Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fake Burgers and Fries with Real Beets and Zucchini

My surprising new affinity to beets continued tonight with, of all things, beet burgers. I have tried to make a number of different kind of homemade vegetarian burgers but have never succeeded in making anything that resembled an actually patty. That is to say, something that stays together on the bun. In the past black bean burgers looked like pâté and Dr. Andrew Weil’s chickpea burgers, while one of my favorites, look more like crumbled ground beef that isn’t the right color.

I was away this week with my sisters and mom in Lake Geneva and saw a recipe for beet burgers in a cookbook at one of the shops. I thought about buying the book, but decided I would try and find a similar recipe online when I returned home (when I vowed I would return to my healthier eating habits). Back home, happy and a little bloated, as promised I found a recipe online. Still hungry for some of the indulgent food I had on vacation, but wanting to get back on the wagon, I decided to make the fake burgers tonight.

After mixing together the ingredients, including sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, onions, rice, eggs, soy sauce, cheddar cheese, flour, and vegetable oil, it didn’t take much imagination to pretend they were burgers. The red color of the beets made the patties look like ground beef, even if a bit watery.

When I pulled them out of the oven the beet juice had all cooked away forming a nice solid patty that had somehow turned hamburger brown. As I scraped them off the pan and plopped it on my toasted sesame bun, I was pleased to see that the burger stayed in one piece.

I topped it with plain yogurt and Gorgonzola and took my first tentative bite. The patty held its shape even better than some hamburgers I’ve eaten. The taste was also remarkable. There wasn’t a bit of the dirt taste I had previously assumed was synonymous with beets. I could definitely taste the beets, but they were good, as were the sunflower and sesame seeds all playing against the slight tang of the soy sauce. Since I wanted to have a complete faux burger joint experience, I served my burger with a side of oven-fried zucchini sticks.

The surprising thing is that even though I was having a meal of imposters I didn’t feel cheated at all. After a couple of days away where I didn’t eat as healthy as I should have, it felt good to eat something that tasted good, and that was relatively good for me too.

1 comment:

  1. You've inspired me. What a weird concept-Beet Burgers! I have to make these and the fries sound so good too. We've been fortunate to have many gardening friends with surplus veggies so I'm excited to try some of your recipes.