Beetroot and brown rice burgers

Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: Six 10cm burgers

Description: Beetroot and brown rice burgers

Beetroot and brown rice burgers

Per serving: 135 calories; 4g protein; 8g fat (1g saturated fat); 12g carbohydrate (3g sugar); 0.4g salt; 4.5g fibre

·         3 medium beetroot, scrubbed clean, ends trimmed

·         4 tbsp olive oil

·         1 red onion, diced

·         ½ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1 tbsp red wine vinegar

·         225g cooked black or kidney beans

·         65g cooked brown rice

·         2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Grate the beetroot. In a large, lidded sauté pan, heat two tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about six to eight minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the beetroots and salt, and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 10 – 12 minutes, until the beetroot is completely softened. Add the vinegar, toss again and scrape up the browned bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, coarsely mash the beans with a potato masher or fork. Fold in the beetroot mixture, rice, parsley, and black pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and shape into six patties, about 1cm thick.
  3. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil over a high heat. Add the patties, which should sizzle – this creates a nice crust. Cook for one minute then reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further two to three minutes. Carefully flip the burgers and cook until browned and firm, about four to five minutes.

Chef’s tip: Red wine vinegar brings a slightly floral and acidic note to this burger. Sear it on a high heat to help keep its shape.

Spinach chickpea burgers

Prep and cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes: Five 10cm burgers

Description: Spinach chickpea burgers

Spinach chickpea burgers

Per serving: 181 calories; 9g protein; 11g fat (2g saturated fat); 12g carbohydrate (1g sugar); 1g salt; 5g fibre

·         1 tbsp olive oil

·         1 tsp toasted cumin seeds

·         150g fresh spinach

·         225g cooked chickpeas

·         2 eggs

·         Juice of ½ lemon

·         1 tsp salt

·         14g chickpea flour

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and spinach, and cook, tossing for two to three minutes until the spinach wilts. Transfer to a heatproof plate and allow to cool. Drain and wrap in a tea towel to squeeze out as much liquid as possible, and chop finely.
  2. Blend the eggs, lemon juice, salt and 175g of the chickpeas in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a chunky houmous.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the remaining chickpeas and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Add the egg mixture and stir thoroughly, then fold in the chickpea flour. The mixture should be sticky but pliable. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, one teaspoon at a time, or if too dry, add a bit of water. Shape into five patties.
  4. In an oven-proof frying pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook for three to five minutes on each side until browned. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.

Chef’s tip: Mash some of the chickpeas by hand, rather than blitzing all of them, as this gives the burger texture.

Lukas’s five top burger tips

·         Veggie cooking requires work, so clean and prep your vegetables as soon as you bring them home to save time later.

·         Dark, leafy greens are a great addition to any burger recipe – they’re available year round, are easy to cool, are very versatile and they’re packed with iron and fibre.

·         To substitute eggs in any recipe, use flaxseed. For the equivalent of one egg, take one tablespoon of powdered flaxseed and mix three tablespoons of water. It blinds perfectly and adds heart-healthy omega-3s.

·         For gluten-free burgers, plain gluten-free breadcrumbs don’t always absorb or bind the mixture well. Try grinding and toasting the crumbs first for a firmer patty

·         Begin with what you love. If you’re new to a vegetarian or vegan diet, don’t start with foods you don’t like. Identify the meat-free dishes you enjoy and work from there.

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