Spicy Chickpea & Coriander Veggie Burgers (vegan & gluten-free)

img_3236We don’t like to throw away our almond milk pulp and didn’t really want another batch of bliss balls, despite the impending visit of the little grandchildren at the weekend (there were other treats awaiting them), so we made burgers as there were none left in the freezer. (You can substitute the almond pulp, see below)

These were the best of our burger experiments in terms of holding together easily, they were no problem at all to form into patties.

These burgers are full of essential nutrients, including protein, iron, omega fats, b vitamins, calcium, antioxidants.

Vegan, Gluten-free, Organic where possible.

Makes about 6-8, depending on size.

All measurements are very approximate.

Ingredients

1 Cup Chickpeas, drained & rinsed, left to dry out a little

1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Chia Seeds soaked in 3 Tbsps Water to form a gel)

1 Cup Almond Milk Pulp (or use a substitute, eg ground almond or other nuts, ground sunflower seeds, you may need to adjust the liquid required).

1 Very Small Onion, finely chopped

Crushed Garlic,  if liked

3/4 Cup Coarsely Grated Carrot

1/4 Cup Chopped Sweet Apricot Kernels (or Almonds or other nuts/seeds)

1/2 Tsp Vegetable Bouillon Powder

1/2 – 1 Tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds

Good Splash of Tamari

Squeeze of Tomato Purée

1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted

Chopped Fresh Coriander

Black Pepper

Twist of Pink Himalayan Salt

Extra coconut oil for cooking.

Method

Process all ingredients until it will come together when you press it.

img_3225Using small handfuls, gently press and shape into rounds in the palm of your hands and then flatten on a board.

Refrigerate to firm them up.

(We had sun streaming through the kitchen window, trying to make amends I think after Storm Doris had blown herself out!)

Fry in a little coconut oil or bake in the oven on an oiled tray.

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We served them with a mixed salad, tamari-flavoured toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and I had mushrooms and sweetcorn whilst my husband had jacket potato and cheese.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Nutty Bean & Beetroot Veggie Burgers with Quinoa & Redcurrants

These are the third in a series of attempts to find a tasty home-made veggie burger that holds together well and I think in the latter category, these are the best! I think the key might be in using chia egg (chia seeds soaked in water to form a gel) rather than just the chia seeds on their own. In the other recipes, we had assumed that the seeds would soak up any excess moisture in the mix and combined with the chickpea flour, would hold it together. They worked well, but these worked even better.

Don’t be put off by the beetroot, they are peeled and grated and the burgers don’t taste earthy at all. Beetroot are heart healthy, a good source of potassium and good for the circulation. (Read Make Beetroot Your New Veg Friend! for the full benefits of eating/juicing beetroot).

I had a couple of burgers warm with some quinoa and a red- and whitecurrant dressing, with a green salad. The rest were put in the freezer and I had a couple when we had a picnic on a sunny day and they were even better! They held together and tasted amazing – I ate them with my fingers, like a biscuit, and they didn’t break up.

Quinoa is a complete protein and also gluten-free. It can be a little bland unless you add some spices, lime juice or dried fruit for example, here we’ve made a dressing using fresh red and white currants, but you could use defrosted frozen berries or dried cranberries.

Apart from being very tasty, redcurrants are a rich source of dietary fibre, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin K – necessary for blood-clotting and for good bone health.

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Ingredients – Burgers

1/2 Tin Black Beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 Medium Beetroot, grated

1 Small Onion, chopped

1 Clove of Garlic, crushed

1 Cup Ground Walnuts (you could substitute for seeds or other nuts, but they would give a different texture and flavour)

2″ Slice Marrow, chopped or 1/2 Courgette (Zucchini)

2 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds soaked in 3 Tbsps Water, stirred vigorously, to form a gel

1 1/2 Cups Chickpea Flour (garbanzo or gram)

A Squeeze of Tomato Purée

1 Tsp Vegetable Bouillon Powder

1/2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped

Splash of Tamari

Pink Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper

A little coconut oil for frying.

Method

Put everything in the food processor and pulse/slow process until it starts to come together but is still coarse, you don’t want it too smooth & mushy. Scrape it down between each blast.

With floured hands take handfuls of mix and form into burgers on a floured board using a flat spatula to help it come together if necessary. Sprinkle with a little flour before cooking. We made 5.

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Melt a little coconut oil in a frying pan, but not to smoking point, and gently cook the burgers. You might prefer to cook them in the oven.

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Quinoa

Just before you cook the burgers, put on some quinoa to cook as per instructions, keep the lid on until cooked, about 10-12 minutes – you want the moisture evaporated but the quinoa still keeping its shape, not broken up and mushy. If there is still some moisture, leave the lid off and turn the heat off but keep the pan on the warm plate, or turn it out into a hot dish and fluff it gently with a fork to allow the moisture to escape.

Red and White Currant Dressing

I adapted this from an Able & Cole recipe.

Place about 125g fresh Red and White Currants in a saucepan, add approximately 2 Tbsps water, 1 Tsp Maple Syrup, 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds. Heat slowly until the currants burst slightly. Remove from heat.

Pour half into the quinoa and lightly mix. Check seasoning.

Serve the burgers with the quinoa and a green salad and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

See Vegan Tiger Nut & Peanut Chilli-Burger (you can use substitutes for Tiger Nuts) and Vegan Black Bean & Walnut Veggie Burger for the other recipes.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Vegan Gluten-Free Almond & Apricot Scones – oh yes!

imageI haven’t had home-baked scones – or any scones for that matter – for soooo long! Many moons ago, before I became vegan, gluten-free, juicer and raw foodie, they were my favourite comfort food. They were so quick and easy to make.

I haven’t had anything resembling baked goods in years. I haven’t missed them at all. I love my raw treats. But you know how sometimes, you’re sitting or lying, minding your own business and suddenly, wham! it hits you: you just have to have that little something (as Winnie the Pooh called it). That very specific something. Nothing else will do. For me, in the early hours of this morning when I couldn’t sleep, it was scones! So I spent the next hours musing over how I could devise a recipe that ticked all my boxes.

So here it is, my first baking recipe! Don’t get too comfy, I’m not morphing into Delia! It’s a one-off.*

This was our first attempt, and I have to say, given all the guesswork involved, I am really pleased with them. I tried to make them as healthy as possible, so they have protein, B vitamins, Vitamin A, Iron and so on. Enjoy as an occasional treat.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds soaked in 3 Tbsps Water for 10-15 mins. Stir vigorously every so often (known as a chia egg).

80z Organic Cornflour (it’s yellow, you know!)

1 oz freshly ground Almonds

1 Tsp Gluten-free Baking Powder

2 oz Solid Raw Virgin Coconut Oil 

1 oz Coconut Palm Sugar

4 Sulphur-free Organic Dried Apricots (pre-soaked if very dry)

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

1/2 Cup Almond Milk – preferably home-made, click this link for how to make your own

Method

imageSift the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and coconut palm sugar into a large bowl.

Add the salt and coconut oil.

Using fingertips, blend into flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add chia egg and using a round bladed knife mix it into the flour mix.

Stir in dried apricots and add almond milk.

Using fingers, gather it together and knead. It should be quite soft and moist and combine into a ball.

imageGently roll it to out to just over an inch in depth. They won’t rise much so bear that in mind.

Using whatever shaped cutter you like, cut out about 7 or 8 scones. We used a medium size.

Place on baking parchment on a baking try – we didn’t have any and the scones got a little overdone on the underneath. Brush the tops with a little milk.

Place in the oven at 190C for a fan oven.

Cook for about 10 mins. but keep your eye on them. Ours were in a little too long, but they still tasted lovely.

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Cool on a rack.

Split and add whatever takes your fancy, mine had strawberry fruit spread and peanut butter (didn’t have any almond). I would have much preferred my Nannie’s home-made Almond and Apricot jam, which would have been perfect. She used to make huge batches of it, as well as damson and apple, and distribute it amongst her family, it would last us all year!

*Ok, I lied! Vegan, Gluten-Free Plum Crumble – Nice, But Not Too Naughty!

The Organic Chia Seeds and Organic Coconut Palm Sugar are from The Raw Chocolate Company

The Organic Cornflour and Organic Almonds are from  Buy Wholefoods Online UK

The Raw Virgin Coconut Oil is from Lucy Bee Coconut

Copyright: Chris McGowan