Lentil, Beet and Buckwheat Burgers

America’s Test Kitchen has done it again with a burger recipe that is a veggie burger that looks like meat. No, it’s not an impossible burger, but a burger made with beets. If your first thought is that beets are yucky, just wait until you try these burgers. I don’t care for beets myself, but I was anxious to try this burger. Their burger was the pinto bean, beet and buckwheat burger. Two things wrong with the ingredients: the pinto beans don’t provide much protein and the bulger cracked wheat. Bulger can be swapped one to one with buckwheat groats. Another trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen. I am swapping the pinto beans for lentils, which provides the protein. This burger will be the same concept, with slightly different ingredients. I will also be adding a warm coleslaw to this recipe to round out the vitamins.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • In the hot slaw recipe, I added carrots to increase the vitamin A.
  • I replaced the bulger with buckwheat groats to make it gluten free
  • I replaced the pinto beans with lentils to increase the protein
  • I replaced the baby food with an egg to increase the protein
  • I replaced the panko with oats to make these gluten free
  • I removed the vegetable oil to reduce the calories
  • I deleted the walnuts to reduce the calories

Here are the final calories for each recipe:

For the burgers
For the coleslaw

Here are the final recipes:


Lentil, Beet and Buckwheat Burgers

Serves 8

  • 2/3 cup buckwheat
  • 1 large beet (9 ounces), peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • Cooking Spray


  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water boil in small saucepan. Off heat, stir in buckwheat, cover, and let stand until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool slightly.
  2. Cook the lentils in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Set aside.
  3. Add the oats to a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Remove the oats to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, pulse shredded beet, basil, and garlic together in food processor until finely chopped, about 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add lentils, egg, 2 tablespoons water, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse until well combined, about 8 pulses.
  5. Transfer mixture to the large bowl and stir in oats and cooled buckwheat. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and pack into 4‑inch-wide patties.
  6. Heat a 12‑inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Gently lay 4 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and well browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning gently halfway through cooking and reducing heat if burgers begin to scorch. Transfer burgers to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with cooking spray and remaining patties. Serve.

Hot Slaw, Mexican Style

Serves 8

  • 1 small purple cabbage
  • 1 small green cabbage
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, the leaves cleaned and roughly chopped, approximately ½ cup
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 1 /2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon adobo from a can of chipotles en adobo, or hot pepper sauce to taste (optional)
  1. When you are ready to make the slaw, build a fire in your grill, leaving about 1/3 of grill free of coals, or set one burner of a gas grill to high. When the fire is ready, place the cabbages, whole, onto the fire or over the open burner, and allow them to roast in the heat of the open flames, turning them every few minutes and allowing them to rest occasionally on the cooler side of the grill, until they are blackened, blistered and a little soft to the touch, approximately 30 to 45 minutes. When the cabbage is getting close, add the carrots and char them as well.  You are not looking to incinerate them so much as to cook them aggressively. You will discard most of the burned exterior.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk the cilantro into the coconut cream in a bowl, and add the lime juice and, if you’re using, adobo or hot sauce to taste..
  3. When the cabbages are blackened and have softened to the point where you can insert a knife into each one fairly easily, remove them to a cutting board. Once they have cooled slightly, take off most of the blackened exterior leaves. Cut each cabbage in half, then use your knife to remove the cores. Slice the cabbage into thin strips, as for a coleslaw, and add them to a large serving bowl.
  4. Apply the coconut cream mixture to the sliced cabbage, and toss to combine. 


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