The absolute best veggie burger

Veggie burgers can be depressing things, seemingly made of cardboard and guinea pig droppings or made from some pretend meat that was grown in a factory.

But “hello then!” now we have the absolute best veggie burger, EVER.

Succulent, if ever the word can be applied to veggie things, and mahooseevly tasty. Yikes this will blow your happy tastebud fuse.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • teaspoon of dried oregano or mixed herbs
  • sea salt
  • course gound black pepper
  • 1 tin of black beans, drained (400ish grams)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato purée
  • heaped tablespoon of chilli jam (optional)
  • 1 teacup of leftover mashed potato, if you don’t have any leftover you can use frozen
  • 4 tablespoons of panko or pangratatto breadcrumbs
  • bit of plain flour for the worktop
  • burger buns with as few nasties as poss. I used ciabatta rolls from Ocado.
  • lettuce leaves
  • sliced red onion
  • sliced ripe tomato
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • mayo

Instructions

In a large heavy frying pan cook the onions, chilli and garlic in a really good big glug of olive oil until soft. Then add the herbs and plenty of salt and pepper – you need a decent amount of both here as beans themselves don’t have lots of flavour and this will really lift them; I probably used 2 heaped teaspoons of black pepper (has to be course ground or will get lost) and the same of sea salt.

Tip the beans in and crush very very slightly with a potato masher, stir and cook for a minute or two then add the tomato purée and chilli jam. Give it another 2-3 minutes cooking before adding the mashed potato and breadcrumbs. Stir it well so that the mash is combined with the bean mix and heat through for 3-4 mins. Taste it – is it seasoned well enough? Does it need anything else? Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Flour your worktop liberally then spoon out 2 heaped dessert spoons of the burger mix for each burger. Gently shape into rounds about 2-2.5cm thick, the flour will help keep it together.

Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper and thinly butter it. Lift the burgers carefully onto the baking sheet using a spatula then brush them with olive oil.

Bake in a 170 degree oven for 15-20 mins

5 mins before the burgers are done, lightly toast the split rolls (I just put mine face down on top of the toaster). Put ketchup on one side and mustard and mayo on the other. Then when the burgers are ready put them in the rolls* with lettuce, tomato and red onion.

*To make these look even nicer (cos people eat with their eyes first) brush the outside bit of the burger with olive oil before serving – just the bit you can see.

If you’re vegan just leave the mayo out.

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Portion Guidelines

Instead of living with the bore of weighing food, counting points or calories and tapping everything you eat into a phone you can use nature’s custom-designed tool – your hands!

Nutrition Info

Beans

Though the term “superfood” is applied to many foods these days, beans really may be deserving of the title. They are technically a starchy vegetable packed with protein, low in fat and sugars – this can aid weight-loss as they keep us feeling fuller for longer. It has been proven that beans also decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes due to their low glycaemic index, thereby improving lipid and glycaemic control in diabetics. Their most famous attribute is the link between their consumption and lower levels of cholesterol which in turn reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease.

Beans, in general, are one of the only plant foods that provide a significant amount of the amino acid lysine, in addition to a wide range of antioxidants. It’s important to get a variety of beans and legumes as each contain different and varying micronutrients; cannellini beans have more calcium; pinto beans score high in folate; and aduki beans, chickpeas, and butter beans are particularly high in iron. Most are packed with resistant starch, adukis are high in potassium, and red and black varieties are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.

You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.

Harvey Diamond
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