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Beet Burger & Lemon Paprika Aioli

I’ve been working on this for awhile!... a veggie burger with the “chew” and the juicy red color of a “real” beef burger. I think I got it! I swear the first time I served this, my vegetarian dinner guests thought I’d mistakenly served them a beef burger. The beets add a juicy drip to the burger that seems like you’re biting into a nice medium rare burger. The mushrooms provide the chewy bite. The quinoa and nuts help keep it together and stop it from becoming the mushy, sloppy mess that veggie burgers are known for. And the liquid smoke adds a “just off the grill” flavor that really gives you a pub burger experience. These take a little while to prep but you can keep them refrigerated or frozen, so it’s worth it to make a few batches at once. I serve these with the paprika-lemon aioli on an Ezekiel bun, a homemade baked sweet potato “bun”, or over your choice of greens. Top with your favorite toppings such as vegan cheese, tomatoes, onions, crispy shallots, sautéed onions or greens. Enjoy!!  Please post your comments and photos!! ____________________ Burger Ingredients • 1 cup cooked quinoa • 2+ tbsp avocado or olive oil • 1 pound mushrooms, roughly chopped • 1 large beet (or 2 smaller ones) • 1 small can black beans or chick peas (drained, rinsed & patted dry with a paper towel) • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (or walnuts) • 1 diced shallot • 3 cloves minced garlic • 1/4 cup oat or quinoa flour • 1 egg (vegan option is ground flax + water) • 1/2 teaspoon paprika • Salt & Pepper to taste • 1 tablespoon soy sauce • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional) • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Paprika Lemon Aioli Ingredients-

• 1 1⁄2 cups clean mayonnaise (avocado or olive oil mayo) • 1⁄2 cup lemon juice • 3-6 cloves garlic, minced (to your taste) • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons tomato paste • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons  (smoked) paprika • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. In a blender or food processor, coarsely purée the drained & dried black bean or chickpeas to yield a 1/2 cup of purée. Add the nuts to the mixture and puree and pulse until combined.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the beets into a large julienne matchstick cut (batonettes). Heat olive oil, salt & pepper in a medium saucepan. When the oil is heated, add the beet batonettes and sautée for approximately 15-20 minutes.

3. When the beets have started to soften, transfer the beets to a cookie sheet and then bake for just 10 minutes at 350F.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat a small amount of oil on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes without touching. Stir and then cook until the mushrooms are golden brown and dry, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup (optional) and a splash of water to the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are glazed, about 2 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl and let them cool to room temperature.

5. When the beets are cooked, allow them to cool to room temperature (refrigerate them if necessary to speed the process). When they’re cooled, roughly chop them in a blender or food processor. Then add the mushrooms to the blender and briefly pulse to combine. Finally add the bean & nut purée, quinoa, paprika, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, shallots and garlic to the blender and briefly pulse until all the ingredients are mixed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

6. Make the aioli sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the clean mayo, tomato paste, lemon juice, garlic, paprika & cayenne  pepper. Set aside.

7. Put the quinoa or oat flour on a small plate and stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper into the flour. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg in 2 tbsp of water.

8. Form the burger mixture into 4-6 burgers (I likes to use a 4-inch ring mold, which you can purchase at Walmart or Target. Another option is to cut a Solo cup into a ring mold of approximately the same size and use that.) Then set a burger on a slotted metal spatula and gently dip it into the egg bath. Remove and let excess drip off. Then dredge the burger lightly in the quinoa flour or oat flour and tap off the excess. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining burgers.

9. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp clean oil over high heat until it begins to simmer. Fry the burgers in the hot oil until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels before serving with the paprika lemon aioli on an Ezekiel bun, a homemade baked sweet potato “bun”, or over your choice of greens. Top with your favorite toppings such as vegan cheese, tomatoes, onions, crispy shallots, sautéed onions or greens.

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