One of my absolute favorite restaurants in San Francisco is a small vegetarian place called The Plant Cafe. I’ve been going there for years and love it! All of their food is so healthy and delicious—it’s the perfect spot for lunch or to grab a light afternoon snack while shopping. And my favorite thing to order? The restaurant’s signature veggie burger, the beet red Plant Burger.
Now, the restaurant knows nothing of me so this isn’t actually the “official” recipe for the burger—this is only the recipe that I surmised in my head after years of enjoying the burger and finding out the main ingredients by chatting with a server. I figured out the measurements and other ingredients on my own using an intricate process I like to call trial and error. Coffee was involved. So was fudge.
Yep, BEETS make for this veggie burger’s bright red color so if you are not a beet fan, I suggest trying these instead. I can’t, however, really taste the beets in this recipe though so if you’re unsure if you like beets or not, I say go for it!
Another thing about these burgers is that they are a bit softer than other veggie burgers around. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are the most delicious homemade veggie burger that I’ve tried, but they don’t have the same texture as, say, a turkey burger. Duh.
Unlike other veggie burger recipes around, these aren’t held together by a “flax egg” or a regular egg. Instead, bulgur wheat, lentils and mushrooms work together to create a rich, savory patty….the kind I like to sink my teeth into.
Oh, and cashews! Raw cashews are ground up into a powder before adding the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t like cashews, you could also try making these with walnuts but I thought the slight cashew taste was perfect.
I made a large batch of these burgers last week, froze a couple for myself and brought the rest over to Adam who enjoyed them for breakfast all week. I’m more of a pancake type of gal myself, but just goes to show that meat & potato lovin’ dudes will eat veggie burgers for breakfast….and like them!
You do need either a Vita-Mix (or other brand of high speed blender) or food processor to make this recipe.
It’s worth it!
Don’t be deterred by the numerous recipe steps (and I won’t even show you an after shot of my kitchen sink), these really are one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had….especially when topped with a thick slice of melty pepperjack cheese and a glob of sweet chili sauce (don’t knock it till you try it!).
3 small beets, peeled and chopped (222 grams)
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil, divided
2 cups water, divided
pepperjack cheese for serving
lettuce for serving
sweet chili sauce for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the chopped beets on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until tender. Remove and set aside.
While the beets are roasting, combine the lentils with 1 1/2 cups water in a small pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender.
Also on the stove, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the bulgur then turn off the heat and cover for 10 minutes. The bulgur should absorb all of the liquid and be tender when done.
Heat one tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add minced onion, mushrooms and thyme and cook for about 6 minutes. Both onions and mushrooms should be softened.
When you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready, start making your burgers! Place raw cashews in either a food processor or Vita-Mix and process until they become a flour. Then, add beets, bulgur, onions, mushrooms and rosemary and process until combined. Add cooked lentils and continue processing until everything has combined but still on the “chunky” side. Remove mixture from either food processor or blender and place in a large bowl.
Heat up the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat. Divide mixture into six veggie burger patties and carefully cook each side for about 5 minutes, until golden and crispy.
Serve veggie burgers on whole wheat rolls with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sweet chili sauce!
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