Sunday, 29 June 2014

Vegan Beetroot and Mushroom Burgers

Big decision time in our house - I have made the call that we will try to do Meatfree Monday on a trial basis. This may sound like a fairly simple undertaking, but in this household it is akin to cutting out oxygen!

Hubby is very much a meat man, and he will tolerate a meal with fish or seafood, but really doesn't consider it a true meal unless it involves meat of some kind. He is particularly fond of a good eye fillet, or a pork chop - and a good old fashioned meat laden BBQ really is his ultimate feast. 

That being said, I decided to implement meat-free Monday on the sly so as not to prejudice the decision! I thought that if I told hubby that we were in for a meat-free meal that he would already have decided he was not going to enjoy it, and therefore he wouldn't. I went for a meal that he really likes (burgers) and made the patties out of very 'meaty' types of veges with strong, rich flavours - namely beetroot and mushroom. 

The outcome? Success! At the end of the meal, I asked if he had noticed anything about the meal, and he said he had noticed that there was no meat, but it was only about halfway through the meal, and only because he took a closer look at the pattie that he knew what was different. I asked if he had enjoyed the meal regardless and he admitted that he really did enjoy it! So, I broached the subject of trying to experiment on a more regular basis, and he was on board. Yay!! 

Only problem is, now there is a new challenge every week of coming up with a meal that has no meat, but not in an obvious kind of way! ha! But, the first attempt was successful, so I can only keep trying - and worst case scenario it might be worthwhile keeping a supply of steak in the freezer just in case there are nights where it all goes horribly least until he is fully on board with the vegetable delights!

So, these burgers were actually pretty darn good! And they ended up being vegan by default - not intentional, but so much the better. They are also gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, and sugar free. There are a few ingredients that may not be readily available in every pantry, but please feel free to substitute as required, or ask any questions about substitutions. I'm happy to help! 

I served my burger in a lettuce cup, but hubby and the kids had gluten-free burger buns (didn't want to overwhelm them on the first night, so kept things pretty traditional). The patties were joined by avocado, tomato, mayonnaise, lettuce and cucumber to make a tasty, traditional burger, with a super moist, hearty pattie. (You will also notice I snuck a little slice of cheese into hubby's burger - he can tolerate a bit of cheese and I will admit I was eager for him to get on board with the burger so willing to cheat a little!!).

My favourite part about these meals? Beetroot and mushrooms are basically two of natures super foods, so they are not only delicious but they are RIDICULOUSLY good for you! The liver cleansing properties alone of these 2 foods are amazing, and the mushrooms are super immune boosters which is ideal for this mid-winter chill that's hanging around. Beetroot is also a wonder-drug for the heart so you are doing your body so many favours by including it as a staple in your diet. What's more, for anyone who is into raw food out there, these patties are just as good raw, and if you just up the dry ingredients a little you would easily be able to make a raw food version. 

Happy little patties...

Bunless version...

 The classic burger...

Happy hubby - happily unaware!! Sneaky Wifey!!!

Vegan Beetroot and Mushroom Burgers

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

1 whole beetroot, peeled 
2 cups mushrooms (I used 4 large portobello, but you can choose any variety)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (you could use coconut flour, brown rice flour, gluten-free breadcrumbs etc)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup psyllium husk (omit if you don't have this, but you should increase the other dry ingredient by about 1/4 cup)
4 tbsp coconut aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup carrot, grated
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp coconut oil for cooking

1. In a food processor with grater attachment, grate the beetroot and mushroom together (you can grate the beetroot and finely chop the mushrooms, but it's SO much faster in the food processor!). Place into a large bowl. Add the flaxseed, sesame seeds, psyllium, aminos, oregano, coriander, cayenne, salt, pepper, to the bowl and mix well to combine. 
2. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, heat half the coconut oil. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots to the pan and fry gently until softened and aromatic. Remove from the heat and add the onion mix to the beetroot mix. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
3. Heat the rest of the oil over medium heat in the same pan. Shape handfuls of the beetroot mixture into patties and fry gently for about 4 minutes until browned, then flip carefully and cook for another few minutes on the other side. 
4. Serve in whichever way you prefer your burger. 

We served ours with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado (1 ripe avocado, smashed and blended with salt, pepper, and lemon juice - and a hint of chilli if preferred), and homemade mayonnaise (recipe here). Hubby and the kids had theirs on Gluten-free burger buns (and then there was hubby's sneaky cheese!).