Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Citrus Cauliflower Sauce

Written by Eydie Desser

Did you know that certain foods are recognized as being able to prevent and beat Alzheimers? With this fact in mind, I created this yummy Sweet potato and black bean burger.  The magical foods include: black beans and whole oats, flax seeds, herbs and spices, cruciferous veggies (cauliflower) and dark leafy greens (arugula).

Your tummy, your brain and your friends will love you for this special meal.


For the Burgers:

  • 1 large, or two medium  (1-½ lbs) sweet potatoes
  • 1 TB ground flaxseeds
  • 3 TB water
  • 1 serrano chile, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (½ cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 TB)
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Liquid smoke
  • ¼  tsp. Chipotle powder
  • ⅔ cup sprouted rolled, gluten free oats
  • ¼ heaping cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 15 oz. can no salt added Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ large red pepper, seeded and diced to ¼” pieces

For the Cauliflower Sauce:

  • 1 head cauliflower, stem removed and florets separated
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 tsp. Raw Honey, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. Chipotle powder
  • ¼ tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 2 TB lime juice
  • 2 TB orange juice

To Serve:

  • 5 oz. organic baby arugula
  • Diced cherry tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced red onion


Directions for the Burgers:

1- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Bake the sweet potato for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size, or until the potato is soft when tested with a knife.  Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and mash the flesh. (Can be prepared a few days in advance)

2- In the meantime, make the flaxseed egg by placing  1 TB ground flaxseed in a small bowl and add 3 TB of water. Let the mixture thicken for about 4-5 minutes.

3- In the bowl of a food processor place the mashed sweet potato, serrano chili, red onion, garlic, lime zest and juice, cumin, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, chipotle powder and oats.  Pulse until the mixture comes together.

4- Add the black beans and cilantro and pulse a few times to incorporate.

5- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the chopped red bell pepper.  Mix to incorporate.

6- Preheat oven to 400.

7- Using wet hands, form the mixture into 6 patties and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.

8- Slide the patties, on the parchment paper to another sheet pan and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, flip over and cook for another 8 minutes, or until the patties are toasted.

Directions for the Cauliflower Sauce:

1- Place an inch or so of water into a pot, add ¼ tsp. chipotle powder and add the steamer basket to the pot. Place cauliflower florets in the basket, cover and bring water to a simmer. Steam the cauliflower until completely soft, about 8-10 minutes.

2- Remove the steamer basket from the pot, and pour the cauliflower into the blender. Add chopped garlic to the chipotle steaming water and cook until the garlic is soft. Strain the garlic from the water, and reserve the water.

3- Add ¼ cup steaming water and the garlic to the blender, along with all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more freshly minced garlic, honey, and or citrus.

To Serve:

1- Make the salad:  in a medium sized bowl, place the arugula, tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion.  Add a couple of tablespoons, or more of the cauliflower sauce to the salad and mix thoroughly.

2- If serving burgers:  place a small amount of salad to a plate, top with the burger and add a dollop of remaining cauliflower sauce on top.  Garnish with a couple of cilantro leaves and serve.

3- If serving as an hors d’oeuvre:  Place dressed arugula salad on the bottom of a platter  Place burgers on top.  Slice each burger into 4 pieces and place a small dollop of cauliflower sauce on each piece, and serve.

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