This vegan burger recipe is supposed to be a replica of Plant Cafe‘s beet burger. I actually never tried the Plant Cafe version but had lunch with a friend who ordered the burger. One thing I remembered about the Plant burger was that it was extremely greasy and that was something I wanted to avoid.
Thanks to Morgan at Morgans Menu we can now make the burger at home and control the amount of oil that is used. I made half of the recipe and came out with 5 burgers. I also did not pay attention to the recipe (go figure) and added the raw mushrooms to the burger mix. Not sure what difference that made but my burger was quite tasty so I had no complaints. I also used brown rice instead of barley to make a gluten free burger and added soy-free vegenaise and tamari to the mix.
This is a pretty nutritious burger to start you off for the spring. You can get the health benefits of beets here. The red lentils are loaded with protein and fiber and are a good source of vitamins B1 and B3, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The brown rice is chocked with manganese which produces energy and provides anti-oxidant protection.
If you have tasted the Plant burger, you know that they are soft and lacking texture. Honestly, although I usually look for texture in a vegan burger, I did not miss it with this burger. They were very tasty and I will be making them again once I go through this batch.
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 + 1/8 cups dry lentils (measure dry then soak in water 4-6 hours)
1/3 cup raw cashews (soaked then roasted)
1 cup (5 oz) beets, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
4 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
2 tablespoon soy-free Vegenaise
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Steam chopped beets until very tender (30-40 minutes).
While the beets are cooking, place the cashews on a baking sheet and roast in oven until golden brown (15-20 minutes).
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms until cooked.
Once the beets are tender, allow to cool slightly and place in a blender or food processor with the cashews and puree until the nuts are broken down. I used a Vitamix for this step.
Add the brown rice, sauteed mushrooms, lentils, Vegenaise, tamari, onion powder, sea salt and a few cranks of black pepper to the beet cashew mixture and pulse/blend until combined.
Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or wax paper. Using food rings, fill the rings with the burger mixture until about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Press the mixture into the corners of the ring. Carefully remove the ring and repeat until you have used all of the mixture. If you don’t have rings then you can use a water chestnut can or form the burgers with your hands.
Refrigerate the burgers 1-2 hours before cooking which helps them stay together. If you are not going to use all of the burgers, place the remaining burgers on the lined baking sheet into the freezer. Once frozen, place them into a freezer bag for later use.
To cook the burgers, heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet on medium high heat and cook the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side. Remember, these burgers are on the soft side so avoid excessive and premature flipping because you dont want them to fall apart. Your burgers should be nice and browned on each side.
Serve with your favorite bun/bread and condiments. The first night I made a green garlic wasabi aioli with vegenaise and the next night I used the more traditional mayo, mustard, dill pickle, and ketchup. Or you can try them with beet ketchup. Of course you can’t forget the lettuce (or beet greens in my case).