I’m writing to you today from our beautiful haven of Palm Beach Waiheke, after another incredible week of trekking through New Zealand in all its viridescent glory. After a week full of action, I always find it so calming and centering to retreat back here. To the sea, the sound of rolling waves, the smell of the fresh crisp island air.
February is normally the warmest month of the year in NZ, but March is still a stunner. That peak heat comes off, the kids head back to school, the roads clear, and all in all it’s one of my favourite times to travel round this gorgeous country. If you’re from overseas and contemplating an NZ tiki-tour – March is your gal! With another full three weeks before daylight savings hits us, and the sun still out til almost 8pm, now is the time to get outside and make the most of the last of those summer BBQs, picnics, alfresco eats, and sharing food with friends!
This past month has been quite the roadie, with me first down in Christchurch to take some more natural health workshops (just a few days before the tragic attacks), then up to Te Puke, Papamoa, and The Mount, followed by Taupo, then this week just been – the glorious centre of NZ – Nelson.
I managed to take a walk up the actual geographical centre of NZ – on top a rolling hill of pines, three mornings this week – and it reminded what a beautiful country we live in.
Plus – I got to meet and teach so many of YOU! The reason I keep heading back for more.
February is the warmest month of the year in NZ, but March and April are still quite balmy and agreeable. That peak heat comes off, the kiddos head back to school, the roads are clear, and as a result – it’s one of my favourite times to travel round this gorgeous country. If you’re from overseas and contemplating an NZ tiki-tour – March and April are your ladies!
With two more weekends before daylight savings hits us, and the sun still out til 730pm, now is the time to get outside and make the most of those last summer BBQs, alfresco eats, and sharing food with friends.
Here in come these juicy juicy Black Bean and Beetroot Burgers.
I’ve had lots of you ask me for more easy, healthy, dinner ideas lately. Ones that make the most of our plant-based kingdom, but will also get the thumbs up from the fam.
If that’s you – these burgers are it. Delicious, healthy, and made with ingredients the whole family can enjoy. I picked them up at my local Countdown . They’ve got such an amazing range of natural, organic, plant-based products these days, at affordable prices, it’s getting even easier to eat healthy.
Grab your buns or bunnuces, and let’s burger up…
Takeaways, made healthy at home
Everyone loves a good takeout meal, me included. But often the options out there are less than ideal from a health perspective. It is however though really easy, and actually quite fulfilling, to make your own ‘takeaway’ reincarnations, healthily and easily at home!
These burgers are not only healthy, environmentally friendly and entirely meat free, but also downright delicious. Add some delicious sauces and relishes, some fresh veges, and all your burger cravings will be satisfied.
The inspiration for these burgers came when one of my best friends was lamenting that she didn’t know what to bring to a friends’ summer BBQ, that wasn’t steak, chicken kebabs or sausages. Indeed, the typical kiwi BBQ fare, is generally meat, meat, meat, with possibly a few salads on the side, if you’re lucky.
Kiwi BBQ food though can be so much more than that.
The key ingredient in these burgers are black beans, a super versatile bean which I highly recommend adding to your repertoire. Black beans have a deliciously dense almost ‘meaty’ texture, which makes them perfect for recreating dishes which would otherwise be based on mince-meat.
Black beans, otherwise known as black turtle beans, are native to Central and South America and are popular in Mexican, Latin American, Cajun and Creole cuisines. My favourite way to use them is in burgers such as these, or otherwise as part of a Mexican burrito feast (with guacamole, tomatoes, jalapenos, juicy corn, cashew sour cream, tortillas and loads of fresh salad). They’re a fantastic source of plant-based protein at 21%, as well as low GI slow release complex carbohydrates, one quarter of which are fibre. One cup of cooked black beans contains 15 g protein, provides you with 30% of your recommended daily iron intake, 22% of your magnesium, 10% of your calcium, and 60% of your fibre requirements. With virtually no fat or sugar, making them a great source of nutrient bang for your calorific buck.
I’ve then added beetroot, which gives these burger patties a rosy red hue (making them look a little meaty), as well as hint of sweetness. Then throw in handful of fresh basil, and all of a sudden you have a rather fancy patty on your hands.
Countdown have a great range of fresh produce (lettuce and toms are at great prices right now), buying in season means you can save even more. Just remember to take your reusable bags with you, and voila – BBQ brilliance is yours!
These patties are easy to make in advance of your BBQ, by par-baking them in the oven so they’re ready to roll. Then simply pop them in a container, off to the barbie you go, and all they’ll need is a quick reheat on the flat plate.
I like to fill my burgers with cashew aioli (my recipe here), lettuce, thick slices of juicy tomato, creamy avocado and whatever relish I have on hand. You can either serve them in a classic wholegrain bun like I’ve done here, or if you’re looking for a lighter more veggie-dense option, go topless times two (or naked!).
For a topless burger, split your bun in half, pop a pattie on each side, then stack up your veggies as high as they can go. Take two big iceberg lettuce leaves, wrap them round each burger (including the bun), then voila – topless burgers for the win.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a less energy-dense option, you can drop the bun completely, and use your lettuce wrap to create a bunnuce (lettuce-bun).
My favourite is the double topless! Effectively you still get your full burger, and all the burger-bun goodness, but it’s a great way to add in extra greenery and antioxidants to your feast as well.
I hope you’ll give these awesome burgers a go.
Get creative with your fillings – sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and my Classic Cashew Cheese all work brilliantly. Just make sure to pick at least one thing creamy (e.g. aioli, cashew cheese or avocado), and one thing tangy/sweet (relish, pickles, sauerkraut), to really make the flavours pop.
I’d love to hear what you think of these burgers. They are my favs! Leave me a comment below or take a snap of your burger goodness on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I can pop by, and share your photographic genius in my stories too.
Happy weekend sweet friend, enjoy the last of that summer sun in style.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 cups black beans (2 x 400ml cans, rinsed and drained)
- 1 large beetroot 1 1/2c grated and packed
- 1/2 c chickpea (besan) flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 large handful fresh basil roughly torn
- 2 tsp sea salt
- To serve: whole grain buns lettuce, sliced tomato, avocado, cashew aioli and tomato relish.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius (390 farenheit).
- Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, or pulse lightly in a food processor until combined. Don’t overmix in your processor as you want the mixture to stay relatively dry and not get too sloppy.
- Press the mixture firmly into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and pop out onto an oven tray until you have 12-14 burgers. With the back of your measuring cup flatten the burgers slightly pushing any stray bits back into the burger round.
- Bake the burgers on fan bake for 15 minutes, grilling for a few minutes at the end if you want them a little browner. Then flip over and bake for 5 more minutes on the other side, putting your whole grain rolls in at the same time so they bake up nice and crunchy.
- Serve two burger patties each on whole grain rolls, with your toppings of choice (stacked as I’ve done in the photos). Or go topless with two patties and just one roll. Devour with extra salad and relish on the side!
- If you like a firmer burger (or your patties are quite thick), bake for an additional 5 minutes on the second side. If you’re prepping these for a BBQ later on, skip the second side and do that (and the wholegrain rolls) on the BBQ flat plate. You can also follow this second method if you want to freeze them or refrigerate for another night – simply place baking paper in between if freezing, then defrost and pan fry or BBQ up as you need.
- If you cook your own beans from scratch, 1 cup of dried beans equates to 3 cups of cooked beans. If you don’t have black beans, adzuki beans also work well too.
- You can use brown rice or buckwheat flour at a pinch if you don’t have chickpea flour on hand. Although I highly recommend trying chickpea flour – it gives these burgers amazing flavour and is the best flour at binding patties together sans egg. If you have a strong food processor you can make your own chickpea flour at home by blending up dried chickpeas, otherwise just purchase ready made here.
- I love the flavour of nutritional yeast – it gives a delicious savoury richness to these burgers. If you’d prefer more of the basil to come through you can reduce this to 1 tablespoon.