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Sweet Potato, Tempeh and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

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Whoa whoa, what?!  I know, it’s a LOT to cram into a veggie burger, but guys….these came out so good! What’s not to LOVE about quinoa, sweet potato and tempeh?! It’s the perfect combination on its own, and packed into a patty with other add ins like mustard, ketchup, soy sauce and peanut oil it’s a recipe for a totally unique and tasty meat free burger. I know some of you are thinking “But Steph, why would I bother making a Veggie Burger when I can buy one from the frozen section?” Uh, exactly, people. The FROZEN section. Sure, these are sliiightly more labor intensive than ripping open a plastic casing and microwaving on HIGH for 3-5 minutes, but it’s 100% worth it. The microwaveable ones don’t hold a candle to these. Once you’ve tasted one, it’ll be hard to go back to the packaged ones. I promise! (And if you’re feeling adventurous/foreseeing laziness in your future, double the recipe and freeze half of them for later!)

NOW, I wish I could take credit for this genius concoction but alas, I can not. I found it on the Golden Yolk, who got the original recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook, “Cooking for Health”. Surprisingly, (and this never happens), I had all the ingredients in my kitchen, so I decided I had to make these.

Don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients. Veggie burgers are the sorts of things that you can’t REALLY mess up as long as you follow the age old, never fail tip of: don’t add gross stuff into the mixture. Easy, right? The worst thing that can happen when making home made burgers is consistency. Sometimes they don’t stay together because you might be missing a binding agent (oats, breadcrumbs, etc), but flavor wise, just  taste as you go, trust your taste buds and don’t add anything too crazy into it! If you’re missing any of the following ingredients don’t fret and DON’T feel the need to go to the supermarket and pick up a new bottle of sesame seeds. Use what you have!

And now, without further ado….here we go:

What You Need:

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups thinly sliced peeled sweet potatoes

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onions

1 cup minced bell peppers (I used 1/2 cup green, 1/2 a cup red)

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

8 oz tempeh, diced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 tsp soy sauce

2 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp dark sesame oil

2 tsp dijon mustard

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup sesame seeds

What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the quinoa in a small/medium sauce pan over medium heat, add a cup of water, the sweet potato and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. NOTE: It took me a long time to learn that quinoa, unlike rice, CAN be checked on a few times during cooking. Don’t be afraid to peek inside and mix around to ensure that the bottom doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom.

While the mixture is cooking, preheat a medium skillet over medium heat, and when hot, add the oil. Follow with the onions and let cook for a few minutes until clear, stirring as to not let the onions stick to the bottom. Add in the bell pepper and garlic, cover, and let cook for another 3-5 minutes. Finally, add in the tempeh, oregano, black pepper, cover and let cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

By now, the quinoa should be done. With a spoon, mash the sweet potato into the quinoa until you have a well combined mash. Add the veggie + tempeh combo into the mash and then add the soy sauce, tomato paste, sesame oil, mustard and cilantro. Place the saucepan in the fridge to let the mixture cool. After about 10 minutes, remove the pot from the fridge, and with your hands, form the mash into 6 even sized patties.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve on a whole wheat bun, in a pita, over a salad or any other way your heart desires. We ate them on a toasted WW bun, topped with red onion, dijon mustard, and sliced avocado. I’ve been eating them for the past few days as lunch too! On a piece of whole wheat bread with hot sauce on top. An easy, filling work place lunch.

Enjoy!

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