I think we can all agree that with summer nipping at our heels, there are certain foods that conjure up feelings of quick, light bites perfect for our busy summer schedule that we all tend to pack solid. Quick meals that can be eaten outside on the deck or around the pool are usually on the menu in our house. I know for me, I think of burgers. Besides tacos, it’s the quintessential food that you can eat with your hands without much fuss. Unfortunately, if you can’t have grains this means rolls are either out of the question or you have to find a grain-free alternative that doesn’t require tons of prep.
I, for one, prefer to simply go without the rolls, after all it’s all about the burger, not matter what kind. I adore a good lettuce wrapped burger. I find that crunch is a great fresh texture. I also love a good homemade veggie burger. With the right ingredients and toppings, it can be a meal on it’s own. So many store-bought veggie burgers are loaded with legumes or grains/gluten, soy, gluten and other things we some of us may not be able to have. The list of ingredients can be quite long and by the time you’ve found a comfortable seat at the store to sit down and read through them all, you get to the end, only to find it just won’t work for you.
These Grain-free Sweet Potato and Broccoli burgers have a great texture and the creamy sweet potatoes are great with the bits of green from the broccoli. They are loaded with good for you ingredients and they don’t rely on foods that are typically used as binders, like beans, flour, eggs or cheese. These burgers are free of all grains (so of course that means gluten), dairy, eggs, nuts, legumes and I also offer an option to make them with or without flaxseeds. I kept the ingredients simple so that you could have room to get creative, if you’d like. These would be great with chipotle or chili powder added, you could also try curry powder or maybe just some red pepper flakes. Have fun with the ingredients and you could make a different burger every time.
It may seem arduous to have two steps to make these burgers, but you can always prep them ahead, store in the fridge and heat to serve, or fully cook and reheat again when you are ready. They keep well in the fridge for a day or two.
I serve these with a cooling cilantro yogurt sauce that compliments all of the flavors so well. I make mine with an unsweetened homemade coconut yogurt, but you could also just opt for a traditional Greek yogurt, if you’d like.
with Cilantro Sauce
makes approximately 12 burgers
- 3/4 pound broccoli, chopped very small (about 4-5 cups once chopped)
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds (or 1/4 cup coconut flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- coconut oil for greasing the pan
- Green leaf lettuce for wrapping: Butter, boston or bibb lettuce all work great OR a roll
- optional: feel free to get creative with other spices for your burgers, ground chipotle, curry powder, ground cumin, etc.
Optional Toppings for Your Burgers:
- red onion
- green onion
- tomato slices
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Add the chopped broccoli, diced sweet potato and onion to a large pot of water. Over high heat bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cook covered for 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables very well in a colander, let them sit a minute or two to really drain all the water off, then add them back to the pan, add garlic powder, flaxseeds, salt and pepper and any other spice you are using. Mash the mixture together well using a potato masher (you could also use an emulsion blender or add the mixture to a food processor, if you’d like). I like with the potato masher how you still have little flecks of sweet potato and broccoli.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper with oil. Form the mixture into about 12 patties. I suggest keeping them around 1/4-inch thick. If you have one, I recommend using a 3 to 4-inch round greased (metal) cookie cutter as a mold, to keep them shaped. Place the cookie cutter on the greased parchment-lined baking sheet, press the mixture in and get it nice and even, then lift off the cookie cutter and move on to the next.
Brush the top side of the burgers with a little additional oil. Bake the burger patties for 25 minutes on the first side, then very carefully flip and bake another 15 minutes on the second side. The burgers should be golden brown and will hold together and not be breaking apart. Remove from the pan and let cool a bit on a cooling rack for just a couple minutes.
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
You can make the cilantro sauce while the burgers are baking or cooling, it can also be made a day ahead. Add all of the ingredients to your food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary.
Top the lettuce with your burgers and finish with any extra goodies that you’d like, drizzle the cilantro sauce overtop and enjoy.