Vegan Black Bean & Walnut Veggie Burger

Greg over at Pleasant Peasant Cuisine, is a lifelong vegetarian and is on a quest to find the perfect veggie burger. He has several great recipes on his blog. We too hanker after a good, tasty burger, but ours is even more difficult to find as it has to be vegan, gluten-free and nightshade-free, so no egg, wheatflour or tomato. We also need it to be simple, quick and uncomplicated!

Greg has used kidney beans, tofu and seitan, but we decided to try and devise our own version using black beans, which we’d never had before. We enhanced the protein content of the beans with organic chickpea flour to hold it together, chia seeds instead of egg, and walnuts to give it some bite and texture, as well as sweetcorn for a little colour.

Everything was thrown into the food processor and pulsed to bring it together, then shaped and cooked in a little coconut oil in a frying pan.

Black beans are often used in cajun and creole cooking and are good for vegetarians and vegans alike as they are high in protein and fibre:

1 Cup of cooked black beans provides 1/3 of a day’s protein requirement + 15g of fibre – US dietary guidelines recommend 21-25g per day for women and 30-38g per day for men.

They are also a good source of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which, along with the other B vitamins, helps convert carbohydrates to glucose for fuel to provide energy and also helps metabolise fats and protein.

Black beans contain magnesium – important for relaxing muscles, good quality sleep and elevating mood – as well as iron.

So, on to the burgers – you thought I’d never get there, didn’t you?!

As always, the measurements are appoximate, it was a case of let’s try this and see how it goes and if it’s not enough add a bit more! Everything was organic and gluten-free. If you want a bit more colour or spice, you can add chilli powder or flakes or paprika or different herbs.


1 Cup Cooked Organic Black Beans (we used tinned, strained and rinsed)

1/2 Cup Walnut Pieces

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds* in 1 Tbsp Water

1 Cup Frozen Sweetcorn, defrosted

1 Onion, chopped

1/2 Stick Celery + leaves, chopped

1/2 Small Carrot, shaved

1 Clove Garlic, pressed

A good splash of Tamari

1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt + Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Dried Miso Soup

2-3 Tbsps Chickpea Flour + extra for shaping & frying

imagePut everything in the food processor and pulse a few times to  bring it together, don’t overdo it  you want some texture not a purée! Test to see if you can squeeze it together. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

Dust a board with some flour and shape the mix into burgers.


We managed 4 good-sized ones and a smaller one.

They are quite soft, so handle gently and use a fish slice to lift them into the pan and flip them over.

Melt a little coconut oil in a large frying pan, but not smoking.


Cook on a medium heat turning a couple of times until done.

imageServed with a watercress or babyleaf and rocket salad, we added sprouted mung beans (more protein), and cumin spiced sweet potato oven chips (fries) with a piquant cashew ‘cheese’ sauce (see here for recipe),


Do visit Greg, his blog is full of improvised, unusual and colourful recipes and beautiful photos (click on the link at the top of this post).


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Vegan Gluten-Free Tiger Nut Bread Mark ll

imageAnyone who is gluten-free for whatever reason will know how difficult it is to find a commercial gluten-free loaf that doesn’t look and taste like cardboard and is, if you’re lucky, only ‘good’ for toasting. It lasts a day and then breaks up. It has no flavour other than of additives, and no texture – and if you look at the list of ingredients, you may as well be reading a chemistry experiment!

We have several family members who are gluten-free and have made many variations of gluten-free loaves over the years. We find the ones made in the breadmaker are best, but it’s a bit hit and miss. One day it will come out perfect, the next the paddle will refuse to come out and you have a big hole in the middle or the bottom inch of the loaf isn’t cooked properly.

So, I am ever on the hunt for new recipes to try. This is our latest attempt based on a recipe I found by Dan Lepard on BBC Food. The first one we made, we used all tiger nut flour* as we didn’t have cornflour and it gave a lovely brown colour and lots of texture, but I think there was too much liquid: it spread too much and was very crusty.


So this is our second attempt and we kept a little closer to the original, although we didn’t have enough cornflour or enough tiger nut flour for the whole loaf, so we included some organic chickpea flour and a smaller amount of tiger nut flour this time. (You might also want to check out Version III and  Mk IV – the best yet!). 

Chickpea flour – also known as garbanzo bean flour and besan flour – is high in protein and has lots of vitamins and minerals including calcium – as does Tiger Nut flour, which is naturally sweet and high in dietary fibre.

 We were very pleased with it. You can’t really make traditional large sandwiches – it doesn’t rise a lot – but I had open sandwiches with tahini, lettuce, spring onion and olives and they were very moreish!


 We used plain coconut yogurt in place of dairy to make it vegan, and we also reduced the amount of liquid a little.

All measurements are approximate, you may need a couple of attempts to find the right combinations for you.


25g – 50g (10z – 1 3/4 oz) Organic Golden Linseeds

450 mls (16 fl oz) Warm Water

2 1/2 Tsps Quick-acting Yeast

80 mls (3 fl oz) Plain Coconut Yogurt (or soya yogurt)

11 oz  (312g) Organic Cornflour/ Fine Maize Flour

4 oz (114 g) Organic Chickpea Flour

1 oz (30g) Tiger Nut Flour

1 Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1 1/2 Tsps Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

50g (1 3/4oz) Organic Psyllium Husk Powder

50 mls (1 3/4 Fl oz) Organic Raw Virgin Olive Oil

A little extra olive oil and flour


 Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4

Warm the linseeds on a tray for about 10-12 minutes, until they darken slightly (the toasted seeds will release a sticky gluten-like substance when mixed with the wet ingredients, and they give the loaf a wheatgerm-like flavour).

Switch off the oven.

Mix together the water and yeast, then stir in the yogurt and seeds. Set aside.

Sift and mix together the flour, salt, sugar and psyllium husk powder  in a large bowl.

Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil and mix well. Don’t worry if it looks like there’s too much liquid. It will turn into a sticky dough within a few minutes as the linseed, flour and psyllium husk powder become gel-like.

Once the mixture is firm enough, knead it for 10 seconds on the worktop to mix everything again, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm but not hot place for 30 minutes.

Line a tray with non-stick baking paper.

Shape the dough into a ‘bloomer’ shape, ie long and thick, then brush with the extra olive oil, cover and leave it to rise for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 240C/465F/Gas 9 (we have a fan oven and adjusted to 200C).

Make some diagonal cuts across the dough with a sharp knife, sprinkle with a little cornflour and bake for about 40 minutes, or until rich golden-brown in colour.

Cool on a wire rack before slicing.



Serving suggestions: Peanut butter and banana


Sliced avocado sprinkled with lemon juice and black pepper on bread with rocket, watercress and cucumber salad.

*The Tiger Nut Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Quick Vegan Open Toasted Sandwich

imageThis is a quick light lunch or afternoon vegan snack that came about when we wanted to use up some slices of home-made chickpea, tiger nut and cornflour bread from the freezer.


All ingredients are organic.


Lightly toast 2 slices home-made gluten-free bread, spread with tahini, top with romaine, cucumber, spring onion, organic green olives, black pepper and a drizzle of tahini/lemon dressing (which I forgot for the photo).


Tahini is made from sesame seeds, a good source of calcium and healthy oils. Chickpeas, too, are rich in calcium, iron and fibre. Spring onions and tiger nuts* are prebiotics, good for the gut. Romaine has protein and cucumber is hydrating, while olives have heart-healthy oil.

Overall, a very healthy snack and satisfying, too!


Organic Chickpea Flour & Cornflour from

Copyright: Chris McGowan