Last year I stayed at home like the homebody that I am. I enjoyed it, honestly. I did just get a puppy corgi so I wasn’t super excited about going into the world of glittery dresses, cars and champagne and vomit, but this year is different! I’m actually going out. Josh and I are gonna watch one of his best friends get married on New Year’s Eve and I’m kind of excited to have a place to go, get all dressed up for and a group of people to celebrate with.
So, basically, what I’m saying is that I’m not making these Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs because I’m going to a wedding and showing up with a homemade appetizer would probably piss off catering, but you definitely should! They’ll be the stunner of the appetizer table, I can guarantee it.
Ugh. What a cocky recipe title. But I’m serious. This thing is soooo great. I have sort of an attitude about veggie burgers because most restaurants don’t treat veggie burgers with the proper respect they deserve, man. They’re generally just some sad afterthought, a requirement for burger establishments so vegetarians don’t starve to death while at their restaurant. Can you tell I’m passionate about the subject?
As a meat-eater, I eat veggie burgers all the time because I love them. I would never say that a veggie burger is necessarily better than a meaty, bacon-loaded burger with melty cheese on top, but I would say they’re just different – you can’t really compare the two. I don’t always want that kind of burger; sometimes I want to go lighter, fresher but still want to feel full.
These veggie burgers are a mix of garbanzo beans, black beans, beets (!!), heirloom pink rice (can we talk about my love affair with fancy rice?), a bunch of spices and some red onion. They’re vegan, too! No egg to hold them together – the coldness from the fridge helps bind them. It’s vegan science.
Since I’m not a vegan, I love adding cheese to every burger ever, meat or no meat.
I love these things so much. I hope you get a chance to make ’em. Get at it!
The Best Veggie Burger IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 4
8 ounces beets, steamed or roasted and peeled*
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, washed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, washed and drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup rolled oat flour**
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
For the burgers:
6 hamburger buns
6 thin slices of Morbier cheese (or other strong cow’s milk cheese of choice)
Dijon mustard (optional)
To make the patties:
Pulse beets in a food processor until roughly chopped. Add beets to a large bowl, along with the garbanzo beans, black beans, brown rice, oat flour, red onion, garlic, sumac, thyme leaves, ground cumin and ground coriander. Mash with two forks until all the beans are incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste. (I added about one teaspoon of kosher salt and half of a teaspoon of pepper.)
Using a half cup measure, form six patties. Cover them with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. (Since we aren’t using egg to bind the mix, this step helps the patties hold together.)
Melt butter or olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Toast the hamburger buns for 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add more butter or olive oil if needed. Add the patties and cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes and until the tops are lightly golden brown. Place the slices of cheese on top of each burger and cook for 1 minute longer, until cheese is melty.
For the burgers:
To assemble burgers, add a smear or two of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, a sheet of butter lettuce and a slice of tomato to one half of the bun. Top with the veggie burger pattie and the other half of the bun. Repeat until all six burgers are assembled.
*Many grocery stores sell roasted beets. If you’d like to roast them yourself, here’s how: Preheat the oven to 400? Fahrenheit. Trim the beets. Place them in a casserole dish, add a splash of water, cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes, until beets are tender when scored with a fork. Allow to cool to room temperature, then peel.
**You can buy oat flour, or you can make it at home. To make oat flour, add 1/4 cup of rolled oats to the jar of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is very fine. Measure out 1/4 cup (you may end up with a few tablespoons more) and proceed with the recipe.
It’s weird how much better these little tweaks make you feel. First one: I’ve worked out every day this week. I’m not gonna make some unrealistic statement and say that this is how I’m living from here on out, but good gracious does it make me feel giddy.
Second tweak: I’ve cut out coffee. I know. I know. I can’t believe I just wrote that. It wasn’t planned. I woke up Monday morning and got some tea instead of coffee. And then I did the same thing the next day. And the next day. And now, it’s Friday and I feel like I have more energy than I’ve had in months. In months I’m guessing this won’t last for long–the taste of coffee is a long time love.
I decided to keep up with the health-ish, unusual track that I’m on and snack on some beets. (I honestly don’t even know who I am right now.) I hate beets. I think they taste–for the most part–like dirt. Like, the actual earth. People put a bunch of goat cheese on them and avocado and think they’re delicious. Datsss cool. I’m just not one of those people.
I never had “cool” cereal growing up. My parents jumped on health-freak bandwagon in the early 90s and never looked back. They bought a juicer, and soon we were drinking lunch; they started boiling cabbage and making these weird soups; we never had real milk anymore, it was all rice and soy milk. Obviously, at that moment, I knew the potential for mornings filled with Captain Crunch and Corn Pops were long gone. It really put a cramp in my sleepover style since the morning after all of us girls were subjected to a few boring options: Kelloggs plain, boring as hell corn flakes, or my Dad’s buckwheat pancakes. Yeah, not bisquick with Aunt Jemima syrup, but buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup. Now, as an adult, I’d leap at the latter, but when you’re nine and donning Care Bear PJ’s with three of your best girlfriends, the former is where the fun is at. So when I picked up Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, I was a little hesitant. Is everything gonna taste mealy? Is it going to taste too grainy, and all “healthy-like”? Are the muffins going to weigh 10 lbs? I’d baked with whole wheat flour and oat flour before, but my experience was really limited, and associated those types of flours with being healthy, something that of course I’m concerned with, especially in the month of May when the possibility of being in a bathing suit is one wretched heat wave away.