Food Stamp Challenge Day 4: Beet Burgers….Holy Cow

| September 4, 2013 | 2 Comments

If anyone thinks I’m some sort of anti-meat-eater, you need to know that I am actually a carnivore of the highest order.  Despite all the perfectly legitimate reasons NOT to eat animal products if you choose that, I think including a modicum of responsibly-raised animal foods (from goat cheese to a perfectly seared burger) is not just healthy for my omnivorous body, but is also perfectly fine. And I can’t resist a good burger.

At home, because Mr. GH does not eat cows, but still likes that seared burger yumminess, we have experimented frequently with veggie burgers. The ongoing favorite is one made with black beans and toasted walnuts, liberally dosed with cumin, cilantro, onion and garlic. But it definitely got bumped off the pedestal this week.

In researching new ones, I stumbled across a recipe for Quarter Pound Beet Burgers from the fabulous Post Punk Kitchen, and despite the need for a food processor (another one of those things you can get very cheaply at a thrift store) as a newly-anointed beet lover (since, like, last year) I wanted to give it a try. I made some adaptations based on what we had on hand and what we like, served them up on our toasted homemade buns with a slice of cheese and good fixins, and with a big salad on the side.

We are STILL talking about these things. They are really fantastic, and I don’t get that feeling of “nothing like a REAL burger but they’ll do” from them. I am thinking of calling them Beet-Down Burgers because they kick major a$$!  Really delicious, satisfying, and even a little….addictive?  Note to self: Plant beets in the garden next year….

Amazing Beet-Down Burgers (adapted from Post Punk Kitchen’s Quarter Pound Beet Burgers)

1 cup cooked, cooled brown rice or bulgur, well drained (even squeezed dry if it’s really wet)
1 cup cooked lentils, any style, cooled and drained very well
1 cup shredded organic beets (beets peeled, and shredded in the food processor or by hand if you’re a masochist)
1 egg, beaten slightly
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed (we started with seed and crushed it fine)
1 tablespoon unbleached white or wheat flour
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped greens, like spinach, kale, or collards
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup very fine breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Shred your beets using a food processor’s shredding blade (if you have one) or by hand. Add the rice and lentils to the beets in the food processor and pulse 15-20 times until the whole thing starts to look alarmingly like ground meat (only more purple). Dump it all into a large bowl and mix in the other ingredients well, making sure everything’s evenly distributed.

Put the whole thing in the fridge (covered) for 1-24 hours.

When you’re ready to cook them up, form them into patties of about 3-1/2″ in diameter and about 3/4″ thick. We heated a cast iron pan over medium-high, added a liberal splash of olive oil, and cooked these one at a time. The key is to cook them until they are cooked through and have a nice char going on each side – that’s really important.  For us, that took about 12 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes or so. If you don’t use cast iron, it may take you longer.

Serve ’em up on toasted buns with your choice of fixins, and a veggie or two on the side.

We made two meals and a snack out of these, and were sad to eat the last one. We’re going to have to get some more beets on the next shopping trip….

 

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Category: Cooking, Food, Food Stamp Challenge Recipes, Money Saving, Recipes, Whole Foods Challenge

Comments (2)

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  1. Kay from K-town says:

    Wow! Can’t wait to try these….I grew beets for the first time this year and they were a success! I had read that beets are the only root crop you can start in seed trays and then transplant outside. So I did that and direct seeded the rest. Both worked, and of course the transplanted ones were done weeks sooner so the beet season was longer. Woo hoo! And the beet goes on….

    • greenhedonist says:

      We really love these. We made them twice more in October (post-challenge) with community garden beets. I just saw (in Sunset) a company in CA that makes popsicles flavored with beet and chocolate. Sounds just bizarre enough to be delicious!! 🙂

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