A beautiful vegan burger patty made from beets, beans, and quinoa. Great in sandwiches, or crumbled into salads. Make a big batch and freeze them for future meals.
The perfect veggie burger is, I think, an elusive thing. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good veggie burgers out there, but it’s a trick to find one that isn’t crammed with breadcrumbs or oats or some other sort of filling necessary to get the thing to hold together. And I don’t mind a breadcrumb-bound burger so long as sandwiched between a bun isn’t the intended destination.
Really, I tend to crumble most of my burger patties into salads, so excessive breadiness isn’t normally an issue. But it’s cold outside and I’ve been wanting fewer salady things and more warm and comforting meals. And what’s more warm and comforting than biting into a veggie burger on a lightly toasted bun?
Burgers may not scream ‘winter comfort food’ to you, but this one has a lot going for it. First off, it’s made almost entirely of root vegetables that weather the winter, so (as long as we ignore those tomato slices on top) we’re eating mostly in season. Beets are the stars here, with carrot and parsnip playing supportive roles. There’s beans in there too, and quinoa, which provide both protein and heft, and do their part to bind these burgers together.
Making veggie burger patties is always a bit of a production, so I like to cook up a big batch and then keep them in the freezer. I bake the patties all at once, then cool them, and layer them into a freezer bag with squares of parchment between. Those frozen patties are invaluable for busy times. They’re perfect stuffed in between two slices of wholegrain bread for a quickie sandwich, crumbled into a salad to make it a more substantial meal, or even as the base of a taco or wrap.
These beautiful beet burgers are vegan, gluten free, and totally delicious. They’re a vibrant pink colour thanks to the antioxidant-rich beets. I think you’ll be pleased if you add these to your veggie burger repertoire. Give ’em a try!
Beautiful beets contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers. Beets have a unique complement of antioxidants – their red colour comes primarily from betalain antioxidant pigments, rather than anthocyanins. They’re also a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Many of these phytonutrients in beets have also been shown to function as anti-inflammatory compounds. Beets are an unusual source of betaine – a key body nutrient made from the B-complex vitamin, choline. Choline is an important vitamin for helping regulate inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Beets are also an excellent source of folate and a very good source of, potassium, and copper. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin B6.
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 cup grated parsnip
- 2 cups grated beets
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (from ½ cup uncooked)
- 1 400g can cannellini beans (about 1¼ cups)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp liquid aminos (I use Braggs) or soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but delish)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more.
- Add the grated carrot, parsnip, and beet, salt, pepper, and dil, and sauté for about 10 minutes, until vegetables have softened.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Add the beans to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they've broken down into a paste. Add the quinoa and pulse to combine, then add the cooled vegetables and pulse to combine everything. The mixture shouldn't be completely smooth.
- Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the sunflower seeds, sliced green onion, liquid aminos, and nutritional yeast. Mix well.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.
- With clean wet hands, form the mixture into 10-12 burger patties, placing them on the prepared sheet as you go. Smaller patties will hold together better than larger ones, so keep that in mind as you're forming them.
- Brush the tops of the patties with olive oil, then place the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and using a spatula carefully turn the patties over. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until they're golden brown on both sides.
- Remove from the oven and serve with your favourite burger fixings. Alternately, cool the patties on the tray then place in a freezer bag separated by squares of parchment paper.
-If you're finding the burger mixture doesn't hold together well you may want to add a bit of breadcrumbs, ½ cup at a time, until you've got a sturdier mix. I try to avoid using breadcrumbs especially if I know I'm going to put my burger in a bun, but they can be quite delicate.