50% Veggie Burgers

by HEAB on December 4, 2008

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It’s a recipe post today my friends!  So, I am anti-chain restaurant, and I love to support the local eateries.  All you Nashvillians get yourselves to Horn of Africa for some amazing Ethiopian food.  Yum, love me some injera!  Anyway, I must say that Houston’s wins as my all time favorite chain restaurant, and I always felt good about eating there because the Nashville location was the original.  Then, people over at corporate went and took my beloved Houston’s away.  Sadness, as they served THE BEST veggie burger in town (although J. Alexanders is a close second…Yes, also a chain, but their headquarters are here in Nashville.  So, I’m still supporting the locals, right?).  I just don’t get it.  Atlanta has three Houston’s restaurants, and we now have none.  So not fair!

I was thinking about that gigantic veggie burger of goodness this afternoon, and decided to try and recreate it for dinner with one exception.  Hmmm, what to use as a base for my Houston’s wannabe veggie burger?  How about beef? (Sorry VeggieGirl!)  We had some lean ground beef defrosting in the fridge, and I refuse to let any food go to waste.  So semi-veggie burgers would have to do.

When dining at Houston’s, I would stare at my burger trying to figure out its contents.  Begging our waiter for the recipe while giving him a big guilty smile got me nowhere.  Apparently the recipes are not shared with the waitstaff.  From what I could tell, they definitely used black beans, and the burgers were colored a very deep pink which could only mean one thing…beets.  Also, there was a sweet smokey flavor.  Barbecue sauce, maybe?  Here is the recipe I came up with tonight using ingredients we had:

1/2 lb lean ground beef

1/2 cup refried black beans

1 can shoestring beets

1 TBSP Trader Joe’s BBQ sauce

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 TBSP minced onion

1 clove garlic minced

salt/pepper

I then mixed everything together and formed into 4 patties.  Here they are on the Foreman prior to grilling.  Notice their lovely pinkness :)

img_0697I grilled them for 7 minutes.  The beets and beans made the burgers incredibly moist.  Chris enjoyed his on top of a big salad.

img_0702They turned out better than expected.  For 100% vegetarian burgers, I would simply use twice as many beans, and then perhaps add some cooked brown rice and ground walnuts to the mix.  Does anyone else love the Houston’s burger?  Any success with recreating it at home?

Oh, and below is my product review of the week.  I always buy natural ketchup without any HFCS.  Annie’s is popular in our house, but we tried something new this week.  By the looks of the empty bottle, I’d say we liked it.  It has a different taste.  Can’t quite put my finger on it, but I will describe it as ketchup meets worcestershire sauce. My only complaint is the bottle.  The ketchup did not pour easily, and we had to scrape out our servings with a knife.  Prefer the glass over plastic, but miss the squirt!  We found it at Whole Foods and will definitely buy more!

Westbrae Natural Fruit Sweetened Ketchup

Westbrae Natural Fruit Sweetened Ketchup

{ 7 comments }

Tina December 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm

These sound great! What an awesome way to add more beans into your diet! :)

Heather McD December 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Hey Tina! Yes, love the legumes!

Jill December 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

My Dad and Step Mom had their first date at Houstons. We were sad to see it go. I loved the pineapple steak, chopped salad and key lime pie…mmmm. Why mess with a good thing.

I love that you two love beets! My mom used to can them for me every year…mmm. I am SO hungry right now!!

VeggieGirl December 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Haha, thanks for the shout-out :-D No need to apologize!! I don’t judge others!! I hope I don’t come across as someone who would!! :-(

Heather McD December 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Hey VeggieGirl. Nope, you definitely don’t seem like the judgemental type. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you’re feeling better and baking again soon.

MizFit December 5, 2008 at 5:50 am

Im too lazy which isnt a good thing.
up in herre it’s either morning star veggie burgers or turkey burgers—all pre made :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter December 5, 2008 at 6:13 am

Mizfit, We buy the Morningstar breakfast patties and frozen turkey burgers from Costco. They are both a staple in our house as well. Homemade veggie burgers are definitely rare!

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