Sweet Potato Burgers with Edamame Guacamole

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My brother is a great athlete and has always inspired me for how much commitment he has to his training - whether that be for hockey, for marathons, triathlons or even an iron man. He is a machine. 6 years ago, in what I thought at the time was the pinnacle of his athleticism he decided to become a vegetarian. A lot of people were sceptical of this, "but you need meat for protein!". Yes meat is high in protein, but so are vegetables. He then later gave up gluten, he very scarcely has fructose and has almost fully given up dairy. My brother stands today more muscular, fitter, stronger and healthier than he has ever been and each day he improves. Vegetables have been his main source of fuel for everything he has competed in - from his multiple iron man efforts, his marathons, triathlons and not to mention his daily runs, weight training sessions, spin training, swims. This is all on top of his hockey training!
 
One dish that my brother does well is mushrooms. He has mastered how to cook this beautiful food. Mushrooms are a good source of protein, as well as containing vitamins C, D, B6 and B12 and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and selenium. I think all vegetarians will agree mushrooms are one of our forms of 'meat'. This dish was inspired by my brothers love for big mushrooms, and was created for when we both gave up gluten - but didn't want to give up the burger. Because you have to be crazy if you don't love a good burger! Using two mushrooms as a bun works on so many levels and just seems right. This is good option for those who are looking to lose but don't want to give up burgers, and for the gluten intolerant.

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Ingredients
serves 4
 
For the burger
8 large flat mushrooms
1 tin chickpeas
1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
pinch chilli flakes
salt
pepper
 
polenta/maize flour to roll in
 
 For the guacamole
1 cup edamame
1 avocado
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp chopped coriander
juice 1 lime
1 tbsp olive/coconut oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt

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First things first. Steam your sweet potato and once softened place in a mixing bowl with your tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed of course!). Next, get mashing. You still want it to be quite chunky however so don't make it super smooth!! Then add your sesame seeds, spices and chilli and mix it all up. Don't be put off by the fact the mixture is still kind of like mashed potato consistency (as essentially it is). Add in your salt and pepper to taste. Play around with the spices - your taste buds may like more or less of one or the other so it's all about tasting as you go!
 
When you're ready, grab handfuls of the mixture and pat it into a ball. Roll gently in either polenta or maize flour and place in a fry pan with a dash of oil. 
You have to be kind of careful when flipping these babies - don't be alarm if they squish a bit! The mixture will make around 8 patties - so you can either make yourselves two burgers each (just double the mushrooms needed), or what I like to do is just have an extra patty on the side of my burger.
 
Whilst you're cooking your patties, in another fry pan, fry up your mushrooms again, in a bit of oil until cooked. If you don't have two fry pans - try cooking up your patties first and place them in the oven on around 150-180 degrees to stay warm. Alternatively you can just cook your mushrooms in the oven around 180 with a drizzle of oil - or even have them raw! 

For the guacamole - place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth!
 
Next all we have to do is assemble. Place one mushroom on your plate - put on your patty, some guacamole and snow pea shoots. I also like to put on a hot sauce with mine and some goats cheese and place your secondary mushroom on top.
 
Enjoy!

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  Photography by  Elisa Watson.

Photography by Elisa Watson.