Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burger in Collard Green "Bun"

Often times when we clean up our diet, we assume that we won’t be able to enjoy some of the foods that we’ve developed memories around, like burgers! A huge part of the reason we enjoy these foods is because of what is happening when we’re eating them, so take burgers for example, usually enjoyed around a group of our friends at a BBQ or game. What you’re really craving is the laughter, friendship, and simplicity of those moments and eating a burger can easily take you back there. But also, burgers are easy and can be a quick meal to serve to the family.

So in order to recreate that in my kitchen, I’ve discovered that making my own patties isn’t nearly as difficult as one would think, and that if I swap out the bread for collard greens and a side of veggies, I can actually eat a lot more and get that same delicious experience.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2c sweet potato mash; can either purchase 2 large organic sweet potatoes to make your own, or if going with canned opt for organic and BPA free
  • 1c cooked millet (this can be subbed for any grain of choice)
  • 1c cooked black beans or kidney beans
  • 1/2c finely chopped almonds or almond meal (can sub for another if allergic)
  • 1/4c diced onion
  • 1/8c diced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. or less of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. each cumin and turmeric, optional to add in paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • 6 medium collard green leaves (if having all six patties!)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into slices
  • Any other toppings, such as black sesame seeds, sprouts, tomato, salsa, etc.!

Instructions:

  1. First you will need to bake the sweet potatoes if you didn’t opt for canned (this honestly is a much tastier choice and the fibers that are in the fresh sweet potato help with consistency)
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cut the sweet potatoes in half, lying them face down on a baking sheet covered with coconut oil. Rub some coconut oil on the back of the sweet potatoes as well, and bake for about 25-30 minutes until super soft to the touch.
  3. Boil water to prepare the beans and millet on stovetop – should also take about 20-25 minutes so everything will be done around the same time
  4. Once everything is finished cooking, remove from heat and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees
  5. In a mixing bowl, add in 1c black beans an mash them down so they’re not completely pureed but have an oatmeal like texture
  6. Add in your sweet potato and lightly mash these as well, mixing with the beans
  7. Add in the millet, onion, garlic, spices, salt, pepper, and tiny dash of lemon juice and add in cayenne pepper if desired for spice
  8. As you’re mixing, the “batter” should be sticky and easily stay together; if this isn’t the case, you can add more rice or more sweet potato mash as needed
  9. Lightly coat another baking sheet with coconut or olive oil
  10. With hands or ice cream scoop, form palm-sized ball of mixture, then press down into a patty shape on the baking sheet. Use fingers to compress the edges so they are smooth. A burger press may work as well, just haven’t tried it! You want them to be about 1/3” thick, or if you prefer a thicker patty can make these however you want. Just note that this amount will make about 6 burgers if left around 1/3” thick
  11. With the oven now at 375, bake for about 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure they’re cooked evenly. If you overcook, they will be firmer due to more moisture leaving the mixture so keep that in mind as you go
  12. Wash the collard green leaves and place open on the plate; prep your other toppings and any sides you wish to have with this
  13. When the burgers are done, slide them into the collard green wraps and top to your hearts delight – enjoy!!