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Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers

Maple Sweet Potato Pecan BurgersRecipe adapted from The Tolerant Vegan, Winner of the 2012 No More 'Mallows Contest.

Recipe Ingredients:

3 medium North Carolina sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
1 Vidalia onion, very coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
4 sandwich rolls

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Pierce sweet potatoes and microwave together until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Mash firmly into measuring cups to make 2 cups; transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cover, until the water is nearly absorbed and the quinoa appears transparent, about 8 to 10 minutes Remove quinoa from the stove; allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper. Add mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes along with the kale, cooked quinoa, pecans and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well.
  5. Form the mixture into four patties; place on a well-oiled baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
  6. When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to bake, make the onion topping. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onion; sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Cook and stir for 12 minutes Reduce heat to low; add remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook and stir until onions are slightly brown, about 3 more minutes; remove from heat.
  7. Transfer burgers to buns and top each with onion mixture.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.