Tag Archive: spices


Howdy-ho folk,

This time I thought, inspired by a very delicious weekend, I’d share this incredibly easy idea of making your own veggie burgers.

When I think of veggie burgers, I think mostly of bean-burgers, but they can be made literally with just vegetables. The later takes more preparation time and effort, but the taste is absolutely amazing. So, I’m gonna share three basic recipes/ideas of what I’ve done here.

1. Bean burgers

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In essence the easiest.

You’ll need:

1 can of cooked beans of your own choice (kidney, chickpeas, mixed can, etc)
Herbs/spices
Some veggies (optional) – carrot, onion, celery
Wholegrain flour/wheatgerm/breadcrumbs/buckwheat flour – something dry to bind it all

On the second and third photo we used:
2 cans of chickpeas
1 can of mixed beans in chilli sauce
1 bunch of each – coriander, parsley, chives
~100g wheatgerm
pinch of salt

Process the beans with the herbs/spices, mix in the dry binder – wheatgerm in this case. The batter turned out rather soft, but still possible to form patties with hands and then baked in the oven – turned around after 10-15 minutes, so the water evaporates to an extent and afterwards it stuck together quite well to have it in between the whole burger – bun, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, lettuce, vegan cheese and ketchup. Or, just have it as it is with some nice sauce like hummus or sweet&sour sauce or ketchup or cashew cheese sauce, like I had with the burgers on the first photo.
YUM! If I may say 🙂

2. Seitan burgers

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These are fairly easy to make, it’s just a wee bit of a game to make the seitan. But it’s enjoyable if you like to get your hands dirty.

You’ll need – white flour, salt, and any spices you’d like, I’d strongly suggest soy sauce amongst else.

To make seitan, mix about 3 cups of flour with a pinch of salt. Now comes the wee bit tricky part. You have to mix in just enough water to get it all bound, and not have it sticking to your hands, total should be around 1 cup of water, nae more. It should be pretty thick ball by the end of it. Then cover it with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
And now comes the fun part. Once it’s nice and set, you have to start washing it. Now you will need to use cold water so I suggest putting a pair of gloves on to protect your hands from mild hypothermia.
Take the seitan ball, a bigger bowl, put it in there and fill the bowl with cold water. I prefer to do it in the sink so I don’t have to be careful for spillages. And what you do is just play with it. Squeeze it, rip it, what you’re trying to do, it wash away most of it, so there’s only the gluten there left pretty much. Replace the water once it’s pretty full of the flour and not very transparent any more. I change it usually 3 times, and by the end of it, the seitan has reduced significantly. Then I have the tap running slowly and I try to get the last bits and blobs out, until the water runs clean. Now try and drain it as thoroughly as you can, use all the muscles you have in your arms and get it as dry as possible. Then, it’s is ready! Well, in this stage. What it should look like is something like this – except the colour

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On the photo I tried to put spices in the seitan in stage 1 and it pretty much ended up just colouring it without having any flavour, so I don’t suggest wasting spices then, keep them for later.
Now that you have this wee ball of gluten (pretty much), it’s time to put the kettle on and boil some water. To restore some of the lost volume of the seitan, it’s best to boil it. But first you have to decide what shapes you want it to be in. I often make it into a sausage shape and then slice it, so that the pieces would look like burgers in the end. Do take into account that the size will just about double when you boil it.
So, cut up the shapes you want and drop them one by one in boiling water. You can mix them if you want, to make sure they’re not stuck to each other or the bottom of the pot, but if you dropped them in separately, it shouldn’t be much to worry about. They are ready when they rise to the top of the water. Take them out and try to drain any excessive water still on them. Now finally comes the part when you get to spice things up.
You can fry them, bake them or do whatever you want with them now. I have usually fried them in some oil, and put plenty of spices on top – pepper, cumin, chilli, garlic, paprika, but to top it all, when it’s nice and crispy from both sides – add some soy sauce. Now steam will rise and the pan will not appreciate it much, but it sure gives a good colour to the seitan and SUCH a nice flavour. The texture is quite chicken-like if I ever remembered one correctly. And it works brilliantly in a ‘hamburger’. 🙂

3. Veggie burgers

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I love these burgers, but I rarely make them as it just takes a bit too long. A food processor is a VERY valuable tool here.

You’ll need:
Plenty of veggies of your own choice – potato, sweet potato, carrot, courgette, onion, parsnip, celery, leek
RAISINS! I love them, but if you don’t, just skip it.
Flour – wholegrain, I used to use pea flour, but I haven’t been able to find it for over 4 years, so anything pretty much would work. As well as wheatgerm.
Breadcrumbs
Spices
Oil for frying

So, what to do, is grate all the veggies (chop the onion/leek), add the raisins, flour and spices. For spices I’ve used curry, chilli, dill, thyme, basil, garlic, cumin, paprika, and soy sauce. But not too much of the latter. Mix it all together and add enough flour to make sure it all sticks together decently well.
It’s nice to cover it in breadcrumbs after that, but it’s not an obligatory step.
Next, you’ll start frying it. I think actually baking it would work either, but I’ve never done it myself. Fry it well from both sides until nice and golden, it takes at least 5 minutes I think. At the end, I again like to add soy sauce, turn them around once more in it, to add the colour and amazing burst of the flavour when you first bite into it. So as you see, it’s not a particularly difficult to do, but the frying and making them into patties takes quite a while. But, it’s worth it!

Usually I’d have it as a side for any other main meal, or just serve it with dips/sauces, I actually haven’t made it into a full burger as such, but I think it would be grand like that also. 🙂

So, that’s my overview of veggie burgers. Hope I’ve given you some ideas for a quick but amazing meal. Bon appetit!

Eli x

Raw gingerbread cookies

Helloooo!

Today is the last day of September and I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. And, as Christmas is less than three months away, I have anticipated in making the most amazing raw gingerbread cookies for the season! And I do believe that yesterday I got there. 🙂

Ingredients (for the amount on the photo below – about 30 small cookies):

400 g dates
200 g dried organic mulberries
100-150 g organic raisins

1.5 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup ground almonds/2 tbsp raw buckwheat flour

The process itself is supereasy! It’s unbelievable! 🙂

Soak most of the dates in hot water for about 10-15 minutes or leave in cold water for a few hours. Put all the ingredients – except a wee bit of all the spices (ground ones; can also use similar spice mixtures I’ve seen very often) and the almonds/buckwheat – in a food processor. Add water only if after processing it for about 2-3 minutes (scraping from the sides every so often it doesn’t go round anymore) so it would become like a dough. If it is too wet, add some more dry dates or mulberries to it. If you want a really thick dough, that’s what you ought to do, it should start forming a ball while processing it. And that’s most of it done! 🙂

Now because it’s quite sticky, I like to have a wee bowl with water in it so I could keep my hands more or less clean and wet throughout the process of forming the balls without having loads of it stuck onto my hands.

For the coating powder mix a wee bit of all the spices with almond meal or buckwheat flour if you want a nut free option. I really like that because as soon as you have one, the spices already burst in your mouth and give you the warming sensation of Christmas, if you like it. I just like the spices!

So what’s left to do is make your hands wet, take a bit of the dough, form a wee patty and coat it in the spiced ground almond mixture! Afterwards leave it in the fridge for an hour or so if you have time, if not, they’re brilliant just like that as well!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I and allllllll the people I’ve shared them with have! Also, HAVE FUN! 🙂

Eli xxx

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