I’ve had a CRAVING lately for a burger…a big JUICY, messy, TASTY drippy, burger, on a warm onion bun, ketchup, onion, avocado, lettuce, tomato, CHEEEEEEEESE! Then I think about the REALITY of how i’m going to feel afterwards…blahhhhhh.
Always on the lookout for a HEALTHY alternative to QUENCH my burger LUST…I have come across a few RECIPES that come pretty darn close, like the one below from the SPROUTED KITCHEN. Even if they don’t quite cut the mustard compared to a real burger …they make up for it by how GOOD I FEEL after I CHOW four or five down!
SMOKY BEET BURGERS // Makes 8
Recipe barely adapted from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia
I wanted to provide the recipe as written in the book, but I will make a few notes here as well as in the directions. I made a quick feta spread, which is naturally salty, so I halved the salt called for in the recipe. Add a pinch more with no spread. As it goes with a gluten and dairy free veggie burger, these are VERY delicate. Keep them small and handle them delicately. I ended up adding an extra egg because I got pretty heavy handed with both the beets and the lentils and needed more binding power. If you’re a good measurer, you should be fine with the one.
- 3 T. grapeseed/extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, very roughly chopped
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup grated beets
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked green lentils
- 1 egg
- 2 cups cooked short grain brown (or white) rice
- // feta spread //
- 1 cup/ 8 oz. feta cheese
- 1/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- few grinds fresh ground pepper
buns, sliced cucumber, microgreens, tomato for burger building
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until just golden. Add the walnuts, raisins, beets, garlic and paprika and cook another 10 minutes, stirring often. Let the mix cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times until chunky.
Put the mixture in a large bowl and stir in the salt, pepper and half the lentils. Replace the food processor (dirty is fine) and pulse the other half of the lentils, egg and rice together a few times to make a coarse puree. Note: Louisa has you add all the lentils whole to the mixture, I felt like some of them in the rice puree helps it all hold. Add the rice mixture to the onion mixture and mix well.
Make the feta spread by mixing all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Use lightly oiled hands to form 8-10 small patties just under 1” thick.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron over medium-high heat and add oil to coat the bottom. Place the burgers in the skillet (doing so in batches if necessary) and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. GENTLY flip the burgers, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the burgers have a firm, brown crust.
Serve warm with your favorite condiments.