the rest of the beans and give a very light mash to combine. 
  7. In a large bowl, combine your mashed sweet potatoes, beans, all of the spices, and olive oil until combined.
  8. Mix in the onion, garlic, corn, 1/2 cup of quinoa, sunflower seeds, and pulverized oats.  Stir until your preferred consistency.
  9. Adjust seasoning if you wish.
  10. Form into patties.
  11. Place on a pan lined with nonstick tinfoil and bake on each side for 15-20 minutes.  Flip and cook for another 15-20 minutes or so.  (Note:  We tried to grill the left over mix that we didn’t bake the first time around and they all fell through the grill grate.  They were far too soft for the grill.  I imagine that could be remedied with more oats, or even a fish grate.)
  12. Serve with some sort of veggies.  ENJOY!

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