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Okay, so I’m not the biggest football fan but I do enjoy all of the hoopla surrounding the Superbowl. It gives me a good excuse to eat things that I don’t usually indulge in. You know, chips, queso dip made with Velveeta, which I don’t really think is part of any real food group, anything deep-fried. The fact remains, I am a vegetarian, and while everybody else chomps down on greasy burgers, I get to enjoy these sweet potato and black bean sliders. Now, these are not for everyone, if you are a carnivore this may not do it for you. For us veg-heads however, these are a delicious game day treat. If you are vegan, you can leave out the egg and cheese and if you are gluten-free, you can use gluten-free bread crumbs and buns. The egg and breadcrumbs do help hold the patty together which is relatively soft as it is, so if you leave them out, the patty will be very soft and may have a hard time holding together.

I serve these up with some Terra Chips and a Salvadoran cole slaw made with shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro and red pepper, mixed with a dressing of rice wine vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar and a little salt and pepper. All in all, I guess I’m keeping it pretty healthy all things considered.

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SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN SLIDERS

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, baked or microwave until soft
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and dried on a paper towel
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to sauté the patties
3/4 teaspoon of each salt & pepper
1-2 tablespoons very finely diced jalapeno
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Sliced Pepper Jack cheese
1 package of slider buns

Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until soft. Cut the potatoes open and scoop out the insides into a bowl and allow the moisture to steam-out for 5 -10 minutes.

Over medium heat, sauté the onions and red pepper in 2 tablespoons of oil for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cumin and remove from heat.

Scoop the softened sweet potato out of the skins into a large bowl. Use two knives to roughly chop the sweet potatoes with one knife in each hand, crisscross the knives across the potatoes until they are a medium dice.

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Add the onion and red pepper mixture, smoked paprika, cilantro, jalapeño, salt and pepper to the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, then add the egg and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the beans, cover and set in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up.

Remove mixture from fridge, take heaping 1/3 cup scoops of mixture, form into patties and dredge in Panko breadcrumbs. Saute the patties in oil in a medium-hot pan. Cook each side of patty until it is crisp and lightly browned, remove and continue with rest of the patties.

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Serve on soft slider buns with lettuce, mayo or as we do, with Chipotle Vegenaise spread, a slice of Pepper Jack cheese and some sliced avocado.

Makes 8-10 sliders.

Cheers!

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