Sweet Potato, Beans, and Maple Syrup Tofu Burgers

Happy New Year everyone! It’s the time to put those resolutions into action. First post of 2016 and it is a healthy one – a veggie burger. Don’t dismiss it yet! Veggie burgers aren’t given enough credit! There have been so many variations in the blogging world that combine awesome ingredients such as millet, brown rice, sweet potato, and the list goes on. When you get the combination right, these wholesome patties can contend with their meat counterparts in terms of taste, texture and nutrition.
Sweet potato burgers
This recipe uses sweet potatoes as the base, which holds the ingredients nicely together. The original recipe included tofu, which was intriguing, and it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, but I found that the flavour and textures got lost amongst the ingredients. The addition of maple syrup brought out the sweetness of the potatoes, and the spices were a great combination. The addition of red kidney beans provide some texture, colour and bite in the burgers, and I’ve served these up with some homemade soft burger buns.
Sweet potato burgers2
These patties are coated in panko breadcrumbs and then baked, which helps them hold up their shape. Personally, I don’t think that the breadcrumbs were needed and the crispiness can be achieved with a light coating of olive oil before grilling, so I have adapted the recipe below.
Sweet Potato, Beans, and Maple Syrup Tofu Burgers (4-6 patties)
Recipe adapted from Love and Lemons
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 125g extra firm tofu
  • 200g red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil to spray/coat the patties
  • soft burger buns
  1. Wash the sweet potato and pierce all over. Microwave for 7 minutes on high and turn over in the middle. Peel and mash.
  2. Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  3. Place mashed sweet potato in a bowl, add red kidney beans and crush them slightly, crumble in firm tofu and combine.
  4. Mix in tahini, maple syrup, garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt & pepper.
  5. Form into patties, place on a wire rack and lightly spray/coat with oil.
  6. Place patties on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp.
  7. Grill for the last 30-60 seconds to help browning.
  8. Serve on buns with whatever fixings you like. Or serve without a bun over a mixed green salad.

These can be frozen and reheated in the oven.

Cumin Spiced Couscous with Dried Apricots, Sultanas and Tahini Grilled Aubergines

This couscous dish was inspired by Ottolenghi’s basmati & wild rice with chickpeas, currants & herbs recipe. I didn’t measure the ingredients, but to give you an idea of how much spice I used for a serving of 6: 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1.5 tsp salt.

2014-08-04 19.19.07I threw together some couscous, leftover bulgar wheat, stir fried bell peppers, chopped dried apricots, sultanas and crispy fried onions. The sweetness of the dried fruit is a lovely addition to spiced dishes. I’ve also tried this with chopped parsley and coriander, which adds a freshness to the spices, and chickpeas, which could turn this dish into a vegetarian main course.

I paired the couscous with some meatballs, chicken skewer, and grilled baby aubergines/eggplant drizzled with tahini sauce. Tahini is a Middle Eastern staple ingredient that is most commonly used to make humus, but I had not tried it as the main ingredient of a sauce. Now, I am a tahini sauce convert. Tahini can be quite dry in texture, but with the sourness of the lemon juice and juiciness of the aubergines, it is a great combination. It is quite an expensive ingredient, especially if you don’t plan on using a whole bottle, but it is so easy to make homemade tahini.

2014-08-04 19.19.45Notes:

  • Homemade tahini (adjust quantities in this ratio) – 4 cups toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 cup neutral flavoured oil such as sunflower oil. Blend until smooth.

Tahini sauce

  • 3tbsp homemade tahini, see notes
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed/1tsp garlic powder
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • 3tbsp water, more if needed
  1. Whisk together to create a watery paste consistency.
  2. Refrigerate and use as needed. It will keep for up to a week.