Quinoa and Cannellini Bean Burgers

Okay, I must admit…… I’m a veggie burger addict.   I LOVE them!  And when I know they’re homemade, I’m the happiest girl.  I’ve even managed to convert my four kids, but it was hard!  There are so many ‘burger’ joints popping up around London BUT luckily all of them do have the ‘veggie’ option and I’m very honoured and pleased to say that my 15 year old ALWAYS orders one.   However, converting kids to like/love veggie burgers as much as beef burgers is/was difficult.  And so, your really need a GOOD recipe to do just that.  If you throw something from the supermarket that was frozen and tasteless in front of them, you’ve got a harder hill to climb.  But if you take the time to actually prepare a delicious veggie choice, then I can pretty much guarantee this:  they’ll like it!

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But let’s talk quinoa for a second.

1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fibre is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fibre lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and may help you to lose weight (it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense,” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food).

3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron; it aids in neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

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So this recipe makes six yummy burgers!

  • 1 tin of cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa (makes it more attractive!)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • healthy handful of parsley, chopped
  • coconut oil
  • pink himalayan sea salt + black pepper

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Let’s go….

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and coat with app. 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil.  Add chopped shallots and cook for a minute until soft.  Add the crushed garlic, fennel and cumin and cook for another minute until you smell the amazing aroma and the garlic is soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Put the cannellini beans, quinoa and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.  Add the chopped parsley and now cooled shallot mix.  Using your hands (much more fun, especially for kids!) combine everything together, mashing the beans well so that the mixture turns into a paste.  Season with salt and pepper

Once combined into a paste, create lovely veggie burger patties about the size of your palm and about an inch thick.

Fry those gorgeous veggie burgers over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of coconut oil to coat the pan.  Cook the veggie burgers for approximately three minutes each side and you will then have a super delicious, incredibly healthy veggie burger!

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Your delicious bean burger can be dressed with mustard, home-made ketchup, onions, avocado and placed between either two leaves of collard greens or a good ol’ wholewheat bun!  Yum!!!!!

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Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burgers

So the snow has fallen in abundance in London causing the schools to close and all four of my children to be at home! My kids are so active and into every sport imaginable, therefore chaos is the norm in our house. For this reason it’s not very often that the six of us are all together at the same time so what a treat it was to be snowed in! I relished the opportunity to get them all cooking together in the kitchen and that’s where this week’s recipe was born.

My kids are definitely lovers of veggie burgers. They’re the kids who order them at burger restaurants, at pool side cafes or even birthday parties and I’m so proud of them for it! Eating a wholesome veggie burger is like getting an injection of so many nutrients rather than cholesterol and saturated fat. So it was a unanimous decision – we would make their favourite and my speciality, Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burger….served, of course, with a side of sweet potato chips and green peas!

If you’re getting ready to make this dish at home yourself then first you’ll need to raid the supermarket for the following ingredients:

125g or 3/4 cup of whole-wheat couscous
100g or 1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp. whole meal flour
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 a bunch of coriander
1 courgette, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon, tahini
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper

Once you have gathered the necessary ingredients you can begin by putting all of the couscous into a bowl and pouring 200ml of seasoned boiling water over it. A simple bouillon is perfect for this and will really flavour the couscous. Quickly mix together before covering and placing to one side.P1050292

You can then rinse your half a cup of lentils and place in a pan with 300ml of water and bring to the boil. After about twenty minutes in the pan, the lentils should have become soft so it’s now time to drain and chuck them into your food processor. Now is also the time to include the diced onion, carrot, courgette and tomato along with all of the spices and herbs, flour and tahini.

Once all of your ingredients are blended together you can remove the mixture from the blender and add it to the bowl of couscous that you prepared earlier. You must now mix the two concoctions together vigorously with your hands. As soon as your couscous combination is ready, you can wet your hands and have some fun moulding the mixture into burger shapes. With the amount of ingredients used you will have enough burger mix to make four burgers, or alternatively you could make more slightly smaller burgers.P1050299

Your burger patties can now be added to a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and cooked for three or four minutes on each side. As soon as they’re ready you can pop them out of the pan and into wholemeal baps. Garnish in any which way you like and enjoy!

The combination of vegetables inside these burgers is a great mix and provides a generous amount of nutrition in each portion. Tomatoes are an amazing source of antioxidants, especially lycopene which protects the body from those nasty free radicals. Courgettes are also prized for their antioxidant values as well as their high potassium count which is great for your blood pressure. Similarly onions and carrots are rich sources of vitamins and nutrients, especially beta-carotene for the latter which helps maintain your vision.

Although the burgers are technically cooked, the amount of time they are heated for will allow for lots of nutrients that are normally lost through cooking at high temperatures to remain.

If you want to find out more about nutrition then click here!

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