Burgers. Who doesn’t love a good burger? I certainly do. And so does the whole of the Klang Valley, just check out the proliferation of burger joints, and the long queues at many of them. Ok, the trend is slowing down ever so slightly, but there are still sizeable queues. Burgers are just a classic. Two soft buns and a juicy patty and all sorts of special toppings… Noms.
But then gluten intolerance comes into the picture. And those buns, can’t touch ‘em. I remember back in the UK they did have a bunless at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, they probably added some more salad to your plate. Out of desperation, I have ordered a burger, no bun, at a restaurant here. The waiter was properly amused. And over here they gave me extra fries instead. Yeah, so the concept hasn’t quite flown off here.
I actually really enjoy a good, meatless vegan burger. I discovered it when experimenting with a vegan diet a few years back, and keep coming back to it whenever I found the time. I’ve played around with different recipes, and the other weekend I arrived at a recipe I reeeeeeaaaallllyyyyy like and here I am sharing it with you guys. It’s pretty close to a “meaty” texture, which is the unfortunate benchmark of burgers everywhere, vegan or not, and it’s got none of that saturated fats business while providing you with a whole load of nutrients.
The base is millet, which I’ve featured here on the blog as a cous cous alternative in my Greek Salad with Millet and Halloumi recipe. Millet has a low glycaemic index, is a vegan source of protein, contains magnesium as well as serotonin, which puts you in a good mood. A feel good burger, literally!
I also add black beans, which is a protein-plus-fibre health bomb, packed with minerals, a trace mineral called molybdenum that is important for sulphite detox, and support your digestive tract. This is also a burger that lowers your cholesterol, instead of increasing it, as I include oats in the mix as a flour and toasted whole as a replacement for breadcrumbs. Onions and carrots provide lots of flavour, so does the apple cider vinegar and tamari, and pumpkin seeds sneak in not only nutrition but a nice crunch.
I tried out a whole-grain buckwheat bun recipe from Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl, but I don’t think it worked well, and I guess it’s the yeast I was using and definitely not the recipe. I have such problems with yeast, it’s not funny. So it’s kind of why I made small little burgers, two per person, instead of one normal-sized burger. I really really want to attempt gluten-free bread again.
Me need bread. So bad.
Ahem. Sorry about that moment of weakness. Back to the burgers. Another way to enjoy your little bundles of (burger) joy is to wrap them in a large lettuce leaf, kind of like a tortilla but not really. I like this option, keeps things fresh and light albeit a tad messy. But messy is always good with a burger, non?
I need to talk about the yam fries that show up in the photos. I bought yam (locally: keladi), because I was looking at recipes that said “yam fries”. I thought, well, that’s something different from sweet potato fries. But I looked at the yam, and it didn’t feel quite right. The yam was white fleshed with purple specks. Not like the orangey stuff I saw online. And I looked into it, and apparently in America when they say “yam”, they mean “sweet potato”. How confusing!! So, after digging around I found out you need to soak it first before baking to keep it from going very dry. I didn’t want the yam to go to waste so I continued on with the recipe. You don’t have to be like me. Make baked sweet potato fries. Way better, even in the nutrition department.
- 1 small red onion
- ¼ cup uncooked millet
- ½ tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup + ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ carrot
- ½ can black beans (about ½ a cup)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper
- Gluten-free burger bun (link to recipe in blog post)
- Lettuce and tomato, to serve
- Ketchup, chilli sauce and/or mustard, or topping of choice, to serve
- Finely dice the onion and place with the millet in a saucepan with ½ cup water. Bring to boil, then let simmer until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Stir together the ground flaxseed and ¼ water. Set aside.
- Blitz ½ cup of oats in a food processor until a fine flour forms. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Toast the second ½ cup of oats in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Place it into the mixing bowl.
- Grate the carrot and mix with the other ingredients. Measure out the black beans and rinse under running water, then mash up with a fork. Toss into the bowl with the pumpkin seeds.
- Measure out all the apple cider vinegar, tamari, olive oil, mixed herbs and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the flax seed and water mix. Stir everything together until you get a sort of “dough”.
- Divide the dough into half, then half again, and yet another half to get 8 small burger patties (or make 4 normal-sized patties if you have normal sized buns). Shape into patties with your hands, then set aside on a plate. You can keep the uncooked patties refrigerated until you are ready to cook.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Take the patties out of the fridge to take the chill off.
- Place the patties onto a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tray and flip the patties over. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Take everything out and turn the oven off. Let the patties cool slightly on the baking tray while you prepare the toppings.
- Serve the patties on gluten-free burger buns, or simply wrap with a large lettuce leaf for a low-carb alternative. Add your favourite toppings. Serve with a side of baked sweet potato fries (not yam fries, as pictured).
- Note: Not entirely necessary, but you can lightly pan-fry or place the burgers on the grill to get a crust on the outside. I did. Yummy!
- Note: Freezes quite well. Easiest to work with when frozen from cooked, then just let it defrost and reheat on a frying pan till a crispy crust forms and you are back to good-to-go.
Enjoy! xx, Bee