Southwest Veggie Burgers

November 3, 2011

Yesterday I mentioned one of my goals was to start getting more creative in the kitchen and coming up with my own twist on recipes (and eventually my own).  One of the easiest ways for me to start this was to work with leftovers I already had.  I showed ya’ll a picture of my “Chipotle kissed red bean and sweet potato chili”, which is a recipe i got from my cookbook: “Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker” .   The problem with making chili, especially if its only for one or two people, is that you end up with SO MUCH of it at the end.  So tonight, with “leftovers” on the docket for dinner and a big ol’ tupperware of chili in the fridge, I decided to try my hand at creating a veggie burger, with a bite.

There was some skepticism as to how this would turn out – but as evidenced above (pay no attention to the pitiful Honey Wheat Sandwich bread I had to nab from the boy), these burgers were a success!  The base of the burger was my leftover chili, and the sweet potato and red bean gave it some good depth.  We made corn bread for the chili and after 2 days, its starting to get a little stale, so to keep with the “theme” I crumbled that, in place of the breadcrumbs.  Add all of that to a mix of black beans, barley, crunchies and spices – and you get a pretty decent veggie burger, check it.

Chipotle-Kissed Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Olive oil (1 Tbs)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

Garlic, minced (I used 3 cloves – remember the motto “NEED MORE GARLIC!”)

Chili powder to taste

~1.5 lbs sweet potatoes (I used 2-3 medium sized), chopped

14. oz can crushed tomatoes

15.5 oz dark red kidney beans (rinsed)

1.5 cups water (or more if needed)

salt

minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (to taste)

Here’s the easy part, chuck it into a crock pot, press go.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Eat.  Enjoy.  Save Leftovers for veggie burgers.

Southwest Veggie Burgers

Leftover Chili, about 1 cup, drained until most of the liquid is out

1/4 cup dry barley, cooked per instructions

2 pieces corn bread (crumbled, this probably comes out to about 3/4 cup)

black beans, rinsed drained (about 1 cup, divided)

sunflower seeds (scant 1/2 cup)

2 baby carrots (grated)

Cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste)

Panko crumbs (About 2 Tbsp, for consistency)

To make the veggie burgers, I pulsed together 1/2 cup of black beans with the corn bread until the bread was just crumbled.  I didn’t pulse too much, because I wanted the beans to keep some of their texture.  Put the bread crumb mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside.  Add drained chili to the food process and pulse just enough to break apart the chunks of veggies.  Be careful not to pulse too much or you’ll make it pretty liquidy again.  Add the pulsed chili to the bread crumbs and mix in the rest of the ingredients by hand.  I added the panko bread crumbs to dry up the mixture a little more.  After forming the mixture into patties, cook by either baking or pan frying.  The name of the game tonight was convenience and quick, so we pan fried them in a small bit of canola oil.   Best part?  No eggs to hold these guys together!  Top with your favorite burger toppings and sides.

End result?  YUM.  These burgers had enough kick from the chili and because the chili (and cornbread) was its own entity before, none of the flavors overwhelmed the other.  Pan frying them gave them a nice brown coating and a little crispy bite.  I loved all the textures with the beans, barley and the sunflower seeds.  In fact, I think next time I’ll add more carrots, and definitely more sunflower seeds, they added a nice crunch and because the burgers were more soft, I found I was left wanting more of that particular crunchy texture – next time!    This recipe made about 6 patties.   That’s dinner for two AND lunches.

Tomorrow is going to be awesome.  I can already tell 🙂

xo

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