Black Bean and Beet Burger Recipe and Video

If you’re new here, I am OBSESSED with veggie burgers.  I have two posted on this website — a black bean and brown rice burger with smoky red pepper sauce and a chickpea burger.  Both are hearty, flavorful and delicious.  This black bean and beet burger might just be my favorite.  If you don’t like beets (and I know you’re out there,) I’m not sure if this will change your mind since you can definitely see the beets, but the burger tastes like more of the spices in the mix than anything else.  Check out my YouTube video here on how to roast beets.

These are great for Meatless Mondays and so perfect for back-to-school since you can make a batch and freeze them for an easy weeknight dinner.  I have pulled them straight from the freezer and cooked them frozen, just like you could with a store-bought one.  I love to eat a veggie burger on a bed of greens with a sauce or spread of some sort, cooked onions and avocado.  Of course the kids and my husband love eating them as a true burger on a bun with or without cheese.  My favorite buns are any of the sprouted Food For Life Baking ones, toasted.  The family is really into the “Million Dollar Buns” by Dave’s Killer Bread.  I wrote about Dave’s Killer Bread in one of my Friday Favorites.  Some of the varieties contain canola oil which I avoid like the plague (refined, pro-inflammatory, usually GMO, blech) and the buns contain canola oil so they’re a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of food.

Although I include all types of whole foods on this site, including animal products, I do think we should be eating a mostly plant-based, anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic diet.  These burgers fit the bill and still keep all the burger lovers in my house very happy, too.

4.4 from 5 reviews
Black Bean and Beet Veggie Burger Recipe and Video
Author: 
Serves: 6 patties
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces beets, steamed or roasted, and peeled (1 large or 2 small)
  • 3 cups black beans, or 2 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cooked, cold brown rice
  • ¼ cup dried figs, diced small
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Unrefined coconut oil for cooking patties
  • Sprouted grain hamburger buns, for serving (optional)
  • Accompaniments: grilled onions, avocado, tomato, cheese, sprouts
Instructions
  1. Quarter the beets and pulse along with 2 cups of the black beans in a food processor until roughly chopped.
  2. Add beet-bean mixture to a large bowl, along with the next 13 ingredients (remaining black beans, brown rice, dried figs, oat flour, red onion, garlic, smoked paprika, brown mustard, ground cumin, ground coriander, thyme leaves, salt, pepper). Stir to combine, mashing the mixture together with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. Using a half cup measure, form six patties. Cover them with parchment paper or plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet or on a griddle pan, heat an ⅛ inch of oil. Add the burgers and cook over medium heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Serve with desired accompaniments.

 

 

Gluten-free fudgy brownies recipe (refined sugar-free)

gluten-free fudge brownies | pamela salzman

Have you ever noticed that the best food images are usually of desserts?  Every time I go on Tastespotting, it seems like half the photos are sweets.  The irony is that I think desserts are the easiest things to make look and taste good.  Throw together some sugar, butter and chocolate and it’s probably going to be delicious.  Ok fine, I’m simplifying a bit, but I think I’ve tried more new dessert recipes with success than savory.  Anything with the word “crisp,” “cobbler,” “crumble,” or “buckle” is going to be great.  But chicken recipes don’t always provide the same guarantees, don’t you agree?

soak the dates

puree the dates and the soaking liquid

I also feel that way about dessert recipes using unrefined ingredients, especially in the sweetener department.  Show me a chocolate cake using maple syrup and whole grain flour and you have my attention!  It’s not so easy.

brush a little melted butter inside the pan

melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water

I recently made Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies for a large group meeting because they are perfect and it’s what everyone expects out of a brownie — that fudgy flavor and the flaky, crackly top.  (Although how in the world she only gets 20 brownies out of a 12 x 18 pan is a mystery.  I think I got close to 50.)  Unfortunately, I can’t duplicate that texture with honey, coconut sugar or stevia.  I am really committed to using ingredients that are less inflammatory and lower on the glycemic index than white flour and white sugar.  Of course, like I ALWAYS say in my classes, that doesn’t mean higher quality sweeteners are “good” for you or even health supportive.  Your body is just less offended by them.  You should still consume desserts in moderation whether they are made with honey or with sugar.

add in the dry ingredients

My kids and my husband are always the best judges of my cooking because they are brutally honest and they still have a taste for junk.  (People who eat health food 24/7 are much easier to please!)  But what I’ve learned to do is just call it like it is — no sneaky business, no tricky semantics.  These brownies aren’t like Ina’s, but you know what?  They would satisfy any chocoholic’s craving any day.  They’re super moist and fudgy with a rich chocolate flavor.  But they’re sweetened with my two favorite sweeteners, dates and coconut sugar.  I am very sensitive to refined sugars and these brownies don’t affect me at all!  Plus, they’re made with gluten-free oat flour.  Double awesome.  But if you like cake-y brownies, sorry.  This recipe is not what you’ve been waiting for.

ready to bake

I ate one of these brownies warm right out of the pan with some sliced strawberries to cut the sweetness a bit and thought it was fabulous.  Although I wouldn’t argue with you if you wanted to top one with some ice cream.  After a day or two, I pop any extras into the fridge and they are absolutely divine cold.  I taught these brownies in a class last year and I remember making sure I gave all of them away before every class ended because I didn’t want to be left alone with them!  But what you all want to know is — does Mr. Picky like these?  TOTALLY!  In fact, I told him these were gluten-free brownies with dates and he said, “I don’t even care!”

gluten-free fudgy brownies

I think these are best cut into small bites.  And if you have a mini-muffin pan, that would be a great way to go, too.  With Valentine’s Day coming up, these fudgy brownies are perfect for all of your sweethearts!

gluten-free fudge brownies | pamela salzman

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownies
Author: 
Serves: makes an 8 x 8-inch pan
 
Ingredients
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil (does infuse a hint of coconut)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 10 pitted dates (buy the moistest ones you can find), about 1 cup
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar (or cane sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup GF oat flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional, but makes the brownies taste more chocolate-y)
Instructions
  1. Place butter in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; dip a pastry brush in the melted butter and use it to grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Add the chocolate to the melted butter and stir frequently until chocolate is melted. Remove bowl from heat; let cool about 10 minutes.
  2. Place the dates and the hot water in a medium the bowl and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes while you prepare everything else.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.
  4. Transfer the dates and water to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until a smooth paste forms. Add the palm sugar and process until smooth. Alternately you can do this in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment. However, the food processor will make the date paste much smoother.
  5. Add the date-sugar mixture to the butter and chocolate mixture and blend well. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
  6. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder and instant coffee powder until just combined.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not wet. Do not overbake! Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. They taste best if they have been allowed to sit at least an hour.
  8. Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Pull on the edges of the parchment to lift brownies out of pan. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares.
Notes
You can fold in ½ cup chopped or halved walnuts and/or ½ cup chocolate chips after the flour.

Apricot, cherry and almond crisp recipe

apricot, cherry and almond crisp by Pamela Salzman

I was racking my brains thinking of something to post today for July 4th that would be red, white, and blue.  But really I’m not nearly as creative as all the people I pin on Pinterest or fave on Foodily and I’ll be honest, I couldn’t come up with something you haven’t already seen.  Although for 5 minutes I thought was a genius — potato salad with red, white and blue potatoes!  Until I googled it and saw that this was not an original idea.

crisp topping

But then I was thinking that I don’t ever make anything red, white and blue for the 4th, so why the pressure?  Our friends Melissa and Adam usually invite us to their beach house for a party where they serve the most delicious Tex-Mex food.  Not ribs or barbecue or anything cut into the shape of stars.  But it’s all crazy delicious and everyone is so happy.  I often bring a dessert or appetizer.  Last year Melissa asked me for Peach and Blueberry Crisp.  It was so yummy, but not red, white, and blue and I didn’t hear anyone complain that I didn’t have spirit.

beautiful apricots

A few weeks ago, I taught a 4th of July menu for Jenni Kayne and her friends.  Jenni asked me for a fruit crisp and I knew she would love this one with apricots and cherries.  When I was prepping for the class that morning, I asked her if I should throw in blueberries to add some blue to the red, and she responded, “Only if they would make it better.”  She’s so right.  Of course.  Who cares if it’s red, white and blue?  You want to know what I said?  I said, “They won’t.  This crisp is so insanely delicious already.  Why mess with it?”  That’s really what I said.  This crisp is so darn good, I have dreams about it.  I made this same crisp for some friends a few weeks ago and I could swear I heard moaning.  In a good way, naturally.

cherries!

pitting cherries is easy with the right tool

I have a theory that fruits and vegetables that grow in the same season taste good together.  I saw cherries and apricots sitting next to each other at the farmers market and voilà!  A new crisp.  I also read somewhere that the Prunus family of stone fruits also includes almonds.  An almond looks like an apricot pit, don’t you think?  I find all of that to be so interesting….and delicious!  Now the addition of almonds did make this crisp better.  Of course, leave them out if you have an allergy or substitute something crunchy like sunflower seeds.  Crisps are so easy to adjust for allergies, in fact.  You can make the topping completely vegan by using coconut oil (more natural) or Earth Balance.  For a gluten-free crisp, I used half GF oat flour and half King Arthur Multi-purpose GF Flour (which is free from cornstarch unlike some other very popular GF flours, like Cup4Cup — sorry Thomas Keller.  Love your food, though!)  Rice flour works well, too.

fruit ready to be topped

apricot, cherry and almond crisp | pamela salzman

I think you should make a fruit crisp for the holiday.  Absolutely everyone loves them.  There are no blue food dyes involved.  It’s mostly seasonal fruit.  They are sooooooo easy.  You can make your topping right now.  Yep.  In fact, you could have made it a month ago and frozen it.  You can make 10 times the recipe for crisp topping, freeze it and make a crisp every week for the rest of the summer and into Labor Day.  Or if you’re making a crisp for Thursday, make your topping today and keep it refrigerated.  Just sprinkle it on top of your prepared fruit and bake away.  No coming to room temp or any of that nonsense.  But if you just can’t make a dessert for the 4th that is missing one of the colors of our fair flag, then by all means add some blueberries or blackberries.  Or, dig deep and find your spirit of independence and make what you think you’ll love the most.  Hope you all have the best weekend!

apricot, cherry and almond crisp by Pamela Salzman

Apricot, Cherry and Almond Crisp
Author: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ pounds of ripe, fresh apricots, pitted, quartered if large
  • ⅔ pound of dark, sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted (I love my cherry pitter which I haven't seen anymore at Williams-Sonoma, but this one looks similar.)
  • ½ Tablespoon pure Grade A maple syrup or cane sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon flour (whole wheat pastry or gluten-free flour)
  • less than ⅛ teaspoon of almond extract
  • Topping:
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour (whole wheat pastry or for GF a combo of GF oat flour and King Arthur Multipurpose GF Flour)
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (for GF, look for labeled GF oats)
  • ½ cup chopped raw almonds
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter or Earth Balance, cut into 1-inch pieces or unrefined coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the fruit with syrup or sugar, flour and almond extract. Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch baking dish or pie plate.
  3. Add all topping ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend until the mixture resembles small peas. This can also be done by hand with a pastry blender. Squeeze with your hands to create small clumps.
  4. Arrange topping over fruit to cover.
  5. Place baking dish on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden brown.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if you like.
Notes
For the crisp in the photographs, I doubled all the ingredients and used a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Pancake Recipe

gluten-free buckwheat pancakes | pamela salzman

I have two things on my mind this week — eating anything that was forbidden during Passover (like grains) and being mindful of our consumption of limited resources with Earth Day coming up on April 22nd.   “How will she ever revert this to a pancake recipe?” you ask.  Stay with me, peeps.

Passover, which occurred last week,  is a mighty 8-day abstinence from eating all grains, except wheat turned into matzoh.  Giving up bread, pasta and most starches isn’t such a big deal to me, but my hubby and the kids start groaning after about Day 3.  “How much loooooonger?”  “How come we can’t have rice?  Jack’s family eats rice during Passover.”  “What??!!  It ends on Saturday night?  I thought it ended on Friday!”  And so on and so forth.  Same spiel every year.  Yawn.  So on sundown of the 8th day, my people were freed from bondage, ordered pizza and ravaged it like contestants on “Survivor.”   As for me, I will admit, I was missing oatmeal for breakfast.   Sunday morning I made an extra-large batch thinking everyone craved it as much as I did.  Wrong!  Everyone was craving bagels.    That brings me to my other thought for the week which is being efficient with resources and limiting waste.  I needed a creative way to use that leftover oatmeal!

dry ingredients

By now you know I am serious about pancakes.  I make them twice per week, very often varying the flours or even adding pumpkin and spices to the mix.  I love that everyone has fun customizing his or her own with fruit, nuts or chocolate chips.  Yesterday I made a a lovely batch of oatmeal pancakes with some of the leftovers from Sunday’s excess.  I added a good cup’s worth of steel cut oatmeal to gluten-free oat flour and buckwheat flour, which gave the pancakes these fantastic tiny little chewy bites.  I am a big fan of texture and whole grain flavors, so I adore these pancakes.  If you’ve never tried buckwheat flour, it has a great wholesome earthiness, but it does lend an odd, grey color to the batter.  By the way, buckwheat has no wheat in it and isn’t even related to wheat.  In fact, it is a relative of the rhubarb family, which is why it’s gluten-free.

leftover steel cut oats

 

gluten-free oatmeal pancake batter |pamela salzman

Oat flour is quite simple to make yourself if you don’t feel like buying it.  Just process rolled oats in the food processor until powdery.  That’s it!  If you need or want the oat flour to be gluten-free, you must buy oats/oat flour that is labeled as such, because otherwise it can contain trace amounts of gluten.  If you’re like my husband and are wondering how they take the gluten out of oats, they don’t really.  Botanically oats should not contain gluten, but they do share crop space with gluten-containing grains and often they are processed in facilities which also process wheat and barley, for example.  So the oats can pick up gluten that way.  But if you prefer, feel free to use my standard whole wheat pastry flour for the oat and buckwheat flours.  It just won’t be gluten-free and it will taste more like my traditional buttermilk pancakes, but with a little chew from the oats.  I tend to adorn these pancakes with the same yummies that I would add to a bowl of oatmeal — diced bananas, chopped walnuts, and the like.  But strawberries are incredible and plentiful right now, so we all included them yesterday and my husband tossed in his standard handful of blueberries.  Mr. Picky eats these pancakes just fine, but did declare my “normal” pancakes are his first choice.

add fruit to pancakes before flipping | pamela salzman

Extra pancake batter?  We won’t waste it!!  It will stay good in the refrigerator for a few days and can be used to make fresh pancakes later in the week.  If you use buckwheat flour, don’t be put off by the gumminess of the batter.  It’s very normal and still turns out perfect pancakes.  You can also make all the pancakes at once and freeze them for another day.  I like to put a piece of parchment paper in between each piece so they don’t stick together.  Another idea is to use the pancakes instead of bread for a sandwich or a roll-up.  Any other creative ideas for using up oatmeal or pancakes??

 gluten-free oatmeal pancakes | pamela salzman

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Pancakes
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (or substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all or part of the oat and buckwheat flours)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
  • pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups buttermilk*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup COOKED oatmeal (preferably steel-cut)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Melted, unrefined coconut oil for brushing the griddle
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle to 400 degrees or medium heat. (Not all built-in griddles are the same. 350 degrees may be fine for you.)
  2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl or 4-6 cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, melted butter and oatmeal until well blended. (Or combine all wet ingredients in a blender and add to dry mix with oatmeal.)
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Brush the griddle with coconut oil and spoon about ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle. Add blueberries, chocolate chips or diced banana to the surface, if desired. When bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake and the edges become slightly dry, flip it over and cook until done. Maintain the heat on medium-low or 400 degrees.
Notes
*No buttermilk? Sub half unsweetened yogurt and half whole milk. Or use 2 cups milk, omit the baking soda and use 1 Tablespoon baking powder instead.