Sweet potato, quinoa, lentils, kale and spices come together in this sweet and smokey veggie burger. They freeze well pre and post cooking and can be prepared ahead of time if needed. vegetarian + easily vegan **Time below does not include time to rest the burgers in the fridge - 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment lined pan. Bake for about 45-55 minutes. You want them soft when you give em' a squeeze.
Meanwhile, place quinoa, lentils, water and salt into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, turn to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes (crack the lid if needed). When done, the quinoa 'tails' will show and the lentils will be soft. Remove from heat and allow excess water to steam off. Set aside.
When the potatoes are finished cooking, cut open and allow to cool. Once cool, deskin the potato, place in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the kale and mash some more, for about 30 seconds (this helps tenderize the kale). When the potato and kale are incorporated, add the quinoa and lentil mixture, minced garlic, lemon, paprika, feta, chives, and salt and pepper. Mix well. The mixture will be moist and soft.
Place the panko bread crumbs in a small bowl. Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop out a portion of the sweet potato mixture, packing it in. Tap the scoop, face down on the side of the bowl with your hand underneath to catch the portion. Place the portion in the panko bread crumbs, turning and covering all surfaces of the patty. The patties are quite delicate, but reshape easily. Just pat them back into shape. Place the patty on the sheet pan. Repeat until all patties are scooped, shaped and covered in bread crumbs. Reshape as needed. Press each portion gently to flatten it into a patty.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour or up to two days before cooking. This allows the flavors to marry and the patties to firm a bit. If you want to freeze some of the patties, place the number of desired frozen patties on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in freezer. Freeze for an hour, remove and store in a storage container separating patties with squares of parchment paper. Thaw before pan frying.
To Pan Fry: Preheat oven to 200F. Place 3 Tbs coconut oil in non stick frying pan. Heat oil on med-high until it shimmers. Place 3-4 patties in the pan, without crowding them and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes. Place on a paper towel to catch any excess oil. As the patties finish cooking, place in a 200F oven to keep warm until ready to serve.To Bake: Preheat oven to 425F (218C). Brush a parchment lined sheet pan with olive oil and place the patties on the parchment paper. Gently brush olive oil over the tops of each patty. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping patties at 1/2 way mark. When done, they should be golden and heated through. To rewarm cooked patties after refrigeration, place in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until warmed through.
Store in the refrigerator for up to three days cooked or uncooked. To rewarm cooked patties after refrigeration, place in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until warmed through.
For the Mayo:
Combine all the ingredients and whisk well. Serve cold with or without the bun.
*New to Homemade Veggie Burgers? It has been my experience that homemade egg-free veggie burgers have a tenderness and squeeze-out factor. When preparing the burgers, handle them carefully after forming the patties. I find supporting them with parchment to be an ideal way to make sure they stay together. When pan frying them, use two spatulas when flipping them, if needed. This gives the patty added support. There will be a bit of squeeze-out when biting into the burger. I usually end up with a fork in my hand to finish off a veggie burger. To me, these are acceptable characteristics.Recipe Adapted from The New York Times