Veggie burgers are a great way to ease into a more plan-oriented way of eating. These black bean veggie burgers are some of the tastiest I have made and they are packed with amazing flavour, which means you’re barely noticing that you’re not eating meat. They are especially delicious when served with with salsa and guacamole in a bun or “lettuce bun” and are also great on their own and an easy and healthy lunch for little ones.
I have whipped up a couple of batches this week and have stocked up my freezer for easy meals that take little to no preparation while being packed full of flavour and great nutrition.
1-2 tbsp coconut oil (I prefer odourless) or butter for frying
Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
Mix the quinoa, oats, sundried tomatoes, garlic, cumin, egg, sesame seeds, salt and pepper into the black beans using a spoon. Combine well until mixture is thick and easy to
Form the black bean mixture into 7 burger patties.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet.
Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through and a firm crust appear, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Alternative you can bake them in the oven for about 6 mins on each side at 180 C (350 F).
Good gluten free sandwich breads can be hard to come by, and even harder to make. But I promise, this recipe is not only fairly simple and easy to make, but delicious and very much like bread as we know it… minus the gluten.
I have tried so many different gluten free bread recipes over the past 6 months and can completely relate when I hear people are feeling overwhelmed with all the different gluten free flours and ingredients. Gluten free baking can be overwhelming at first, but doesn’t have to be complex. I hope this recipe is proof that it can be easy and taste great. On that note, I can’t really take any of the credit here, as my sister is the one who did most of the hard work, tweaking and baking until the recipe was perfect.
My whole philosophy around nutrition is centred around how much I believe in the nourishment and benefit of real foods. To say that gluten free foods are getting a lot of attention these days would be a vast understatement… But gluten free does not necessarily mean healthy! In fact, a lot of gluten free products are just as, if not more, refined and processed than the original products they’re trying to replace. And that, to me has nothing to do with real food, but everything to do with good marketing.
While gluten free is not necessary for everyone, it is, in my opinion and experience, helpful for most people to reduce the amount of refined grains (particularly wheat) they eat. Gluten is a protein found in grains, such as wheat, spelt, rye and oats (although oats only contain very small amounts). It is sticky in consistency (sorta like glue – hence the name) and is also what gives white bread that fluffy, gooey consistency we all like so much. The down side of gluten is that it is really difficult for the body to digest, especially when over-consumed, which is very often the case in the western world(hello? …wheat cereal for breakfast… sandwich for lunch… and pasta for dinner!), and can lead to serious health issues – particularly digestive issues, which can manifest in different ways and are only aggravated as more gluten is consumed. Seeing a nutritionist can be very helpful for learning and figuring out how gluten affects your body specifically, as we are all so different and with unique bodies and needs.
Aside from being wholesome, this loaf also packs a good dose of carrots, which help add moisture and prevent it from going dry. I love how much this bread tastes and feels like a regular loaf of bread, and it is a bread our entire family will eat. It is easy to throw in the toaster and makes a mean sandwich, all while being easy on the digestive system and super filling.
approx. 160 g grated carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
1 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
30 gm (1 oz) sunflower seeds
30 gm (1 oz) pumpkin seeds
30 gm (1 oz) flax seed
30 gm (1 oz) sesame seeds + extra to top
170 gm buckwheat flour
180 gm rice flour
preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
Combine water and psyllium husks and stir well using a spoon until the mixture thickens up to a gel-like consistency.
Grate the carrots. Add grated carrots and oil to the gel-like mixture and combine well.
Add salt, baking powder, seeds and flour and combine well until the dough is thick and sticks together completely, much like a 'regular' bread dough, but still slightly stickier and gel-like.
Scoop the dough into a greased bread tin (I normally go for a silicone tin for best results) and drizzle with sesame seeds on top (optional).
Place the bread in the oven and bake for 45 mins.
Take the bread out of the bread tin and bake for an additional 45 mins.
When done, the bread should be golden brown on top and have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it as it will continue to set while cooling.
Freezes well and keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to slice my entire loaf and store in small batches in ziplock bags in the freezer.
I love this warm quinoa salad with the fresh touch of antioxidant laden pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs and crunchy toasted pine nuts. It’s perfect for making ahead of time as it keeps really well in a sealed container in the fridge. For lunch, I often pair this quinoa salad this with some sautéed kale or fresh arugula/spinach leaves and top it off with a few extra seeds and feta cheese for a completely satisfying and nutritious lunch that takes just minutes to prepare! No time requirements here, guys. Just a little planning ahead is all it takes.
I know quinoa may be a newer grain for some of you and I have included instructions for how to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa in the recipe below too. Cooking the quinoa correctly is the key to a delicious quinoa salad and this method applies to all the different varieties of quinoa you’ll find (red, black + white). Although the darker ones may require a slightly longer cooking time.
I love adding tahini to my quinoa as it adds an amazing creaminess. Tahini is ground sesame seeds – think peanut butter but made from sesame seeds – and is one of the richest plant sources of calcium. Just 2 tablespoons packs 126 mg calcium – or in straightforward language – 13% of your daily need (read more about plant based calcium here). It’s an amazing staple ingredient to have in your fridge and is easily added to smoothies, soups, and is incredibly tasty in salad homemade dressings and vinaigrettes too. If you want to read more about my favourite healthy pantry staples, check out this post).
Cookie ball? That’s right. In other words, the infamous chocolatey snacks that was creatively named by my son. Ha! And the name stuck. And now that’s what everybody around here calls them. It’s like they’re part of our family, and they are the epitome of the word “treat” to our kids. So its time to share the crazy cookie ball love, people.
The good news is that this recipe is one of the simplest ever. And it’s so so good!! Featuring just a few natural ingredients, they are a healthier alternative to many other sweets and taste just as good as your regular chocolate bar if you ask me. Made from three basic ingredients; dates, nuts and coconut, they are free from refined sugars but packed with health boosting natural fibre and healthy fats. Though dates are naturally sweet and rich in sugars, they also have a nutrient profile that is far superior to most other natural sweeteners and are packed with fibre, which helps slow the absorption of sugar and therefore has minimal impact on your blood sugar levels.
I love making these for people who assume that eating healthy and kicking fake sugars to the curb is boring and hard. These are hard not to love, and they are great to have on hand for when you need a little something sweet.
Before and after picture of blended ingredients… Simply process ingredients in a food processor and roll into little balls.