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Southwest BurgerFit Burger

Kent Birdwell and Alane Boyd in kitchen
Kent Birdwell and Alane Boyd
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Episode 8 of Cooking with My Friends brought Alane to Whitleyville, Tennessee, to Kent Birdwell’s parents’ estate. Kent is the owner of The Blue Pig in Cookeville, Tennessee. This episode features the Southwest BurgerFit burger and Kent’s sweet potato dish with a honey sunflower dressing.

“Kent makes some of the best food I have ever tasted. I was amazed to learn that he is a self-taught cook!” – Alane

Watch the Episode

You can view the full episode and see just how to make the Southwest BurgerFit burger on YouTube.

Why eat the Southwest BurgerFit Burger?

Don’t be a kale hater – kale gained popularity for good reason! It contains a ton of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which both contribute to bone health. 

Adding black beans to this burger offers a 1-2 punch by boosting the protein content of the burger and adding fiber.

Get the Recipes

These recipes are super easy to prepare and you’re going to have a blast making them!

Southwest BurgerFit burger
5 from 1 vote

Southwest BurgerFit Burger

There is a reason so many restaurants create a vegetarian burger from black beans: they make delicious burgers! We love eating this, both as a traditional burger and as a deconstructed version for taco night!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Black bean burger, BurgerFit, Southwest Burger
Servings: 7 Burgers
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Alane Boyd


Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Food processor
Large bowl


  • 1 teaspoon cooking fat
  • 1 tbsp Koops' Jalapeno Mustard or your favorite!
  • 2 cups raw kale
  • 1 can whole black beans I don't like using refried b/c they have lost their body
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 jalapeno optional
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided


  • Heat a skillet on medium heat with 1 teaspoon cooking fat. Add the kale and ½ teaspoon salt, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Once the kale is cooked, put the black beans, kale, chili powder, paprika, Jalapeno Koops' mustard, and desired amount of jalapeno (optional) in the food processor (or finely chop kale and mash black beans with hands). Let the mixture cool completely. 
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground meat and remaining teaspoon of salt. Gradually incorporate vegetable mixture into the ground meat. Add as much as you can while still being able to form your burgers as normal.
    *If you end up adding too much vegetable mixture, don’t worry! Just form your burgers and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Cook burgers on medium heat on the stove for 5 minutes each side or to your preference. Cooking times can vary.
  • Optional: Serve with salsa and make as a deconstructed taco burger with cassava flour tortillas.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 501mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 2765IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3.1mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @GetBurgerFit or tag #getburgerfit!
Sweet Potatoes with Honey Sunflower Dressing
5 from 1 vote

Sweet Potatoes with Honey Sunflower Dressing

Alane and Kent Birdwell, owner of The Blue Pig in Cookeville, Tennessee, cooked this recipe together at the Birdwell Family Estate in Whitleyville, Tennessee, during the eighth episode of Cooking with My Friends in May 2019.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy, honey, side dish, Southwest Burger, Summer, sunflower, sweet potatoes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 427kcal


Cutting board
Medium bowl
Food processor
Sheet pan


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup cilantro


  • Cube the sweet potatoes, place on a baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake on 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until soft.
  • While the sweet potatoes are baking, add the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey to a blender or food processor and thoroughly combine.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are done baking, remove from the oven. Once plated, drizzle the sunflower honey dressing over the sweet potatoes, top with cilantro, and serve.


Try this recipe with other BurgerFit burgers:
  1. Beet 
  2. Spinach and Mushroom
  3. Ethiopian Lentil
  4. Broccoli


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9312IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @GetBurgerFit or tag #getburgerfit!
Pairs Nicely With BurgerFit Logo

Pairs Nicely With

The Southwest BurgerFit Burger pairs nicely with Cassava Flour Tortillas!

Tag us in your #getburgerfit creation on Instagram if you liked this recipe! 

Meet the Hosts

Alane Boyd headshot

Alane Boyd

Host of Cooking with My Friends

Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!

Kent Birdwell host picture

Kent Birdwell

Owner at The Blue Pig

Kent Birdwell is a self-taught chef who has traveled all over the world discovering the flavors he now incorporates into his dishes. He is the owner of The Blue Pig, a barbecue restaurant in Cookeville, TN.

How We Met

I first met Kent through his brother Jake. Jake and I were both “sharks” at the Tennessee Tech University Eagle Works Entrepreneur Competition, and were paired together as judges. In between student groups coming in we chatted to kill time. I was pregnant with Fletcher at the time so all I talked about was eating food! He told me about his brother’s restaurant in Gainesboro, TN. It sounded so delicious that my husband and I went that evening for dinner. It did not disappoint! The food was amazing and I instantly became a huge fan of Kent. Plus, Kent and Jake are such awesome people that you just want to be best friends! Since that first meeting, Kent has opened a much bigger restaurant in the bigger town of Cookeville, TN. My husband, Fletcher, and I are frequent patrons and I finally harassed Kent enough until he said, “yes” to being on a Cooking with My Friends episode ????

Alane Boyd

Alane is the co-founder of BGBO Co, a business consulting company that helps business owners achieve their biggest goal and overcome their biggest obstacle. She is also the creator of BurgerFit and the host of Cooking with My Friends. Both were started to inspire people to eat healthier.


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