Well folks, it’s July, and assuming the weather behaves as it should, that means only one thing: barbeque season. I personally love nothing more than a sunny weekend afternoon spent with friends in the back garden with the grill going, a variety a salads to sample and a supply of tasty, refreshing, ice-cold beverages. The thing is, though, that unicorns aren’t so big on red meat, so finding the perfect meatless option for barbeque days can sometimes be a bit of a magic trick, but of course those are my specialty! So here is a unicorn-approved veggie burger recipe that is sure to make both unicorns and T-Rexes happy!
3 large red beets
2 oz. olive oil
8 oz black beans
8 oz chickpeas
8 oz white beans
1 red onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic
1tsp diced jalapeño
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free is a good option!)
¼ cup apricots, diced
½ tsp Hungarian Paprika
2 tsp brown mustard
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp thyme (dried or fresh)
1 egg (optional – helps hold it together, but for vegans just make sure to retain more moisture in other ingredients!)
Salt and pepper to taste (use chili pepper if you like it hot)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Wrap the beets in aluminum and roast for about an hour – they should be easily pierced with a fork or knife.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil on a skillet and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt on medium-high heat. Stir every few minutes, and cook until they are translucent and start to have a slight char around the edges. There should be a decent amount of sticky sludge in the pan – makes it tastier! Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for about 30 seconds before adding in the cider vinegar. Scrape up the sludge from the bottom of the pan and mix it all together, and simmer until the cider has mostly evaporated before removing from heat and allowing mixture to cool.
Drain half of each type of the beans and dump them in the food processor along with the apricots on top. Pulse in short bursts until roughly chopped (be careful not to over-blend!), and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the beans and gently mix together.
Scrape the skins off of the beets and roughly grate them into a strainer over another mixing bowl. Remove as much liquid as possible from the beets (for the egg-free version, maybe leave a little bit of juice here). Set the beet juice aside – if your patties are too dry, you can use this to add moisture as they cook.
Add the beets to the bowl with the beans and dump on your spices and a dash of olive oil and mix together thoroughly with a wooden spoon or clean hands. At least consider doing a taste check here (taste should be slightly stronger than desired) and then add in the oatmeal and egg (if desired) and knead the mixture together with clean hands. Roll into a tight ball, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours (or up to 3 days).
When ready to cook, form the mixture into patties by taking a handful and rolling it into a smaller, tighter ball and then pressing down onto a flat, clean surface. Fire up the grill and cook as desired. Using a grill pan is advised, especially if you are doing the vegan version. Serve on a bun (or salad) with whatever toppings your heard desires!
Now you are ready to go enjoy summer like a proper, guilt-free unicorn!