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Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties

La Petite Maison Verte: Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties

There's just something awesome about eating a light dinner in the spring and summer time.  It feels good, it feels healthy and nutritious, it feels like the right thing to do.

I think it has everything to do with the warmer weather, the sun setting later in the day and the call of tank tops, shorts and bikinis.

I put away my "winter" clothes last weekend.  I live in Florida so my winter attire this year consisted of a couple sweaters and a few pairs of knee-high boots.  I'm really sad to see the knee boots go, not so much the sweaters.

Try this recipe the next time you feel like having a light dinner.  They taste delicious paired with a big salad and some fresh pico de gallo or a quick Chipotle Yogurt Sauce.  You'll still feel satisfied thanks to the filling fiber from the beans and sweet potatoes and you won't feel too guilty that these are, technically, fried because they are cooked in a very thin layer of olive oil which has many health benefits.

Side Note  
Please, I beg you, don't be afraid of cooking with fats and oils (but use your common sense here).  Fat-free and reduced-fat are two "health-claims" that need to make their way out of our minds forever if you ask me.  Just keep this mantra in mind and you'll be fine:  ALL THINGS in MODERATION. 

Choose fats and oils that are natural, not man-made.  Natural includes butter (!) and cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil is another lovely choice.  Back away from the Crisco, the Margarine and other faux-butters.  They are not real food and they don't taste good either.    

These are vegetarian, vegan (except the yogurt sauce) and can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread crumbs and gluten-free flour or substitute certified gluten-free oats, lightly pulsed in the food processor, in its place.    

They are also delicious when made with a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato, as I did once when I had a chunk of butternut squash in my fridge and needed to use it up quick.  You just want your total weight of your starchy vegetable to be about 2 pounds (before peeling).

The Chipotle Yogurt Sauce is really delicious on top of these patties.  It adds a nice smokey, spicy flavor.  It would be great on fish tacos or on top of burgers too.

And here's a great tip for using canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you'll use it to make the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce).  Most recipes don't call for using the whole can but rather a few teaspoons or tablespoons.  Just use what you need and save the rest in a thin layer inside a labeled, freezer-safe ziploc bag.  Then, the next time you need to use it, just let it thaw for a couple minutes at room temperature and break off what you need.  I also do this with canned tomato paste since I almost never use a whole can in a recipe!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Patties
serves 4 (makes about 12-16 patties, depending on size)
adapted from Tasty Yummies

3 medium-size sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and chopped into 2'' chunks
1 cup cooked black beans (or about 2/3 of a 15-oz can, drained and rinsed), divided
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or use GF breadcrumbs if avoiding gluten)
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour (or GF flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 large clove garlic, microplaned or finely minced
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, pico de gallo and/or Chipotle Yogurt sauce for serving (optional)

Place the sweet potato chunks into a pot and cover with about 1'' of water.  Boil on medium-high heat until very tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain very well.

Once completely dry, place the cooked sweet potato into a large bowl with 1/2 of the black beans.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth, then stir in the rest of the beans, the breadcrumbs, flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic, green onions and cilantro.  Stir well to combine all ingredients.  The mixture will be very sticky.  You can add a little extra flour if the mixture is very wet.

Use your hands to form the sweet potato/bean mixture into patties of about 3'' diameter (about a scant 1/4 cup of the sweet potato/bean mixture per patty).  At this point you can cook the patties as described below or put them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days, removing them when you're ready to cook them.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.   Once the oil is hot, saute 4 or 5 patties at a time for 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown.  Once cooked, transfer the patties onto a paper-towel lined plate while you finish cooking the rest.  You may need to add a few more tablespoons of oil as you go.

Serve the patties warm with the chopped cilantro, pico de gallo and/or Chipotle Yogurt sauce (recipe below).

Spicy Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
adapted from Ellie Krieger

1/2 cup plain 2% greek yogurt
1-2 teaspoons chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you don't want it too spicy)

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and 1 teaspoon of the chopped chipotle pepper.  Taste the sauce, if you want it spicier add up to 1 more teaspoon of the chipotle pepper/adobo sauce.



At January 2, 2013 at 6:38 PM , Anonymous Joy Bee said...

I just saw this on pintrest. It looks delicious I can't wait to try it.


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