Barbecue season is upon us! Somehow, I ended up with 4 grills on my deck for the summer, so I’m hunting down no-fat ideas for grilling and smoking my grains and veggies to succulence. Today, I’ll share my adaptation on a famous vegan dish- the Northstar Beet and Black Bean Burger.This recipe is widely circulated online, but for a no-fat vegan, it required a few modifications.
I love the sweetness of the recipe, so my changes are mostly directed toward building a burger that holds together properly for cooking with no oil. I do recommend using whole spices and grinding them fresh- it makes SUCH a difference in the flavor, but you can substitute pre-ground spices, of course!
This is kind of a messy project (do you like red fingers?) but when you are finished, you will have a large freezer bag full of handy burgers to cook at your convenience! You will need a food processor and an oven safe non-stick pan for this project. Check out my favorite: the Woll Nowo pan.
Beet & Black Bean Burger
1 1/2 C cooked brown rice
1 large onion
2 large beets
1 can black beans, well drained
5 cloves garlic
1/2 C raisins
1 jalapeno or 1/tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp whole cumin
1/2 tsp whole coriander
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
A dash of liquid smoke
1 Cup whole wheat flour
2. Peel and quarter your onion and beets. You want a some texture in the veggies here, so you’re going to process in your food processor until the chop is fairly fine, but not mushy (see picture). Do the beets first and add them to a large fry pan. Repeat the process with your onions.
3. Add 1/2 C of water to the beets & onions and “saute” on medium with a lid until tender – about 10 minutes. Stir every couple of minutes to avoid sticking, and add a little more water as needed. The idea here is to get a nice cooked beet that still has some texture.
4. While your beets are simmering, go back to your food processor and add the garlic, raisins, jalapeno (or red pepper flakes), cumin and coriander. Process for about 2 minutes- until the raisins are well ground. Add this mixture to the brown rice. Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, hot sauce, and liquid smoke. Mix together well.
8. Using an oven proof non-stick pan, you can cook these on low heat on your stove top, or use the non-stick frypan on top of your grill over indirect heat to “grill” or smoke the burgers. Barbecue University has excellent tutorial on the indirect method of grilling.