Burgers with a side of fries are one of my favorite comfort foods, but it’s not the healthiest meal around. I made it my mission to find a tasty alternative that came loaded with nutritious veggies, cut back the fat, and didn’t require a lot of fuss. Mission accomplished.
Sweet potato and black beans make one of my all-time favorite combos in the kitchen. They’re nutritionally dense with lots of fiber, vitamin A and C, protein, and immune-boosting carotenoids. Plus they taste great together!
After looking into a number of different recipes, I knew my greatest challenge would be finding the right ingredients to ensure these puppies wouldn’t fall apart while cooking or that they wouldn’t come out too dry. That’s where the quinoa came in.
Quinoa made the perfect binding ingredient with the added bonus of extra protein and manganese, which contributes to good bone health. A splash of sriracha gave the burgers a nice bright kick of heat to balance everything out.
Altogether, I was a very happy camper. Subbing in the baked zucchini fries and adding a side of homemade guacamole just sealed the deal.
- 2-3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 15oz. can of black beans, washed and rinsed
- 1/3 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- ¼ cup quick oats
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp sriracha
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground garlic
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 small haas avocado, slightly mashed
- 2 tbsp red onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8-10 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 zucchinis, cut into sticks, seeded
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup panko with grated parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 4-6 whole wheat buns
- 1 tsp sriracha, per bun (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. In a food processor, add sweet potato, quinoa, black beans, oats, cilantro, salt, cumin, garlic, pepper and sriracha until blended. Take ¼ of mixture and form a patty.. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat until you have 4-6 patties. I refrigerated my patties for about an hour before cooking just to be sure they kept their shape.
4. Make the guacamole by mixing the avocado, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and sriracha in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator until burgers and fries are done cooking.
5. Fry up the burgers while the zucchini fries are baking. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Once hot, add 2-3 of the patties and let it cook on one side for 5 minutes or until browned. Flip them over carefully and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove from the pan when done and set aside on a serving tray.
6. Time to assemble your burgers! If you’re using buns, toast them. Place spinach first, then a patty, and a scoop of guacamole, top with other half of the bun. Add a scoop of fries to the side and a small amount of guacamole for dipping. Done!
If you like things extra hot, add some sriracha on top. I should note that these burgers can be more of a fork and knife deal since they tend to fall apart after a few bites. But no matter how you eat it, they’ll hold up in the flavor department.
What’s your favorite burger recipe? How would you change a recipe to make it healthier?