Veggies on the counter

Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on January 21, 2011

 

I have bookmarked Louisa Shafia’s Beet Burgers a long time ago, and never really got the chance to make them. The other day, while flipping through my notebook, I found the said recipe, that I’ve spotted on her blog and immediately did a quick annotation of the ingredients list to make it. But then, some other plans have crossed my mind and the recipe remained written, but untested. So, this week, having a couple of extra-large beetroot sitting on the fridge, I finally gave Louisa’s burgers a try. And after bitting into one of them, I kept asking myself why haven’t I made the burgers sooner – not only they have the perfect texture and right consistency, but are also packed with flavor. In one word: delicious.

Now, I know there’s a lot of you out there who don’t like beetroot. Some of you, might even hate the poor vegetable. But even with beetroot haters like my mum, the burgers were a huge hit. Now that I think about it I realize they actually don’t taste to beetroot that much – the addition of nuts, caramelized onion, and some spices, not only gives them texture and crunch, but also a delicious, kind of  hearty taste, that somehow balances out the natural sweetness of the beetroot. I’ve made a couple tweaks to the original recipe though: substituted the walnuts called for in the original version for a mix of nuts and seeds, and instead of baking the burgers and searing them as suggested, I managed to save some time up by pan-frying them straight away without sacrificing texture – in the end, you still get a well-cooked inside and crunchy outside, the basic requirements for a perfect burger. I’m sure I’ll be making these again, and maybe next time, experimenting with different grains – substituing the brown rice for millet, for example.

Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

(makes 6 burgers)

1/4 cup of EACH: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and cashew nuts

2 cups grated beetroot (from approximately 1 large beetroot)

1 1/2 cups COOKED brown rice

1 large white onion, sliced into rings

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoons ground cumin

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoons salt

1. After grating the beetroot, place them in a colander and squeeze out all the liquid. Discard the liquid and set aside. Alternatively, you can use the liquid – like I did – to make a juice and/or a smoothie.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook, stirring often, for at least 10 minutes, or until the onion starts browning and caramelizing. While the onion is cooking, add the paprika and ground cumin to the pan, as well as a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. In a large food processor, add the cooked rice, 1 cup of the grated beetroot and 1 teaspoon of salt, and process for about 2 minutes, or until it has the consistency of a thick puree. This will work as a binder.

4. Add the cooked onion and all the different nuts and seeds to the food processor and pulse no more than 3 times. You want the burgers to have some texture and crunch, so this mixture only needs to be broken down a bit.

5. Add the puree to the remaining 1 cup of grated beetroot and mix well until incorporated. Have  a taste and salt a bit more, if needed be. The mixture should be thick and easy enough to handle and shape into patties.

6. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. With your hands, form round patties that are about 8 centimeters in diameter and 1 centimeter thick. At this point, you can keep the burgers refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and cook them within that time.

7. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the burgers. Pan-fry them for at least 6 minutes on each side, turning them only once.

8. Serve the burgers right after cooking with your favorite fixings. I’ve topped mine with chutney and lots of fresh parsley.

adapted from Lucid Food

Advertisements

Brown Rice and Lentil Bake with Caramelized Onions

Posted in baked goods, main courses by veggies on the counter on September 15, 2010

Usually, when it comes to cooking, I rarely plan ahead. That’s not a thing I’m proud of, as planning your meals ahead is the best way to save time and extra effort in the kitchen. The only thing I do that fits into the plan ahead sort of thing, is that everytime I cook beans or brown rice, I make sure I have leftovers. That way, I can throw the cooked beans and/or rice in the freezer and use it for another meals, or refrigerate them and use it that very same week in other preparations.

Last weekend, I’ve made a beetroot and brown rice salad (I’ll be soon posting the recipe), and got more leftovers of brown rice than I thought. Since then, I’ve used them in two different preparations and still have leftovers. One of those preparations wasn’t well succeeded: it was an attempt to make brown rice and spinach burgers, that although have turned ok in terms of structure, didn’t deliver in the taste department. Apart from this not very well succeeded burgers, I’ve made a brown rice and lentil bake, and that’s what I thought sharing today. It’s an easy, tasty and very versatile recipe: if you don’t have brown rice on hand, I’m almost sure you can substitute it for regular rice. On the other hand, and although I served this more as a sandwich, with caramelized onions in between two slices of the bake, I’m sure you can come up with more ideas. For instance, next time around I’m thinking of serving this alongside some stewed or pan fried veggies with a spoonful of tapenade on top, to make it more of a complete, nutritionally balanced main course.

Brown Rice and Lentil Bake

(serves 4)

1 cup ( 170 grams) red lentils

2 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups (400 ml) light stock

½ finely cut red chili pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 and 1/3 cups (190 grams) cooked brown rice

for the caramelized onions:

2 large white or red onions, thinly sliced into rounds

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

a pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a 20 x 20 centimeters baking dish with parchment paper, and brush it with olive oil.

2. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, red chili and thyme and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Wash the lentils under cold running water. Add the lentils to the pan, as well as the stock, and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Season with the salt and black pepper.

4. Mix the brown rice with the lentils and put everything on the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

5. For the caramelized onions, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and sliced onions, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the onion starts caramelizing and browning a bit. On the last minute of cooking, add the balsamic vinegar and salt and stir well to incorporate.

6. Serve the caramelized onions in between two slices of the brown rice and lentil bake.