URBAN OUTFITTERS: butternut squash and quinoa burger


In collaboration with Urban Outfitters, I’ve put together a fresh and bright colourful for a little festival food inspiration that’s protein packed, antioxidant rich and crammed with healthy fats. If you fancy an alternative to the standard beef burger for a summer barbeque or picnic, this vegetarian and gluten free burger is incredibly juicy, hearty and nutritious – totally blowing away the mound-of-earth misconception of veggie burgers. The balance of the spices, depth of the ground walnuts and kick of the fresh coriander and garlic creates a truly flavour packed treat. The idea originated from ingredients that make up one of my favourite salads – spicy roasted squash, quinoa, goats cheese, avocado, red onion. The thought was to turn the concoction of flavours into a tasty patty, so really, when you’re eating this burger you’re basically eating a salad? Warning: it was difficult to refrain from demolishing the mixture before I could even shape the burgers.

You can make up a batch of the burger mix up and freeze the patties ready for a quick summer weeknight dinner or a weekend BBQ. They also make a delicious packed lunch, stored in this Gentlemen’s Hardware Aluminium Lunch Tin; for those days when you feel like eating like a gentleman. The tins are also the perfect size for fillings with a few patties to share with friends.

Check out the post on the Urban Outfitters blog here.


Butternut squash and quinoa burgers with goats’ cheese

[Makes 5-6 burgers]

700g peeled and cubed butternut squash
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil/ghee

1/2 cup quinoa (preferably soaked for 8 hours, or if you can’t soak it, thoroughly wash and rinse the quinoa and follow packet instructions)
1/2 cup water

3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 onion, finely diced (white or red)
2 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 packed cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 free range egg
Coconut oil to fry

Goats’ cheese
Red onion



1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F. Chop the butternut squash into very small cubes and coat in the spices, salt and pepper. Place coconut oil in a baking tray and place it in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt. Then chuck the squash into the baking tray and coat with the melted oil. Bake this for about 40 minutes or until the squash is very soft.

2. Whilst the squash bakes, cook your quinoa. Soaking the quinoa before cooking makes it easier to digest and enhances the nutrients. If you are soaking, thoroughly rinse, bring 1/2 cup water to the boil, add the quinoa, reduce to a low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you do not soak the quinoa, follow the packet instructions for cooking.

3. Whilst you wait for everything to cook, chop the onion, garlic, and coriander. Place the walnuts and sunflower seeds into a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until a fine flour forms.

4. Once the squash is cooked, take the soft cubes out of the oven and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held masher, puree the squash cubes together. Add the cooked quinoa, ground walnut and sunflower seeds, onion, garlic and coriander and stir together. Now crack the egg into a small bowl, whisk and add to the rest of the mixture. As I do not currently have a food processor, I have combined the burger mix by hand, however, you could simply place all the ingredients into a food processor to save time and washing up! I actually really like the texture that the hand-mixed method gives.


5. Take a couple of large spoonful of the mix into your hands and mould it into your burger shapes. I found this mix made about 5 fairly large patties, however, feel free to experiment and make smaller sized burgers. You could also create smaller, flatter burgers which could be stacked with goats’ cheese and avocado in the middle.

6. Now take a frying pan or griddle, add a spoonful of coconut oil and set on a high heat. Make sure the pan is very hot so that the burgers cook well in the oil. Once hot enough, add one of the burgers, turn the heat down to a medium and fry the burgers on each side for a couple of minutes until golden. Repeat this for each burger. Alternatively, you could also try cooking these patties a barbeque, with some grilled Portobello mushrooms.

7. Crumble on some goats’ cheese, a few slices of avocado and any other garnish you wish. A tahini dressing or dip or hummus would also taste great with this!


Spiced butternut squash, carrot + cauliflower soup

DSC_6636-2Winter means one thing – soup season. There is nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of soup for tackling those cold, dark nights, but put away those tin openers (sorry Heinz) and get chopping some fresh produce for a nutrient rich, hearty version. Making your own soup is soup-er easy [hangs head in shame] and can be whipped up quickly in the evenings or even be left to cook slowly for a few hours on a low, low heat. Butternut squash is packed with vitamins, which along with the carrots and fresh ginger (and basically every ingredient in the soup) can boost your immune system to help prevents colds over the chilly winter months.


Spiced Butternut squash, carrot and cauliflower soup
Makes 3.5 Litres / Serves about 6 or more

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion
3 garlic gloves
2 celery sticks
4 carrots
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1.2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Asmall chunk of fresh ginger
1 large butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
1/2 a large cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 cup red split lentils, rinsed
2 litres of organic vegetable stock/boullion
Sea salt + pepper
Fresh rosemary

Finely chop the onions, ginger, celery and carrots, and prepare the rest of the veg. In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in coconut oil until brown, add the carrots and celery and fry for a couple of minutes. Combine the spices to the pot, rinse and add the lentils, cubed butternut squash, cauliflower and stock, and then cook for about an hour on a low-medium heat. As I said before, you can also keep this cooking for longer on a low heat, until you’re ready to blend. Turn off the heat and pour the soup mixture in batches into a blender, and blitz until soup-y. If you like, you can also keep a small portion of the original mixture and then add it to the blended soup to leave some lumps. Transfer the soup back into the original pot and season with more sea salt/pepper and fresh rosemary. I love to top my soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, black pepper and black sesame seeds.

When I made this soup, I hadn’t intended to make quite as much as I did and so this recipe yields a massive pot. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your quantities, or alternatively, you could make a big batch and freeze in portions to use throughout the month for a quick lunch/dinner fix.

DSC_6657love, Ellie.