National Burger Day (27th August) is a day dedicated to the burger. The burger was created sometime around the turn of the 19th century, and its popularity was boosted at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
Traditionally, a burger, also known as a hamburger, consists of a patty of ground beef that has been pan fried, barbecued, or flame broiled, and is served in a bun. There are now many variations, including tasty vegan alternatives, which more people, including athletes and celebrities, are turning to in the desire to live a healthier life.
But changing eating habits does not mean giving up eating your favourite foods: just changing how they are made! Marlene’s book Go Vegan contains lifestyle and health advice together with beautifully illustrated pictures of easy to cook vegan recipes, one of which is her Teriyaki Black Bean Burger. Made from short grain brown rice, and black beans, this is your healthy alternative.
Grains serve as a major source of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals in a form that is easy to digest and metabolise. They are also complex carbohydrates, or unprocessed forms of carbohydrates which is the way they exist in whole foods and are crucial to a healthy diet. These complex carbohydrates are crucial as a source of fuel for our bodies, required by our nervous system, muscles and kidneys, and provide glucose to all our body cells.
Black beans are an import source of protein, as they are high in amino acids. The basic elements of proteins are amino acids, the building blocks we need to create human protein. There are 8 essential amino acids, which should be present in our diet on a daily basis.
By eating grains and beans together you are assured of getting all the essential amino acids and therefore protein you need. Any “fear” of cooking beans is eliminated now that they are readily available in cans and jars.
So, go ahead and enjoy a burger on National Burger Day, but one that will be good for you!
Recipe: Teriyaki Black Bean Burgers
2 cups cooked black beans or mixed beans
1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
1 cup silken tofu
2 heaped tbsp mild salsa
1 tbsp umeboshi paste
1 tbsp lime zest
1 red onion, chopped
2–3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
½ cup fresh coriander, minced
1 cup sourdough breadcrumbs
Oil-free mayonnaise for serving
Note – For kids Marlene would suggest using regular paprika – no spices.
To make the burgers
Preheat the oven to 180° (350°), gas 4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher. Add the cooked rice, tofu, salsa, umeboshi paste and lime zest, and mix well. Warm a splash or two of filtered water in a small pan and sauté the red onion, garlic, dried herbs, paprika and teriyaki for 5–7 minutes.
Add this mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Fold in the fresh coriander and breadcrumbs. Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze together with your hands to form a burger. If not cohesive enough, add some more breadcrumbs.
Place on the baking trays and cook the burgers in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Makes 8 good-sized burgers.