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Friday, September 2, 2016

Black Bean & Beet Veggie Burgers

Shortly after purchasing a burger press, I figured anything could be shaped into a burger.  It didn't always have to be ground beef.  I could mix different meats, hide edible surprises inside patties, or even go all veg.  Why not give it a try?
Making an all veg burger is quite a challenge.. but only because I'm calling it a burger.  Calling it a burger means it should resemble meat.  In a meat burger, there is outer char, juicy inside, texture, and doesn't need much seasoning to be delicious. Trying to replicate all those aspects is a long process, but if you plan ahead and make enough to freeze individual patties, you are a total winner.
Just like me.
The reward for all your efforts is to have it on a bun with all your favorite fixings.  Nothing can beat that reward.  Plus, this one is made with beets.  So you can beet that... haha.
Recipe adapted from TheKitchn
Serves 8
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 red beets, roasted @ 200°C 400°F for 50 minutes, then peeled, grated, and squeezed
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed, cooked, and cooled
1 1/2 cup dried black beans, cooked (or 2 cans, drained) and separated into 2 portions
1/4 cup dried figs (or pitted prunes)
3 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt/cracked black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (sub balsamic vinegar if vegetarian)
1/4 cup oats, blended into flour
1 egg (optional)
1.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions.  When the onions are translucent, add the garlic.  Cook until the onions are brown.  Don't burn them.  Deglaze with the apple cider vinegar.  Remove from heat and set aside.
2.  Pulse one of the 2 portions of black beans with the dried figs.  You want them roughly chopped, not pureed.
3.  In a mixing bowl, add everything but the egg and ground oats.  Mix with your hands until the mixture is homogenous.
4.  If using, add the egg and mix well, then add the ground oats and combine well.
5.  Refrigerate this mix for at least 2 hours, at most 2 days.  It will be easier to form the patties when cold.
6.  Shape the burgers into patties.  I used my burger press with parchment paper (meatless burgers are sticky).  If you don't have a burger press, use about 1 cup of the mixture per burger.
7.  To cook, use a plancha, bbq, or griddle pan.  I used my cast iron griddle pan on high for 3 minutes on each side.  It should stay together if you don't poke it too much.  It won't stay together the way a beef patty would, though, so keep that in mind.  I was able to get some nice grill marks on mine.
Serve on a bun with your favorite fixings.
I like mine with lettuce, onion, tomato, a bit of cheese, some mustard and samurai sauce, a chipotle chile, sometimes avocado, and always an egg.

I have to admit to how proud I am of these burgers.  All I wanted was to get a bit of char on there, and feel like I'm biting into something.  Of course, the texture is not the same as a beef burger, but it's not too far off.. and it definitely deserves its place on the grill.
I'm almost out already, so I'm going to be making a bigger batch soon.

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