Tag Archives: Caramelized Onions

Time Consuming (worth it) Beet Burgers

12 Aug


I don’t care if it’s Summer, I love beets. Even the ungodly things they do to my…inner-workings, I accept beets for who they are. I have been getting emails from The Kitchn for a while, and to be honest I don’t remember how why or when I signed up. The recipes always make me stop and read through, but I finally decided to jump in and actually MAKE something and yowza, it was the right thing to do my friends. I have 100000 other things off this site bookmarked now, so….be ready for that.

I am always on the lookout for a great veggie burger. Why? I don’t know. I love meat, but maybe it’s just the promise of lots of non-meat items coming together to create a flavor-punch patty that’s just too tempting to get out of my head? Either way, I came across this and decided yes, this is for me.

{ Best Ever Veggie Burgers – The Kitchn }

And with a title like that, who could turn it down? I made these on a day when I needed to feel that I accomplished something, anything, and with good reason. Let me set the scene…

The day: Saturday after the Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti

The time: directly after seeing Pacific Rim IN 3D IMAX (a great way to turn off your brain for 1.5 hours)

The feeling: not quite human yet

(If you glance below, you can see just how much fun I’m having with my snazzy Bell’s glasses and mini “tasting” cup)


It was time to roll up my sleeves, chug some water, and get down to non-meat burgers. Wrap some beets in tinfoil, put them in the oven and forget about them for a while.


Meanwhile over cook some brown rice, and caramelize some onions with cider vinegar (for extra sweetness)


Find an old bag of oatmeal (that happens to have lots of good stuff like flax seed and whatnot), or just some regular old oats, and give it a nice grind into a flower-like consistency (and doing this you learn that your ALREADY AWESOME immersion blender has an attachment like a mini food processor. Things are comin’ up Vitkin!)




Now hopefully your beets have been pulled out of the oven, peeled, cooled, and grated and placed in a bowl to await tasty additions. Such additions include black beans–both whole and pulverized WITH PRUNES (oyi my digestive system)–smoked paprika, dijon mustard, cumin, coriander, cooked rice, and sweetly cooked onions. Give her a good and strong mix. Now add that awesome oat flour you just made, and one lone egg.


Now let all the flavors get to know one another intimately in the fridge for a few hours, and then form into patties, and cook until a nice crust forms on each side



Those look good….but I wish they had cheese on them….



Hurrah! Now place on your bun of choice (I chose english muffins because I had them, and that way I could have 2), and add some fixin’s



Smash together (but not too hard, since we all know homemade veggie burgers tend to be somewhat mushy). Enjoy.



This recipe made a TON of food. I pattied 6 of them, and that wasn’t even half. I ended up tossing the rest in the skillet together to warm it through (I’m looking at you egg) and to give random places a little crust. I ate this delicious “mush” for the next 4 days topped with everything from avocado and cilantro to corn and tomatoes (and sometimes all of the above). Omit the egg and prepare thine self to WOW your vegan friends with your amazing culinary skillz.

Adapted from { Best Ever Veggie Burgers – The Kitchn }

  • 4 small beets
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F, wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.
  3. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking is ok, but if it seems that the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Process the oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.
  7. Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets.
  8. Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and egg, and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or egg.
  9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours.
  10. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan.
  11. Form patties and cook as many as will fit without crowding. Cook for 2-4 minutes per side (or until you see a nice crust).

One, Two, Three. Three Onions.

10 Oct

What. A. Day.

Where to start. Well, first off I GOT A JOB! And it’s in the food industry, how lucky! I will have my “first day” tomorrow, and then I’ll officially start next week. So today was my last day of unemployment (since Thursday and Friday I will be technically employed, just not at the office). I will explain more about the job later. The only bummer is that I was excited to introduce myself to new people as a “kept woman” and John as a “scholar”. Oh well, the sacrifices we make for insurance.

Being that this is my last “free” day, I made a list of things to do:

  • Go grocery shopping (check)
  • Go to the gym (check)
  • Go for a run (non-check, to busy cooking!)
  • Make a big Fall-y meal (check)
  • Watch trashy reality television I have DVR’d (check and CHECK)

Well, Meijer had a HUGE sale, and I ended up beating my previous savings in one trip by over $10! I saved over $34 with coupons and sales. I felt like an extreme coupon-er, but not really because I’m not crazy. Since I got a job I decided to celebrate in the best way: buying Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper…with Aloe! I’ll have to smoke a cigar every time I’m in the bathroom now to really live the good life. I also decided to throw caution to the wind and buy a full gallon of apple cider rather than just the half since I needed 1 C for a recipe I made tonight. Fun Fact: the majority of apples that go into cider are grown in China. True story!

But anyhoo, on to the cooking. I decided to make the following items for a Fall feast not to be forgotten:

Yes, one full onion went into each dish. Thank goodness I wear contacts, so I can slice onions all the livelong day. Cider Braised Pork Shoulder. I know right?! This took about 2 hour of simmering’ so I started that first. And the 100% American apples that went into this were the one, the only, Honeycrisp. mmmm

So pretty. So Delicious.

You’re right, it’s too pretty…you must now be maimed!

I must add, while I was peeling the apples I was browning the pork, and hey, wouldn’t you know it, the smoke alarm goes off. What do I do? I run around my house, slipping about in my running socks (with left toe sticking out of sock because hey, good running socks are expensive, and I’m not giving them up without a fight) trying to furiously wave a kitchen towel in front of the detector to clear up the air around it. It was…an ordeal.

Once the imminent threat of fire had subsided, I simmered my stew, took in some Real Housewives of New York, and then prepared to finish the rest of the meal armed with a soundtrack of Greensky Bluegrass (again, Kalamazoo favorite). While I was preparing the cabbage, it happend. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now, especially with the amount of cooking I’ve been doing lately. I sliced the hell out of my thumb. I was coring the cabbage and while pulling the knife out of the heart of the head my thumb was right in it’s path. I. Felt. Everything. Luckily I pulled my hand away fast enough so no blood got on the food, but…man did it bleed. My first thought was “Oh my god I’m going to need stitches! I don’t have insurance! I’m going to have to amputate my thumb!” Then I slapped myself in the face, grabbed myself by the shoulders and said “Get a hold of yourself man!” (not really) and ran cold water over it. When it started bleeding less, I wrapped it up tightly, and went right back to a’cooking. I felt like I was in a Top Chef challenge (you know, like when Fabio cut his hand…just like that, except with zero skill and charm). Do you know how hard it is to not use a thumb? Thank you evolution.

With the use of my right thumb out of commission, and the many many tasks I had going on at once (I was using all four burners at once!) I didn’t have time to stop and take more pictures, so for that I apologize.

Wow, using four burners at once? I bet that made it hot in the house.
Yes. Yes it did.

Once the burners were turned off, and a proper bandage was affixed to my thumb, I was able to take a breath, and a taste of what I had created. Boom. Diggety. Wow, so great! And each dish goes so well with the others!

The dancing white O’s were the best part

Now let’s let everyone have their moment in the sun:

Beautiful white plate. Fennel fern garnish. It’ll make anything look fancy.

Alright, let’s get a close up of that delicious stew:

Just. Delightful.

Upon actually eating, I put them all on the same plate so the delicious cider broth from the pork seeped into the side dishes.
mmm, seeping pork juice…

I am extremely uncomfortable based on how much of this meal is inside of me right now, but I’m so glad I was able to make this today. It was the prefect last “I have no job and therefore have all the time in the world…someone please give me something to do!” meal. I am very excited to see how this blog transforms now that I will be working, because I have no intention of stopping the culinary genius that is inside of me. Too dramatic? I thought so.

And the last piece of amazing news: I received my canning equipment today! I’m hoping to have some pasta sauces and salsas ready to be canned before the weekend!


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