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Apr. 29 2010 - 5:37 pm | 7,502 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

Recipe: quinoa, black bean & sweet potato croquettes with pumpkin seed chipotle cream

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream

I recently asked my blog followers which of my recipes they’d like posted.

I’ve been working my way through new recipes for my fourth cookbook.  A few months ago, I posted a photo for these Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream. This photo has teased you long enough… here it is, folks!

These gluten-free patties are somewhat delicate and fragile, and so should be eaten with a fork as a patty or croquette, rather than on a bun as a burger. The sweet potatoes balance the smoky and savory ingredients (cumin, oregano, chile, garlic), in the croquettes, and there is a hit of lime to heighten all the flavors. Alongside is a Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream, which is a must-have accompaniment (at least, in my opinion)! Since the patties are not particularly rich or heavy, the cream serves to make the dish more satisfying – and of course, more delicious.The trick to making these patties is some advanced preparation.  When you cook quinoa, make extra (you’ll need 1 1/2 cups cooked for this recipe) and store it in the fridge, in an airtight container.  It will keep for 5-6 days, giving you plenty of time to get other ingredients ready.  Baking the sweet potatoes in advance is also very helpful.  Bake them whole, then cool and refrigerate until ready to get going with this recipe.  Finally, the pumpkin seed sauce can be made a day in advance, making the entire dish easier to prepare.  Enjoy!

Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Spicy Croquettes

1 tbsp organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 1/4 tsp cumin seed (not powder, use whole seed)
3/4 – 1 cup onion, diced
1/2 tbsp (roughly) Serrano or jalapeno chile (about 1 chile) , finely chopped (can substitute a few pinches crushed red pepper) (optional, see note)
2 medium-large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dry oregano
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato, packed, skin removed (see note)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (first zest limes, see below)
1/2 – 1 tsp lime zest (zest first, then squeeze juices)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional (can omit and sprinkle finished individual patties with cilantro, see note)
1-2 tbsp organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (or olive oil) (for frying)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the cumin seed and let cook for a minute or two, stirring through. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, chopped chile, garlic, oregano, allspice, salt and pepper, and let cook 8-10 minutes until onions are very soft (be sure to reduce heat if needed if garlic starts to brown, so it doesn’t burn and develop a bitter taste). Once onions are soft, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients (except coconut oil) and mix through until well combined. At this point, you can refrigerate mixture until ready to fry in patties (refrigerating for at least a half-hour will make it firmer and easier to form). Take scoops of the mixture and form into small patties with your hands. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the patties, flatten gently on the pan, and fry for 6-9 minutes on each side, until golden and a crust has developed; flip them over only once or twice (the second side will cook quicker than the first).  Serve with a generous drizzle of Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream!  Makes 9-12 patties.

Note: For kids, omit the chile in the sauté stage, and then before making patties, remove a portion for your children. With the remaining batch, you can add in the finely chopped chile (raw, or cook it), or a few pinches of red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Note: Cook the sweet potatoes in advance by baking whole. Simply place one or two sweet potatoes (depending on size) on a baking sheet lined with a little parchment paper (to catch drippings). Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes, until very soft when pierced with a knife or skewer.

Recipe copyright 2010 Dreena Burton.

Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream

3 tbsp raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (see note)
1 very small clove garlic
1/2 tsp (scant) sea salt
1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (be sure it’s unsweetened; can use other plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 – 1 tsp chipotle Tabasco hot sauce (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp olive oil or walnut oil

Using a hand blender or blender, combine all ingredients. Start on low speed with hand blender if possible, and then work up to a high speed to finish blending. Puree until very, very smooth, adding more water to smooth out and thin as desired. Taste test, and add additional lime juice and/or chipotle hot sauce to taste.

Note: Be sure to blend this sauce long enough until it is creamy smooth. Using a handblender, it will take several minutes of high blending to achieve a smooth texture. If you have a high powered blender (I use a Blendtec), this is a better tool for the job.

Note: This sauce is fairly thick with pureeing, and will thicken with refrigeration. To use as a dip, simply make ahead and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in extra almond milk, or a touch of water.

Recipe copyright 2010 Dreena Burton.


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  1. collapse expand

    This was so good and a huge hit with the whole family. We always put :) next to the recipes we like. My 18yr old son said it was a definite smiley! Thanks for the recipe!

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    About Me

    I am the author of bestselling vegan cookbooks including "eat, drink & be vegan". I am a stay-at-home mom of 3 young children, and find time to cook, bake, create recipes, and blog somewhere in the day between feeding the kiddos, diapers, nursing babe, laundry, cleaning dishes, cleaning house, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning... school drop-offs and pick-ups, and activities. Nap anyone?

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    Contributor Since: June 2009