I’ve also been looking for new ways to get my little to eat vegetables, because my standard tricks of roasting or giving him a dipping sauce or covering them in cheese weren’t working anymore. I needed to up my game. So, recently I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and make a BEP-based veggie burger that is fit for a toddler (but also delicious for grown-ups). This wasn’t ALL fun and games as I ended up having to do some modifications after the first taste test (have you ever had a mashed potato burger? no? well, I don’t recommend it.) But NOW, I’ve got a recipe where the flavors just knocked my socks off, and my little guy LOVED the burger and nearly ate all of it. My honey (a carnivore all the way) even had thirds.
Now, just a note about this recipe before you go and buy the extensive groceries you need…When I started concocting this I wasn’t looking to make a beef-substitute. This is a veggie burger all the way, though I created an enjoyable, crunchier texture with some panko bread crumbs and by using “rough chop/mix” rather than puree on my food processor. If you’re looking for something that’s hamburger-like… I’d try this recipe from the new york times.
Anyway, if you want a new delicious vegetarian main dish in your recipe rotation, or are looking to try a new spin on typically southern ingredients, I one-thousand percent recommend making a batch for your New year’s day supper to get your luck AND have a healthy start to 2016. If you do, let me know what you think (AND please send me your black eyed pea recipes or toddler-friendly veggie favorites so I can add to my arsenal. If I make one here on M.O.G., I’ll MAKE SURE to give you credit.) email me at email@example.com or comment here.
Spicy Sweet Potato & Black Eyed Pea Sliders with Avocado-Cilantro Crema
Serves 4-5 (makes 10-11 sliders)
Weight Watchers Smart Points:
9 points for 2 sliders (with kroger whole wheat buns)
5 points without buns
2 points for crema
Here’s what you need for the burgers:
2 medium to large sweet potatoes (baked/roasted)
1 can of Black eyed peas
2 tsp flax seeds (this may be omitted, but I had them and thought they’d add a nice texture)
1/2 cup oats/oatmeal
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 jalepeno, deseeded and chopped
4 gloves of roasted garlic
5-6 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs (divided in half)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon Hot smoked paprika (or less if averse to spiciness)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
What you need for the Crema:
3 tablespoons Plain Greek yogurt
5-8 sprigs fresh Cilantro
juice of one lime
What you need for serving:
slider buns (I used whole wheat slider buns)
Cheese (if you want)
What to do:
First you’ll want to pierce your sweet potatoes and bake them at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until they are soft to touch. Also, drain the can of black eyed peas and pat them dry. Roast them alongside the sweet potatoes until they begin to split (about 15 minutes). Roasting the peas gets out extra water, which helps the burger stay together. You’ll want to shake them to get the ones on the bottom at the halfway point. I also roasted my garlic here… I just wrapped the whole cloves in foil and threw it in the oven for about 10 minutes.
While the peas and sweet potato are cooking, chop your onions and the jalapeno. Also, put the oats and flax into the food processor and cut into a rough flour. You don’t want this to be too fine, as the texture is good for the burgers. Did I mention that texture matters, yet? Because it definitely does.
I like to use the time while other things are cooking to make can make the crema at this point… using a food processor, blender, emulsion blender (which is what I used and is SUCH A DREAM. Do you have one? if not, get one ASAP). or just some serious elbow grease mix the chopped cilantro, greek yogurt, lime juice, and avocado. It makes a lovely light-green cream with dark green flecks. I stored this in a zip lock bag with all the air pressed out to keep the avocado from turning brown.
Here’s where I went wrong… I pu
t EVERYTHING into the food processor and just went to town.
Refrigerate the sweet potato mixture for about 10-15 minutes (this will make forming the patties more manageable). Heat your stove to 350 and also spray a cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Mix the 4 remaining tablespoons of panko and the flour on a plate. Form the sweet potato mixture into patties with your hands (the same size as your buns) and dredge in the flour/panko. Cook in the skillet until brown, and then finish in the oven for about 5 minutes.