Thursday, July 4, 2013

Better burgers & balls

Veggie burgers never looked so good!
It's the July 4th, and who doesn't love a good burger? Instead of buying ready-made or frozen make your own patties! Here's a few options for all – herbivores, chickentarians, and carnivores. You can make these on the grill or in a hot pan. Don't forget all the trimmings!  Cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion (raw or caramelized)...

If you want to skip the bread, then roll them into smaller balls for yummy veggie balls or meatballs. (Great for packing in a school lunchin a sandwich or with sauce to dip them in.) Sauté the balls gently on a well-oiled pan for 10-12 minutes, turning them often to brown all sides. Cover and let simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes

1 cup prepared black beans
3/4 cup cooked wild rice
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 of an onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp vinegar (white, apple, or red) or fresh lemon juice
1 tsp oregano, fresh or dried
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt 
1/4 cup rice flour
5 Tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp water, if necessary
  • Mash the beans with the rest of the ingredients (or process everything together) and form into patties. If it's not sticky enough, add a tablespoon or two of water. 
  • Cook on a medium heat in a well-oiled pan for 3-4 minutes on each side to warm through

For sweet potato, millet & black bean burgers, check out this recipe.

Chicken meatballs with a creamy dressing,
perfect for a healthy packed lunch!

1lb ground free-range chicken thigh meat
1 free-range egg
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
(see method below)

1lb (450g) grass-fed ground beef or lamb
½ small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup (45g) fresh breadcrumbs (1-2 slices of day-old bread whizzed up in a small herb chopper or food processor)
Sea salt and pepper
Burger buns

  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together using your hands. If you have time, cover and let this refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
  • Form into even 1” (25mm) thick patties, slightly larger than your buns of choice. They will shrink slightly when cooked. 
  • Grill or fry the burgers. Make sure the pan is super-hot before adding 1 Tbsp of oil to coat the bottom of the pan. On a high heat, cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, until browned.  

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