I’ve never met a burger I didn’t like.
When we were travelling around America for our honeymoon my husband would order a burger at almost every place we ate and I thought he was nuts. Looking back on it now that kind of thinking makes me sound nuts…Burgers are like the track-pants of food; no matter what kind you have they’re always welcome, always satisfying and always make you feel like the world is a good place. Burgers aren’t really synonymous with healthy eating but it is really SO SIMPLE to take the greasy, artery-clogging, cholesterol-laden masterpiece that is a humble burger and turn it into something that you can enjoy without any of the “my-body-is-going-to-make-me-pay-for-this-later” unpleasantness. Say hello to the quinoa, mushroom and black bean burger.
Mushrooms are like vegetarian steak (so the vegetarians say..) so combining big, meaty mushrooms with high-protein quinoa and black beans felt like a natural start for creating a veggie burger that my burger connoisseur husband wouldn’t turn his nose up at. I also added in paprika and cumin, which as strong flavours themselves stand up well in the dense patty, and Dijon mustard, which I normally add to my beef burgers for a rich, tangy, creamy hit. The result was this – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, tangy, smokey, MEATY burgers.
Black beans are rich in dietary fibre, which helps stabilise blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of coronary disease. They’re also high in folate, integral to normal foetal development. Mushrooms are the only vegan source of vitamin D, which works with calcium to maintain strong, healthy bones, and are rich in selenium, which helps protect against bladder and prostate cancer.
Now obviously they don’t taste like a beef patty. I would never claim a healthy version of something tastes “just as good as the original” when it doesn't because we all know that there is no greater pleasure than bacon-double-cheeseburger with extra cheese and extra bacon. BUT they do taste bloody good, and are a damn sight healthier for both you and the environment. Serve with salad and avocado to keep the vegans happy or add cheese and a fried egg for the omnivores. Add a side of oven-roasted potato wedges and you’ve got yourself a weekday meal fit for a burger king.
Quinoa, Mushroom and Black Bean Burgers
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pepitas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
150g portabello mushrooms, diced
1½ cups cooked quinoa
1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1) Blend sunflower seeds and pepitas into nut meal and set aside.
2) Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, then add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms have softened and released their juices.
3) In a large bowl, roughly mash the black beans. Add remaining ingredients, including mushroom mixture and stir well to combine.
4) Shape mixture into 10 patties then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
5) Preheat oven to 200C. Bake patties for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
6) Serve in a bun with as many or as little trimmings as you like, but always with a big plate of oven-roasted potato wedges.
Fit Kitchen Blog
Healthy recipes for people that love food.
Join the JLFN community to receive your free healthy chocolate recipes e-book
- as well as a regular newsletter with exclusive recipes, tips and special offers - making it easier to reach your health and fitness goals!