It’s funny. I have always had acquaintances in my life that I’ve known for years (mostly from the gym). They know about my life, and I know about theirs just through small talk. We see each other every day and politely ask how our weekends were but I have not the slightest clue what their names are and I am sure they don’t know mine. Eventually, I will ask someone else what their name is, but still feel awkward calling them by it because I don’t want them to feel weird they don’t know mine. And, we’ve been friendly for years, which makes it awkward to ask: “by the way, what’s your name?”
Michael and I don’t know the names of a lot of our neighbors so we make up nicknames. There’s “Mr.& Mrs. Papa Giorgio” and “Mr. Cairn Terrier” (who we think passed away since we haven’t seen him around, God rest his soul). There’s “Andy Milanokous” (Mr. Papa Giorgio’s grandson), and “Got Mods,” Then there are people we haven’t thought of good nicknames for so we just associate them with things. For instance, “the girl downstairs,”“the lady with the really mean dog” and “the guy that never moves his car”.
The funny thing is, none of the above know our names (although Michael helped Mr. Papa Giorgio two winters ago with all of the snow so he knows his name); but they all know about Ella. Gym friends and all. When she gets old enough to talk I will have to get her to find out everyone’s real names for me.
Even though Ella is not ready for formal introductions as of yet, she does have sophisticated taste.
I’m not going to lie and say she’s not picky, because she can be. She likes what she likes, but I think she eats a wider variety of healthy foods than most adults I know. I pride myself on having fed Ella foods that I have made exclusively. I try to give her a variety of things, and spices and flavors. When you breastfeed, your milk takes on the flavor of what you eat. So, they say when your baby starts to eat solids it is important to introduce them to many different flavors because who wants to go from tasting a little Indian here and a Italian there to bland, plain baby food?
I was scurrying to try and think of something different to make Ella and I for lunch the other day. She hates eggs (mommy’s staple), I usually make those or tuna or a huge kale salad for lunch; while Ella enjoys some veggies and hummus (her favorite food) or one of her baby sliders, peas, etc. I had a can of Eden Food white cannelloni beans and a huge sweet potato and decided to make a few burgers for us. This was with Memorial Day weekend in mind, of course!
As a mom, even though I only work part-time at this point, I still need meals that are quick and easy to make. Things that Ella and I can both enjoy together that are healthy and flavorful and fun to eat!
Usually I hate the microwave, but it was getting late and I needed my sweet potato to cook up quickly so I poked some holes in it, wrapped it in a towel and let the microwave do it’s thing. Once it was finished I cut it in half, emptied the potato out, tossed the skin, and threw it in the Vitamix with the other ingredients to create a nice base.
I mashed 1/4 of the beans and threw the rest of the can in to process. Next time I think I will do half and half to give it more of a hearty texture. Actually, you should plan on seeing another variation of this recipe soon. I want to try it with sautéed onions and other delicious ingredients. For now, I am giving you the super simple, quick meal version!
Tip: The lid of a mason jar makes a wonderful form for veggie burger patties.
You just spoon it in, then place the lid in your pan upside down
and pop it out
then peel the center of the lid off from the top!
Sweet Potato & White Bean Burger
This recipe is gluten-free and vegan! It can be pan fried or baked. I tried it both ways. I highly recommend pan frying, but you can always bake up the rest of the recipe, freeze, and pan sear after it’s defrosted!
Wash, dry and poke holes in your sweet potato and bake it how you like. Either in the oven at 400 degrees for about 50-60 minutes, or in the microwave for 6 minutes or so until very soft. Once baked, slice it in half and scrape out everything you can with a large spoon right into your food processor.
Rinse your beans really well. Mash up half of them with a potato masher or a fork/spoon and place in a bowl. Place the other half in your food processor along with the tahini and your spices. Blend on low or pulse a few times until it’s all combined. Add the contents of the food processor into the bowl with the mashed beans and then add your flour and quinoa flakes and olive oil. Use your judgment, if it seems dry, add more oil, but not too much that it gets really greasy and runny.
To pan fry: (best results)
Preheat a greased skillet on medium-high heat and either place some of the mixture into a mason jar lid to form a patty (like described above) or use an ice cream scooper. Cook for a few minutes on each side until they are brown and crispy on the outside, and cooked through, but not dry, on the inside.
To bake (not as good, but works best for freezing…you can always pan sear later like I said)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet and place the sliders onto the pan using an ice cream scooper, and brush a little more oil that ran on the bottom of the pan into the top of the burgers. Bake for 12-15 minutes on each side.
**Top it off with some cucumber slices and a little hummus in a lettuce wrap or some avocado and your favorite veggies and enjoy!
Note: you can also try this with sun butter instead of tahini; and swap out the spices for ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg! Look out for my sweet spicy version soon!
I am sure many of you have awesome Memorial Day weekend plans?
We have my brothers engagement party Sunday (I have some baking and cooking to do), we were also thinking of going to the shore for the day Saturday but it may not happen now, and my pool opens this weekend! Last summer, Ella was still a newborn, and she would fall asleep in her stroller while I read by the pool. This summer will be a VERY different experience. She’s ready.
All I have to say is the child has more bathing suits than I’ve ever owned in my life. I hope the water isn’t freezing! I know the weather is going to be HOT!
What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?