I cannot tell you how excited I was when I made these. Normally my ‘creations’ in the kitchen don’t go down that well but if I do say so myself, this one was a hit! Not only are these really really quick and easy to make ( I think it probably took me 20mins to make them and 15mins of that was boiling the potatoes and carrots), but they are packed full of fibre, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6 and immune boosting beta-carotene. These are also oven baked thus making them low fat too!
If that wasn’t enough to persuade you to try them, they are pretty cheap to make too. I reckon for the 4 burgers it cost about £1.50 as they really only use 1 can of beans, 1 sweet potato and 1 carrot …plus a few seasonings.
Tinned beans are an often underrated source of nutrition; cheap and wholesome they often just require a little creativity to bring some flavour to them but they are really versatile. Chickpeas are one of my favourites and I am pretty much always guaranteed to find a tin in my kitchen as I use them so frequently, mostly for making hummous (i’ll do a post on this next week!).
Beans are really filling so I often try and get clients who are trying to lose weight to experiment with using beans a bit more – they will invariably come and tell me how full they felt but in reality consumed far fewer calories than they felt like they did! Most beans are rich in B vitamins which are essential for converting the food we eat into usable energy in our bodies and another cunning benefit of eating beans is that they are usually paired with lots of veggies in recipes thus upping the nutrition quota even more.
I served my burger in a wholemeal seeded roll with sweet potato wedges which I just brushed in oil and baked in the oven at the same time as the burgers. I also made a salsa and served this plus some lettuce and a few condiments on the side. It really felt like a take away treat! The recipe makes 4 burgers but I doubled the quantity and in addition to the 4 burgers, i made 12 falafel balls which were eaten over the following 2 days as a lunch time meal stuffed into a warm wholemeal pitta bread with some tahini dressing and a little salad. You can also shape the falafel and freeze before baking if you want to have a handy meal on standby in the freezer. They then just need defrosting and baking as you would the normal ones.
Here is the recipe
Makes 4 good sized burgers
1 sweet potato (approx 200g) – peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot (approx 100g) scrubbed and chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 heaped tsp harissa paste ( you can leave this out if you dont have it to hand)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cumin
sesame seeds (30g)
olive oil – to brush
Preheat the oven to Gas 6 / 200C
Start by boiling the sweet potato and carrot in a large pan of water until soft. Drain and return to the pan. Mash them together with a potato masher.
Meanwhile blitz the chickpeas in a blender until mashed up but not pureed.
now mash the chickpeas and garlic clove into the carrot and sweet potato mixture and mix in the seasoning until everything is really well combined.
Tip the sesame seeds into a small bowl and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and rub olive oil onto this.
Now shape the mixture into 4 patties, roll in the sesame seeds and then pop onto the baking tray, rub in the oil and then turn over so that both sides have a little oil on them. Now pop into the oven and bake for 30mins, turning over half way through.
You can cook the wedges at the same times if you want wedges or just toast your buns ready for the burgers.
Prepare the condiments; salad, relish, salsa, hummous, guacamole, mayonnaise, jalepeno peppers, sliced tomato….or whatever else you might like for your burger evening!
Enjoy and let me know how you get on. Remember that you can also make these a spicy by adding some finely diced red chilli pepper – this works really well if you like hot food.