URBAN OUTFITTERS: butternut squash and quinoa burger

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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.

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Butternut squash and quinoa burgers with goats’ cheese

Ingredients
[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

Extras:
Goats’ cheese
Avocado
Red onion
Tomato

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Recipe

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.

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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!

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Lentil Chilli

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This Lentil Chilli was a little bit of an experiment tonight, hence the random spoonful of tahini and dash of cacao powder – which I would not usually add, however, it strangely worked and although barely noticeable, adds to the flavour and consistency!

Lentil Chilli
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion
Small chunk fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 large red chilli
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp oregano
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2-3 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup green lentils
3 mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
1 tin of kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp tahini
1/2-1 tsp cacao powder
3-4 cups water
sea salt and pepper

Fry the onion, ginger, chilli, coriander and garlic in a pan with coconut oil for about 5-10 minutes..
Add in the spices, tomato puree and stir the contents of the pan together – this should form a sort of paste.
Then rinse the lentils and add them into the pot with the finely chopped mushrooms.
Add about 3 cups of water, sea salt and pepper, and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes add the drained kidney beans, cacao and tahini.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more water if required. After 20 minutes the chilli should be cooked and good to eat, however, you can also continue cooking the chilli for a further 20-30 minutes on a very low heat to really soften and blend the ingredients.