Sunday Black Bean Pita Sandwich

This recipe was inspired by a cooking class by Psalm Lewis who goes by the name of Collard Gal. The class focused on Vegan proteins and included a recipe for a Black Bean burger that I used to create the small black bean and potato patties that you see in the pictures below.

I wanted to try the recipe but I really didn't want a burger, so I hit on the idea of making pita sandwiches instead. Considering it all was a bit of a mad experiment it came out very well. And judging how quickly they disappeared, I wasn't the only one that enjoyed them.

black bean pita patties

The original recipe called for combining all the ingredients in a food processor. I don't have one. So what was I going to use to mash up the black beans and yams? Turns out I had just the thing.

masher for black beans and the yams


Step 1 - Make the black bean and potato balls

  • Bake white yams (one medium, one small) in a 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Open a can of cooked black beans (you want as little additives as possible), drain and pour into a large bowl.
  • Rinse black beans thoroughly with water and drain again.
  • Use the masher to mash beans until you see no whole beans left.
  • Trim leaves from fresh cilantro until you have 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves. Slice leaves roughly and add to beans.
  • When yams are done remove from oven and let cool 5 - 10 minutes. Peel skin from yams and mash with black beans.

mashed black beans and potato

  • Turn the oven down to 375 degrees.
  • Mix yams and 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard in with the beans and cilantro, use the masher so there are no lumps. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Next stir in the dry ingredients: 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Also add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note: you might want grind the flakes up or use a finer powder as I found the flakes were too big to distribute evenly)

breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes

  • Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Form 1 inch balls (a large spoon helps) and place onto a baking sheet that is either covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Then gently mash the ball down into a pattie. Your thumb should do just fine.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, flipping the patties over at the 10 minute mark. You want them to be lightly golden.

Step 2:  Assembling the pitas

So what goes well with baked black bean patties? We pulled out a number of sauces and found that both hummus and tahini worked well. But it wasn't until we thought of adding Cholula as well that we reached black bean pita sandwich bliss.

  • Slice pitas into half and separate so that you have a pocket
  • Spread hummus on one side (we used a hummus with chunks of black and green olives)
  • Add patties, green lettuce and diced tomatoes (we also liked using lemon cucumbers which you can see in the picture below)
  • Drizzle tahini and Cholula sauce on top
  • Eat!

black bean pita toppings



Here's the ingredient list for the black bean and potato balls. The original recipe called for parsley, if you use that, use a 1/2 cup rather than a 1/4 cup as cilantro is much stronger tasting than parsley. And of course feel free to skip the red pepper if you don't like spicy food.

  • 15 ounce can of black beans
  • 1 cup baked mashed white yams
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil



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