Mondays have had a makeover in our house… we have gone meat free! For those of you who know my husband you’ll be surprised that we are having a meat free day once a week as he’s rather fond of his meat. (I’ll let you into a secret it’s more like three times a week!) Having said that as long as the veggie meals I produce are packed full of flavour, especially spice, he’s generally pretty complementary. There is a global movement at the moment to get people rethink their diets and eat less meat and it is all about healthy and sustainable eating and if you are on a budget it’s also good for your food budget too. You can find out more about it at this global movement at Meat Free Monday and Meatless Mondays.
From a health perspective reducing your meat portion sizes and having a meat free day once a week reduces your risk of bowel cancer and heart disease. By substituting meat once a week you will also be increasing the variety of foods in your diet helping to ensure all your nutritional needs are met. ‘Taking the day off meat’ is also good for the environment as producing meat is an intensive business, resulting in greenhouse emissions and using a lot of water.
My first meat free Monday recipe on Freddie’s Food is Mexican Bean Burgers. I’ve been experimenting with different flavours and ingredients to make sure it is a tasty substitute to the beef burger over the last few weeks and I think I’ve pretty much nailed it now. You’ll find a massive variety on the web that use different ingredients to bind the bean burgers together, I’ve gone for potato making this dish egg, gluten and dairy free.
Mexican Bean Burgers
These burgers are a zingy vegetarian treat! If you are cooking them for your children you will probably want to reduce the amount of chilli used by half or you can leave it out altogether.
Makes: 4 adult portions and 2 child portions
Preparation: 15 minutes (excluding soaking and cooking the beans)
Cooking: 15 minutes
Suitable for freezing – freeze before frying or they will dry out when reheated
Suitable from around 9mths – they make a great finger food.
250g mixed dried beans – I used a blend of kidney beans, black beans and cannellini beans
Olive oil or bran oil for frying
1/2 finely sliced fresh jalapeno chilli (optional)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp sumac
1 grated zucchini
1 grated carrot
2 finely sliced spring onions
3 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander
plain flour for dusting or a gluten free alternative
To prepare the beans soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. Cook in boiling water for 45 minute – 1 hour until tender.
Boil the potatoes and at the same time in a frying pan add a tbsp of oil and fry the spices until they become aromatic, add the chilli if using and fry for a couple of minute and then the carrots and zucchini and sweat for a couple of minutes.
Stir through the carrots, zucchini, spring onions, fresh coriander.
Form into burgers – I made ours about 1/3 cup in volume to make them easy to crisp up and heat through.
Dust the burgers with plain flour and shallow fry in oil over a medium high heat. You want them to sizzle and get crispy on the outside.
Serve with salad and pita or sweetcorn. To make them stretch a bit further I put egg in the salad for lunch the next day.