Friday, October 5, 2012

Veggie Patties with Kicked-Up Ketchup

 So, I've made the switch to dried beans.  

I know what you're thinking... 

Is she crazy?...

Had she lost all her money in the stock market?...

Does she just have way to much time on her hands?...

The answer to all these questions is no.  Although I am constantly reevaluating the first one.

The truth is that I've chosen to do it both to keep our grocery bill in check and to avoid as much BPA from canned foods as possible.  I'll admit though that it has been quite the learning curve.  

First there is the actual cooking of the beans.  Well, actually that is not quite true, first you have to soak the beans for at least eight hours.  That's right!  Eight hours!  This requires planning folks.  i.e. thinking ahead.  Something a scattered brained mother of an almost two year old is not particularly good at.  Then, there is the cooking of the beans, which entails boiling them FOREVER.  Seriously, between park time, lunchtime, walk time, nap time, post-nap screaming time, etc who has time for that.  

The use of a pressure cooker significantly decreases the cooking time, but that has it's own challenges.  You see, I'm pressure cooker impaired.  It seems that no matter what I do I end up with bean juices spraying out the top and covering my stove top in it's glory.  Yay!

And then, if I get past that hurdle, I always seem to overcook them to a mush.  I swear to you, I have scoured over the pressure cooker charts for beans.  I've tried both quick release and natural release and still I open my pressure cooker to find something that looks more like split peas soup than a substitute for canned beans.

Because of these things, I'm ashamed to admit, there has been more than one time I have sent the husband to the store for a last minute can of beans.

I'm getting better though.  I've been setting the bag of beans on the counter instead of the cupboard when I get home from the store, serving as a reminder to start soaking them.  I've figured out that my pressure cooker works best if I cook a bag of beans in two batches.  And I'm slowly starting the figure out my pressure cookers specific bean cooking time.  

I wouldn't call myself a bean cooking expert.  But I'm getting there.

Packed with nutrient rich sweet potatoes and protein of fiber rich garbanzo beans these veggie patties definitely wins points in the "healthy" category.  Carrot, zucchini and spinach add to this roundup of vegetables.  Serve this with "kicked-up" ketchup to make this more kid friendly and enjoy this quick, cheap and easy vegetarian supper.
Veggie Patties with Kicked-Up Ketchup
serves 4-5
recipe adapted from AHA's Healthy Family Meals

1 1/2 cups chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 1 can, drained)
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 large carrot, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey (substitute with agave for a vegan version)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium microwave safe bowl, place the sweet potatoes and 1/4 cup water.  Cover and microwave on high until very tender, about 3-5 minutes.
2. In a food processor or blender process the chickpeas and sweet potatoes until smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl.
3. Stir in the carrot, zucchini, spinach, corn, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until combined.  Shape into 4 or 5 large patties.  
4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the patties and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned.  Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
 5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.  Serve with the cooked patties.

What the husband thinks: That it's not a bad way to eat sweet potatoes.  He likes them, although he'd take meat over these any day. 

What the kid ate: Sweet potato fries.  What!  I didn't say they were my kid friendly.


  1. I love recipes like this where I can pack together a bunch of different vegetables. I'm scared of pressure cookers so I'm not sure I would be able to cook beans in them.

  2. You can cook your beans in a slow cooker as well. I went to a class with mom once. They say you cook a bunch at one time and them freeze them and then the beans are ready when you need them.

    Holly Jo