beets · daiya cheese · grilling · tempeh · vegan · veggie burgers · vital wheat gluten · vitamix

Veggie Burger Off 2014: Beet Bacon Cheeseburgers

Week 9 Browns vs. Ravens

The last time the Browns beat Baltimore I was a senior in college.  11 straight losses and a Super Bowl win later, the Ravens came to town in a much-hyped matchup. A 4:30 game meant the tailgate had “bonus hours.”  Add that to a bonus hour from daylight savings time and we had a recipe for an amazing tailgate.  A great time to hold the annual Veggie Burger Off, where I ask all vegans to bring their best veggie burger to grill.


Last year’s edition of the Veggie Burger Off ended in bitter disappointment for me, as my friend Rob stole the show with his Spicy Bean Burgers.  This year I was determined not to drop the ball.

Many people in Ohio and beyond claim that Northstar Cafe in Columbus has the best veggie burgers.  They are made with beets, black beans and brown rice for a meaty texture and unbelievably simple and delicious flavor.  My intention for the veggie burger off was replicate it and then take it to another level.  Instead of just black beans, I used red kidney beans.  I also topped it off with some tempeh bacon and melty daiya provolone cheese slices.  A recipe for success… Enjoy!

Ingredients

Gator wanted me to drop something!
  • 1 lb. beets, roasted
  • 1/2 dry brown rice, cooked (slightly mushy)
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans, cooked (or use 1 can)
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, cooked (or use 1 can)
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped small
  • 2 tbsp. mustard of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax mixed in 3 tbsp. hot water)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package tempeh bacon (I used Lightlife Brand Organic Smokey Tempeh Strips)
  • 1 package Daiya Provolone Deli Slices 
  • Buns
Directions
  1. Wash beets, remove greens and wrap tightly in foil.  Roast at 425 for about an hour.  Let cool in the foil packet so skin loosens.  
    1. Meanwhile, sauteé onion for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauteé for another minute.
    2. Pour half of the beans into a food processor or vita-mix.  Add the prunes and pulse.  You want to chop the beans but you don’t want to blend them.  

      Looks gooooood
    3. Peel and grate the beets once they are cooled.  Pressed the beet shavings into a colander and drain as much juice as possible (I had a shot of beet juice left over!)
    4. Add the onion/garlic mix, beans (both chopped and whole), beets, vinegar, mustard and spices to a large bowl.  Mix.
      1. Then add wheat gluten and flax egg.  Mix again.
      2. Put it in the fridge over night or at least an hour to set.
      3. When your ready to grill, wrap the tempeh bacon in foil and poke a few holes.  Place it on the hot part of the grill for 15 minutes. 
      4. Meanwhile, form the patties and place on a well oiled grill grate.  Cook 5 minutes each side.
      5. Once you flip the burgers, place a slice of provolone on top.  
      6. Assemble your burger and enjoy!
      Wrap tight!
      Hot beets
      Bean chop
      Mix!
      Veggie burgers on the grill
      Assembly
      Award winning
      Mmmmm yum!
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