Medically, we are on hold and we are just focusing now on adjusting to lifestyle and food….in this case, burgers.
Although I really loved these veggie burgers, John is not a fan of beets, and these have a definite beet flavor. But we tried them, and they freeze well, so I can take them for work lunches. Pictured here with a salad and ginger orange carrots, these burgers were moist with good texture (not as oat-y as some veggie burgers) and held together enough to cut them and dip them in Dijon mustard, BBQ sauce, or high fructose corn syrup-free ketchup.
Plan ahead, though, if you decide to make these as I spent two hours making them, and they then needed to sit in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2-36 hours. Expect to turn your hands red as you work with the beets, but that does wash off.
Beet and Bean Burgers
- 3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup brown rice (not cooked)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
- 1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces.
- 2 to 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, to taste
- 2 teaspoons brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- First, cook the beets: Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the rice while the beets roast: Now that the beets are in the oven, cook the brown rice, adding a little salt to the water. the rice should be a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.
- Begin sautéing the onions while the rice is cooking. Saute the onions in a little bit of water, and add a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. If it seems like the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Process the oats in a food processor or blender until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Drain and rinse one can of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.
- Grate the roasted beets: Use the edge of a spoon or a peeler…or your fingers to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the grated beets to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. (You can also do this over a bowl and save the beet juice for another purpose.)
- Combine the veggie burger mix: Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the brown mustard, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour, and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal .Isn’t it great to be able to taste as you go?????
- Refrigerate the burger mix 2 hours, or up to 3 days: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.
- Shape the burgers: When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a half cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with 6 large patties. Yes, expect red hands.
- Cook the burgers: Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Our pan is well seasoned that we do not need to add any oil. Flick a little water o the hot an. If the water dances, the pan is ready. Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; I normally cook 3 patties at a time in my 10-inch cast iron skillet.Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through.