1 1/4 pounds (565 g.) sweet potato or butternut squash
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
one cup (100 g.) walnuts, finely chopped
2/3 cup (95 g.) finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons (45 ml.) minced garlic (6 or 7 large cloves)
2 (14-ounce/398 ml.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons (14 to 21 g.) 9-spice mix, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
a quarter cup (8 g.) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup (75 ml.) easy barbeque sauce or store-bought
1 cup (70 g.) spelt bread crumbs or breadcrumbs of your choice
2 tablespoons (17 g.) gluten-free oat flour
homemade vegan mayo, or store-bought
sliced red onion
easy barbecue sauce, or store-bought
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups. Spread the cubes on the baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 15 to 20 minutes more, until fork-tender. In a large skillet, toast the chopped walnuts over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden.
2. Transfer the walnuts to an extra-large bowl. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir to combine, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Transfer to the bowl with the walnuts. In a food processor, pulse the beans until you have a mixture of bean paste, chopped beans, and fully intact beans. Be careful not to over process them, as you still want a bit of texture. Transfer the beans to the bowl. Measure out 2 lightly packed cups of the roasted sweet potato and transfer to the large bowl. With a fork, mash the potato into the other ingredients in the bowl until the potato is almost smooth.
3. Add the 9-Spice Mix, salt, parsley, barbeque sauce, bread crumbs, and oat flour to the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. You can knead the dough together with your hands if that’s easier, or just keep stirring. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired. Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of the dough and shape it into a round, uniform patty, packing it tightly as you rotate the patty in your hands. Place the patty on the lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 11 or 12 patties total, setting them at least an inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F (190°C), gently flip with a spatula, and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more, until firm and lightly golden.
4. Cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving (this helps them firm up). Serve the patty in a bun along with your desired toppings. We love the combo of vegan mayo, BBQ sauce, avocado, lettuce, and tomato!
5. Let any leftover patties cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also wrap the patties individually in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag with the air sucked out, and freeze for 3 to 4 weeks. Thaw completely on the counter or in the fridge before reheating in a greased skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side.