Beet and Kidney Bean Burgers

These homemade veggie burgers get their bulk from kidney beans and brown rice; the grated beets adds a sweetness that appeals to kids. Make sure the rice is freshly cooked and sticky; once cooled the grains tend to separate and not be as starchy, so the burgers won’t hold together as easily. Short-grain rice works best, as its stickiness helps keep the patties together.

INGREDIENTS:

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 small onion, coarsely grated
1 large red beet, peeled and coarsely grated
2-3    garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) cumin
1 tbsp. (15 ml)   balsamic vinegar
1 19 oz (540 ml)   can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 ml) freshly cooked brown rice (short grain, if possible)    
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tbsp. (15 ml) canola or olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
provolone, Gouda or other mild, meltable cheese, grated or thinly sliced (optional)
6 burger or kaiser buns
tzaziki, for serving (optional)


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion for a few minutes, until soft.

2. Add the grated beet, garlic, cumin and vinegar, stir and cover; cook for about 5 minutes, until the beets are softened.

3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the kidney beans, rice, parsley, oil, salt and pepper and cooked beets. Pulse until well combined but don’t purée it completely.

4. Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Shape the mixture into patties (large or small) and cook for a few minutes per side, allowing them to develop a nice crust on the bottom before you flip them. If you like, place a piece of cheese on top after the first flip, then cover for a few minutes to help the cheese melt.
Serve on buns, topped with any toppings you like. Makes 6 burgers.

PER SERVING (cooked with 2 tsp. canola oil):

404 calories, 7.3 g fat, (0.9 g saturated fat, 3.7 g monounsaturated fat, 2.6 g polyunsaturated fat), 70 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 13 g protein, 7.7 g fibre.

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