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Beet Burgers and The SOS Kitchen Challenge!

[Seen here on romaine leaves with a side of homemade cultured vegetables.]

I can hardly believe it, but today is the HH and my thirteenth anniversary!  And to think they said it would never last!  Of course, when we met, we were just love-struck kids  a one-night stand  riding the subway two jaded divorcés who thought they’d never again find love.

And yet, here we are.  And get a load of our conversation earlier this morning:

Ricki and the HH marvel at 13 years together (which is about 11 more years than Ellen and Portia). The HH gets ready to shave for work while Ricki brushes her teeth.

HH: You know, I had to buy this new razor yesterday.  I had a two-blader, and now they only come with three blades or more.

Ricki [mouth full of confiscated toothpaste suds]: Rrrbrrry?

HH: Yes, really.  I think I had that razor longer than we’ve been together. 

Ricki [rinsing mouth]: That would be more than thirteen years. Wow.

HH: Yeah. Hey–that means that all of the cells in our bodies have already been replaced since we got together! So we’re not even the same two people we were when we first met.

Ricki: You’re such a romantic. 

Okay, I suppose there is something a little bit special about walking around with a cellular makeup that developed entirely while I’ve been living with the HH (and the same for him). And if cells renew themselves every seven years in dogs, too, that means Elsie really is “our” dog now (though Chaser still has a ways to go).

Mum, that is ageism, don’t you think?  I mean, it’s not my fault I’m only three years old tomorrow.  And what’s up with an April 7th birthday, anyway? It’s always overshadowed by your darn anniversary.” 

Well, if red is the color of passion, then perhaps these beet burgers can inject an extra shot of romance into our relationship on this special day. Not only that, they’re also the perfect recipe to introduce a new blog event hosted by Kim of Affairs of Living and me–the Sweet or Savory (SOS) Kitchen Challenge!

Following a special diet–whether because of allergies or other conditions–can sometimes feel like an insurmountable challenge. As two people who’ve both been following a special diet for some time, Kim and I understand how important it is to find delicious, appealing recipes to keep you motivated and committed when you’ve cut out certain ingredients from your diet, whether because of allergies or other conditions.

That’s why we’ve teamed up to offer the SOS Kitchen Challenge blog event! The SOS Kitchen Challenge invites you to create delicious dishes based on one key ingredient each time. You can choose either sweet or savory dishes (or both) for the event.  At the end of the month, Kim and I will gather all the submissions and post them in a roundup on both our blogs—so your recipe will get double the exposure! The resulting roundup will offer a single stop where health-conscious readers can find a collection of yummy dishes to try.

Help us showcase how tantalizing and delectable healthy foods can be! 

For our first challenge, our star ingredient is. . . . BEETS!

You may have noticed how much I adore beets, from salads to faux pepperoni and even a dessert. A much-loved vegetable in both our kitchens, beets are a star in the veggie universe as well: besides tasting great, they’re packed with minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium and iron, are a great source of the B Vitamin folate, and actually help boost liver function.  They contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, help prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation in the body. They’re a great source of fiber and can promote regularity. And they might just introduce a little extra passion to your mealtime.

To participate in the challenge, simply cook up a recipe using beets (beetroots, beet greens, yellow beets, red beets, or any kind of beet you like); the beets can be raw or cooked in either a sweet or savory recipe. There are loads of possibilities—salads, soups, main dishes, baked goods, even a beet-and-bean chili or a mousse!

Then, post the recipe to your blog.  Of course, you can still participate even if you don’t have a blog! (For full guidelines and how to participate, see the main SOS Kitchen Challenge page). Be sure to mention the event on your post and link to this SOS page.  Also, feel free to use the SOS logo in your post to help promote the event, though this is not required. Deadline is April 20th–after which we’ll both be posting the roundup on our blogs. Full details here.  You can also find all the information on Kim’s SOS page.

We look forward to sharing yummy beet-based recipes with you!  To start us off, I thought I’d submit this savory, yet slightly sweet, beet burger. 

I got the idea for these burgers when Kim mentioned “beetloaf” one day on twitter. I do enjoy savory loaves (such as nutroasts), but wanted something that would cook up a bit faster and perhaps go well in a sandwich (since I seem to be on a sandwich kick these days).  After a couple of false starts (I guess there is such a thing as “too much beet”), I came up with this version: browned and barely crispy on the outside, still moist on the inside, with a naturally smoky flavor and sweet undertones.  These patties make a great main dish served alongside your favorite vegetable or even a creamy pasta.

To see my co-host, Kim’s, recipe using beets this month, check the recipe for Caramelized Onion, Beet and Rhubarb Compote on her blog!

Beet Burgers

I imagined a burger that tasted hearty without being too heavy or too earthy because of the beets.  The pairing of buckwheat and beets accomplishes this goal admirably; these are a mild burger, yet one that is–dare I say it–meaty enough to really satisfy. 

1/2 cup (120 ml) buckwheat, dry

1-1/3 cups (320 ml) vegetable broth of stock

1-1/2 cups (235 g) brazil nuts (or use walnuts or pecans, or a mix)

1/2 cup (50 g) whole old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)

1/4 cup (30 g) finely ground flax seeds

5-1/2 ounces (150 g) cooked*, peeled beets (3-4 small beets)

1/2 medium red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) parsley, chopped

3/4 tsp (3.5 ml) fennel

1 tsp (5 ml) ground mustard

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt

up to 1/2 cup (120 ml) additional vegetable broth or stock, as needed

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.

In a small pot, bring the 1-1/3 cups (320 ml) vegetable stock to a boil; add the buckwheat, cover, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the cover, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the nuts, flax and oats to the texture of a coarse meal.  Add the beets, pepper, parsley, fennel, mustard and salt and process until almost smooth, yet still grainy. 

Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup (80 ml) measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and flatten to patties about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.  Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes, then gently turn over and return to oven for another 15-25 minutes, until the burgers are crisp on the edges.  Serve plain or in buns.  These go well with avocado mayonnaise or fresh and spicy cilantro sauce (both of these condiments will create a cool red-and-green Christmas vibe with the burgers, too).  Makes 8-10 burgers.  May be frozen.

* I bake the beets because I prefer the flavor and find they are a bit dryer that way, so the burgers will hold together better.  If you boil the beets instead, you might like to reduce the vegetable broth by 2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml).

Last Year at this Time: Dr. Ornish, You Stole My Heart: Seven Grain Dirty Rice and Beans

Two Years Ago: Lucky Comestible II (3): Quinoa Oatmeal Croquettes

© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs 


51 comments to Beet Burgers and The SOS Kitchen Challenge!

  • Beets+buckwheat = vegan heaven. I am bookmarking this!!


  • Happy Anniversary!! I’m so happy for you!! Your beet burgers are such a gloriously romantic shade of red, too – gorgeous! I’m also super-excited about this new blog event – SO cool!! Mmmm, I adore beets, too… 🙂


  • Congratulations on your anniversary and on your very own (co-hosted) blog event – i am sure it will bring as much interest to the blogosphere as your relationship has – well the little glimpses of HH humour are always priceless! And a big happy birthday to wee chaser too


  • Oh.yum. I think I have mentioned this to you before, but I am a beet fanatic! These burgers look wonderful!
    Happy anniversary — cheers to many more full cell regenerations to come!


  • Whoa. Those burgers look eerily like raw red meat!

    And of course you picked my kitchen kryptonite, but maybe I’ll try to stretch out and come up with something beety for the blog event.


  • Happy anniversary!

    The beet challenge sounds like fun! It’ll give me an excuse to buy more beets and force my boyfriend to eat them.


  • Gena,
    I agree–wonderful combo! Glad you like them 🙂

    Thanks so much! Can’t believe we made it . . ! 😉

    Thanks so much! Hope you join in!

    Thanks–and thanks for remembering little Chaser (“yeah, thanks, Johanna!“). And for writing the first comment directed at the HH–he’ll be thrilled 😉

    Yay for beet fans! And thanks for the anniversary wishes (weird about the cells, no?) 😉

    I kinda thought that for a second, but decided not to go with that image 😉 Why not go for it and give it a try?

    Hope you join in! After all, what’s more fun than making our guys try out our kitchen experiments? 😉


  • That sounds like an anniversary conversation in our house! Yep, 14 years here – so I think we are on the same wave 🙂

    Love the challenge idea! I just used up all of my beets yesterday – the recipe I made was okay, but not great, so it won’t get posted, but I still have that Ricki beet post to do, sounds perfect!!


  • I can’t wait for the beet challenge! Your readers seem excited, I hope mine are too! I must try these burgers with a me friendly nut/seed. Looks so great! I think it is funny that we both used beet and buckwheat in our recipes. I guess they go together, like peas and carrots. But better. I love working with you, Ricki!

    Kim | http://www.affairsofliving.com


  • Happy anniversary to you and HH! I made beet burgers and posted about them on my blog too! My recipe came from Louise Hagler’s book Meatless Burgers. Yours look delicious. I love how beets make burgers look all beefy.


  • Wow!This is wonderful. I thought I was looking at some raw burger patties, I cant wait to give this a try.Thanks for sharing this recipe


  • happy anniversary to you and HH, and birthday to chaser! it’s just fitting that two of your specials share a special day 🙂

    fun event, too, maybe I can come up with something worth!!


  • Happy anniversary! Congratulations on an amazing 13 years together!


  • Congrats to you! and if these burgers are half as good as your veggie burgers made with vegetables then I will be more than satisfied. How can I resist such a pretty burger?


  • So beautiful! I love the beets, brazil nuts and buckwheat in this recipe..great idea!


  • Happy Anniversary to you and the HH. In your case, 13 seems to be a lucky number! And Happy b-day to poor, overlooked and under-appreciated Chaser. I hope he gets a special treat.


  • What a creative and fantastic way to use beets…I remember your beetaroni post and thinking the same thing then too! These look great, and the challenge sounds like fun too…


  • This looks positively beet-alicious! So creative!


  • Courtney

    Awww…congrats and happy anniversary! May you have 13+++ lovely more years together 🙂



  • A-K

    Ricki! I love that you and Kim are friends and came up with this super awesome idea! Your beet burgers sound lovely – I’m particularly a fan of buckwheat burgers 🙂


  • A-K

    Oh! And happy anniversary, and here’s to many more!


  • Happy anniversary to you and your HH, Ricki!


  • What a great event! Do you ever sleep woman? And beets? Do need to eat them more often.
    Very, very happy anniversary to you and HH. I love that your cells have all re-generated and that you’re different yet the same. Beautiful.


  • Cherie

    For some reason I always get your posts a day late(?), this just showed up in my inbox. So, a belated Happy 13th Anniversary…hope you guys had a great day together!! As far as the beets, I’ll have to put on my thinking cap! Love the whole idea of the new blog event…can’t wait!


  • I always don’t know what to do with beets, but I had a beet burger in LA one that was phenom. I have to try making yours now… and I have two beets in my fridge!

    I might have to join this SOS challenge, it looks fun!


  • Happy Anniversary! These look amazing – I’m particularly impressed with the use of buckwheat. Always love your recipes, Ricki! You must spend a lot of time developing them? I’m curious! 🙂


  • Happy anniversary, Ricki!

    This is great! I never know what to make with beets. These burgers look stellar!


  • Alisa,
    I guess 13 or 14 isn’t that different! And please do try to join along! 🙂

    I love working with you, too! And can’t wait to try YOUR beet recipe 😀

    Thanks so much! And what a coincidence about the beet burgers! 🙂 I’m curious to find out about her recipe now!

    I guess they do look kinda like raw (ew). But NO! So much better!

    Thanks so much! (“Thanks, Shannon!“) Hope you can join in the fun!

    Thanks so much! Not sure if the years themselves were amazing, or the fact that we stayed together through them all 😉

    Ordinary Vegetarian,
    I liked these as much as, if not better than, the veggie burgers–but they are definitely a different “style” (much moister in the middle, and with a very mild flavor).

    Veggie Belly,
    Thanks so much! Buckwheat and brazils are 2 of my favorite foods that don’t get used very much. Hey–just realized this recipe is made of 3 “B” foods! (That’s neither here nor there, but anyway. . . ) 😉

    Thanks so much–I guess it IS pretty lucky! And we will be sure Chaser gets a treat so SHE doesn’t feel underappreciated! 😉 (“Mum, do you think she couldn’t tell that I’m a girl? Even with these extra long and feminine eyelashes?“)

    Thanks so much! Mmmmm. . . beetaroni! Hope you play along with the challenge. 🙂

    Glad you like ’em!

    Oh, thank you! I’m hoping for at least 13 😉

    Hope you’ll join in the fun! And Kim is awesome (but you knew that) 😀

    Thanks so much! 😀

    Ha ha! (Taking full advantage of my holiday while I can). I love how you put it–the different yet the same–how true!

    How weird about the posts! (Some strange Google glitch?). Anyway, glad you like the idea and hope you join in!

    Happy Herbivore,
    I do hope you join in–would love to see your amazing no-fat creation! 😉

    Thanks so much! Re: recipes, it depends on the recipe. I’m actually quicker with baking, since it’s so second nature to me (I can usually imagine in advance how something will come out). These burgers required 3 tries to get it right; other things take more or less (my coconut whipped cream had about 50 trials–seriously–before hitting on the final version that went into my cookbook).

    Thanks so much! Glad you like the look of them. 🙂


  • Happy Anniversary! The beet burgers look very romantic and I can imagine how delish they would be with spicy cilantro sauce.

    Love your SOS kitchen challenge. I hope to participate in one soon.


  • I haven’t tried beet burgers before. I will try this sometime. Thanks!


  • Happy anniversary! And happy birthday to Chaser! Hee hee, the HH is hilariously romantic! 😀

    How cool! I love blog challenges, and this one sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. It will be an even bigger challenge to participate while Mr. Kook and I are traveling, but count me in!


  • soooo awesome on 13 years, Ricki! congrats, congrats, CONGRATS!!!!!! i laughed about all the cells being replaced and you and the HH being two enirely different people now. ah ha ha! you two sound like dan and i. i love it!

    i’m up for the challenge, Ricki! your beet burgers are the best! my csa starts up in a few weeks and i’ll have organic beets aplenty. i might have to grab some at our local market this weekend to see what i can cook up. w00t! i’m gonna check out Kim’s blog now as well. thanks for the challenge – and happyanniversaryface!!!


  • Happy anniversary! And wow, those beet burgers look amazing. I’ve never been a huge fan of beets, but this might win me over. Thanks for sharing!


  • Diann,
    Thanks so much! Will look forward to your entry. 🙂

    Thanks! Hope you like them.

    I will be waiting with great anticipation to see what you cook up–you are always soooo creative! And glad I’m not the only one who finds the HH hilarious!

    Thanks so much! 🙂 And I look forward to seeing what you concoct from the CSA or market!

    These burgers don’t really taste like beets (at least, not to me)–they have a very mild, slightly nutty flavor, savory with a hint of sweet.

    City Girl,
    Thanks so much, and thanks for your comment! 🙂


  • Yummmmmmmm beets are one of my favourites! I recently made a chocolate beet cake and while I think it had 2 cups of pureed beets… it wouldn’t be considered a healthy beet dish. Love these burgers you’ve created. Making vegetarian/vegan burgers has always been a bit of a challenge for me – they don’t like to stick together! I love that idea of a cellular makeup that developed completely while being with another person. =)


  • […] This month’s Diet, Dessert and Dogs SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient is beets. My entry is really a two-fer; my adapted recipe plus the original one that […]

  • […] is for the Sweet and Savory Challenge on  Diet, Desserts and […]

  • OzPolly

    These beet burgers are terrific. The brazil nuts give them a toothsome resistance, despite the overall soft texture of the burgers. They hold together well and come together fast.

    I found I didn’t need all the liquid for cooking the buckwheat, and cooked it off uncovered. However, I needed to add liquid to the mix anyway, so next time I won’t worry about the buckwheat being a bit wet. I used Massell (available in Australia) Beef Style stock powder instead of veg stock.

    The recipe calls for oven baking, but I pan fried them in a very small amount of oil with perfect results (didn’t need to turn on the oven for anything else). I used leftover roasted beets from a previous meal, saving on fuel consumption. Given how popular these were, I’ll plan on making them whenever I have leftover roasted beets.

    As the mixture is so easy to work with, I’m thinking that the burgers would be nice pressed into heart shaped cookie cutters for Valentine’s Day burgers.

    Thank you for a great looking, lovely tasting recipe!



  • […] submitted to Ricki and Kim’s SOS Kitchen Challenge (Beets) at Diet, Dessert and […]

  • sonal

    I found your recipe recently and just made a batch. I added some fresh ginger and more fennel than you recommended as well as a tsp of garam masala and they turned out fantastic. this recipe is a winner.t hanks so much!


  • cv

    I’m thinking to make these for a family reunion in June, where at least one of the other participants is vegan. Most folks, of course, will be doing the standard hot dog and hamburger routine outdoors on the grill but I figure I could whip these up ahead of time then throw them on the old cast iron grill pan just for the sake of those groovy grill marks!

    Only problem is that oats and I aren’t getting along so well these days. Have you ever tried them with quinoa flakes? Any other suggestions?

    Oh, and could you give me a ballpark idea of the time and temp for baking the beets? Thanks much!


    Ricki Reply:

    I think the re-heating on the grill would probably work; these actually firmed up more once they’d been cooked and then cooled, so next-day reheating would be ideal. That said, I’m not sure how the quinoa would work. I might throw in a tablespoon or so of cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca starch in that case, as the oats actually act partly as a binder. But I can’t guarantee that would work, so you are taking a chance. As for baking the beets, I find it depends on how fresh they are and the size, but in general an hour at around 375F seems to work for me–until they are very tender when you poke them with a fork or knife. Let me know how they turn out if you try them with quinoa flakes instead!


  • […] Burgers from Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Addicted to […]

  • […] This month’s Diet, Dessert and Dogs SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient is beets. My entry is really a two-fer; my adapted recipe plus the original one that […]

  • Hi There Ricki,

    Just a note to let you know I shared your awesome dinner/main dish inspired recipe on my monthly recipe round-up. If you get a chance, come on over and check out the other dinner ideas ranging from meat-based to vegan.


    Dinner is served ya’ll! 🙂

    Be Well,


    Ricki Reply:

    Aw, thanks so much, Amber! I loved that nut roast that you posted as well. 🙂


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