“People who love to eat are always the best people” ~ Julia Child
This past weekend I had the pleasure of escaping. Escaping my daily routine, my kids, my technological devices and even some of my fears. I joined a group of friends on a 3-day cross country voyage up a mountain to a secluded piece of heaven by the name of Shadow Lake Lodge. Now don’t be mislead, I am not the greatest back country skier (at all!) but the trip was not about that. For me it was about connecting with incredible women, inhaling the great outdoors and bonding over the one thing we all seem to have in common, food.
Being away from my kitchen always rejuvenates me. I miss it. So this week I feel a sense of adventure and commitment with my cooking. Sometimes the best recipes aren’t always quick and easy but require more time with an equal playoff at the end. Which is my segway into the wonderful world of veggie burgers.
Most vegetarians have a small stash of their favourite veggie burger recipes. There are ALOT of them out there. Each one claiming to be better than the last. For me, veggie burgers are kind of like purses, the quest to find the perfect one never stops but you feel that you get a little closer with each one ;-)
They are often have multiple steps that means planning ahead and pre-cooking ingredients. This one is no different. The star of this recipe is the beets. These colourful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. The pigments that give beets their rich colours are called betalains. Betalains are unique phytonutrients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. This recipes requires only one raw beet and you simply have to grate it. To avoid the mess, use a sheet of paper towel to hold the beet and place some parchment paper on the counter to catch the grated beets so that you don’t have any stains to clean up.
My little guy loves to help out in the kitchen and one of his favourite things to do is cut mushrooms. I give him a fairly dull knife (for some reason its pink!) and he just keeps cutting until I tell him to stop.
Don’t be afraid to double this recipe and put some extra burgers in the freezer or just in the fridge for leftovers. These veggie burgers are awesome broke up into a wrap with some lettuce, mayo and tomato or slice them and add them to a greens salad.
So many possibilities once you’ve put in all the effort.
To make this recipe even easier, I like to make the key ingredients ahead of time and have them in the fridge ready when I am going to have them for dinner. I pre-make the rice & lentils and shred the beets. And POOF! before I know it they have transformed into dinner AND delicious leftovers :-)
I like to serve these burgers with some crispy homemade fries…
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Makes 6 large burgers
3 tbsp Chia seeds (plus 5 tbsp water)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 med onion, chopped
1.5 cups white button mushrooms, chopped (approx. 8 mushrooms)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t have tamari)
1/2tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1.25 cups green lentils, cooked (make from dried or use canned lentils)
0.5 cups red beets, shredded finely
2 cups brown short-grain rice *** very important you use short-grain and not long-grain, it keeps the burger together
salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl, combine water and chia seeds. Stir and set aside
- In a sautee pan over medium heat, heat up the coconut oil. Add mushrooms and onions and cook for 12-15 mins, stirring occasionally until onions are starting to brown. Add tamari, garlic, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, thyme and pepper. Fold in lentils, beets and 1 cup of the rice.
- In a food processor, add mushroom mixture and chia mixture. Process for 20 seconds and then transfer to medium-sized bowl. Stir in remaining rice.
- Form rice mixture into round patties using your hands. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and place patties onto sheet.
- Bake veggie burgers in the oven for approx. 40mins (flipping once after 20 mins) or until they are golden brown on both sides.
- Let burgers sit for 5-10 mins to cool and firm up.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.