I’m on a savoury kick of late, so I bring to you burgers – gorgeous, healthy, happy nuggets of goodness that will satisfy any junk food craving with tongue-in-cheek and a full belly. Sometimes there’s nothing better that I’d like than to waltz into a restaurant and order a burger with some deeply fried potatoes, but since my city sees fit to deny me my imaginary birthright, I have to fend for myself. O woe is me? Not quite, when burgers look like this.
There’s nothing new about the portabello mushroom burger, but that’s the point of this mishmash of ingredients – this is easily an elegant meal made of leftovers you may have lying around the house – the best and most industrious form of housekeeping. Since I’m getting pretty miffed at eating buckwheat groats for breakfast every day thanks to my new GF outlook, I’m starting to consider brown rice porridge as an alternative; the result being an overflow of such goodies, not to mention the ever-present lentils or beans in the house. Enter burgers of delicious doom.
When Marmiet still worked with me she gifted us with a sprouter, which I must admit doesn’t always get its due, but I love and adore sprouts with a passion, especially since bloggers like Vegan Richa manage to stuff them into a lot of gleeful recipes (such as her mung bean pizza!). Sprouted lentils or beans of any kind add much loved texture and taste to any dish, and in the burgers they bring a little something special to the meal.
Ingredients (makes 9 – 11 depending on size):
- large portabello mushrooms – quantity of your choosing (depending on how many you want to eat in one go!)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cooked green lentils
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 handful spinach, chopped
- 1 handful fresh parsley (stems removed)
- 1 big handful sprouts, washed and patted dry, then shredded by hand
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP chickpea flour
- 3 radishes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp onion powder
- homemade mustard
- Avocado slices
- Preheat to 180C and a spray a sheet of baking paper.
- Lay your mushrooms, stems cut, with the cut-stem side down and bake for 20, flip and bake another 10 (see notes below the pics for some ideas to flavour the mushrooms if desired).
- Meanwhile, blend together your spinach, radishes and parsley in a food processor until broken down.
- Add the rice, lentils and spices and blend until mushed together (but not totally smooth).
- Add chickpea flour and pulse to combine.
- Set in the fridge for 20 minutes whilst your mushrooms bake.
- Once your shrooms are done, transfer them to a covered dish and quickly form your patties by hand – make sure they’re not too flimsy and tuck in any bits sticking out when flattened slightly.
- Bake for 25 minutes, flip and bake another 10 – 15 minutes until crisp.
- Serve with lettuce, homemade mustard, avo slices between the portabello mushrooms.
These burger patties are marvellously crisp and hold together well. I made them to fit the size of my mushrooms, but by all means shape them to suit your needs or bun size. Man-thing used 2 and a half for his two big soya burger buns, but my version is obviously superior :p Either way, they have spice, texture and are filling. If you like you can easily marinate the mushrooms in liquids of choice, or rub with with nutritional yeast and olive paste before baking. I prefer mine plain when I’m in a rush and just want to eat NOW (I get hangry a lot), but when you’re idle or have a moment, such little twists can really jazz them up significantly. These are also grand as packed work snacks or lunches – you can stuff them, mushrooms and all, inside buns to make them more filling if you wish, or be utterly decadent and wrap the avo and burgers stuffed inside the mushrooms and slathered with homemade mustard (sans lettuce) in some puff pastry and bake them. Let’s be honest, anything in pastry is pretty amazing. I’m getting distracted though. It’s pretty easy when you’re dealing with burgers that are so healthy and nutritious that you could probably eat half the yield in one sitting, super legit and stuff.
What are your favourite leftover ingredients and how do you re-incorporate them into a new meal?