My hearty quinoa and black pepper bean burgers

vegan quinoa bean burger

On Sunday after a lovely day in the country, Dan was suffering quite a bit with what appears to be hayfever so I wanted to cook him something wholesome to cheer him up.

These vegetarian burgers were a complete experiment but they turned out beautifully so I thought I’d share my recipe for others to try. Sorry for the poor quality photo, it was taken really quickly on my phone as I did not have the patience to go find my camera before I devoured my meal. 😀

It made four burgers in the end and I saved one to have for lunch the next day.

1 can mixed pulses in water (drained, rinsed thoroughly and shaken a fair bit to get excess water out)
1 cup quinoa cooked and thoroughly drained (bulgur wheat or a mix of both would work well too)
2 cups approx of brown bread crumbs
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 egg, whisked (or egg replacement if you’re vegan)
As much/as little black pepper as you like (I think a dab of basil or oregano would have worked nicely also)
Wholemeal flour as needed for the mixture

How to cook quinoa bean burgers
1 – Put the quinoa to cook based on the package instructions, do not overcook as keeping them a little al dente adds to the texture.

2 – Cook the mixed pulses very lightly just to soften them up to make it easier.

3 – Mix cooked quinoa, beans and breadcrumbs together with the whisked egg and mash thoroughly, at this stage the mixture will be too runny so add flour as you see fit to get a mixture that is a bit doughy

4 – add red onion and any seasoning (at this point I also added 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce for flavour)

5 – using your hands, form four patties from the mixture, they should feel heavy like they will hold their shape when you’re frying them. Add a dusting of flour on either side.

6 – shallow fry until golden and hot throughout (I used bran oil for my frying which is a great alternative to olive oil)

Enjoy these healthy, meat-free burgers with sweet potato chips and/or your favourite green veg.


My day in food

Recently I’ve had a few folk show interest in what I eat during the day, mostly because of the limitations I’ve put on my diet. I don’t eat dairy, meat or fish and my priority is to fit as much veg into my meals as I can. So, without further adieu, this is my day in food from last week.

My protein breakfast

A protein-packed breakfast – 1 banana, 1tbsp of protein powder, 1 egg and 1tbsp of peanut butter (no added salt/sugar and organic) fried for about 5 minutes. Coffee with vanilla soy milk and another 1tbsp of protein powder. Before I ate I had about a pint of water.

Mid-morning snack – 1 date, nut and raisin bar.

Quinoa lunch
Lunch – quinoa, mangetout, carrots, apple and pok choi with another pint of water. Quinoa is an awesome powerfood because it has all 9 amino acids.

Mid afternoon Insanity work out – one and a half pints of water followed by a protein shake with 400ml of hazelnut milk.

20130313_192749Tea – a chickpea and mushroom burger, grilled cherry tomatoes, pepper, pok choi and asparagus. Eaten with another pint of water to drink.

Snack before bed – 7 grain nut granola and half a pint of water.

Food breakdown
Portions of fruit and veg consumed – 9 – asparagus, pok choi, tomatoes, banana, date bar, apple, carrot, pepper and mangetout.
Liquid – over 2 litres
Protein – approximately 55grams

And to round off this post, I’ll show you a bad picture of my awesome new tshirt!


Healthy French toast breakfast recipe

So I stumbled up the recipe for Cinnamon Apple French Toast Wraps on and ditched the unnecessary extra calories from butter and brown sugar and experimented with doing this as healthily as possible. My altered recipe is much healthier without compromising on the taste and this recipe and my protein pancakes recipe are my go-to’s for a cooked breakfast if I’m not in a rush to get out the door.

Ingredients for healthy apple French toast wraps
2tbsp oil (coconut oil if you have it, olive oil if not)
Two diced apples with or without the skin removed (I leave it on because it’s the most nutritious part)
Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
Stevia or 1tbsp of honey (dependent on personal preference)
1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
2 eggs
¼ cup of milk (almond milk for dairy allergy sufferers)
Vanilla extract

How to make healthy apple French toast wraps

Heat oil in frying pan over a medium flame
Fry diced apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and either stevia or honey. The amount of spices and stevia is completely down to what taste you would prefer, so keep adding them little by little and do a taste test to see. Don’t overestimate how much spice you’ll need unless you’re a serious cinnamon-lover as it is very easy to add too much of it!
Once the apples have gone soft and absorbed the oil and spices, take them of the heat and place them in a bowl. Cover the top of the bowl to keep the apple pieces warm.
Whisk together the 2 eggs, ¼ cup of milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl
Dip both sides of the tortilla wrap in the egg mixture until covered and fry it up, adding more oil to the frying pan first if needed
Just like an omelette or pancake, cook one side and flip over to cook the other
Serve the wrap with the spiced apples lined in the middle and eat warm


My protein-packed breakfast

protein pancakes

Taking photos of food it definitely a talent I do not have, but I thought I’d share with you guys my quick and easy breakfast that is full of protein.

The protein pancake – it fell apart so today it’s a “scramble” rather than a pancake – is so easy to make and only has 1 egg, 1 banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in. You simply mash the banana, mix the egg in well and then add your favourite nut butter to it. I currently have crunchy PB so instead of making sure it’s thoroughly distributed in the mixture, I leave chunks as though they were like chocolate chips. If you want pancakes as opposed to my messy scrambled look, instead of making one big pancake, make a few small ones.

Now, because I’m thoroughly aching from yesterday’s work out, I needed some extra protein today. So instead of having a protein shake, I got creative and mixed half a scoop into my pancake and half a scoop into my coffee rather than using a little stevia. So as well as having cookie flavoured coffee which was delicious, I got 30g of protein in total this morning and potassium from the banana. It’s such an easy breakfast and satisfies your sweet tooth healthily.

Bon appetite and I hope that my British readers aren’t working on this bank holiday! No rest for the wicked, so I’ll be chained to my desk for the day. 😉