I bought some golden beets on a whim the other day because I thought they looked pretty and they were only $2 for a bunch. So I roasted them and made a salad with walnuts and blue cheese. The salad was good, but not something I could eat every night for dinner.
As I contemplated what the hell else I could do with the other 3 1/2 roasted golden beets I had in my refrigerator I thought back to 2005. In 2005 I began working at the Cheesecake Factory. At the time, they had a veggie burger on the menu that I never tried because I didn’t really eat vegetables back then. But the burger intrigued me because it was reddish purple. It was very popular amongst vegetarians at the time and I swear there was a small uprising when it was taken off the menu.
The veggie burger was made with beets. That’s what gave it that reddish-purple color. Though I wouldn’t touch the veggie burger back then I did order the Tossed Salad from time-to-time, which came with shredded (or julienned) beets served on top. That was the first time in my life that I ate beets. And I have to tell you, I realized then that I actually liked beets. Though I wouldn’t eat them on anything else for nearly 10 years.
Thinking back to the beet veggie burger that was once upon a time sold at the Cheesecake Factory, I decided I could make my own veggie burger made with beets. Though I didn’t really know what else should go with it. So I took to Pinterest and found a recipe for Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers at Minimalist Baker. At Minimalist Baker’s website, Dana (the chef, blogger and photographer) offers “plant-based recipes requiring 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.” Hello perfect! My recipe below is based on Dana’s.
- 3/4 c. cooked quinoa
- 3/4 c. crumbled feta
- 1 c. mushrooms, cooked and then finely chopped (I used crimini)
- pinch of salt & pepper
- 1 15-oz can black beans, well rinsed and drained
- 1 c. cooked beets, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
- 1/2 c. toasted walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal
- In a large bowl, roughly mash beans, beets, cooked mushrooms, quinoa, walnuts and seasonings. Stir in feta cheese and pack mixture into a mound in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. I refrigerated mine for about 24 hours.
- When ready to eat, form mixture into roughly 4 to 6 patties. If you have a burger press, that will work well here.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add some avocado oil or coconut oil to the bottom of the pan. Add patties to pan and cook each side approximately 4 to 6 minutes. If adding cheese, once you have flipped the patties over, cover with cheese when there’s approximately 2 to 3 minutes cooking time left (depending on the kind of cheese you’re using) and cover the pan to help the cheese melt faster.
- Serve on toasted buns with your favorite burger toppings. I used mayonnaise, arugula and sliced tomato. Avocado would be an excellent topping on this burger.
I found the patties a little delicate when trying to flip them over. Full disclosure, I was swearing at the first two patties that I ended up chucking into my sink. Once I figured out how I needed to man-handle the patties, I was fine with the remaining four patties. You have been warned!