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Burgers & Beer: The Buddha Burger

Delicious blend of Middle Eastern flavors atop a roasted cabbage foundation.

A Masterpiece Almost Too Beautiful To Eat

Veggie burgers are often thought of as discs of fake meat or pressed vegetables designed to resemble a hamburger. If you’ve been following my Burgers & Beer series, that just ain’t so! Most meat eaters are exposed to vegetarian burgers at restaurants that cater to a meat eating crowd. The veggie burger on the menu is an afterthought to satisfy the occasional veg head that arrives with their carnivore pals.

This burger was inspired by a blog I stumbled upon called Vegan Wonderful recipes and photographs. She takes vegetarian food and turns it into 5 star restaurant fare.

I put a few twists on the recipe and eliminated the bread. I love buns but I wanted to appreciate the full flavor of this burger without the distraction.

I served this gorgeous, easy to make burger on top of roasted cabbage. Recipe here. This time I used purple cabbage. You can follow the same recipe but reduce your roasting time by 5 minutes or so unless you like the edges really crispy (I do!).

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Garnished with a roasted cabbage flower topped with a Chipotle Vegenaise

1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 head of cauliflower
Cooking oil spray
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
2 T onion flakes
2 T olive oil
4 T garbanzo flour
Chili flavored olive oil (or unflavored)
4 T Vegenaise
1 T Melinda’s Chipotle Habanero Sauce
1/3 jar roasted red peppers
Jar of pickled jalapeños, diced

Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp garam masala to 4 cups water in a saucepan. Add in the lentils and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes and drain.

Preheat oven to 400F. While lentils are cooking, cut out large, center stem of cauliflower head. Using a fine grater, grate the head of cauliflower so that it resembles something close to flour. Spread grated cauliflower evenly out on large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, stir and re-spread and bake another 5 minutes. The cauli-flour should start to brown along the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In large bowl mix together 1 tsp salt, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, onion flakes, olive oil and garbanzo flour. Mix in baked cauli-flour.

Form patties any size you desire. Heat 1 T chili flavored (or regular) olive oil in large skillet. Brown both sides of patties carefully turning.

Bake patties in oven for 15 minutes at 400F. Handle gently but patties should stick together well.

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The flavor is complex but the recipe isn’t.

Add the Habanero sauce to the Vegenaise and stir. Dice the prepared roasted red peppers and pickled jalapeños.

Layer the roasted purple cabbage, the Buddha Burger, the Chipotle Vegenaise, roasted cabbage flower (inside section of cabbage round), and top it off with the red pepper and jalapeño.

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Reduce the heat by eliminating the Habanero sauce and topping with relish instead of jalapeños.

Fat Tire in a Can

The Brewery

New Belgium Brewery became a commercial brewery in 1991. Jeff Lebesch was an inspiring home brewer who rode his mountain bike on “fat tires” through European villages known for their beer. Upon his return to Fort Collins, Colorado, he began brewing beer in his basement. Jeff’s wife, Kim, is acting CEO of the company which is now 100% employee owned. After one year of employment, you become part owner and they give you a cruiser bike:).

Visit the New Belgium Brewery website to learn more about this innovative company.

The Taste

You may ask why I would I feature such an “ordinary” beer that everyone who drinks beer has already heard about or enjoyed. The answer is because the “can conditioned” Fat Tire is so much better than the Fat Tire in a bottle! Way better.

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I’ve never been fond of cans, for soda or beer. My cousin, a professional mountain biker from Colorado, told my husband and I that we had to give the new canned Fat Tire a try. It was now his favorite beer and he never liked the brand before. It’s never been a top favorite until we tried the can conditioned version.

It’s a beautiful beer when poured with tiny bubbles that resemble champagne. The taste is bold but with less of a bite than the bottled version. It has a toasted nutty flavor with a great biscuit-like after taste.

“Bottle conditioned” is when the beer is sealed with live yeast and sugars which produces carbon dioxide and other protective effects. “Can conditioned” is similar.

Cans do have their advantages. Some places don’t allow glass and they are easier to recycle.

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I urge you to serve Fat Tire in a can at your next barbecue. Available in 12 packs at most stores and much cheaper than the beers I normally feature.  [5.2% alcohol]

To view all posts in Burgers & Beer series, click here.

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" Steven Wright


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