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InstaRecipe: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Cakes

By Julia Weeman in Food on Dec 14, 2014 7:00PM

Photo by @jjuliaa via Instagram

During the holidays, keeping up with any sort of the usual grocery shopping and cooking routine can be challenging.

Between all the holiday parties, decorating, shopping and planning big holiday meals, there’s little time left over for things like weeknight dinners. However, after nights of having festive party food or takeout for dinner and days of snacking on all the lovely edible gifts at work, nothing sounds better than a healthy home cooked meal.

You can whip up these tasty sweet potato and black bean cakes in about 30 minutes using staples you probably already have around your kitchen. This recipe works well with a variety of toppings, makes a great veggie burger, or is fantastic simply topped with avocado and sea salt. You can serve this as a vegetarian main or make mini’s for a cocktail party, topped with aioli and chopped cilantro if you’re feeling fancy.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Cakes
Yield: 6 4-inch cakes

1 15 oz. can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. peeled, mashed cooked sweet potatoes*
1/2 c. rolled oats**
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 T. grapeseed or canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper to taste
Your choice of toppings: sliced avocado & sea salt, guacamole, cheese, cilantro, aioli, poached egg, a bun

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 minutes until softened. Remove from heat and add black beans. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor, pulse oats until they resemble breadcrumbs, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add black bean/onion/garlic mixture to food processor and pulse until the beans are coarsely chopped, then stir in with breadcrumbs, adding sweet potatoes and chipotle chili pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in eggs, mixing thoroughly with a spoon. Heat grapeseed or canola oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Drop mixture by large spoonfuls into oil creating 4-inch patties and smoothing out the top as you go. Cook 3 minutes and carefully flip to cook 3 minutes on the other side, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

*From about 2 medium sweet potatoes. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend microwaving them for this recipe. Simply wash the sweet potatoes and pierce a few times with a fork, place them on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high 5 minutes. Flip over and microwave 5 more minutes, or until slightly soft when you give them a squeeze. Then just slice in half and scoop out with a fork, leaving the peel behind.

**If you’re gluten free (or cooking for someone who is), be sure you get gluten-free oats - though oatmeal is inherently gluten-free, it is often processed on the same equipment as wheat products.