One of my new years resolutions was to bring my lunch to the office everyday instead of buying it. I made the commitment after one too many dazed walks through the food court across the road, wandering idly from sushi vendor to juice bar and back again. I’m now 100% DIY, the queen of Tupperware and the lady of lunch bags! Oh yeah.
I’ve stopped explaining to the salad bar staff that no, I didn’t want blue cheese dressing on my salad, and yes and I was sure, and no I didn’t want South West dressing instead. Plus with your average salad costing around $10.50, I was outlaying over $50 smackers a week on a salad I wasn’t really that keen on in the first place! The barefoot investor would not be impressed.
When trying to eat healthily on a budget, I’ve learned there’s nothing that compares with being prepared. It’s the key to avoiding that familiar rushed and thoughtless grab for processed food when nothing else is available. It’s the key to controlling what goes in your bod, and making sure what goes in is doing a bunch of good things for you. Put your food to work!
Now, I’m the first to admit I don’t want to spend my entire Sunday prepping every single meal for the week ahead. As a wise woman from Oklahoma once said ‘aint nobody got time for that!‘ Sundays are for spending hours without shoes on, and sometimes watching half a season of the Newsroom if that’s what gets you going. Instead I cook once, and eat 5 times with this most awesome of awesome veggie burger recipe.
These burgers are my absolute number one go to when I’m stuck for lunch ideas or quickly need to prepare something filling and nutritious for on the go. I prepare these so regularly that my cupboards are constantly stocked with the ingredients ready to go on short notice. Once cooked, I section 1-2 burger off in containers with a simple salad and creamy lemon tahini dressing ready to take to work. They’re good enough to eat without the bun, however if I was preparing these for a dinner, I’d serve with a whole grain bread roll, an assortment of salads and condiments and some sweet potato chips.
I first found the recipe when perusing Amanda’s wonderful vegan blog ‘Oh She Glows.’ Initially the ingredient list looks alarming, but once I got into the swing of it I realised most of the dry ingredients I had sitting in my cupboard. I tweaked a few things here and there, like removing the onion and garlic step (it just added more time to the cooking process and couldn’t really taste the difference if it was in or out) and adding in a few extra nutrient dense goodies. Feel free to check out her original recipe here.
If you’re reading this and think the process looks too involved – DON’T GIVE UP! Once you get the hang of it, I’m positive it will become one of our staples. Ebony x
Every day super foods
Flax seeds – a nutrient payload! Not only is this tiny seeds high in B vitamins and magnesium, it’s packed with essential Omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants that help fight disease.
Black beans – Recent studies has shown that black beans provide tonnes of support for your digestive system. In fact they are the number one bean for digestive health
Oats – Oldies but goodies. Low GI, help reduce cholesterol, full of soluble and insoluble fibre.
- Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl ( I would reccomend sticking with the vegan flax eggs instead of real eggs. I tried the recipe with eggs and it just wasn’t the same and the mixture didn’t have the right texture. )
- 1/2 cup oats processed into flour
- ½ cup oats whole unprocessed
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 1.5 cups bread crumbs (I processed 3 pieces of Burrgen Soy & Linseed bread until fine crumb)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed (you can buy these at Harris Farm, Fruit Ezy or a health food store) if you don’t have the time to search – opt for chick peas.
- Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- Sea salt and black pepper to season
How to go about it:
1. Mix the flax egg together and let rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients
2. Combine all other ingredients in a big mixing bowl. If you have one, use a food processor to separately blitz the bread crumbs, almonds, oats and parsley (if you have a good quality processor). This saves you SO much time compared to chopping everything up by hand and is really strangely satisfying – and noisy!
3. Add in the flax egg (it should have an egg like consistency and hold together) and stir well. The mixture is so good you can go ahead and eat a spoonful raw. This is part of the directions so you probably should do it. Have another one.
4. Shape the mixture into patties with your hands – should make 8-10 medium sized patties.
Cooking methods: You can choose to pan fry or oven bake. I prefer to pan fry as the patties get nice and crispy on the outside.
Pan fry – 5 mins on either side on medium heat with a bit of coconut or extra virgin olive oil
Oven – 25 – 30 mins on 175 C turning over half way through.
Gluten Free? Swap the oats, bread and Tamari for gluten free varieties and you’re home free!