Explanations to follow, but that said – you really should start making these now!
They are so much more than just a vegetarian, dairy and gluten free patty. To have them made in the refrigerator means you have an easy meal in a multitude of guises ready to go for breakfast lunch or dinner. I was definitely a reluctant starter but I am now thoroughly in love with these.
With winter now officially behind us, I am very excited to start thinking about casual spring and summer eating, barbecues and picnics. Unfortunately the new seasons vegetables are slow to appear in these southern areas so I am reinventing those same vegetables we have enjoyed over winter in different guises – cutting them differently, cooking them in a lighter style and eating them in fresher simpler ways.
With this all said the story for these patties begins with my friend and employer, Angela. Angela had requested a vegetarian burger patty for work. To be honest I was a little under whelmed by the idea, not something I have ever really considered eating, and because of that I was slow to get going with recipe development. Moving on though, and not prepared to say no to the challenge, I did get going and have been working on these vege burger patties for a while – there have been quite a number of unfortunate fragile fall apart piles of deliciousness around here!
The challenge I made to myself was to make a vegetable burger that was vegan, gluten free and delicious – the problem I was having was getting them to stick together without the flour, egg or breadcrumbs. It took me a while to realise It was as simple as subbing in one of my favourite gluten free flours. Today I have used chickpea flour, but I am quite confident I could have used cornmeal, buckwheat or any other gluten free flour preferred or available. After my trials I have played it safe with the flavours going with my old favourites of cumin, coriander, chilli flakes and slow cooked onion for umami savour. The beetroot brown rice and black beans all combine with the spices to make for great flavour and texture. I have made this in a smallish batch but have plans to make bigger batches to have ready in the refrigerator or to freeze for convenience over summer.
These burger patties also lend themselves to being made into smaller falafel size discs to fill pitta pockets, or to simply top your salad of the day. I also had a bit of fun and cooked them in the waffle iron – I love the way that machine can be so versatile. I haven’t tried putting cookie dough in it yet, but it really does sound like a great idea for instant cookies. Truth is I am a little concerned it may have been permanently tainted with the smells of falafel and burger spice I have been using in it lately.
You can plan ahead for this recipe by saving brown rice or black beans from a previous meal or cooking more to go into salads for the next couple of days, you could use some you have frozen but in that case I wouldn’t recommend freezing that batch of patties.
BEETROOT, BLACK BEAN AND BROWN RICE BURGER PATTIES
Approximate yield – 6 burger patties or 18 small falafel size patties
Preheat oven to 180’c
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 x can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (1/3 cup uncooked brown rice = 1 cup cooked)
- 1/2 large brown onion or 1 small brown onion finely diced
- 1 large beetroot grated – this should be about 1 1/2 – 2 cups
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour or your choice of flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground corriander
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil to cook onions
Heat a medium large pan with tablespoon or two of olive oil and gently saute onions and spices until golden brown.
Add your grated beetroot and cook for a couple of minutes to wilt down.
Place all of the rest of the ingredients into your food processor bowl and add hot onion beetroot spice mix and pulse to mix everything together.
I like to still keep some texture so don’t blend for to long.
*Alternately if you don’t have a food processor, place all your ingredients in a large bowl and use a potato masher to blend everything together.*
Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
I used an oiled quarter cup measure, to measure the patties, simply dropping it onto a lined baking sheet and then shaping. They do not spread so you place them quite close together.
Cook in a pre heated oven for approximately 30 minutes.
Eat straight away or chill/freeze to eat later.
You can serve these in a multitude of different ways, such as –
- In a burger
- On the side of a salad bowl
- Crumbled slightly and second baked or pan fried and put over a salad as you would croutons
- As a vegetable component of a main meal or shared table
- Falafel size on an anti pasta platter with hummus, crudités, feta or other cheeses and salsa or pesto
- With a poached or fried egg as part of a breakfast salad
- In a pita pocket
These can be a great stand by for summer eating and entertaining and for all of that I can not wait!