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Maple Sweetpotato Pecan Burgers

Recipe: Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers with Sweet Onions Adapted from The Tolerant Vegan, Winner of the 2012 No More ‘Mallows Contest
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  • 3 medium North Carolina sweetpotatoes, 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 (see Note)
  • Salt
  • 1 Vidalia onion, very coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sandwich buns


  • Preheat oven to 400° Pierce sweetpotatoes and microwave together until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Mash firmly into measuring cups to make 2 cups; transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  • 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.
  • 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 sweetpotatoes along with the kale, cooked quinoa, pecans and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well.
  • Form the mixture into four patties; place on a well-oiled baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
  • 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.
  • Transfer burgers to buns and top each with onion mixture.
Yield: 4 servings