Meatless Monday – The Best Veggie Burger – EVER!

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Big claim, I know, but seriously, this is one tasty burger! I came across the recipe on The Kitchn and became obsessed with the burger. I’d go to the grocery and buy a bunch of beets, because, surely, I’d get around to it. Nope, I’d just roast the beets and eat them in a salad. The purchase of beets went on for about a month. Then, a week ago, my 15-year old niece, Paige, spent the weekend with us. And guess what? Paige is a vegetarian who was very excited about the burger (unlike my meat-eating husband and son who wouldn’t eat a veggie burger, much less one made with beets, even if they were starving).

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The day before she arrived, I roasted and peeled the beets. About two hours before she arrived, I cooked the rice. And then, we were in full veggie mode. The recipe made 12 burgers; I froze 1 of them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and then packaged them in a freezer bag. The other two, I cooked up for both of us. Let me tell you, I love this veggie burger. The smoked paprika provides an incredible smokiness, and the texture is perfect.

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Paige ate hers on a bun with cheese and guacamole. I ate mine with a dollop of salsa and guac, but sans bun. So good and so good for you! Yes, a bit of time is required, but it is time well spent. So, if you’re looking for a great burger for Meatless Mondays, the upcoming Lenten season, or just because you’re a veggie burger fan, look no further – this is the Best Veggie Burger – EVER!

Recipe source The Kitchn
The Best Veggie Burger – EVER!
3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used Blanca Isabel Purple Rice)
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup oat flour
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Roast the beets in a 400°F oven – wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes; set aside until cool enough to peel.
While beets roast, cook rice. The rice should be slightly overcooked, but not mushy. Once cooked, set rice aside and allow to cool.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the skillet.
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 — 8 to 10 pulses.
Transfer bean and prune mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the bowl.
Peel the cooled beets, then grate using the largest holes on the grater.
Place grated beets into a strainer and press to remove as much liquid as possible.
Add the drained beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans.
Drizzle in the remaining the olive oil, brown mustard, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture.
Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the oat flour and and mix until you no longer see any oat flour.
Cover the mixture and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook the burgers, shape into the mixture into burgers.
I made 12, but the recipe says 6. Make them the size that suits your taste.
Heat a skillet over high heat.
Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.
Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; for me, this was 4.
Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side.
You’re going for 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.
Serve the burgers on buns with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

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