Makes: 8-10 medium-sized burgers
Contains: soya, minimal oil. Gluten-free (except for the buns).
- 25g dried shiitake mushrooms – soaked in a small amount of water and finely diced
- 6 medium white or chestnut mushrooms – washed and finely diced
- 50g dried soya mince (textured soya protein)
- ½ litre vegetable stock (e.g. Kallo or Marigold low-sodium stock cubes)
- 1 medium red onion – peeled and finely diced
- 6-8 cloves garlic – peeled and finely diced
- 3 teaspoons egg replacer (e.g. Orgran)
- 1 tablespoon salt-free tomato pureé
- Ground black pepper to taste
Soak the TVP in the vegetable stock for a few minutes. Water sauté* the onions and garlic for about five minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir. Add the TVP, tomato pureé and pepper and simmer gently until any excess liquid has gone. Mix in the egg replacer. Set aside to cool. Once cool, divide into 8-10 balls of mixture and form these into round patties with your hands. This is great fun for the kids (reminiscent of mud pies)… get them involved! The patties may feel a little wet and need handling fairly gently, but the result should be a lovely moist burger that holds together on a flat griddle or in a frying pan. These burgers will probably not cope with being barbequed or grilled on a wire rack.
[*Essentially this means “frying” them in a small amount of vegetable stock, as you would using oil, but adding more stock as needed and stirring regularly to prevent sticking.]
To cook, coat a griddle or frying pan with the smallest amount of oil possible. I use olive oil and a plastic baking brush for this, although you could use vegetable oil and a piece of kitchen towel. The point is only to use as much as is necessary to prevent sticking and no more. It should not be so much as to soak into the food, making it greasy, or to change its flavour.
Heat the pan and cook the burgers on a medium heat until lightly browned on both sides. The more patient you can be and the longer you can take over this the better: using a lower heat and a longer cooking time will help cook the burgers evenly throughout and avoid burning. It is best to avoid eating burnt foods as these contain potentially cancer-causing compounds.
Assemble the cooked burgers in wholemeal buns and serve with sides of green and root vegetables: here broccoli (steamed for 10 minutes) and sweet potato chips…
To make sweet potato chips:
Peel and halve a sweet potato. Slice each half lengthways into six wedges. Place on a baking tray with a minimal amount of olive oil to prevent sticking. Use a brush to lightly coat each chip. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 15-20 minutes, turning once. They should be soft and just beginning to brown.