Sweet potato burgers at home

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Sweet potato. Why are they so good? Pretty much anything with sweet potatoes tastes amazing. Unless it’s just a boiled sweet potato on its own. You have to use the oven though, never boil them!

It’s funny how our friends don’t ask “what we’re up to tonight” anymore, now they ask “what are you making tonight”. Learning how to make good-quality, restaurant-style food for a fraction of a price you would pay at a restaurant. AND, we live in a beautiful apartment, so eating at home feels like a night out!

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These burgers taste absolutely delicious and all my meat-eating guests loved them. I made loads of these to keep in the fridge, but for 6 burgers you would need:

For the burgers:
1 small onion, garlic clove and carrot, all chopped/grated
1 small can of red kidney beans
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
Salt, pepper, oil
1 can of sweetcorn
Handful of chopped coriander
100g ground hazelnuts (brasil/pumpkin seeds are fine too)
50 g flour (or more ground nuts instead)

1) Roast the potato cubes with salt, pepper and oil in a 180 C oven for 20-30 minutes;
2) Fry the onion, garlic and carrot in a bit of oil until soft;
3) In a bowl smash the beans with a fork
4) In the same bowl add: roasted sweet potato cubes, the fried onion mass, sweetcorn, coriander and ground nuts and the flour;
5) Grill your halved bread buns, apply sauce of your choice (mustard, mayo, etc), salad, and enjoy.

For the chips:
1 sweet potato, cut into 2-3 mm sticks
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp potato starch (corn starch)
Salt, pepper

1) Put the starch into a bag, add potatoes and shake them until they coat in starch.
2) Season and drizzle potatoes with oil, then bake in 220 C oven for 15 min.

Espresso and oat truffles. No sugar, no butter, no flour.

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Guys and gals, this is sooo good! First time I made a small batch, perhaps 5 or 6 truffle balls, just to test them. Second time I made a hundred of them and brought them to work. They were all gone in a few hours, even the notice paper (photo below). Did they eat the paper??

cat

Some comments I received:
“Thank you very much for the Birthday treats, very yummy.  Please may I have the recipe.”
“Hi Vidmantis
Happy Birthday! Thanks for the lovely, sweet (sugar-free!) truffles.
Can I have the recipe, if it’s not a guarded secret? I have some vegan friends coming for dinner next Saturday, and I always struggle to come up with a good pudding. These would be great!”

If you like chocolate, you MUST try them. They taste just like chocolate truffles, but there is no chocolate in them. Recipe at the bottom of the post.

Before making the 100 truffles I had a conversation with Auste:

-Me: “It’s gonna take me ages to make them…”
-Auste: “I’ll help you”.
I look at her after 2 seconds and guess what I see!

aust

100 truffles later…

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To make 15 truffles you need:

15 large medjool dates, pitted [or normal dried dates soaked in water]
4 tbsp rolled oats (not instant, quick-shmick oats)
2 tbsp dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut [olive] oil, room temperature
2 tbsp cacao powder
½ tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
½ tsp ground cardamom [nutmeg]
1 shot cold espresso [for a completely raw version replace with water – the taste will be slightly different though]

1) Mix all the ingredients in a food processor for about 1 minute or until it forms up like a ball. (I used a fork to mash the soaked dried dates and it worked OK)

2) Place the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

3) Form small round truffles with your hands.

4) Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, finely chopped almonds, shredded coconut or rolled oats.

5) Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Coconut oil has more flavour than olive oil, and has a higher burning (smoking) point, but olive oil in this recipe worked fine. I didn’t have cardamom, therefore used a teeny tiny bit of nutmeg as its flavour is quite dominant.

If you haven’t already, you need to start following Green Kitchen Stories. Their family is beautiful, creative and inspiring, sharing the love for healthy vegetarian food. This recipe was posted by them a while ago, but as it is so good, it needs to come to light once more. I have **slightly** modified the recipe, but it was still delicious.

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The English weather. And a chestnut and sage recipe.

So I’m going to talk about the weather now. If you’re non-English in UK, you’re getting used to little weather chats in awkward situations:

**Making a cup of tea in the staffroom. Another person waiting for the kettle**

– So… The weather’s awful today, isn’t it?

– Yeah… It is, isn’t it?

– Yeah… See you later.

**Both leave at the same time in silence**

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Apparently Wales and the south-west of the Kingdom have been smothered in storms, waves and floods for months now.

This year it has been very dry, warm and tranquil, which is unusual for English weather. Well, at least in Leeds. This means we were able to have a breath of fresh air and a glance at the sun. And maaan, I haven’t seen the sun in a long time!

We live on the bank of River Aire and the area is relatively green and quiet. Whenever we go to the city centre, this is what we see:

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This is the main hall of the newly-opened Trinity shopping centre. Talk about crowded… Every day. What can you possibly be buying?

Well, we were buying chestnuts.

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The UK supermarkets still stock chestnuts at this time of year. They’re quite pricey, but you can get them for at least half the price at a local market. Both sellers probably get them from the same supplier overseas, China being one of the largest suppliers of chestnuts to the UK.

I didn’t know that once bought, you were supposed to keep them in the fridge. My lack of knowledge resulted in them accumulating mould inside their shell and eventually half of them ended up in the bin, which is a bit of a shame.

What you need:

A bag of chestnuts, around 200 grams

A cup of rice [to two cups water]

10 sage leaves

A knob of butter (use olive oil if you’re vegan)

What do I do with all these ingredients??

1) Roast the chestnuts for 15 – 20 mins in 180 C oven and peel once cool;

2) Cook the rice for 10+ mins with a little salt;

3) Fry sage in butter until crispy, remove carefully and leave aside;

4) Fry the peeled nuts in leftover butter with some salt, arrange everything on a plate and enjoy.

As you take a bite, you can taste the sweetness of the chestnuts. Follow that with the savoury rice and buttery, yet crunchy sage and you’ll be amazed how such little ingredients can have so much character.