Often it’s the simplest dishes that make for the tastiest meals.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients, a pinch of spices and chopped herbs, and really that’s all you need to create a recipe that’s memorable, many times even more memorable than a combination that calls for hours upon hours of cooking.
I’ve been getting into swimming lately, which generally leaves me ravishing upon arriving home.
My patience doesn’t have time for anything fancy when I show up to the kitchen counter. And when I have quality ingredients on-hand, I don’t need anything complicated either.
Luckily, my stockpile of winter squash has been conducive to all of this. A hearty tray of simply seasoned kabocha or a steaming baked sweet potato can really knock the edge off of hunger in a satisfying way. I find this to be one of the richest parts of winter.
This recipe draws upon that heartiness of squash to create a nourishing meal that stays both light and satisfying. Baked with a little spice and tossed over crunchy, massaged kale to ever-so-slightly wilt the leaves, this becomes a powerful salad.
Salty chickpeas top it all off along with a creamy tahini dressing, where you’ll find the strength of fresh herbs kicking in.
Serve with a slice of crusty bread, and feel free to sprinkle a few toasted nuts and seeds on top to give the meal a boost.
I’m going to start off with a quick disclaimer. These photos don’t do these burgers justice.
Some days, when the light’s dropping early and your stomach’s rumbling from room-filling aromas, you end up with photos that don’t quite showcase the awesomeness of what lays in front of you.
But stay with me here.
Smoky + sweet + hearty black beans and oats = one killer veggie burger.
Sure, the burgers are vegan. And so as depicted, they are a tad sloppy. But not fall apart-on-you sloppy. These are no sloppy Joe’s. Far from it actually as far as a vegan burger goes.
You could certainly throw in an egg if you’re concerned about this. Or do as I do, and utilized the two-spatula technique when it comes time to flip them in the frying pan during the cooking process. Just give them a little squeeze, and they’ll firm up nicely as they cook.
But let’s get to the important topic of discussion here – the taste.
This isn’t your bland restaurant veggie burger. I’ve had one too many of those to know better. Rather, these are packed with all the complimentary flavor you’d expect from a recipe worthy of putting on the repeat list. The spice from the chipotle and smokiness from the paprika pairs well with the creamy sweet potato, all of which gets finished off with a little lime. The cumin and beans team up for a little Mexican flare, and the oats bind it all together.
Finish it off with your favorite toppings. I might suggest some guacamole if you have it on hand, but even just a handful of spinach and a dollop of ketchup will do.
Note, these freeze well, so if you have extras or want to double the recipe, go for it!