It’s like takeaway, but not…
Mark and I are currently on a push to increase our fish and veg consumption and cut down on our red meat intake that was getting a little out of hand (chilli for dinner four nights a week anyone?). It’s more a bit of an experiment to see if we can decrease our food bill a little and get more creative with food, instead of sticking to dishes that we’ve made for years that whilst tasting lovely, aren’t exactly the most exciting. There’s no labelling here, just a case of the classic – everything in moderation. So far, so good and we’ve loved going through our mountain of recipe books (seriously next time I go to buy one somebody please stop me!), and discovering recipes that previously we might have flicked past. One dinner though that I really wanted to ace were burgers; because burgers and pizza are ultimately my two favourite food groups and I’d yet to find a meat-free recipe that floated my boat.
The idea of those frozen veggie burgers make me shudder a little. I think it reminds me of a time that I was served a veggie sausage that was pink and I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Instead I’m all for a hearty chickpea burger or a black bean patty that’s made from scratch so I know exactly what’s gone into it. Oh gawd, I’m starting to sound like my Mum. Meat-free burgers though are a bit of a hard nut to crack. The consistency has to be sticky enough to mould together, but not too soft that it just falls apart in your hands. You need taste, you need flavour and you need a shedload of seasoning. I’ve tried a few recipes over the past month, but it’s one from ‘Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking’ by Dana Shultz that I’ve had the best success with (seriously check out Dana’s blog – it’s fab!). I’ve modified it a little to up the garlic element (obvs), slimmed down the process so that it’s all made in a food processor and changed a couple of the ingredients to cutdown on cooking time and the outcome is delicious and lazy girl’s cooking heaven because they only take 10 minutes to make and another 10 to cook. Burger bliss.
BLACK BEAN BURGERS (makes 4 patties): A burger that’s crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside. They have a bit of a kick and a hella load of flavour; so much so that Mark always asks me to make them every single week and I ain’t complaining, because not only do they taste good they’re loaded up with a hefty amount of fibre and protein too.
You will need: 1 cup of walnuts, 1 TSP mild chilli powder, 1 TSP ground cumin, 1 TSP sweet smoked paprika, 1 TSP onion granules, 1 TSP garlic granules, 1 TBSP of coconut oil, 1/2 white onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 can of black beans, 1 cup of a pre-cooked puy lentil and quinoa mix (or just use one or the other – I buy them in a ready-to-go pouch), 4 brioche buns and any burger extras like red onion, lettuce, avocado and tomato
The instructions for this recipe couldn’t be easier. Firstly take your walnuts and all your seasonings and blitz in a food processor until it becomes a breadcrumb-like texture. Once that’s done heat up a pan with the oil in it, take your onion and chop it up finely, along with mincing your garlic and add them both into the pan. Sweat them out until the garlic is cooked through and the onions become translucent. Rinse your beans and press them between two pieces of kitchen roll to dry them out slightly, then add them to the food processor along with the onions and garlic and quinoa/lentil mix. If your food processor had the function, pulse it a couple of times until everything blends together and the mixture becomes sticky enough to form the patties. Taste a bit of the mixture to see if your seasonings are right and add some salt and pepper if needed.
Scoop out the mixture with a 1/2 cup measure lined with cling film to make the patties even and easy to remove from your mould. The mixture should make four patties that are just the right size for a burger bun. Flatten each a little and make sure they hold together well, before heating up a pan and cooking them for around 5 minutes each side to heat them through (you could add a bit of oil to the pan, but I don’t find that it needs it). Serve in a bun with all the trimmings and voila!
Personally I like mine served up with a soft brioche bun (I’m so chuffed that these became trendy because I feel like they personally make a burger), lettuce, red onion, a bit of hummus swirled onto the bun and lots of ketchup. Homemade sweet potato fries finish things off nicely too. I tend to make these one day and then save the other two patties for another by keeping them in the fridge in an airtight container. Re-heating them is easy, I just pop them in the oven for the last 10 minutes of cooking up my fries. Easy peasy. If you fancy rustling up something else, then here are my other favourite recipes from Dana…
MY FAVOURITE RECIPES FROM MINIMALIST BAKER
Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge – it makes me salivate just reading the recipe.
Golden Turmeric Hummus – prepare to eat the whole bowl yourself.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars – I’m a sucker for anything rhubarb and these are delicious.
Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna – I leave out the tofu and just pile on the ricotta. YUM.
Pumpkin Spiced Apple Pie – can it just be autumn already, so I can have an excuse to make this?
Photos by Lauren Shipley