Photo Credit: Vanessa Russell

Pecan and Bean Burgers

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These burgers can be served on bread, mushrooms, or with a salad. Adding the pesto on top gives the burgers extra flavor and nutrients, and the pesto can be used in a variety of other ways too!

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Description

These are very simple burgers to make and don’t include any frying; the burgers are baked instead. The addition of pecans increases nutrient density and flavor and topping them with a dollop of green pesto (recipe below). We use gluten-free bread or large baked mushrooms as a substitute for refined bread rolls, but these burgers are also delicious simply served with a green salad. If you don’t have a food processor, simply grate the carrots and finely chop the onion and garlic and mash the beans with a potato masher. 

Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Delia McCable, Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or beans, or 2 cans (425 grams/15 ounces each), drained
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup pecans soaked in water for 2–3 hours, rinsed and drained well
  • 3–4 spring onions (shallots, scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme  
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or Italian herbs)  
  • handful of parsley or basil, finely chopped  
  • 1½ tablespoons psyllium husks
  • few tablespoons chickpea (besan, gram), tapioca or arrowroot flour, or quinoa flakes, for coating burgers  
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC/320ºF. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the chickpeas or beans, carrot, onion, garlic and pecans in a food processor and pulse until they form a loose mixture with most of the ingredients in small chunks.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and toss in the spring onions, herbs and psyllium. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Using a ½-cup measure, divide the mixture into equal quantities. Using your hands, shape them into flat patties, pressing down lightly and coating the patties in the flour or quinoa flakes.
  5. Transfer the patties to the baking tray and bake for 30–40 minutes or until set. Serve with a variety of lettuce leaves, rocket (arugula), thinly sliced tomato, cucumber and red onions, green pesto (recipe to follow) or any of the variations below. 

Variation

You can substitute lentils for the beans, but only add half the amount to the food processor and the other half after processing. 

Green pesto 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes 3 cups

Having a ready bowl of pesto is a fabulous thing in a busy kitchen. This one is very adaptable and nutritious, and will serve you well as you use it on salads, in soups, pasta, main meals and on rice or quinoa crackers. It adds fabulous nutrients and flavor to whatever you’re eating and you can adjust it according to which herbs or leaves are in season, and what nuts and seeds you have in your refrigerator or freezer. Although pesto traditionally uses cheese as one of its main ingredients, you may find that you don’t miss it at all in this pesto!  

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds  
  • 2 cups rocket (arugula), washed
  • 1 small bunch basil, washed and stems removed
  • 1 small bunch chives, washed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • rind and juice of 1 small lemon  
  • ½ cup olive oil  
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but allowing some crunchiness to remain in the nuts.
  2. Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.

Variations

Replace the almonds with Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias or pumpkin seeds (pepitas).

Replace the basil leaves with fresh coriander (cilantro).

Tip

If you need some ‘instant’ tomato pesto, simply blend together ½ cup each of sun-dried tomatoes, cashew or macadamia nuts, 1 garlic clove and ¼ cup olive oil. If the tomatoes don’t contain salt, then add salt and pepper to taste.

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