Full-Flavor Smokehouse Burgers Recipe

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Milan Ross embraced a plant-based diet—and in the process, he lost more than 200 lbs. and found a passion for helping others.

Smoked pepper, BBQ sauce, and a few minutes on the grill impart a wonderful smokiness to these burgers, while mushrooms lend a satisfying meaty flavor. And because these burgers contain grated beets, they even look like beef burgers. 

Ingredients

Burger Mixture

  • 1 cup unsalted raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 Portobello mushroom, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 medium beet, grated
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3 Tbs. commercial smoky BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Additional Ingredients

  • 8 whole-grain hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 8 thin slices tomato
  • 8 thin slices red onion

Preparation

  1. Place the walnuts in a dry skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the nuts are fragrant and golden. Transfer to a food processor.
  2. Place the oats in the skillet, and toast over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the food processor, and pulse the mixture until you have a fine meal. Set aside.
  3. Lightly spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray, and heat to medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the roasted garlic, mushrooms, and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Remove from the heat, and stir in the grated beet until it releases its color. Set aside.
  4. Place the kidney beans and smoked salt in a large mixing bowl, and mash until only a few beans remain whole. Add the cooked brown rice, reserved walnut mixture, reserved mushroom mixture, BBQ sauce, and spices, and mix thoroughly until you’ve formed a moldable dough.
  5. Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium.
  6. Divide the burger mixture into 8 equal portions, and mold into patties. Arrange the patties on the outdoor grill or grill pan, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, searing grill marks into each side.
  7. For each burger, place a cooked patty on the bottom of a bun, and add a slice of tomato and a slice of onion. Place the top of the bun on the sandwich, and serve immediately.
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