Yes, these are the rice cakes. The ones our riders keep in jersey pockets during training…
In much of the world where our riders are racing and training, summer is just around the corner and the weather is beginning to heat up. So we sat down with team nutritionist, Nigel Mitchell, to talk about meals he likes to make when it’s warm out. It can be challenging to find foods that are hearty enough to sustain riders during demanding days of racing, yet light enough to handle on a hot day — Nigel’s vegan sweet potato and pistachio burgers hit the spot.
A couple of notes on the recipe: You can use any variety of sweet potatoes here, but we like to use ones with white flesh; they tend to have a nice creamy texture when cooked. For the “mixed grains” listed in our ingredient list, you can either cook up a mix of grains from scratch (more details in the recipe) or just use leftover cooked grains from your fridge. Finally, feel free to use any tender green herbs you have available to you. We’re partial to a combination of parsley, basil, oregano and chives. Just make sure the herbs you’re using are fresh, not dried.
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked mixed grains
3/4 cup roughly chopped toasted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained (Be sure to reserve the liquid!)
1 generous handful of torn fresh herbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
The first step is to decide what you’ll use for your mixed grain. *Leftover cooked rice, quinoa, barley, bulgar or a mix of any of these works great. If you don’t have leftover grains around, follow basic cooking instructions for whichever grains you prefer, to make to make approximately 1 1/2 cups, cooked. We like to use a mix of pearl barley, basmati rice and quinoa. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
Next: Set a large pot of water to boil. Peel and dice (1/4” dice is great) your sweet potato, then cook in boiling water until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and let the sweet potato cool.
Now mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, adding enough liquid from the garbanzo beans (this liquid is sometimes called “aquafaba”) to keep the mixture from feeling dry and crumbly. Transfer roughly two-thirds of the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms. Don’t be shy about adding as much aquafaba as you need to get a moist, not crumbly, paste. Add this paste back into the bowl with the rest of your mixture and stir to combine.
Taste your mixture and season with more salt, pepper, or chili, as needed. Divide seasoned mixture into 6 portions and shape each portion into a round patty. Roll each patty in oats, just to lightly coat. Heat a griddle or shallow frying pan on medium high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook both sides until golden brown. Serve on either a bed of greens or a whole wheat bun.