Feb 10, 2011

chili relleno burger

I am so behind on my blog posts that this post is going to throw everything topsy-turvy. It must be done, though, because it is that special time of month again when Tami Noyes at Vegan Appetite hosts her Food Network Friday makeover and she has a deadline to meet.

This month's reinvention is a Chili Relleno Burger, a creation by the Great Food Network Kitchen - in other words, the chef remains anonymous.

We, however, do not care because we are tackling a burger. I could not copy Tami's Incrediburger; that would have been taboo, so I was, for the first time ever, forced to create a vegan burger. 

I wanted to make one that would have a pink tint - mimic the look of a burger cooked to 'medium' - and used my beet trick again. This time I roasted the beets first and incorporated that into the recipe. I used pressed tofu (finding as many uses for my new Tofu Xpress that I possibly can), vegetables (including the beets and some of the poblano and roasted tomato that is for the topping) and vital gluten.

I kneaded the burger for 1 cycle in my bread machine (no need for the second knead), formed them and baked them on low in about a half cup of water. The liquid helps the burgers to get bigger and stay juicy. Having watched a few shows about the 'best' burger recipes, I am aware that burgers must stay juicy and moist. There is no seitan-after taste, the color is pale pink and the burger is juicy. 

Getting back to the actual FNF recipe, this burger has cheese (I used both kinds of Daiya, was going to make Muenster but ran out of time. Story of my life these days, it seems.) roasted tomatoes and onions (I pan sauteed both) and roasted poblano peppers (I charred them on my gas burner). Nothing really changed there except the execution (mine are easier). The challenge in this FNF was the burger itself.

Thanks for pushing my limits, Tami (and whoever chose this recipe!).

Cost Breakdown

buns: $3
gluten, tofu: (for 12 burgers): $3
beets, peppers, onion, garlic, tomato: $5
spices: $.25
Daiya: $2
Total to make 8 burgers:


  1. That looks delicious! I'm so glad to be back doing FNF again. I missed it. This was such a good recipe to veganize!

  2. What a great idea, combining burgers and chili rellenos.

  3. Thanks Tami and Cardamomandsactiron! Nice to have you join us again.

    Tender Branson, great idea, yes! You like to cook, you should join in the cooking fun with Tami next month!!

  4. This looks great! Can I use canned beets for this? I know it's lazy, but I hate cooking my own beets, I usually just buy the packaged ones at Trader Joes :)

  5. Yes. Make sure to drain it well and pat it dry to avoid adding unnecessary liquid.

    Thanks for visiting.

  6. This looks really amazing, thanks for sharing this creative recipe!

  7. How awesome! The beets really do make the burger look 'real'!

  8. So affordable! But also sounds super flavourful!

  9. You've combined two things I love! I've missed chili relleno since becoming vegan. I think this will fill the void!

  10. Thank you, thank you, all! I wound up loving this burger challenge (thanks, Tami), as daunting as I felt at first. It turned out very well and I hope some of you try it and let me know what you think.

    Thanks for visiting everyone!


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