Seasonally Savvy – Gluten- Free Burgers & Golden Beet Salad

26 Sep

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Embracing the fruits of the season and a gluten-free lifestyle… Beast of a burger on the grill and can’t beat this beet salad!

I often rolled my eyes at the dietary restricted. I assumed the majority of these decisions were based solely on some popular trend rather than an actual condition. How dare someone give up meat? Those vegans are living a dismally boring lifestyle! Gluten-free forbidding a morning slice of toast, no thank you! Clearly I had been completely engrossed in a culinary adventure that would let no theory interfere with my quest. And then… the revelation. I have battled eczema my entire life. While this chronic inflammation of the skin does not interfere with my physical well being daily, the itching and scratching has created a lifetime of discomfort. I discovered that gluten is one of the strongest triggers to these reactions. While I still slightly cheat from time to time,  I have made a CHOICE to eat and consume in moderation. Additionally, I don’t feel fatigue anymore and truly experience less mood swings on a daily basis. I actually do not judge the meat free, gluten free, carb free, etc lifestyles anymore. If what you eat makes you feel great, embrace it! There are plenty of creative ways to substitute and still satisfy those taste buds.

With the season for tomatoes wrapping up and root vegetables in full swing, I concocted a few recipes to embrace the Autumn air in a gluten free manner. Dig up that Nortface fleece, light the grill, and brave the chill in the air before 7pm becomes all too dark and chilly for a barbecued dinner.

Something about the California sun reminds me of the classic tune, ‘Beast of Burden’ and I sure hope you enjoy this beast of a burger recipe I created. Rather than use a traditional bun, I par-boiled sweet potato slices and roasted them on the grill. A tiny bit more effort but way more satisfying as the glue for your ground beef sandwich. The grilled onions truly melt in your mouth and shine as the star. I  recommend building the burger patties with flavor ahead of time for a minimum of two hours.

Serve your burgers with your favorite sautéed vegetable (broccoli rabe & bacon pictured in the background of the burger) or toss a light salad. Golden beets have a naturally sweet and subtle taste that will garnish your plate in a beautiful way. Slice incredibly thin to make for a more edible component of the salad. Don’t forget to soak those minced red onions in red wine vinegar for a while… will break down the bitterness. Recipe follows the burger and incorporates many of the same ingredients.

Beast of a Burger – Serves 5

  • 1 1/2 lbs organic ground beef – 85/15
  • 3/4 cup oats (if celiac, purchase gluten free to ensure they have not been in contact with wheat in a facility)
  • 4-5 tblsp balsamic vinegar (2-3 for burgers, 1-2 for red onions)
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried fennel seed
  • 1 onion (1/4 cup minced, the rest sliced thin)
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into thick slices
  • Sliced tomato
  • White cheddar cheese slices
  • Olive oil for roasting vegetables

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, oats, balsamic, egg, spices, garlic, and minced onion. Form 5 burger patties and let sit for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potato in water until slightly soft but still in tact with skin. Line a baking sheet with olive oil and lay slices. Light the grill to high heat (350-400 degrees). Grill onions and sweet potato for about 30 minutes. Cook the burgers for 5-10 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Layer on cheese to melt in last 2 minutes. Build burger as shown in photo.

Can’t Beat It – Beet Salad – Serves 5

  • 2 large golden beets sliced thin
  • 3 tomatoes sliced thin
  • Minced red onion
  • Red wine vinegar & olive oil
  • Sliced basil

Marinate the onions in vinegar for about an hour. Line the vegetables in a bowl as pictured and garnish with olive oil and vinegar.

Wine Pairing: Forth Vineyards Syrah – Sonoma. Have loved these wines for years and just re-discovered the Syrah! Check out my 2010 blog post here!

One Response to “Seasonally Savvy – Gluten- Free Burgers & Golden Beet Salad”

  1. Heather September 27, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    These recipes look awesome! 🙂

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