(Grillable) Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

Originally from Minimalist Baker, the blogger had five (count ’em!) previous attempts at veggie burgers. I’ve tried a few different recipes myself, and while they’re always tasty they inevitably fall victim to the curse of the veggie burger, in that they fall apart if you just look at them funny. But this burger recipe manages to hold its own (sorry, pun unintended) and yields a delicious veggie patty which can be grilled or barbecued. See the original blog for a photo tutorial.

Makes 5 large patties or 10 smaller ones.

Ingredients:

• 1 cup (155g) cooked brown rice
• 1 cup (120g) raw walnuts (or substitute breadcrumbs)
• ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
• ½ white onion, finely diced
• 1 tablespoon each chili powder, cumin powder, and smoked paprika
• 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
• 1 ½ cups (227g) cooked black beans, well rinsed, drained and patted dry
• ⅓ cup (22g) panko bread crumbs (or GF breadcrumbs if required)
• 3-4 tablespoons BBQ sauce (make sure it’s ‘safe’ if cooking for a vegan)
• Salt and pepper

Method:

• Toast walnuts over a skillet at medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Once fragrant and golden brown, set aside to let cool.
• Re-heat the skillet over medium heat. Add some vegetable oil and sauté onions for 3-4 minutes with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Once walnuts are cooled, add to a blender or food processor with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar, and blend to a fine meal.
• In a large mixing bowl, add the drained and dried black beans and mash well with a fork, leaving only a few whole beans.
• Add the cooked rice to the beans, along with the spice-walnut mixture, sautéed onion, bread crumbs, and BBQ sauce. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a moldable dough forms (if too dry, add a little BBQ sauce; if too wet, add more bread crumbs). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
• Divide into patties, and grill on high for 3-4 minutes on each side.
• Serve with your favourite burger ingredients.

Date and Cashew Caramel Slice

Date and Cashew Caramel Slice

My mum sent me this recipe from Nadia Lim’s blog, and I absolutely love it. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and sugar free, and yet it tastes absolutely amazing – I brought some into work recently for a morning tea, and everyone loved it. I’m usually reluctant to promote that a recipe is sugar-free or gluten-free vegan until people have tried it, since “sugar-free”, “gluten-free” and “vegan” can often be equated in the mind with “tastes like splenda-flavoured cardboard”. Please take my word for it that this recipe is delicious – it gets plenty of caramel flavour from the dates and maple syrup – and since you know it’s healthy you can feel free to go for seconds 😀

Base:

• 1 ½ cup fine rolled oats or ground almonds
• 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
• 2 tablespoons cocoa
• 6 dates, pitted
• 1 cup raw almonds
• Pinch of salt
• 200g melted coconut oil (or butter)

Date and cashew caramel filling:

• 400g dried pitted dates
• ¾ cup boiling water
• 2 cups softened cashews (see note)
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• ½ cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate and walnut topping:

• 150-200g good quality dark chocolate
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
• 1-2 tablespoons shredded coconut
• Optional: 1 teaspoon neutral flavoured oil, e.g. grape seed, walnut, hazelnut, canola, soy (this softens the chocolate so it doesn’t set too hard – do NOT use coconut oil or butter as this will make the chocolate set harder).

 

Method:

• Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F. Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a square baking tin (20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
• Place oats/ground almonds, coconut, cocoa, dates, almonds and salt in a food processor and blitz to a fine, crumbly texture. Drizzle in melted coconut oil/butter and pulse until well combined.
• Press mixture into the prepared baking tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon of spatula. Bake for 15 minutes.
• Make the caramel while the base cooks. Place dates and water in a medium-size pot and boil, stirring frequently, until the dates are very soft and mushed up, and all the water has evaporated. Place dates in the food processor along with the softened cashew nuts, maple syrup, coconut oil/butter and vanilla. Blitz until smooth (this will take a few minutes).
• Spread caramel over the base in the baking tin. Return to oven to bake for 10 minutes.
• Melt chocolate and mix in the oil if using. Pour melted chocolate over the filling and sprinkle walnuts and coconut over the top. Leave to cool overnight or for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
• Cut into about 25 pieces (I find it easier to cut upside down since the chocolate is the hardest layer to cut).

> To make softened cashews, either soak in water overnight, or boil in a pot of water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.
make softened cashews, either soak in water overnight, or boil in a pot of water for about 15 minutes. Drain well.

Fruit Pulp Puffs

Fruit Pulp Puffs

We have a fruit juicer in my house and this cookie recipe is ideal for the leftover fruit pulp (waste not, want not). It’s also insanely easy.

Ingredients:

• 1 egg
• 1 cup fruit pulp
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 cup chopped nuts
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 2 cups flour
• Half a teaspoon each of cloves, of nutmeg, and of cinnamon
• 1 cup raisins or currants

Method:

• Combine all the ingredients together, then use your hands to roll spoonful-sized chunks into balls. Place on a greased oven tray, and flatten with a fork (dipped in flour if needed).
• Bake at 175°C/350°F for 12-15 mins.

Autumn Maple Cake

Autumn Maple cake

From Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. This recipe requires two cake pans, preferably lined with wax paper.

Ingredients – cake:

• 170g (6oz) butter, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 ½ cups maple syrup
• 3 1/3 cups self-raising flour
• ¾ cup hot water

Ingredients – maple meringue icing:

• 2 large egg whites
• ½ cup maple syrup
• 7 tablespoons sugar
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• ¼ teaspoon maple extract (optional)
• ½ cup (4 oz) pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped

Method – cake:

• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Beat together the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy.
• Add the eggs one at a time, beating in well after each addition, and gradually add the maple syrup to make a smooth mixture.
• Finally, spoon the flour alternately with the hot water, beating gently after each addition until smooth again.
• Divide the batter between two greased pans, and bake for 40 minutes.
• When done, let the cakes cool in their pans for ten minutes before transferring to a cake rack. Leave them to cool completely before icing.

Method – maple meringue icing:

• Place everything except the extracts and nuts in a glass or metal boil that fits over a saucepan to form a double boiler. Fill the saucepan with enough water to come just below (but not touching) the bowl when it sits on top.
• Bring the water to the boil, set the bowl on top, and beat the mixture vigorously with an electric whisk for 5-7 minutes. The mixture should stand up in stiff peaks.
• Take the bowl off the saucepan, add the extracts, and beat for another minute.

• Ice the middle of one of the cakes, place the other on top, and ice the whole surface. Give the icing a swirly effect rather than smoothing it out (you can get good peaks using the back of a spoon).
• Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top of the cake, and throw at the sides.