Recipe: Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

This new recipe comes by way of my little sister which she found on a food blog, whose author ate at this restaurant in Grand Rapids, MI and found the original recipe on a cooking website.

When my little sister first made them for us they turned out to be massive patties of vegetable goodness falling everywhere out of the bun. I swore there must be a way to make them stick together better. My wife and I attempted a second time with the leftover veggie mixture for a longer cooking time, but again they fell apart. The third time (pictured) I sprayed more oil on the grill pan and made the patties a little bit smaller. After reading through the food blog and cooking website I think I’ve discovered my error. The cooking website notes to use:

“Pour a generous amount (8” depth) of grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil in the bottom of a large skillet.  Heat the skillet to high heat, taking care not to let the oil smoke.”

Basically, you need to fry the patties so that they will stick together – not as healthful as I hoped. I’m thinking using a bit of egg in the mixture will help it congeal and keep the vegetable goodness less fried.

Here is the recipe that we adapted from the two listed online.


  • 2 cups of diced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of cooked lentils
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups of mashed sweet potato (about 2 sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1.5 cups of oats (any kind)
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder


  1. Pre-cook the lentils and quinoa.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. We used our food processor to blend everything together into a nice sweet potato “dough.” Let the mixture set in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours.
  3. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions become clear.
  4. Make the burger patties from the mixture. They can be as big as you want because they won’t shrink when cooked.
  5. Place a thin layer of oil on a pan to cook the patties (we’ll try to cut down on the oil as much as we can – feel free to be as liberal as you need). We used a grill pan, but I think the uneven grill surface caused the burgers to separate more during the cooking process. A flat pan would be best.
  6. Cook each side of the patty for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce, or I prefer a dab of hummus on top.

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

My wife discovered an excellent recipe that is great for a “meatless Monday” in the hardy months of cold, wind, and snow.

We’ve made it a number of times now and absolutely love how quick, delicious, and nutritious it is. Sweet potatoes and black beans are both considered “superfoods,” which means that they are full of great nutrients that will make your body (and your stomach) happy! We adapted our recipe from


  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced (also called a yam in the US, but any yam sold in the US isn’t a yam unless its sold at an international market or specialty food store)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • (1) 15oz can of black beans (or soak and boil dry black beans the night before for lower sodium)
  • 1 cup canned, diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of water


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add diced onion and chopped sweet potato until onion starts to brown.
  2. Reduce heat and add enough water to cover the chopped sweet potato. Let simmer until the chopped sweet potato pieces are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce and black beans (and/or kidney beans) in a large pot, add as much spices and herbs as you desire.
  4. Once sweet potato pieces are soft mix them into the tomato sauce with black beans.
  5. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, or bread.

Serving size: 2 cups

Calories: 374 calories (14 g protein & 15 g fiber)