The lovely, organic beetroot. Better known as just “beets.” You can eat them raw, juice them or roast them whole. However you prefer them, they are a powerhouse of nutrition and antioxidants. My family loves them grated and formed into burgers. We serve them with a side of kale chips and top them with a dollop of sriracha dressing on hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls. These Beet Burgers with Kale Chips are super filling and bursting with flavor!
The real beauty of the beet lies in its ruby-colored flesh, just beneath its earthy skin. Though its jewel tone is beautiful, it will stain everything. I mean, everything. You’ve been warned! Beets are frequently used as a natural dye, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to stain your clothes. Oh, and your hands will look like you were playing with finger paints, or fled a crime scene, though it’s nothing a little soap and water can’t remove.
You’ll want to choose beets that are firm, not soft. Don’t worry too much about aesthetics though. Farm-fresh and organic produce is often asymmetrical, with odd dents and varying hues – it’s what makes it beautiful and authentic. It’s real. It’s how it was formed in the earth, by the sun and wind and rain.
These particular beets were muddy and wet when I received them. They were heavy with the scent of damp earth. Their long magenta stems were bent, and a few were broken, but the leaves were still firm and vibrant.
Did you know that the green leaves of the beet also hold a host of nutritional value and are perfectly edible? Don’t discard them. Use them in salads or saute them – the possibilities are endless! Treat them as you would most other leafy greens. Some of my favorite ways to eat them are like this and this.
You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy these, or to swap out your regular burgers every now and then. For an antioxidant-rich meal, just add these to your weekly meal planning, either in place of red meat, or in addition to it.
There are many beet burger recipes on Pinterest and Foodgawker, etc. Most contain additional ingredients like quinoa and other veggies. This recipe is made with less than 5 ingredients and is as true to a pure beet burger as you can get. In addition to the grated beets, I add a shallot, 2 eggs and a little flour to hold it all together. Season with salt and pepper and that. is. it. It really doesn’t need much else.
Because we like this burger with crispy kale chips, I’m also including my standard recipe for those below. Any type of kale will do. We happened to have Dino Kale on hand. I thought maybe my little guy would give them a try since they are “dinosaur” kale, but no. No, no, no. Maybe next time. **The funny thing is, he LOVES green drinks. You know, the kind made with broccoli or kale, apples and banana and fresh ginger. He’ll drink that! I really should make it a point to post my green drink recipe soon, maybe it’ll help someone else who is having a hard time with their picky eater, too. Oh, I digress…
Here’s a tip, be sure to thoroughly dry the kale after rinsing. Any remaining dampness will make the kale soggy and not as crisp as you’d like it to be. A salad spinner is helpful for drying the kale and I use a paper towel to pat dry any dampness that remains.
I massage each kale leaf with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper and a smidge of garlic powder. You can vary this recipe any way you’d like. If you want a salt and vinegar type of kale chip, sprinkle with a bit of vinegar after you’ve cooked the kale. Adding too much liquid before roasting will either burn the leaves or make them soggy. And that’s no fun.
Give it a go! This is one of the simplest beet burger recipes you’ll ever make.
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Beet Burgers with Kale Chips
8 beet burgers
For the Beet Burgers:
4 medium beets, washed, peeled & grated
1 medium shallot, grated
1/4 cup flour
Salt & pepper to taste
8 burger buns or Kaiser rolls
8 slices of cheese (optional)
Recommended topping: Hampton Creek’s Sriracha Mayo, kale and red onion, thinly sliced
For the Kale Chips:
1 kale bunch, center stems removed, leaves cut into bite-sized pieces
Seasonings: sprinkle of salt, pepper and garlic powder
For the Beet Burgers:
- Trim tops and roots from the beets. Peel and grate beets or shred in a food processor, transfer to a medium bowl;
- Add shallot and mix to combine. Add eggs, and salt & pepper, mix well;
- Add flour to help the mixture stick together;
- Form mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick (not too thick or the center won’t fully cook);
- Add approximately 1/4 inch of olive oil to skillet over medium high heat and cook patties until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes each side (if using cheese, add to top of burger after the first turnover);
- Have the burger buns handy. If you prefer toasted buns, set under the broiler for a minute or two until golden. Place burgers on buns and top with sriracha mayo, kale and red onion. Serve immediately.
For the Kale Chips:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper;
- With a knife carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale, using a salad spinner helps;
- Drizzle kale with olive oil and massage into kale (both sides and in-between the curls and bends of the leaves), sprinkle with seasonings;
- Bake until the edges brown – careful not to burn, 10 to 15 minutes