Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lets cook!

In celebaration of National Vegetarian Week (19th - 25th May) I thought I would share a really easy meat-free recipe that's not too scary! Everybody loves a burger so these are my version of beanburgers. Now, I am a throw-it-all-in or even a make-it-up-as-you-go-along type cook so if you like precise recipes, this isn't for you! Having said that you can't really make a mess of this (famous last words) So here we go!
First, preheat the oven to 200c. Fry a small chopped onion in a spot of oil with about half a chopped red pepper (I used the roasted sort that comes in a jar) until soft.

While that's cooking, mash a tin of drained beans. These are borlotti but you can use kidney, pinto, aduki etc...Dark beans seem to be nicer in burgers than white ones.

Next, add whatever you like! I had some leftover cooked rice so threw that in ( it's either use it in this or Betty gets it) Plus a pinch of oregano, thyme, parsley and basil. Dried herbs are great for this. A squirt of tomato puree, pinch of chilli powder, black pepper and a good glug of soy sauce (or tamari) There is also a good shot of Hendersons relish but only people in the north of England will know what that is! It's a bit like worcester sauce without the fishy bits. You could also add some finely chopped mushrooms that were fried with the onion, or grated carrot or mashed green veg, sundried tomatoes, olives....use your imagination!
I agree it doesn't look very promising at this point! Mix all that together then....

Add a handful of grated cheese (omit if vegan) and a couple of tablespoons of chopped nuts (any) You can add half and half nuts and breadcrumbs if you like.

Mix well!

Add beaten egg to bind. I used two because they're banties but one should suffice. You may not need it all, depending on what you've thrown in so just add a little at a time. If you do get the mixture too wet, throw in some more nuts or breadcrumbs or a spoonful of flour and mix again. You can make these without the egg if you're vegan. They just hold together a bit better with it.

Now the fun messy bit! Loosely divide the mixture into four if you want large burgers or six if you're after a normal sized one. Flour your hands and shape into patties.

Put onto a baking tray (non-stick baking paper - fab!) Brush a small amount of oil on top of each burger. Now bake in the oven for about 15-20 mins for small or 25 mins for the larger size. Turn halfway through cooking. You're on your own at this point, just keep checking them!

Prepare your burger buns. I like these multigrain ones.

Ta-da! Four cooked burgers. Place on your bun (no, not all four) and add ketchup, onion rings, lettuce, whatever you like really.

Et voila! A tasty home-cooked low-fat burger. Enjoy!

These freeze really well and also make a great dinner with new potatoes, green veg gand gravy!