Outdoor picnics are gently calling our names, aren’t they? What better way to celebrate the start of summer than with a good burger!
What I’ve created here, is a vegan burger. Meat-eaters, please don’t let the word, vegan, throw you for a loop… this will leave you satisfied long after the ants have gone home. Right up front, I’ll let you know that this burger isn’t barbecue-grill friendly. It’s one to be started in a frying pan, and finished in the oven. Not a bad idea, actually, if you don’t have access (like me) to an outdoor grill. And by cooking this indoors, it packs up easily to take with you on your picnic outing.
The ingredients are heart-healthy and loaded with protein, vitamins, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, cholesterol-fighters, calcium-boosters, and lots of fibre to aid digestion and keep our gut in good working order.
You do have some prep here – cooking the sweet potatoes and quinoa at the start of the burger-making process, will help in the assembly stage. My choice is to buy ready-cooked beets. These are easy to use after a quick rinse and check to remove any visible blemishes.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Prep Time: 45 minutes to chop, then cook, and mash
Cooking Time: 8-10 mins to fry, 10 mins to bake
Total Time: 65 minutes
Makes: 6 burgers
- 250g (1 cup) beets, ready-cooked
- 250g (1 cup) sweet potato, cooked
- 1/2 c dry quinoa, cooked (yield 1-1/2 cups cooked)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water to make a chia “egg”
- 1 c gluten free oats
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 green onions, green part only, sliced into 1cm rounds
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
- juice and grated rind of 1/2 lime
- 1-2 Tbsp oil for frying
- Serve and garnish with alfalfa sprouts, fresh tomatoes and cucumber, lime, and your other favourite condiments
- Begin by placing 1/2 cup of dried quinoa into a small pot with 1 cup of water. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn down to gently simmer for about 12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. While the quinoa is cooking, peel and cut into chunks the sweet potato. Use a steamer to cook this until it softens; 12-15 minutes. While this is cooking, chop the beets into chunks and set aside. You will mash these with the cooked sweet potato.
- In a small bowl, measure in the chia seeds and water, give this a stir and allow to stand for about 10 minutes while it becomes mucilaginous and turns into a lovely, gooey chia egg.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, dry spices and seasonings, green onion, coriander, tahini, oil, lime juice and rind.
- When the sweet potato has softened, drain the water, remove the steaming basket, and add the chopped beets back into the pot with the sweet potato. Mash these into a fairly smooth consistency. (If it’s lumpy, the burgers may fall apart.) When sufficiently mashed, and cooled, add this, the cooked quinoa, and the chia egg to the large bowl with the seasonings.
- Mix everything together. Remember, this is a vegan recipe, so you can taste as you go! Visually divide this into six equal portions. Barely wet your hands if need be, and then form into six patties. If you find the mixture is too wet, add a couple of tablespoons of dry oats soak up the moisture. Place these on a parchment paper lined plate, ready for cooking.
- Heat your oven to 160C/325F, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Now, heat a medium-sized frying pan, add a touch of oil so the patties don’t stick, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, over a medium flame until the outside of the patty starts to brown and crisp up. Flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. (Depending on the size of your frying pan, these may have to be cooked in batches.) When cooked, transfer to the lined baking sheet, and continue to warm up in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with your favourite fresh veg and condiments. Bun or no bun, is up to you!
These will store in a glass container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze them for a couple of weeks and re-heat once thawed (I don’t suggest using a microwave as it will turn them a bit mushy.) By the way, they are also good at room temperature which makes them particularly appealing for a picnic! Now, go out and enjoy your time at the park…. ask your friends to bring some sassy salads to serve on the side 🙂