I live an 80:20 lifestyle. I try and eat healthily 80% of the time, leaving me 20% for little treats and indulgences. BUT, and this is a big caveat for me, healthy eating has to be delicious. Life is for enjoying, so I absolutely won’t compromise on flavour for the sake of my health. When it comes to diet, I really do believe you can have it all.
So being asked to develop a recipe for the Wholegrain Goodness campaign was right up my street; I practically knocked over my giant bag of quinoa in excitement. I love creating recipes that are both delicious and good for you, it makes me tick because eating healthily doesn’t have to be dull. It doesn’t have to be the stuff of 70’s student nightmares; all mung beans and cardboardy bread. Eating healthily, can in fact, be surprisingly good.
In the UK we’re simply not eating enough fibre or wholegrain. Why does this matter? Well first off fibre, can, amongst other things, help keep our bowels healthy as well as help us to feel full, which means we are less likely to eat too much. Currently, most people only eat about 18g fibre per day, whereas we should be aiming to eat at least 30g. (And shock horror, a fifth of us aren’t eating ANY wholegrain at all. None!)
Also, a soluble fibre found in oats and barley called beta glucan, has been shown to help lower cholesterol, which may lower the risk of heart disease. Now heart disease looms pretty large in my life. My Dad had a heart attack when I was pregnant with my eldest son and had a triple bypass and valve replaced. It was an awful time. His Dad died of suspected heart disease and so too did his Uncle. Any opportunity I have to reduce the risk of this happening to anyone else in our family I will take with open arms.
In this recipe for veggie burgers I’ve used four wholegrain foods; quinoa (you say it ‘keen-wah’ by the way for those who are unsure), whole wheat breadcrumbs, wholemeal baps and brown rice. I hope you like them (do tag me with #GetWithTheGrain if you make them or are inspired to make something else wholegrain) and enjoy feeling very pleased with yourself indeed for eating so much wholegrain whilst still getting bags of flavour.
P.S. The kids liked these too, especially as balls.
Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
- 85g uncooked whole quinoa
- 40g whole wheat breadcrumbs (about 1 slice)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 400g tin butterbeans, drained
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp garam marsala
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, drain well and set aside to cool a little.
In the meantime pulse together the breadcrumbs, garlic, butterbeans, egg and garam marsala in a food processor. Lastly add the carrot and cooked whole quinoa and pulse again for a few seconds until combined. Form the mixture into four equal sized burger shapes using your hands. (You can wet your hands with cold water to help if you wish).
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the burgers on each side until lightly browned. This will take between 6 – 8 minutes per side. Serve in wholemeal burger buns with slices of melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and whatever sauce you prefer.
Tip: You could add some freshly chopped coriander to the mixture or swap the garam masala for paprika and a little lemon zest instead.
Tip: This mixture works well when made into meatballs instead. Simply shape into balls and fry as above for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on a bed of brown rice and with a simple tomato sauce spooned over the top.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 16 minutes
Supported by Wholegrain Goodness.
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