Chorizo is a pork sausage that’s popular in Europe and Latin America. It varies in preparation based on the region. Years ago, I used to frequent a Mexican restaurant in San Jose, California that offered soy chorizo as a taco filling. Maybe they made their own, but I have a feeling they used good ol’ Frieda’s Soyrizo. That stuff is addictive, salty goodness.
With warm thoughts of vegan versions of chorizo, I set out to create a tasty, grillable beet and walnut burger recipe that’s perfect for summer. There are no beans, no soy, no gluten and no dairy. It makes 3 large burgers or 4 medium burgers. It’s easy to cook on the grill or baked in the oven. And best of all, it tastes pretty awesome.
In this recipe, I use sherry vinegar, because it works really well with beets and walnuts. It adds a little bit of sweetness and caramel notes to the mix, which plays nicely with all the other elements of this recipe. Because of this, I would urge you to use sherry vinegar. If you can’t find it by you, you can try to use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Neither substitute will be exactly the same, but it should still be pretty good.
I like to top this recipe for vegan beet chorizo burgers with a simple cilantro coleslaw. To make it, simply mix a little vegan mayo (2-3 Tbsp) with lime juice (1Tbsp), onion powder (1/4 tsp), garlic powder (1/4 tsp), fresh cilantro (1/3 cup) and salt (to taste). And then, I add 2 cups prepackaged tri-color coleslaw, and mix it all together. It’s easy to do, and adds a little crunch. But really, you can top this beet burger with whatever you enjoy!
If you have leftover beet burgers, you can use them in a lot of different ways. Crumble the beet chorizo and use it as a pizza topping, a nacho topping, as taco filling, in a tofu quiche, on fried potatoes or as a baked potato topping. Get creative!
Beet Chorizo Burgers
1/3 cup millet
1 1/3 cup fake chicken broth (I used 3/4 of a cube of Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon dissolved in 1 1/3 cup water)
2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic cloves (or ~5 garlic cloves, finely chopped)
3 Tbsp (+ a little to grease a pan) olive oil
2 cups raw beets, finely chopped
3/4 cup raw walnuts, pulsed in a blender until it looks like crumbly sand
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp rubbed sage leaf
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
1. In a small saucepan, add millet and broth. Bring to a boil, and then, cover and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove it from heat, and then, let it sit with the lid on for, at least, 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and let it cool off.
2. In a large skillet, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, the garlic cloves, and a dash of salt over high heat. When it comes to a sizzle, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add another Tbsp of olive oil, beets, walnuts, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, sage, onion powder and salt. Stir around for about 1 minute. Then, deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar–scraping off the goodies that suck to the bottom of the skillet.
3. Add half of the beet-walnut mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Add the beet-walnut mixture from the blender into a large mixing bowl. Add the millet, the rest of the beet-walnut mixture from the skillet and the flax seed meal to the large mixing bowl. Stir everything together. Let everything sit together for, at least, 10 minutes. While the burgers are setting up, preheat the grill or the oven to 400º F.
5. Line a sheet pan appropriate for the grill (or oven) with non-stick aluminum foil. Lightly grease it with olive oil. Shape burgers out of the mixture, and place them on the sheet pan.
TO GRILL: Place the lined grill-proof sheet pan on the grill. Grill at ~400º F for ~5-7 minutes (cook time will hinge on how large the burgers are and how grilled you like them!). Flip. Grill for ~3-4 minutes, or when they reach your desired level of char. Remove from the grill.
TO BAKE: Place the lined sheet pan in the center of the oven. Bake at 400º F for ~5-7 minutes (cook time will hinge on the size of the burgers and how charred you like them). Flip. Return to the oven, and bake for ~5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn. Remove from the oven.
6. Top with your favorite burger toppings, and serve.