Southwest BurgerFit Burger
Kent Birdwell and Alane Boyd
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
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
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Food processor
- Large bowl
- 1 teaspoon cooking fat
- 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, 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.
Sweet Potatoes with Honey Sunflower Dressing
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Medium mixing bowl
- Blender or food processor
- Baking tray
- 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.
- Spinach and Mushroom
- Ethiopian Lentil
Meet the Hosts
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 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