Baja Black Bean Cakes with Spicy Sweet Potato Sauce

2 cups sweet potato, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup Red Chile Sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
 {salt}, to taste
Black Bean Cakes
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, and rinsed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground {cumin}
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground {black pepper}
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup {red pepper}, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons {jalapeno pepper}, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup unbleached flour, divided
2 tablespoons cornmeal
 dash of {chili powder}
 safflower oil
 Green Chiles and Almond Cream
Begin by preparing the Spicy Sweet Potato Sauce: place the cubed sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and steam them for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer them to a food processor or blender, add the tomato juice, Red Chile Sauce, lime juice, cumin, and cinnamon, and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan, add the cilantro, season to taste with salt, and stir well to combine. Warm the sauce over low heat while preparing the Baja Black Bean Cakes.

In a medium bowl, place the black beans, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Using a potato masher or fork, roughly mash the mixture to combine. Add the red pepper, green onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice, and stir well to combine. On a plate, place 1/4 cups flour, cornmeal, and dash of chili powder, stir well to combine, and set aside.

Add the remaining flour to the black bean mixture and stir well to combine. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion the mixture into 8 patties, and place them on a large plate. Chill the bean cakes for 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator.

Lightly oil a non-stick cookie sheet with a little safflower oil and set aside. Coat the chilled cakes in the reserved flour/cornmeal mixture and place them on the cookie sheet. Brush a little safflower oil on the tops of each bean cake. Bake them at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp on the outside. Top individual servings of the bean cakes with some of the Spicy Sweet Potato Sauce and a dollop of the Green Chiles and Almond Cream.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min
cool sweet potatoes 10 min, chill cakes for 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Servings: 8 bean cakes or 3-4 servings

Recipe By: Beverly Lynn Bennett

From:  The Vegan Chef
Used with permission of Beverly Lynn Bennett

Chef Suggestions
The Baja Black Bean Cakes can also be served with a little Red Chile Sauce drizzled over the bean cake and then topped with a spoonfuls of Avocado, Black Bean, and Tomato Salsa.