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Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers

Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers

What do you do with an abundance of beets? Pickle them. Turn your tabbouleh pink. Or your hummus.

Or perhaps your end-of-summer burgers, as Food52 would suggest.

Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers

I spotted this recipe over on Food52, and of course with all things beet-related, was captivated by its color. You could nearly mistake that burger in the picture above for a beef patty. That doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me, but I do find this depiction beautiful, nonetheless. Especially with a creamy cucumber sauce lathered on top. I assure you, this meat-free burger is an abundance of appetizing deliciousness.

It’s one of the most firm, well-held-together veggie burgers I’ve ever made as well.

Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers

Rice acts as the glue that keeps these lentil beet burgers together, and it does a rather efficient job at doing so. You won’t need a million spatulas and utensils and tablespoons of oil to flip them in the pan, which is often the case with homemade veggie burgers.

As the name depicts, slightly sweet (from the beets and raisins), slightly smoky (from the paprika), these burgers are a unique treat. Place them between pita or a bun, or simply atop a bed of greens, and serve with a side of tomatoes and cool cucumber-yogurt sauce.

P.S. These freeze well, too!

Sweet and Smoky Beet Burgers Continue Reading…

Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

I’ve been writing a recipe column for Today’s Dietitian, and September’s edition features a somewhat controversial veggie from my childhood days  the beet.

Grated beets

As I wrote in my column, the discord stems primarily from parents with rather differing opinions about the beautiful, but dangerous, late summer vegetable. You see,

“Beets were my mom’s worst nightmare. The juice stained her cutting boards, tie-dyed her kids’ white T-shirts, and left her scrubbing the kitchen counters until her hands turned pink. On the other hand, beets were my dad’s favorite vegetable. They were one of his continuously best-growing crops in the family garden. He loved nothing more than staining his hands as he pulled the beets out of the ground each year, and he had an affinity for their taste that my mom couldn’t match. And unfortunately, my mom had cleaning skills that my dad couldn’t match, so every summer there was a comical bone of contention that surrounded beets.”

This had always left me unsettled about my own opinions for beets. I’ve always enjoyed, but not longed, for their flavor, and I’ve always sort of shied away from the mess they tend to create.

However, in recent years, I’ve developed a newfound love.

Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

After one small one went into this recipe for tabbouleh, I was sold. That color! It’s flavor in the dish was not super memorable, but the hue it lent to the entire bowl certainly was. From then on, I would find ways to employ the beet’s beautiful color, and do so in a way that wouldn’t destroy my counters. And white t-shirts, because unfortunately, mom isn’t buying those anymore.

This recipe for Smoky Black Bean Burgers utilizes the food processor to keep the mess at a bay, while enabling beets to add color to a veggie burger that’s hard to forget. Here, the veggie adds adds a hint of sweetness that goes perfectly with the smoky paprika, as well as the parsley herb sauce that tops it all off. (Note, feel free to use any summer herb that sounds good to you. I vote for basil as an alt.)

Head on over to the digital edition of the mag for the recipe! 

Fresh Carrot Slaw

Fresh Carrot Slaw

I could eat carrots for breakfast (in the form of carrot cake – mandatorily topped with cream cheese icing), lunch, and dinner. Dessert too, if we’re circling back to breakfast here. It’s my veggie snack of choice. Straight up raw. No baby business. Colored in shades of red or purple, if I’m feeling extra fancy.

Fresh Carrot Slaw

As warm weather falls upon us, raw carrots become a pleasantly light and refreshing snack all on their own. If you’re like me, that goes for all year around, too.

However, if for some reason you’re not quite as enthused about acting under the constant facade of Bugs Bunny – or simply want a nicer side dish for your just grilled burger – other options abound. Take this carrot slaw, for example, filled with several depths of flavor, yet still every bit as fresh as a just picked and rinsed carrot from the ground. This slaw keeps it raw, but also keeps it chic.

Fresh Carrot Slaw

This time of year, I like to serve this alongside a meal straight from the grill. Think grilled tuna burgers with spicy mayo, or jalapeño black bean burgers with mango salsa, or a sesame crusted tofu. Grilled or not, think Aloha-inspired recipes or Asian-fusion cuisine. Whatever that happens to mean…

Spring bloom

Feel free to play with the herbs here, depending on what you have, or looks fresh. Also, make sure to toast the walnuts. To do so, simply heat up a cast iron pan (or saute pan, if you don’t own cast iron) over medium-high. Without greasing the pan, add the walnuts straight to the hot surface, and toast until fragrant and edges are browned, stirring regularly.

Fresh Carrot Slaw

Share your favorite light & healthy spring/summer veggie sides in the comments. Would love to hear what you’ve been cooking up lately!

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Lima and Bean Burgers

Despite living in a city, a good vegetarian burger still seems hard to come by. I’ve had one too many experiences of everything from bland beans burgers that just don’t cut it to deep fried veggie patties that make me wonder if cooks have any clue about vegetarian cuisine. (Just because we’re vegetarians doesn’t mean all we eat are vegetables, especially not weird potato-glued versions). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of good veggie burgers, but I’m still waiting to find my go-to burger joint. (Suggestions, Philly folks?)

In the meantime, I often stick to making and shaping my own, a surprisingly easy process when I think about all the subpar burger bites I’ve eaten over the years. Unfortunately, the pattie-making doesn’t happen enough in this lady’s kitchen. The last one I made using black beans, my bean of choice here, was all the way back in April! I can still recall those results though. The recipe yielded a memorably flavorful burger topped with an even extra bang of green power, utilizing sauteed broccoli rabe. (Do I need to start my own burger joint? Guess it’s time to make this meal a weekly occasion rather than an every 6-10 mo. occasion. Although, I can guarantee a few undocumented burgers slipped by in between then.)

For this black bean creation, I swapped out my go-to partner in crime, corn, for something a little different. Here, lima beans add a starchy sweetness that comes from a pop in your mouth with each bite. This too was a memorable flavor combo. that I hope to use again soon. Now I just need to work on making my burgers a little less sloppy so I can market them on the go. But really, where’s the fun in that?

Click here for recipe…

Black Bean Burgers with Sautéed Broccoli Rabe Topping

Ah, burgers, the edible epitome of America. While you can count me out on the ones gifted in fast food packaging, I too am a sucker for a good, solid burger. A vegetarian one, that is.

There are numerous ways to construct a meat-free burger, but the classic veggie version is probably the black bean. I’ve filled my youthful belly with quite a few of them over the years.  While some places no doubt can really make a mean BB-burger, more often than not, I find myself chewing on a bland patty, within an oversized bun, needing a huge dousing of ketchup to draw to my taste-buds any significant flavor. It tends to be an unforgettable eating experience.

While the frijoles negros pack a powerful punch of  protein, fiber, antioxidants, and even lend a meat-like color, the beans themselves could use some flavor. While beans do all have unique, individual tastes, they are often subtle, making the soft gems great building blocks for a burger.

I set out to create a black bean burger that wouldn’t be lacking taste, one that would be memorable and would appeal to meat-free and meatful eaters alike. After all, a great burger, beef-filled or not, can tend to please nearly any appetite.

I added some spices and my standard veggie mise en place, along with a few other ingredients to shape a burger worthy of such an experience. And if that wasn’t enough, I topped it with broccoli rabe to give it an extra bite. If you’ve ever eaten the broccoli rabe, AKA rapini, I’m sure you’re well aware that the vitamin A packed veggie is by no means deficient in taste.

Click here for recipe…