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A homemade veggie burger is a welcome alternative to beef—at least in theory. But too many are either mushy or dry and lack flavor. For a modern burger with superior composition, we stepped beyond run-of-the-mill bean patties and combined pinto beans with sweet, earthy beets, rich walnuts, and chewy bulgur. This not only delivered fantastic texture and flavor, but amassed an enviable nutritional profile for a burger: protein and fiber from beans, minerals and vitamins from the bulgur and beets, and omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts. Carrot baby food (conveniently pureed) provided an unconventional but effective binder that lent the patties a subtle sweetness. Any brand of plain carrot baby food will work here. Use a coarse grater or the shredding disk of a food processor to shred the beet. When shopping, don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which has a much longer cooking time.

Smoky Pinto Bean-Beet Burgers [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Smoky Pinto Bean-Beet Burgers [Vegan]

  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup medium-grind bulgur, rinsed
  • 1 large beet (9 oz), trimmed, peeled, and shredded
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-oz) can of pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 (4-oz) jar carrot baby food
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups 100 percent whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil, plus extra as needed

How to Prepare Smoky Pinto Bean-Beet Burgers [Vegan]

  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Off heat, stir in bulgur, cover, and let stand until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain bulgur spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse beet, walnuts, basil, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, about 12 pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add beans, carrot baby food, water, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse until well combined, about 8 pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in panko and cooled bulgur.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°F. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and pack into 3 1/2-inch-wide patties.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently lay 4 patties in a skillet and cook until crisp and well browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Gently flip patties and cook until crisp and well browned on the second side, about 4 minutes, adding extra oil if the skillet looks dry.
  5. Transfer burgers to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and remaining patties. Serve.
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Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 217 | Carbs: 16g | Fat: 16g | Protein: 5g | Sodium: 195mg | Sugar: 1g

Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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