Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moroccan Yam Veggie Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Tahini Sauce

A good veggie burger is one of my absolute favorite meals. Unfortunately, the plant-based patty is easily prone to a bad rap due to three common shortcomings: bland, cardboard-like taste (blah), rubbery, processed consistency (ew), or loose ingredients that crumble upon touch (grr.) These inferior qualities can turn burger-lovers against the veggified version for good, and if you're one of the haters, I beg you to here me out. A solid veggie burger is fantastic, and this Moroccan Yam Veggie Burger with Cilantro-Lime Tahini Sauce proves my point.
A base of shredded yams and crushed chickpeas hold these burgers together in both texture and substance, and a range of rich spices like cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and coriander add distinctive Moroccan flavor. Flour made from rolled oats and flax seed adds a nutty, wholesome nuance, and using sesame oil instead of traditional olive oil adds another unexpected but well-received flavor to the mix. 
Now lets talk about the sauce, which I am going to suggest right now to double in quantity because its equally important as to why this veggie burger rocks. Tangy and herby with ample cilantro and lime, the tahini almost gives it a green goddess-like quality (so obviously I'm obsessed.)  Because the burger itself is pretty earthy, the tangy dressing really makes it pop. 
Baking the burger yields a perfectly crisp exterior and appropriately soft, chewy inside; no weird consistency issues here! The yam and oats mean the batter is pretty starchy, so feel free to skip the "bun" here and serve with a big helping of shepherd's salad chockfull of tomato, cucumber, and onion instead. 
Moroccan Yam Veggie Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Tahini Sauce (from Oh She Glows)
Makes 6-8 patties
Prep time: 25 minutes, cook time: 35 minutes

For the burgers:
1.5 cups grated yam or sweet potato 
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small piece of fresh ginger (1 cm cube), peeled
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups)
2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour (use gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

For the cilantro-lime tahini sauce (makes 1/2 cup):
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Make the burgers: 
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
2. Peel the yam/sweet potato. Grate (by hand or in a food processor) until you have 1 1/2 lightly packed cups. Place into large bowl.
3. In the same food processor (no need to wash), mince the garlic, cilantro, and ginger until finely chopped.
4. Add drained chickpeas and process again until finely chopped, but leave some texture. Scoop this mixture into a large bowl.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the flax and water. Add to large bowl.
6. Grind the oats into flour using a blender or the food processor. Add flour to large bowl.
7. Stir in the oil, soy sauce, salt/pepper, and spices to batter until thoroughly combined. Adjust to taste if desired.
8. Shape 6-8 patties, packing the mixture firmly together. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip, and bake for another 18-23 minutes until golden and firm. Cool on pan.
Make the cilantro sauce: 

1. Mince garlic in a food processor, followed by the cilantro. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

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