Up until a few years ago, burgers were found at either the local fish'n'chip shop or of course at McD's, and were pretty one dimensional - low grade meat patty, bit of lettuce and tomato maybe, white bun and, what am I forgetting??? Oh yes, the quintessential accompaniment, tomato sauce (or ketchup if that's speaking more your language!). In more recent times, various gourmet fast food establishments have arisen and taken the humble burger to a new level, and consequently reinvigorated our interest.
So having said that, some of you will think I am strange to launch into a quick spiel on incorporating a 'meatless Monday' into your weekly meal plan. What meatless?? I thought you were talking about burgers? Well I am! You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy the many combinations of ingredients put together to make a patty, and having one day a week without meat helps keep your shopping bill down, whilst encouraging legumes and other meat substitutes into your diet. And this recipe is a great way to get your family rolling on a 'meatless Monday' plan! (OK, if you want to make it Tuesday, that's fine too).
So I found this recipe in the latest Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine (an awesome subscription to have as it gives easy to read and easy to apply nutrition tips and recipes) and straight away thought, the sweet potato will go down well with my boys, the flavours of lemon and cumin and 'meatiness' of the chickpeas would appeal to hubby (!), and all the healthy bits I could add in would make me smile as I watched everyone devour them!
I set to work, changed and added a few things, and voila, here tis folks.... Sweet Potato, chickpea and chia burgers! Of course I couldn't just stop at knowing the patty was healthy, so in the last 10 minutes before serving, I quickly threw a carrot, some broccoli, nearly a tin of organic chopped tomatoes, a big spoon of tomato paste, a bit of vegetable stock concentrate (a Thermomix favourite but if you don't have one, just a sprinkling of stock powder will do) and a couple of mushrooms into the Thermomix, chopped them up really finely then cooked it on 100 degrees for 10 minutes. A healthy 'tomato sauce' which the boys ate quite happily spread on the toast under the burger. Without a Thermomix, just either use a food processor or grate/finely chop the veggies and simmer in a small saucepan. Oh, I'll leave that for the method below perhaps!!
As I always say, use this as a guide and play around with the flavours that are favourites in your household. Use gluten free bread/buns if you need, change the fillings.... personalise it, and let me know what you think! Enjoy......
Sweet Potato, chickpea and chia burgers
Ingredients - patties400g sweet potato, chopped (dont peel if you have a TMX or food processor)
400g can chickpeas, rinsed
2 spring onions (finely chopped if no TMX)
1/2 lemon, zested (if you have a TMX, just use veggie peeler to take off half the lemon)
1 garlic clove, peeled (and finely chopped if no TMX)
2 eggs (lightly beaten if no TMX or food processor)
1 tsp ground cumin
a few sprigs parsley (chopped if no TMX)
2 tbs chia seeds
oil to cook
Ingredients - tomato/veg saucea few broccoli florets
a few mushrooms
3/4 tin organic chopped tomatoes
a big tbs tomato paste
a tsp TMX veggie stock concentrate (or stock powder)
good quality buns (or wholemeal multigrain toast in our case!!)
lettuce or spinach leaves
Method - Thermomix1. Place chopped sweet potato in Varoma tray. Fill TM bowl with 1 Lt water and steam for 20 minutes on Varoma setting, speed 4. Set aside.
2. Empty and dry bowl. Place spring onions, lemon zest, parsley and garlic in TM bowl. Chop on speed 7 until you no longer hear chopping noise. Scrape down and repeat if necessary until fine chop of ingredients is achieved.
3. Add sweet potato, chickpeas, eggs, cumin and chia seeds. Press turbo until all ingredients combined but with a bit of texture left in the mix. Scrape mix out into another bowl to have the TM bowl free for making the tomato/veg sauce. No need to clean.
4. Heat frypan over medium heat. If you want to make the patties nice and neat (!) use egg rings sprayed lightly with oil and spoon in some of the mix and press down lightly. When browned, flip carefully with spatula, carefully remove egg ring and cook until warmed through. Repeat with remaining mix.
5. While cooking the patties, place carrot, broccoli and mushrooms into TMX bowl and chop on speed 5 for 5 seconds. Add tomatoes, paste and stock concentrate and cook at 100 degrees, speed 2 for 10 minutes. Set aside.
6. Assemble burgers by spreading tomato/veg sauce onto bun, top with patty and remaining topping ingredients of your choice.
Method - Conventional1. Steam chopped sweet potato by method of your choice (over double boiler, microwave etc)
2. Place in bowl and add remaining patty ingredients. Mash with a potato masher or if you have a food processor, place all ingredients in the bowl and turbo/pulse until combined but with a bit of texture left in the mix.
3. Follow step 4 above.
4. While cooking the patties, finely chop broccoli and mushrooms. Finely chop or grate carrot. Place in small saucepan. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft. Set aside.
5. Follow step 6 above.