Beet and Bean Veggie Burgers

These ruby-colored beauties are loaded with fiber and nutrients, and are absolutely amazing. This recipe makes 6 patties; you can prepare the patties in advance, freeze in between sheets of wax paper, defrost and cook when you're ready to eat.

PREP TIME: 1 hours 0 minutes
COOK TIME: 10 minutes

3 large red beets (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup oat flour
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup prunes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
To serve: split multigrain buns, baby greens, sliced cheese

Cook the beets: Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Add the prunes. Pulse in quick bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl.

Grate the roasted beets: Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. Save the beet juice for another purpose (it makes a great smoothie!).

Transfer the beets, rice, and onion mixture to the bowl with the beans. A remaining tablespoon olive oil, brown mustard, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the oatmeal flour and egg, and mix mixture thoroughly.

Refrigerate the burger mix 2 hours, or up to 3 days: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.

One mixture is cooled, shape into patties. Fry over medium-high heat in vegetable or olive oil until edges are brown and crispy. Flip and cook the other side.

To assemble, place the patties on the bottom side of your bun, and add cheese and greens. Top with remaining half of bun. Serve and enjoy!