I’m always after ways to get more veggies into the children and myself. Hubby likes to do his own thing at lunch, so I made these as a preparation for the toddler, baby and my lunches. They were fast to make and went well warmed up with a salad for lunch. Make a batch, freeze a batch and feel smug all week.
So one of the ways I get inspiration for meals and recipes is to go shopping. This week I went to Asda, not our usual supermarket but we went as someone had told me they had skipping ropes and hula hoops reduced right down. Just to interject here, shopping with a 3 month old, almost 3 year old and 5.5 year old on your own is madness. Of course by time I had navigated getting a baby and 2 kids into the car, found the shop, out of the car, across the car park, into and around the trolley and into the shop – there had sold them all. Never one to like a wasted journey we had a little walk around and stocked up on a few essentials/not-so-much-essentials-but-childrens-requests. Did I mention the madness of shopping with 3 small people?!
I love looking at new food products. They seem to be coming onto the market continually. So when perusing the reduced section (I can’t step away from a bargain) I found “Lean and Bean Mince”. It is 60% beef and 40% beans. I love this. Adding the beans means you use less beef and more plant protein, making it lower in total and saturated fat but still high in protein and it is also saving you pennies. Normal lean beef mince was £7.80/kg for a 500g pack and this was £4.38/kg. It is also exactly the advice I often dish out to people: “bulk out your meat dishes by adding plant protein such as lentils, beans and other pulses”. Potentially a new health food product that is actually good!
NB: If you can’t get this mince then why not add a tin of chopped kidney beans to your mince and make it a 60/4-0 mix yourself?
Getting home I was then left with the dilemma of what to make with the new mince. Too many ideas, too little time. As I was cooking with the help of all the small people, I went for burgers. My thought being I could do it in stages and they may like to get their hands messy and help. Turns out they didn’t want to help, but they did want to help eat them at tea time.
This mince is definitely tasty, it does taste more like a veggie mince and is dryer than a normal beef version, but that is to be expected. It tasted good and held together well for burgers. We had some left so I used them the next day in a tomato based sauce for a pasta bolognaise that was very nice. I love it when you manage to cook 2 meals in one hit 🙂
I’m forever loving the idea of veggie burgers but am often disappointed by the result. You know what I mean… they fall apart or just look disappointing. In the back of my brain I have this memory of the burgers I used to eat when I was vegetarian as a teenager. In my head they were delicious, not homemade, but delicious and that is one of my benchmarks. My other benchmark is the burger they make in a cafe we sometimes end up at – a portabello mushroom with halloumi cheese and spinach. Just the most perfect combo.
So after a holiday I’ve come back inspired to try out new recipes and the veggie burger idea was back. Taking a few hints from the River Cottage guys these burgers not only tasted good, held together well and were completely eaten, but my small people also had fun helping to make them. GENIUS. Get the kids to do the dirty work 😉
Here is the recipe. It’s a great way to get your veggies in. I’ve worked it out as being 1 portion of vegetables per burger, if you make them large. This recipe made 8 and I served 2 per adult, 1 per child, but my 5 year old and husband came back for seconds!
I love bean burgers. They are one of those foods that want me make to turn vegetarian. But they just aren’t one of those things that I make very often. Till now.
Tonight was one of those evenings where I hadn’t got round to planning dinner, so I turned to the fridge for inspiration…. the bowl of kidney beans was calling my name. We also had carrot and courgette’s eyeing me. Bingo.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting these to work well as I literally threw them together on a whim, but in my experience that’s often when my best recipes occur. In my opinion this is one of them.
A great recipe for Family Meals, for weaning, it’s vegetarian, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free….need I say more?! Oh, hold on… ITS TASTY!
1 tin kidney beans
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Curry powder (I used a Sri-Lanka blend, use your favourite mix)
1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs or a pinch of dried
I am a complete cheat. I used my food processor. To do this – place the beans, carrot, courgette, onions, garlic in the food processor and provess until finely chopped.
If you don’t have a food processor then grate the carrot and courgette, finely chop the beans, onion and garlic.
Shape the mix into large patties, pressing the mixture firmly together. I made 5 patties in total.
Place on a greased baking tray, pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. (You could make ahead to this stage and cook later or freeze them at this stage).
Cook in a large pan or on a griddle, turning part way through cooking.
I served ours with salad and potato wedges.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.