I recently posted about not liking beets and asked for suggesting on how to use beets so they didn’t have that “beet” flavor. (Good unprocessed food vegetarian I am, right?!) Well, AgriGirl was kind enough to suggest beet burgers. Since I’m a sucker for any veggie burger, I thought I would give it a shot. Thanks for the suggestion, Tammy!
I modified the burgers using Tammy’s suggestion (shred the beets and add flour, walnuts, rosemary and feta and saute) and remembered I had this beet and beet green fritters recipes. I love not wasting the greens and adding them to get a little more nutrition.
I combined the recipes to make a super recipe. I used beets, walnuts, caraway seeds, the greens and feta and it made a nice, naturally salty and flavorful patty with great texture. In the end it still tasted beet-ish, but it was a great patty I would make again. And I haven’t tried this beet, bean and rice burger, but it sure looks great, too.
Beets and greens burger
Makes 12, depending on size
- 1 bunch beets, with greens, peeled and grated
- Greens from 1 bunch beets, stemmed and washed in 2 changes of water
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- Corn meal to coat the burgers (optional)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Greek yogurt to serve (optional)
- Salt the beets generously and leave them to drain in a colander placed in the sink or in a bowl for 1 hour, tossing and squeezing the beets from time to time. After an hour, take up the grated beets by the handful, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and transfer to a bowl.
- While the beets are draining, heat a large pot of water over high heat and stem and wash the beet greens in 2 changes of water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the beet greens. Cook for about 1 minute, until tender, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain, squeeze dry and chop fine.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg and add the grated beets, walnuts, cumin, caraway, beet greens, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and feta. Mix together well. Put it in the refrigeration about 30 minutes to firm.
- Combine the oils in a large frying pan and heat until rippling, about 275 degrees. Take up heaped tablespoons of the beet mixture and form patties. Lightly dredge in corn meal. Carefully transfer to the pan, taking care to fry them in batches so you don’t crowd the pan, and fry until patties are golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain briefly on a rack or plate lined with paper towels. Serve with yogurt in a pita.
So I tried my hand at my own vegetarian burger, starting with this recipe and expanding. I had some millet in my pantry a while and figured I would use it to make a burger.
Millet was one of those things I hadn’t had before, so I picked some up while going through the bulk section at Whole Foods. It is gluten-free and is rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, according to Wikipedia. This burger is so good, it might be my new favorite veggie burger.
Makes about 8 burgers
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup millet, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup carrots and/or celery, chopped
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop.
- Bring the millet to a boil in 2 1/2 cups water until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff.
- Sautee the onion for 5 minutes in the oil. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook about 3 more minutes.
- In a big bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper and mix.
- Add the other vegetables, millet and egg and mix.
- Form into patties and cook in a few tablespoons oil in a hot skillet for a few minutes per side, until golden brown.
This was my first time using millet. Do you have a recipe you like using millet?
Over on Serious Eats, The Food Lab set out to make a veggie burger that doesn’t suck. They take you through their thought process on coming up with the perfect burger.
I’ve kind of mentioned in previous veggie burger posts that there are key components to any successful burger: veggies (duh, the name) seasonings (flavor) and beans and/or grains, at the very least. And this article takes you through all the components, what worked (and didn’t) and why they are necessary to a great veggie burger. There is also a recipe included. If you are interested in veggie burgers and experimenting to try your own, it’s worth a look.
And one thing I always mention that this article didn’t was that all veggie burgers (that I’ve ever tried) can be doubled and frozen to have them ready for the future without the work. Just pop them in the oven (for best results) to reheat.
I recently tried a burger with a product I’ve never used before: Textured vegetable protein. It is used in place of ground beef and is made from reduced-fat soy beans. I figured a veggie burger would be a really great place to start.
TVP (as it’s called) is high in fiber, protein and iron. Because it is like ground beef, it has a lot of uses. There is a recipe for rice and beans on the package I plan to try soon.
Back to the burger. I found this on the Bob’s Red Mill site. It also uses chickpea flour to bind it, so it turns out really chewy. And I used the vegetables and seasonings from the recipe, adding an Italian seasoning blend I have, but you can use whatever sounds good.
Textured Vegetable Protein Burgers
Makes about 6 burgers (depending on size)
- 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the boiling water with the TVP, ketchup, sea salt and herbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then mix in the grated carrot, chopped celery, chopped green onion and parsley flakes. Mix in the oil and vital wheat gluten flour to make a firm mixture.
- Scoop out a packed 1/2 cup of the mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat until you have 4-6 formed patties.
- Place patties on a greased baking sheet at bake at 350° for 30 minutes, flipping burger after 15 minutes.
Have you used TVP? What did you make with it?
Lentils are a pretty great food. They don’t have much of a taste, so they can be versatile. They are cheap and quick to make, making them a great pantry staple. They have a high amount of protein and fiber, so they are a healthy and logical choice to star in a veggie burger.
This is an easy recipe that creates a thick, filling, flavorful veggie burger, great for meatless Monday, Lent or a healthy alternative to meat. Veggie burgers also last a long time in the fridge and are always easy to freeze for future use.
I have had this recipe for a long time; I got it from The Veggie Table, a good (albeit old-school interface) website that has a lot of good vegetarian recipes. Because the lentils take on the flavor of the food they are with, feel free to substitute other veggies or spices based on availability and preference.
Makes about 8 thick burgers
- 1 cup dry lentils, well rinsed
- 2½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce, optional
- ¾ cup rolled oats, finely ground
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- Place the lentils, water and salt in saucepan, bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until water is nearly gone and lentils are very soft, with splitting skins.
- Sauté the onion and carrot in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Mix the lentils, onions, carrots, pepper and soy sauce (if using, I replaced a little of it with liquid smoke) in the large bowl, then mix in the ground oats and bread crumbs.
- While still warm, form the lentil mixture into patties, which can now be frozen, refrigerated (for up to 5 days) or cooked immediately.
- Cooking (2 possibilities):
- In a frying pan, heat a bit of oil, place a burger on top and fry until brown, 1-2 minutes. Repeat on other side and serve.
- In a 400º oven, bake the burgers on a greased baking sheet until light brown, about 15 minutes.
As I come across veggie burger recipes that look interesting, I clip them and put them in a folder. I was looking through the folder to see if anything different would inspire me.
I have a few go-to burgers, like my easy chickpea patty, and I have a lot of different burgers I will make “someday.” This burger falls into the second category and, after it caught my attention, “someday” came last week.
Unlike many burgers I make which rely on either veggie, bean or grain, this has it all. Thus, I’m calling it my veggie-bean-grain burger. And to pump up the grains in it (it calls for bulgur) I used my awesome Whole Grain Medley mix from Target’s Archer Farms brand, found next to the other grains and beans. This stuff is awesome! And it has a reclosable bag, unless you rip it open below the resealable part.
This will be added to my rotation. And it’s pretty diverse; if you don’t have the right bean, grain, cheese or veggie, any of that amount can be substituted.
Makes 4-6 burgers
- 1 cup cooked grains
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) beans of your choice
- 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil, to coat the skillet
- Pulse the beans in a food processor.
- Put them in a big bowl with the grains, Swiss cheese, carrots, scallion and egg.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix all together.
- Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat.
- Make 1/2 cup of the mixture into a tight ball and flatten, making sure not to flatten the edges too thin. (This is how I make veggie burgers that really stay together, learned from many years of experience and countless burgers that fell apart.) Repeat until your skillet is full. I don’t like to overcrowd my skillet and it’s small, so I cook three burgers at a time.
- Cook untill browned and cooked through, about three minutes per side.
- Let cool between paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve when cooled in a bun (or I often use a lettuce wrap) with toppings of your choice.