Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Sweet Potato Burgers

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It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding recipes that don’t include meat and any even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. These sweet potato burgers are so satisfying and flavorful the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain flat bread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. This sweet potato burger is delicious.

There are some great choices to use as vessels for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but, they do offer gluten-free flat breads. I used one of these hinged flat-breads as a stencil. I used a piece of parchment paper to draw the outline of the hinged-flat bread. Then I just laid it over the gluten-free flat bread, and cut it out using a paring knife. and now I have a gluten-free hinged bread. There’s always a way. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something as natural as possible. That’s why I choose baby’s pureed apples as an ingredient. What’s more natural than that!  Ok, so here’s how I start.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Pesto Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 sliced avocados
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper

Sweet Potato Burgers
3 med-size sweet potatoes
2-15 ounce cans of drained and rinsed Cannelini beans
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup of apple puree
1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Arugula leaves (to top burgers)
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground corriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the basil mayo, take a 1/2 a cup of good mayo and mix with 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto. Stir to combine. You can make your own pesto or buy the basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannelini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture. Add in the egg, apple organic baby puree, chili powder, ground corriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the mixture to be somewhat firm. The fact that there is no meat being used, the bread crumb ratio may vary slightly. It’s important that the consistency be similar to a ground meat mixture. Form the sweet potato mixture into 6 burgers. Note:  Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for about 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties.

In a large skillet, on med heat, heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the skillet in batches. I cook 2 at a time. Cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate line with paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked. If needed, add a little more olive oil and butter.

Note: To keep the cooked patties warm, place them into a preheated 200-225 degree oven until the other patties have been cooked off. You can also refrigerate the other patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them off.

Serve the burgers on the flat bread with a basil pesto mayo, arugula, and slices of avocado.



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Barley And Baby Arugula Salad

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This salad is simple, satisfying, and delicious. Warm or at room temperature, if needed,  this dish travels really well. Great as a side dish or as an entree.

Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
1 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup of finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup of shelled edamame
1 cup of baby arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups of vegetable stock ( optional chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Place 3 cups of vegetable stock in a large sauce pan on the stove, on med-high heat, up to a boil. Add in the olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Next, add in the pearled barley and diced red bell pepper. Give that a stir and reduce the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer the barley for 40-45 minutes or until the grains are tender but still chewy. After that time, if there is any cooking liquid left, drain the barley off through a sieve. Pour the cooked barley into a large bowl. Add in all the other ingredients, and toss. The warm barley will wilt the baby arugula nicely. At this point, while salad is still warm, season to taste if needed.

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Sugarbuzz Dezert Company





It’s been a little over a year that I’ve worked at the neighborhood diner, Christo’s Café. I’ve really built a relationship with my guests at the diner. Recently I’ve was introduced to owner/baker Ron James of the Sugar Buzz Dezert Company.

Wait, let me back up a bit. I mean the longer I’m there, there more I get to know them. There’s really not a lot of time for chit-chat when you’re as busy as we are, but every now and then I learn something new.

Every weekend we have the most awesome group of guys that come in and by luck, sometimes they end up in my section. Now, in the case of, this past weekend, they all came in and we were given a box of delicious mini pies. They were absolutely delicious.

If I knew now what I didn’t know then, I would have taken a picture of these beauties and posted them right along with this. The support of small and family-owned businesses is what our College Park community is all about.


The owners of Sugarbuzz come into our neighborhood diner and have breakfast with us one a week. Just when you think things couldn’t get any sweeter, they bring in a box of their homemade cookies for all of us. Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Chunk With Sea Salt, Lemon Sugar, Oatmeal Raisin, and Double Chocolate Chunk. These cookies aren’t like cookies you’ve had before. They are so deliciously soft, chewy, and don’t even get me started on their size, they’re HUGE! 

Let me give you a little background on Sugarbuzz.   Owner, Ron James made baking a way of relieving stress after a hard days work in the business world. Earning for more knowledge, he attended classed at the San Francisco Baking Institute and started baking for family and friends. His elegant and delicious confections were no doubt, destined for greatness. Classic cheesecakes, cookies, cakes, and pies, all made from scratch, using the finest ingredients. In 2014, October 30th Sugarbuzz Dezert was born. Located, in College Park at 4339 Edgewater Dr. Orlando, FL. 32803 and at or



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2016-01-15 14.27.24

My tulips are blooming but my Agapanthus are sleeping. I’d love for both of them to bloom at the same time. “It is what it is!”
The good news is that we are still laying more foundation for my outdoor entertainment area. I’ll be posting updates on that real soon.

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