Cilantro Jalapeno Sliders with Roasted Sweet Potato

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If you would have told me a year ago that I would be adding meat recipes to my website, I would have laughed in your face. Yet, here I am, posting another delicious meat recipe!

I went vegan strictly for health reasons (and got very educated in plant-based nutrition along the way), and now I eat (some) meat again, also for health reasons. I continue to educate myself on our ever-changing bodies, the nutrition it needs in different stages of life, and the best sources to get it.

When I say I eat meat, I don’t mean I go to your local Walmart and pick up some ground beef. No. Freaking. Fay. I’ve made it a point to eat local, organic, grass-fed beef straight from the farmer’s market. I now know the farmers, I know what they feed their cows, I know the cows (right now it’s longhorns – cause I’m in Texas, Y’all!), I know where they are located, and I know what meat is in stock.

The choice to eat meat again came with a decision that if I was going to eat meat, it was going to come from healthy, ethical sources. I was not touching meat in supermarkets that came from industrial farming locations where livestock are abused and forced to live in deplorable conditions. In fact, the one time I did eat low-quality meat bought from the supermarket, I got extremely sick! If there is ever a way for your body to tell you to stick with eating high-quality meat or none at all, it’s by having to be close to a bathroom for 3 days because your stomach is upset!

For this recipe, you can choose any ground meat that you like, it does not have to be beef. Lamb, Bison, or Elk will work fine, just make sure that the meat is from a high-quality source! You may choose any sweet potato to your liking as well. I used yams and normal sweet potatoes as the yams in season were bigger at the time, so they made a better bed for the sliders.

A note with the spinach: Make sure you drain the water out. Especially if you don’t eat your slider right away, leaving the spinach on the potato for a while without draining the liquid will make the potato soggy. So, be sure to drain the liquid before topping the potato!

Another note: There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe. I try to keep my recipes simple and easy to make, but I admit that this one is a little fancier and uses a fair amount of items. This is why I do have optional toppings, such as the tzatziki sauce and pico de gallo. You can choose to omit these altogether, use full-fat Greek yogurt as a topping, or something else that is easier to prepare.

So without further ado…let us begin!

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For the burgers you will need:

  • 2 lbs organic grass-fed beef
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (make sure the circumference is wide – enough for topping)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp minced jalapeno
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt and pepper

For the toppings you will need:

  • 1 bunch organic spinach
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 clove chopped garlic

Pico de Gallo:

  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp diced onion

Optional: For the tzatziki sauce you will need:

  • 1 cup full fat organic greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber, water drained
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepperIMG_2828

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potato in thick slices, grease a pan and place the slices in the pan. Cook for 20 minutes.

Step 2:

As the potatoes are baking, you can prepare the burgers.

In a large bowl, mix together the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, jalapenos, green onion and all the spices. Knead together and form tiny miniature patties, making sure they are small enough to fit on top of your potato slices.

Once the patties are formed, lightly grease a pan, and cook the burgers on medium heat until they are done to your satisfaction. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 3:

As the burgers and potatoes are cooking, you can also saute the spinach. Heat another pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil and chopped garlic. Cook for a minute and then add the spinach. Saute until it wilts, but not too much so that you get a lot of moisture. If you do see lots of moisture in the pan, be sure to drain it out. You don’t want to top your roasted potatoes with soggy spinach!

Step 4:

Once the potatoes are done and the burgers cooked, take out the potatoes from the oven to cool for a bit. You can take this time to prepare the tzatziki and pico de gallo.

Use 2 small bowls for the mixture. The amount will not be much as they are just used for toppings. Mix all the pico de gallo ingredients in one bowl, and mix all the tzatziki sauce ingredients together in another bowl. Set aside for topping use.

Step 5: 

Now for the fun part, topping!

Using a rectangular or flat tray, place a spoonful of spinach on top of each potato slice. Add a burger on top of the spinach, and top the burger with tzatziki sauce and a sprinkle of pico de gallo.

Another option is to place the burger on top of the sweet potato, then the spinach on top of the burger. You can decide which way works best for you.

Once the sliders are topped, serve and eat immediately! The burst of flavor and texture you get with these is amazing, and you will be so happy at how healthy they are, you can eat as much as you want without the guilt!

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These sliders save best when they are deconstructed, as that helps to preserve each item’s texture and taste. But they are easy to put together and make a great meal!

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If you use a fattier beef, such as kobe, you actually can cook these burgers without adding any additional grease to the pan, as the grease from the meat will be sufficient.

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Enjoy!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura says:

    I’ll all with you on your approach to meat eating – I’ll have it occasionally and won’t beat myself up about it – provided the meat comes from animals that were raised happy and ethically….

    1. I completely agree with you, Laura! I think it’s important to know where your food is coming from and how it’s prepared. Now that I’ve gotten to know the farmer’s who supply the meat and I’ve actually driven in their neighborhood to see the farmland, it makes me feel so much better knowing exactly where the meat is coming, who is preparing it, and how the livestock is being raised. While I don’t eat meat every day, for the times I do eat meat, this is something that is important for me know. 🙂

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