Experimenting with Homemade Veggie Burgers, Trial 1

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So I was originally going to put my trials with veggie burgers into one large post but have decided to break it up a little bit, so here is the first trial: the carrot and lentil burger (I know, catchy name right?). I showed this in my last post as a meal I had enjoyed recently and here’s the details on how to make your own. Of course, feel free to adjust the recipe however you see fit.

veggie burger

 

Ingredients for the burger:

  • 2 Carrots
  • A half cup of lentils
  • A large handful of spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic (adjust to taste)
  • A third can of chickpeas
  • 1 small red onion
  • Any spices/ flavourings eg. chilli powder, pepper, salt, herbs

Ingredients for serving suggestion:

  • 2 thick aubergine slices
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large pickled beetroot
  • a small handful of sliced mushrooms
  • Any salad extras: lettuce, cucumber etc…

First off I boiled my carrots and lentils in saucepans and meanwhile worked on chopping the onion and garlic before sauteeing these. Just before they were finished I added some shredded spinach to the frying pan and then, when wilted, took the pan off the heat. When the carrots and lentils were done I drained them off and then threw in all the ingredients into one pan along with a third of a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas. I proceeded to mash up all the ingredients (the fun part) with a potato masher, if you have  a food processor this process will be easier but to be honest I like my veggie burgers to not be completely mashed anyway. I then took the mixture and carefully formed burger shapes with it, two on tin foil for eating that week and two on cling film for saving in the freezer:

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Ensure that the patties are tightly packed into the shape you like and then cook in the oven on 200 degrees Celsius for around 40 to 45 minutes, depending on the power of your oven. Also spray the foil with some cooking oil prior so the burger doesn’t stick. Though they take a while to cook they don’t really brown up that much, just expect them to go a little golden with a crisp. Be careful when moving the burger onto a plate or your bun of choice (more on that in a second) because they can crumble a little.

So how to serve? I personally went with grilled sliced aubergine as my wheat-free bread option. I simply sprayed the two aubergine slices with cooking oil and put under the grill, turning over halfway, they don’t take long at all. I also grilled some slice mushrooms for on the side and had sliced beetroot and tomato as my salad.

WP_20140505 4So there we have it, I am so pleased I finally had the time and courage to finally trial out my own homemade veggie burgers. I usually just pick up the veggie burgers in the supermarket freezer but I am trying to stay away from processed food and most veggie alternatives contain wheat/ gluten. I got a little carried away and tested out two more veggie burger combos shortly after this trial so expect posts on those soon.

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Homemade Falafels

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When I became a vegetarian I discovered the wonders of falafels, and then when I decided to go wheat free I faced the disappointment of these no longer being in my life. So I decided to overcome that and make my own wheat free alternative since these are the perfect little packages of protein to add to salads. An advance warning they do not look like the falafels you buy in the supermarket but they are tasty (and probably healthier).

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As above I served my falafels with spinach, tomato slices and beetroot slices. So how did I make them? First you want to boil the chickpeas to make them easy to mash. I used tinned chickpeas and approximately a third of large tin to make six falafels. I then drained them and put them into a bowl for mashing, I used a fork for this process but if you are lucky enough to own a processor feel free to use this instead. I then fried one small chopped onion, a handful of shredded spinach, two chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil and added some salt and pepper. I put this mixture into the bowl of mashed chickpeas and squeezed in a lemon slice before adding in a beaten egg to the mixture. I then divided this up into 6 onto a foiled oven tray (to avoid making the same mistake as me and struggling to remove them from the foil spray the foil with some oil) Bake in the oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 20ish minutes or until they are browned to suit your liking. (As you can see like I don’t measure I also neglect to time my cooking). In summary:

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches