The month of february (or month of “heart health” in the medical community) is coming to an end – I hope you’ve learned about heart healthy ingredients and have tried some of my recipes! Now as you must have noticed…I love to create meatless burgers – they are more creative and tasty (yes! I dare say tastier!) plus you won’t get heartburn afterwards or go into a food comma. Chickpeas and sweet potatoes are the 2 main ingredients in this dish. I love to use both constantly during the week. Sweet potatoes are a great substitute for white potatoes in people concerned about diabetes or moreover insulin spikes. Among the root vegetables, sweet potatoes have the LOWEST glycemic index. This means it will be digested slowly, causing a gradual rise in sugar and in return keeping your fuller for a longer period of time. For those without diabetes, as I’ve mentioned before adding foods with low glycemic index to your diet is a great prevention strategy – especially if you have family members who suffer from this disease. If you are dieting, consuming foods with a low glycemic index will also prove beneficial to curve hunger attacks. Additionally sweet potatoes contain ample fiber, vitamin A and C, iron, calcium…and the list goes on. I found some great facts about sweet potato from thefoodreference.com, here is an extract:
The numbers for the nutritional sweet potato speak for themselves: almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 42 % of the recommendation for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene, and, when eaten with the skin, sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal. All these benefits with only about 130 to 160 calories in one medium sized potato!
Regarding chickpeas, they are an excellent source of fiber and vegetarian/vegan protein. So these burgers are not only tasty but packed with fiber which promotes digestive health plus it helps reduce cholesterol levels. So get motivated and start incorporating some meatless dishes into your diet, I promise (from personal experience) your body will tell the difference. You won’t get as sleepy after a meatless and fiber rich meal, you will have more energy and attention…and you will be fuller for a longer period of time (and will eat less)…plus your bathroom routine will become regular. Need more reasons?
1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1/3 cup wheat germ or whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/3 cup saltfree cashews
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tbsp dry dill
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
EXTRAS: whole wheat buns or pitas (I used 100-calorie pita pockets to create thick mini burgers), cucumber slices, alfalfa sprouts, stone ground mustard, cheese slices, tomatoes…
You can either make these patties “by hand” by chopping everything with a knife and mashing the ingredients together with a potato masher or by using a food processor.
1. HAND METHOD: chop everything finely and throw into a large mixing bowl. Mash the sweet potato and chickpeas together, then incorporate the other ingredients. Use your hands to make sure the mixture is even.
2. COOKING: Shape the mixture into 6 patties. Heat 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and cook the patties on high heat about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Alternatively you can cook the patties on a grill machine or panini maker (this method is easier but takes longer – up to 8 to 10 minutes).
3. ASSEMBLY & SERVING SUGGESTIONS: I serve my patties with whole wheat pitas, stoneground mustard on one side, cucumber slices and alfalfa sprouts. I also love to add a slice of reduced fat swiss cheese. This creates the perfect Middle Eastern patty with a twist. Trust me the mustard and cucumbers complement and enhance the flavors.
4. STORE: you can either store uncooked or cooked in the fridge for up to a week.
Serving Size: 6