seeds

SUNFLOWER AND SESAME BURGERS

SUNFLOWER AND SESAME BURGERS

Everybody loves a burger right? The beauty of eating a plant based diet is that you get very creative with what can be squashed into a burger shape. Beans, lentils, quinoa, various vegetables, seeds, nuts…. Some combinations have resulted in lukewarm response but my latest creation was a very successful one.

The successful formula seems to be: beans and tahini to bind the ingredients, veggies to bulk up the burgers and nuts and/or seed for crunch. Sometimes breadcrumbs or chickpea flour if they don’t seem to keep their shape. Finally some flavourings like spices, seeds, herbs, soya sauce, ketchup, salsa, chutney…It’s very easy :)

You can prepare your burgers ahead, leave them in the fridge to firm up and cook later. This amount makes 4 very large burgers or 8 medium ones. I size mine according to the burger buns I happen to have. Bake these till golden brown, the seeds are going to crisp up making the burgers delicious. Add some toppings and a crunchy salad (slaw is perfect) for a great midweek meal.

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SUNFLOWER AND SESAME BURGERS
makes 8 medium burgers or 4 large ones
serves 4

ingredients:
1 large carrot (about 200g, 1/2lb), grated
2 leeks, thoroughly washed, finely shredded
1 tin of beans (I used red kidney)
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 Tbs tahini sauce
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (I used vegan Marigold powder)
1 Tbs soya sauces (tamari or shoyu)

method:
  • In a large bowl combine the carrot and leeks. Add the beans, using a potato masher mash into the leeks and carrots.
  • Add rest of the ingredients and mix well together using hands.
  • Shape into 8 burgers.
  • Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake at 180C for 30 min, turning the burgers halfway through. Bake till golden brown.
  • Serve in a burger bun with your favourite toppings.

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BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

Last study weekend one of my friends brought my aubergine and butternut squash curry for lunch and another one had my kale koftas. Couple of days later, on the school run, another friend told me she made my butternut squash and pear soup for dinner. She took it for her lunch to work the next day and ended up sharing my recipe around her office.

This makes me
so happy. I love cooking for people and I love when they cook my recipes. Sharing food is one of life’s great pleasures. When people enjoy my food it truly warms my soul. Don’t we all love sharing a great meal? Is this why TV cookery programs are ever so popular and chefs are enjoying a celebrity status?

Wouldn’t it be great if these chefs promoted healthier way of eating instead of basting everything with butter and free-poring olive oil over their food? Jamie Oliver has always been at the forefront of the “food revolution". Nobody can deny his passion and dedication. All that aside, his book Foods in Minutes was awarded the Worst Cook Book of 2011 by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). The meatball sandwich clocks up more fat than a Big Mac and has more than double the calories. Looking through his most recent book, Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals, it looks like Jamie has listened. In his latest collection of recipes he has scaled down the oil and other fats. He has also included nutritional info. It is a step forward. Will Nigella join him?

Today’s recipe was a surprise to me. Why? Both kids loved it! Yes, my daughter and son happily munched their way through these. My son even contemplated taking the one leftover burger to school for his lunch. These were his words:”I think I will have it for school, I don’t care if my friends think I am a freak!” It sure made me laugh!

beetroot-burgers

BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

ingredients
180g (1 cup) red lentils
2 cups water
2 medium beetroot, cooked
1 tsp vegan bouillon powder (I use Marigold)
150g (1 cup) seed mix (linseed, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower..)
3 Tbs gram flour

method
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the lentils and water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins, or till the lentils are soft and most of the water has evaporated, drain any remaining water. Sit aside to let the lentils cool down.
  2. Place the cooled lentils in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Grate the beetroot and add to the lentils.
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Line a baking tray (one that fits your fridge) with a grease proof. Make 8 burgers from the mixture, place them on the tray and chill for at least half an our.
  6. Bake at 180C for 20min, turn over and cook for further 10min.
  7. Serve in a burger bun or as I did with some mashed potatoes made with almond milk.

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KALE AND MANGO SALAD

KALE AND MANGO SALAD

As I am writing today’s blog my kids are working on a word search from the brilliant Summer Plant Strong Challenge from Rip Esselstyn (of Engine2 Diet). You can go on Rip’s website and print out the activity sheets. The activities include colouring, word search, scavenger hunts and kid friendly recipes from some fab plant strong chefs.The first week focuses on plant strong protein, week 2 on calcium and week 3 on the importance of sleep (I so hope this will make my kids go to bed a bit earlier). More weeks of activities to come.

This morning we went to do our weekly shop, my daughter had her first scavenger hunt sheet and looked for all the green veggies and fruit on the list. We bough most of what was on the list and are eating and ticking our way through it. Another challenge for week 1 was to find a kale recipe and of course make and eat it. My son suggested massaged kale and mango salad, I am sure he saw a similar recipe on tv. I was happy to go with the idea. Massaged kale is one of my favourite ways of eating this queen of greens. It went down really well, my son had a double serving.

Why not try this challenge too? It may inspire your kids to try new fruits and veggies. And while you at it check out Rip’s website too. Fab recipes to try. The link below will lead you to the week 3, link to weeks 1 and 2 are on the same page.

http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/plant-strong™-summer-kids-series-week-3-plus-tips-for-teens-by-teens/

kalemangosalad

KALE AND MANGO SALAD
My mango was very yummy but rather stringy that prevented me cutting it into perfect dice. Still it didn’t take away from the flavour.

Serves 4

ingredients
200g kale, stalks removed, leaves shredded
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 small red onion (I used 1/4 of medium red onion), sliced very thin
1 large mango
3 Tbs sunflower seeds


method
  1. Place the kale into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt. Rub the leaves between your fingers, a bit like making pastry. Do this for about 2 min, the kale will collapse and feel more tender. The salt and lemon will help tenderise the kale.
  2. Cut the cheeks off the mango, cut the flesh into bite size dice. Toss with the kale leaves. Squeeze the flesh that is left on the stone over the kale, you should get a good amount of mango juice to dress the salad.
  3. Add the onions and seeds. Toss and serve.
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