It’s no secret that I was one of the pickiest eaters ever as a child. I’ve said it many times before, but that’s only because it’s true.
Of all of the foods I didn’t like (or just refused to try), my relationship with baked beans became the joke in my family. I distinctly remember being at a babysitter’s house when I was about five years old and being served baked beans with my lunch. I wasn’t about to give those mushy, brown, smelly beans a taste. Instead, I pushed them around my plate to make it look as if I ate some. Guess what? She fell for it! I got off the hook that day.
The same thing happened a few years later when my friend’s mom served mashed sweet potatoes for dinner. I had never seen sweet potatoes before then and didn’t know why my usually white potatoes were orange. Ew. Again, I pushed the mush around on my plate so it looked like I ate a few bites.
When I was a little older, my picky tendencies led to a Christmas “gift” that everyone seemed to get a laugh out of: a giant can of baked beans. I mean, GIANT.
Ha. Ha. Very funny, Family.
Little did I know, one day I would actually like baked beans. And not just baked beans, but all kinds of beans. I can’t get enough black beans actually. And those sweet potatoes I once stared at in skepticism have become one of my favorite foods.
Who would’ve thought?!
I have been obsessed with both black beans and sweet potatoes recently. Besides Sweet Potato Quesadillas, I have been enjoying the two foods separately – different meals at different times. I knew what a great combination they make together, so I set out to create a modified version of my favorite Black Bean Burger recipe (which, by the way, has become a weekly staple in my household).
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
(Inspired by How Sweet It Is)
Makes 4-6 medium-sized burgers
1 medium sweet potato
1 cup black beans, cooked
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4-6 English muffins, buns, or rolls
1. Follow Jessica’s instructions to cook the sweet potato: “Pierce potato all over with a fork and place on a paper towel, setting in the microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove, slice in half and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh.”
2. In a medium bowl, add about half of the black beans. Mash well with a fork. Add remaining beans, sweet potato, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add breadcrumbs and whisk to combine.
4. Pour egg and breadcrumb mixture into bean and sweet potato mixture. Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
5. Divide into equal parts to make patties of whatever size you desire (Since I was using English muffins, I made the patties about the same size as the muffins).
6. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Coat with non-stick spray. Once hot, add patties to skillet. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes, or until patties are browned.
7. Place cooked patties on muffins. Top with cheese, sliced avocado or salsa as desired.