I’m not keen on converting classic meat dishes into meatless ones by any means, but when it comes to veggie burgers, I just can’t stop exploring the combinations. It took me quite a while to hit the perfect texture, and I have to tell you – it isn’t about the veggie you choose as a base, the spices you use or the grains you combine for texture. To show you the secret to the perfect veggie burger, I would tell you one single word – roast. There is no other cooking method to better enhance the flavor and get the most out of your veggies than roasting them. Smoky flavor, succulent and chewy texture – this is what everybody’s expecting when taking a greedy bite from a veggie burger.
The main ingredients for a veggie burger are practically the same every time, but it’s the cooking method that really turns things upside down. Roasting your veggies is definitely a must, and although I personally prefer baking my patties because it’s the healthiest way to go, lightly frying or grilling will enhance your burger taste. As for the ingredients, here are the basic foods to have on hand when thinking about putting together a veggie burger:
– vegetables as base – beet roots, sweet potatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, corn, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes
– grains, legumes, or cereals to give texture – rolled oats, millet, bulgur, sprouted wheat berries, lentils, chickpea, beans, quinoa
– seeds or nuts to add more texture and nutritive value – sunflower, pumpkin, flax or chia seeds, hemp hearts, walnuts, hazelnuts
– garlic, onion, and different spices (cumin, turmeric, curry, aromatic herbs) for flavor
– eggs or egg substitutes for keeping all the above together
The burger I made today has it all – texture, succulence, delicious dressing, fries and tons of healthy stuff (you could tell this just by looking at its gorgeous colors). This veggie burger is made with beets and quinoa. The dressing is a delicious and zingy combination of avocado, tahini, and lime, and it’s topped with baked sweet potato fries, all packed in a puffy wholemeal and buckwheat bun. Take a look at this nourishing yumminess:
– beets have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detox properties (I add beets to my smoothies and my Ruby Detox Elixir, it’s so nourishing!)
– quinoa is a great source of quality proteins, but also minerals like manganese, magnesium, and zinc
– sweet potatoes are one of the richest foods in beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A by our cells
– avocado is packed with minerals, but also healthy fats that increase the intake of the beta-carotene from sweet potatoes (by the way, you should always combine orange and purple veggies with a healthy fat – olive oil, nuts, seeds, or avocado, to facilitate better absorption of the antioxidants).
I baked the veggie patties in the oven, but you can grill or fry them in a few drops of coconut oil. The whole process might look quite complicated, but it’s all about good planning of every step to have all the food ready at the same time. They are pretty hearty, so you would be just fine with only one burger.
- For the Burgers
- 2 cups beet root, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 cup red quinoa (white is just as fine), cooked
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp wholemeal bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- For the Dressing
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- For the Fries
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in ¼-inch long slices, then ¼-wide inch strips
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- For assembling
- 4 Wholemeal buns
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven at 175°C/357°F.
- Place the beet root cubes on a lined baking tin, rub with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Place the roasted beets in a food processor and pulse two or three times - you need some texture for the burgers, so make sure you don't mash them completely.
- Transfer the beets into a large bowl, add all the other ingredients and stir to combine. If the texture is too mushy add more bread crumbs until you obtain the desired consistency.
- With slightly wet hands, shape the burgers and place them on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Place the sweet potato strips on a lined baking sheet, rub with olive oil, than sprinkle with cornmeal and toss to combine.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. They will be ready in the same time with the burgers.
- While the burgers are baking, prepare the dressing.Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process to obtain a creamy sauce.
- Assemble the burgers immediately after removing from the oven.
- Cut the bun in halves, spread bun bases with dressing, add the beet burger and sweet potato fries, top generously with avocado dressing, parsley and put on the bun top.
- Serve immediately.