We are big fans of home made burgers and have loads of fun making up different recipes with whatever ingredients we have to use up! I have to say ours are a far cry from the shop bought veggie burgers and meat lovers, veggies and vegans alike scoff ours with relish!
Haha I just made a wee joke! However relish goes really well with any burger in my opinion.! I'll have to post a relish recipe now!!
So with Christmas looming I thought I'd make a burger with a festive touch, in this case nuts and cranberries!
Now our family is divided when it comes to using fruit in savoury dishes, personally I really enjoy a wee sweet flavour to liven up a savoury dish and I also enjoy fresh fruit in a salad, al;so apple with red cabbage comes to mind as a winning combination but wishing to keep everyone happy I made half of the burgers with cranberries and half without and they were equally good.
I've been using a lot of quinoa recently, which quite rightly earns its title as a superfood, its a great source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids, high in magnesium, B vitamins, iron, zinc, vitamin E and fibre. It's also gluten free and thought to be the least allergenic of all the grains so plenty of good reasons to include it in your diet.
Cauliflower is in season just now and I'm a big fan of seasonal eating so I've been using it a lot too. Its a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, kale and cabbage and has many of the same health benefits. Its a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins and fibre and like the other members of the cruciferous family, contains anti cancer compounds.
I'm all for cramming as much nutrition as I can into each recipe so another few favourites are tahini, packed with calcium and magnesium;
turmeric, beating drugs for just about everything from pain relief to reducing inflammation;
garlic anti fungal, antiviral and antibacterial and
walnuts, a great source of omega 3, supporting brain health.
So I think I can justify calling these Superburgers!
They are also packed full of flavour and texture, due to the nuts, with a lovely hint of sweetness from the cranberries and mango chutney!
They can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until needed and they are oven baked so no last minute faffing around with a smoking frying pan!
I used spelt breadcrumbs in mine but you can replace them with polenta for gluten free burgers.
These are also delicious served cold with salad or in a wrap or a pitta bread so any leftovers can be used for lunches or snacks.
They can also be frozen and reheated.
I hope you give these a go, these would work really well as part of a buffet spread over the festive period.
If you don't have quinoa then you could use a tin of drained chickpeas instead or a few cups of cooked sweet potato. The key to making decent burgers is for the mixture to stick together but not be too wet or too dry so that it falls apart. So just add extra tahini if they are not sticking or add more breadcrumbs or polenta if the mixture is too wet.
So here is my recipe.........enjoy!
SUPER QUINOA & CAULIFLOWER BURGERS
Ingredients Makes 12 decent sized burgers
1 small cauliflower, broken into florets and steamed or boiled until soft
1 cup uncooked quinoa (approx 200g), rinsed well
2 cups vegetable stock (500mls), Kallo organic is good
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 courgette or a carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 or 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon tamari
2 level teaspoons ground turmeric
1 to 2 tablespoons mango chutney
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup of spelt or wholemeal breadcrumbs plus extra for coating.
1 cup of polenta for gluten free option plus extra for coating
1. Rinse quinoa well under cold running water to remove the bitter saponin coating. Add to pot with 2 cups of hot vegetable stock. I stock cube makes 500 ml which is about 2 cups. Bring to boil, then put the lid on, simmer gently for 12 to 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa cooked.
2. Break cauliflower into florets and steam or boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and grated courgette and cook for another few minutes.
4. Add the turmeric, tamari, tahini and mango chutney and stir to combine.
6. Turn the heat off.
5. Drain the cauliflower, add it to the pan and mash it with a potato masher. Mix well.
6. Add the quinoa a cup at a time and mix well.
7. Mix in the chopped walnuts and cranberries.
7. Add the breadcrumbs or polenta.
8. Season with sea salt and black pepper, taste and add more mango chutney or tamari, if you like.
9. The mixture should hold together, if its too wet add more breadcrumbs.
10. When the mixture has cooled a bit, take big spoonfuls, shape into burgers and coat in breadcrumbs or polenta. You should get around 12 to 15, depending on how big you make them!
11. Put on lightly greased oven trays and bake in the oven at 200C for around 30 minutes, until nicely browned, turning halfway to brown both sides.
...your health in your hands.........
I had another OMG moment this week when I finally got around to trying out this 2 ingredient chocolate mousse!
Why is it magical, you may ask?
Well one of the ingredients is the liquid from a tin of butter beans!
Yes you read that right !! It's called aquafaba in foodie circles and literally translates as bean water!
A rather smart french chef noticed that bean water had a similar consistency to egg whites so he whipped it up and Voila, it formed perfect peaks exactly like egg whites!
Now this is very good news for vegans and folks with an egg allergy!
Meringues, macaroons and the most deliciously light chocolate mousse are now on the menu!
Now I was a bit sceptical and thought the bean water would impart a beany taste but it didn't at all!
I thought I'd start with the simplest recipe I could find and it doesn't get much simpler than this chocolate mousse and I have to admit, it is absolutely delicious, fluffy, chocolatey, light and airy!
You really have to try it out, it's truly magical!
I used a bar of dark chocolate with orange but you could use any good quality chocolate. I'm thinking that chocolate mint would be a great and I'll be trying that next!
So impress your friends and family with this most delicious and healthy dessert this Christmas!
Oh I forgot to say, you can use the butter beans in Broccoli, Spinach & Bean Soup so nothing is wasted. I detest food waste and this is a great way of using everything!!
So here is the recipe........enjoy!
MAGICAL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE Makes 6 small or 4 medium dishes
1 100g bar of chocolate, preferably 60 or 70% cocoa solids
1 or 2 tablespoons sweetener, maple syrup or brown rice syrup (optional)
liquid from a tin of butter beans or chickpeas
pinch of sea salt
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and put into a glass bowl. Put the bowl on top of a pot with some boiling water. Keep the water on a gentle simmer and stir the chocolate occasionally until it's fully melted.
At this stage you can add sweetener, if you prefer a sweeter mousse.
Put aside to cool
2.Put the liquid from the beans into a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and whisk until peaks form. I used my mixer but a hand whisk or a hand blender would also work but will take a little longer. You need the mixture to form stiff peaks. A good test is to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture should stay put! If it slides then its not stiff enough!
3. When the chocolate has cooled a bit, gradually add spoonfuls of the whisked bean mixture and gently fold it into the chocolate. You want to keep as much air as possible to keep the mousse light and fluffy so don't be tempted to beat it too hard. Just be patient and take your time.
4. Pour into nice glasses or ramekin dishes and decorate with cacao nibs, grated chocolate, lemon or orange zest or chopped nuts!
Chill in the fridge for an hour or so.
5. Serve and enjoy!!
...........your health in your hands............
This quinoa brittle is just the bees knees and the cats whiskers and I love it.
You seriously need to make this!
Now quinoa isn't something that you would normally associate with a sweet dish but I'm discovering that it's extremely versatile as well as extremely nutritious!
It certainly earns the title of superfood Its an excellent source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids, high in magnesium, B vitamins, iron, zinc, vitamin E and fibre. It's also gluten free and thought to be the least allergenic of all the grains so plenty of good reasons to give it a go!
I came across this recipe on The Minamilist Baker Blog, which I love!
I've always been a big fan of those wee sesame snap bars and these reminded me of them, but are way more nutritious.
Admittedly they are not sugar free but more than make up for it with all the other ingredients, and this is a treat after all!
I was so intrigued by this recipe and I had all the ingredients so I made it at 11pm on Saturday night!
I have to admit, I wasn't disappointed, this is seriously addictive!!
It's crispy, crunchy, nutty, nutritious and naturally sweet!
What's not to love?
A few points to note, quinoa has a protective coating of saponins which taste bitter so you really need to rinse it well before using it. I rinsed and drained mine in a sieve, then blotted it on kitchen paper then dry toasted it to remove any moisture, before proceeding with the recipe.
I also replaced some of the nuts with sesame seeds, which I love. They are a great source of calcium and magnesium, which most of us are deficient in and are also alkaline and a good source of protein and fibre.
Chia seeds are also a favourite of mine, another superfood, and high in protein, fibre and minerals and so easy to add to so many dishes.
So without further ado, here is the slightly modified recipe! If you make it, and why wouldn't you?? please leave a comment!
......your health in your hands......
🍃 Health educator🍃