Hi everyone! My name is Nikki and I am the author of The Tolerant Vegan , a blog that is filled with vegan recipes and the occasional ramblings about cats and hockey. I’m so grateful to Jill for inviting me to visit her part of the world to connect with all of you.
I’m here to chat about my Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers, a vegan burger that is packed with Vitamins A, B-6, C and E, along with heaps of copper, manganese, thiamine, zinc and iron.
The burgers are baked, not fried, and are topped with sweet onions. You can make, and then refrigerate, the patties a day or two ahead of time, or stick them in the oven to enjoy right away. Not only are they delicious, but they’ll leave your belly feeling healthy and happy.
Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers
These burgers were recently chosen as the winning recipe for the “No More ‘Mallows Blogger Recipe Contest” held by the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission. My inspiration for the burgers came one weekend afternoon when I was feeling homesick for my home state of Kentucky. I was thinking about the pecans in Derby Pie and brainstorming ways to use pecans in a burger that would be sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Sweet potatoes seemed like the perfect partner for the pecans, and kale was added in for nutritional value and to give the burger a savory edge. The maple glazed onion topping really brings the recipe together, though, and complements the patties perfectly.
2 cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (or another vegan butter substitute)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus a sprinkle for the onion topping)
1 Vidalia onion
sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
4 buns of your choice
If your pecans aren’t already dry roasted, you can roast them easily by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
To make the burgers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, I opted to include a measurement of the potatoes already cooked and mashed rather than a total number of sweet potatoes to use. I ended up using three potatoes for this recipe. I microwaved them until soft, then removed the skin and mashed them with a fork in a large bowl.
While your potatoes are cooking, bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.
Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the saucepan, allowing the quinoa to cook for 8-10 minutes. Check the quinoa every couple of minutes since stove temperatures vary. It may cook faster or slower than expected. You’ll know it’s done when the water is almost gone from the pan and the quinoa appears to be nearly transparent instead of its original whitish color.
Remove the quinoa from the stove and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
In a separate saucepan, or in a microwave, melt 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper.
Stir the maple syrup sauce in with the mashed sweet potatoes
Then stir in the the cooked quinoa, pecans, kale and sea salt.
Form the mixture into four patties and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to cook, make the onion topping by first roughly chopping the Vidalia onion.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread in a small skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion to the melted Earth Balance
Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat down to low and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
Stir continuously as the onions continue to cook for 3 more minutes.
Remove the onion mixture from the heat and spoon over the tops of the burgers once they have finished baking.
Southern born and Brooklyn based, Nikki is the author vegan food blog, The Tolerant Vegan, where she demonstrates that a vegan life does not have to be devoid of frosting or fun. When she’s not elbow-deep in cake batter you’ll find her rescuing cats, yelling at hockey games, hopping the globe and struggling to stay in crow pose. Nikki also writes a monthly recipe column for One Green Planet and can be found in the current Spring 2012 issue of Chickpea Magazine.