Sweet Potato and White Bean Veggie Burgers

May 05, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Sandwiches

This was sort of a recipe experiment in my  quest to come up with some good veggie burger recipes for this summer. The combo of the sweet potatoes and white beans goes nicely with the smoky adobo spice seasoning. If you don’t have adobo spice seasoning, then try some chipotles in adobo sauce or cajun seasonings which would also work well.

It took a little trial and error to figure out how to best cook these. Because the sweet potato is a bit sticky and the final mixture is a bit mushy, it takes a little bit to get it into a state where the patties won’t fall apart. You’ll need to adjust the amount of wheat flour and breadcrumbs you put into the mixture. Refrigeration before forming the mixture into patties helps and then refrigeration after you’ve made them into patties also helps.

I found the best way to cook these is to make smaller patties and put them into the oven to slow roast. Frying is fine, but you might find a little shove in the oven at the end may help solidify them a bit. So, just be prepared to do your own experimentation with refrigeration and the amount of breadcrumbs and flour you add into the mixture. I don’t think these would do well on a grill, but are fantastic as leftovers.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Veggie Burgers
by Megabeth

1 sweet potato, baked/cooked and peeled
2 15oz cans cannellini beans
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons agave syrup
2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more to your liking)
3 teaspoons adobo seasoning
freshly ground pepper, to taste
panko crumbs

Place baked potato into bowl and mash with beans.

After the mixture is smooth from mashing, add all seasonings except for panko crumbs. Add more breadcrumbs to thicken mixture as needed.

Place in refrigerator, covered, for at least 30 minutes to solidify mixture. Form into patties and place back into refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes.

Coat patties with panko or breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to bottom of cast iron pan. (Or, try some avocado oil in the pan.) Place patties on pan and bake for 30 minutes, flipping burgers halfway through. (Depending on size of patties, it may take longer than  30 minutes.) Towards the end of cooking, add cheese on your patties, if desired, and toast your burger buns in the oven. (Daiya vegan pepper jack shreds go well with these burgers.)

Serve with toppings of your choice – avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.

Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Cannellini Salad

June 19, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Cookbook Chronicle Challenge, Salads, Side Dishes

New Vegetarian Cuisine features “250 low-fat recipes for superior health” and is compiled by Linda Rosensweig and the food editors of Prevention magazine. My edition is from 1994. That said, this cookbook touts healthy eating and food choices using vegetarian cooking to bring the point home.

There is an interesting section that debunks myths that seem to come straight from my conversations with people when they find out that I’m a vegetarian – how do you get protein?, don’t you risk anemia?, what about calcium? The editors provide extensive answers with facts and sources. The next chapter then dicussus the vegetarian diet as a weapon against disease. The subsections go over various diseases and conditions (arthritis, cancer, diabetes, etc.) and how elements of the vegetarian diet can ease symptoms. Finally, the editors discuss how to make the transition to a vegetarian diet.

The recipes in the cookbook generally take up only one page and are not complex. They provide tips and hints for each recipe along with nutrition information. There are some color photos of final dishes but they are lumped together in four sections. Fortunately, they put the page numbers along with the photos so it’s easy to track down each recipe represented.

The index is thorough and includes not only recipe titles and ingredients but also nutritional keywords as well as diseases and conditions discussed in the cookbook. There’s also a little symbol that appears if the recipes is good to “make ahead.”

The recipes are simple to make but don’t skimp on uniqueness and flavor. In fact, this cannellini salad was bursting with a unique, almost smoky, taste.

Cannellini Salad
New Vegetarian Cuisine, Linda Rosensweig and the food editors of Prevention magazine, 1994

  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • spinach leaves

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Drain, reserving the soaking liquid.Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, parsley, sage, pepper, tomatoes, and the reserved tomato soaking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.

Place the beans in a large bowl. Add the tomato mixture, toss gently to mix. Serve warm or chilled on the spinach.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Fagioli all’Uccelletto con Sage Polenta (Italian White Beans with Sage Polenta)

May 14, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Fagioli all'Uccelletto con Sage Polenta

The Giro takes us into the region of Tuscany for the next couple of days. We transition from the Piedmont region, where dishes feature heavy peasant food, to an area where simple dishes are king. Sauces and garnishes are used in a way that do not mask the natural flavor of the food. The refined cooking in this region features olive oil and the use of herbs, especially sage, rosemary and basil.

The Tuscans are very fond of cooking beans. That is why I chose this particular dish. The naming of this recipe is truly inspired as its name comes from the seasoning – garlic and sage – which are typically used in chicken dishes. That’s where “uccelletto” comes from. It means “birdy”. So, these are white beans made “birdy style”.  (But, no cooking actual birdies on Veggin’, right?)

The directions and recipe are a compilation of several recipes I found from various sources. My goal was to make this a quick and easy “after work” type meal that you can make after a long day. I used canned white beans and diced tomatoes. If you have a little more time, by all means soak dry beans over night and/or use fresh tomatoes. Either way, I highly recommend using fresh sage over the dried stuff. It’s worth that extra freshness (especially if you’re using canned ingredients.)

Fagioli all’Uccelletto con Sage Polenta
(Beans recipe: by Megabeth)
(Sage Polenta recip: by Adopt a Turkey)

Ingredients for the polenta
5 cups water or light vegetable stock
1 ½ cups polenta
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh sage, or ½ tsp dried sage
½ tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (If you’re not familiar with nutritional yeast read this.)
1 tsp sea salt

Ingredients for the beans
2 15oz cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

To make the polenta:

In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and whisk constantly for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to a simmer and add the remaining ingredients.

Continue cooking, whisking every 5 minutes, until the polenta starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

For the beans…

In a saucepan or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and fresh sage. Cook until garlic is soft and not too brown. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and turn down the heat.

Simmer tomatoes for 15 minutes.

Add the white beans to the skillet, add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve beans over the sage polenta.

Polenta with White Beans, Spinach and Caramelized Tomatoes

January 24, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

The Chubby Vegetarian featured this recipe with homemade polenta. I’ve adapted the recipe to include items that I already had on hand including the polenta in a tube. The benefit of making your own polenta is that you can make larger slices for the base of this dish. In my version, the base polenta is a bit smaller, so it’s best to cook it until quite brown and stiff so that it’s easier to eat. Otherwise, the polenta is too floppy to support the toppings.

(Another note: try not to make this when you are starving. We ate several of the browned polenta rounds while the toppings were still cooking. So, we didn’t have as many of the finished product. However, I had plenty of the spinach, white beans and tomatoes left over to have them for lunch the next day. They were even good on their own.)

Polenta with White Beans, Spinach and Caramelized Tomatoes
Adapted from The Chubby Vegetarian

– One container grape tomatoes
– 1/4 bag frozen spinach
– 1 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 tube sun-dried tomato polenta
– 2 cloves garlic, diced
– balsamic vinegar
– shredded parmesean cheese
– olive oil
– kosher salt and pepper

– Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, drizzle grape tomatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to coat tomatoes. Place tomatoes on foil lined baking sheet and cook in toaster oven for 20 minutes or until soft and bubbly.

– Slice polenta into 1/4 inch rounds. Place in pre-heated pan drizzled with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Brown both sides of polenta. Remove polenta from pan and set on plates.

– Meanwhile, in microwave, heat frozen spinach per package directions. Once polenta is removed from the pan, add spinach into same pan and add 1/2 of the diced garlic. Heat spinach for one to two minutes or until garlic is cooked. Remove spinach from pan and set-aside.

– In same pan, add a little olive oil, white beans and salt and pepper. Cook beans until heated through and they begin to brown.

– Now it’s time to build the polenta stacks. On the polenta…

– Add the beans…

– Then one tomato…

– Add some spinach…

– and a little parmesean cheese…

– and finally a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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