Inspired by the veggie burgers at Northstar Cafe in Columbus, Ohio
*Makes about 6 burgers
3 large red beets (about 1 lb)
1 cup brown rice (cooked)
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup quick oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans
1/4 cup prunes, chopped
1 TBSP ground flax seed
3 tsp smoked paprika, to taste
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup pecans chopped fine (optional-*see note)
1 TBSP Bill's Best Beef-style vegan seasoning
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
Slice tomatoes, pickles, onions or other items of your choice!
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.
Begin sautéing the onions when you're done with the rice (or during, if you're OK with multitasking!). Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking are OK, but if it seems like the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.
Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the 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.
Drain and rinse one of the cans 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.
Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel 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 beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets.
Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the brown mustard and all seasonings 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 and ground flax seed, and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal.
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.
When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant 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. Preheat oven to 375°F, place burgers on cookie sheets or stoneware lined with parchment paper, bake 15-20 min each side (times will vary by oven) until firm/stay together without breaking apart. Let cool a bit to allow them to firm up even more before serving. We like these even better the second day reheated after being refrigerated. They keep well and can be frozen with pieces of wax paper between.
- For those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, consult your doctor as it is typcially best to avoid high fat plant foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olives.