These summer days are so freeing. With the kids home from school with nowhere we have to be, or homework to do, I feel like a kid again too. I have been luxuriating in the peace of the day, letting it unfold where it takes us, only with the occasional outing sprinkled in a couple days of the week, that I have picked from a bucket list that my family compiled at the beginning of the summer.
One of the greatest gifts of these spontaneous summer days is dinner time. Although I am still planning my meals once a week, meal prep is casual and playful, instead of hurried and and “on a mission,” like it is during the school year. The kids fly in and out from playing outside to assist with a task or two, or just to see what I am making. I place the platters of food on our table outside and we eat in the summer breeze under our amazing globe lights that we just had installed.
Burgers and grill recipes are in order this time of year. I find myself making them more than ever this season. Right now, I am obsessed with beet burgers! So is my eldest daughter, Gaby! I was inspired by this recipe by Veganosity, and couldn’t stop playing around with the method and flavor profile to create my own burger. I was interested in creating a vegan version of an adored recipe for my “Hermosa Beach Burger” that I used to make for me and my husband before kids, when it was just the two of us in our little Hermosa Beach house. The key ingredients were blue cheese and Worcestershire sauce – and the toppings: ranch dressing, avocado, red onion, lettuce, and tomato. Those burgers made me think of the beach, family, and summer days.
So, I played and played with these beet burgers, thinking I might be able to recreate my beloved Hermosa burger. I still haven’t quite found a replacement for the unique flavor of bleu cheese, but everything else is very close. Upon tasting them last week, Gaby proclaimed she wanted to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day!
I love Veganosity’s recipe because it is quick and easy, and one of the first veggie burgers I found that doesn’t fall apart! They use aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas as the “glue” that bind them together. I keep things gluten-free with chickpea breadcrumbs, along with the coarsely ground oats and chickpeas in their original recipe. I discovered Watusee’s Chickpea Breadcrumbs at Natural Products Expo this year and have been using them ever since.
For seasonings, you’ll need balsamic vinegar, steak seasoning, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Of course, the star ingredient in these veganized Hermosa Beach beet burgers is the roasted beets. To roast beets, wash and trim the ends. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Allow them to cool and then peel carefully (your hands will stain easily).
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons steak seasoning
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 medium beets, roasted and peeled
- 1 cup oats, coarsely ground
- 1 cup chickpea crumbs
- 1 can chickpeas plus the liquid (aquafaba)
- Vegan ranch, avocado, lettuce, red onion, and tomato (for serving)
- 1. Combine everything except the cheese in a food processor. Grind until smooth. You may need to add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. It shouldn't stick to your hands.
- 2. Form the "dough" into 6-8 patties.
- 3. Cook on a grill or grill pan with a little bit of oil for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- 4. To serve, spread a thin layer of vegan ranch on the top and bottom layer of a hamburger bun. Place the beet burger down and top with tomato and red onion slices, lettuce leaves, and avocado. Lay down the top bun.
I would really love to hear what you think of these beet burgers. Please let me know if you try them in the comments below. If you have an idea for a blue cheese substitute, I’d love to hear that too!