Posts tagged bbq
Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

I actually first made this recipe many months ago... 2nd November 2016 to be exact (I can tell by my camera data!) and it's been sitting in my recipe archive folder waiting to be released to the world- amongst countless other recipes. Crazy, really how they all pile up! 

One of my missions this year is to get back into a regular blog posting schedule. To think when I began this blog in 2011 I was posting around three times a week- sometimes more, and that was when I still had my full time career as an architect. So there is really no excuse! ;-) 

portabello burger bun.JPG

I was reminded of this recipe a recently, as I was coming down from a week-long juice fast and I wanted to make a meal, to celebrate with my boyfriend, the return to normal food. I wanted it to be reasonably light, made mostly with veggies and no wheat or refined ingredients (though there was a little oil on the mushrooms caps). The result was this epic burger platter! (ok it was a little larger than I'd anticipated) ;-)

Portabello mushroom caps make amazing burger buns if you want to avoid bread, and you can really use any veggie burger mix inside. In the iphone photo above is the recipe featured below, but in the other 'pro shots' taken in 2016 I used this vegan meatball mix formed into burger patties instead of balls (both would freeze well too so you can make extra).

Then simply layer the burger up with avocado, hummus, relish, chutney, salad leaves, sprouts as tall as you like!

portabello burger bun.jpg

Recipe: Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

Serves two (makes approx 4 medium burgers)


  • 1 can black beans - drained and mashed with a fork

  • 1/2 small beetroot

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 onion

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice

  • 1 cup gram flour (other flours would probably work)

  • 1/2 cup ground walnut (or other ground nuts)

  • 1 tbs soy sauce

  • 2 heaped tbs chopped herbs (I used parsley and rosemary as I had them to hand)

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps.

  • a little olive oil.


Finely chop the beetroot garlic and onion (I used a food processor for a quick blitz) and then saute for a few minutes in a medium sauce pan until softening. Meanwhile gather all remaining ingredients (other than mushrooms/oil) and then add to the pan. Turn off the heat and stir through in the pan until well mixed and the mix holds together.

Form burger patties with your hands and place on a lined baking sheet. I didn't oil them but you could if desired. Bake at 180 for approx 30 mins ensuring they don't burn.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the mushroom caps. Chop the stalk out (you could do this in advance and add to the burger mix to void waste). Lightly brush will oil on both sides then sprinkle with salt and paper.

Once the burgers have been baking for 15-20 mins. Place the mushrooms under a hot grill for approx 5 mins on each side until quite 'sweaty' looking.

Prepare any other toppings and a side salad. (For the 'coleslaw' style salad in the top photo I just used slightly water down hummus to coat)

Assemble the burgers in any way you wish! Enjoy immediately.

portabello burger bun.jpg
portabello burger bun.jpg



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Mini picnic quiche

The sun is shining, summer is here ….and it’s BBQ time!

Sunshine always gives me the feel good factor, but today just didn’t feel quite right. You know sometimes you just get those days when you feel a bit bummed out, sometimes there’s a logical reason and sometimes there’s not.

Sometimes I just feel lonely. There have been a few things playing on my mind recently, and at times like that I am reminded of the downside to ‘doing things differently’ and not simply following the crowd without questioning.  I haven’t got anyone to turn to in the same way as I did before and I have no-one that truly understands me anymore, I mean I’ve barely begun to understand myself yet!

I will never regret going down the paths I have taken, and the ways in which my life has changed, but sometimes I wish, just for a few moments, I didn’t have to think, I could just be and go with the flow and not worry about the consequences or what will become. I sometimes wish someone else could make the decisions and just tell me what to do…working it all out for yourself is mighty hard! But I also know it’s the only way to truly live the life you want.

Well, that’s enough of all that philosophical talk. That’s what happens when it’s silly late at night and I’m tired…but determined to get the post written up before going to sleep!

It’s been a hot sunny day…happy happy happy. And I am happy, really, life is good. I’m just having a silly moment.

So let’s talk BBQ’s, since this evening’s dinner was a cosy little BBQ at my friend’s house. I took along a couple of things to add to the food collection.

Guess which one was mine?

If you read this post you may have guessed!  Yep it was the black bean beet burger towards the back. Looks pretty authentic though, right?

I also made a few mini quiches to share. These mini's are perfect for BBQ's or picnics. The recipe was prety much identical to this quiche recipe, but this time without a crust and served cold as mini snack bites, so they seemed totally different; the perfect light bite. This is such a simple recipe and I have provided it again below. I would strongly recommend silicone mini muffin pans as this will make it easier to pop the quiches out. Also allow the quiches to fully cool before handling them as I also found it a little more difficult to remove from the pan whilst still warm (I was in a rush to get to the BBQ so couldn't wait for as long!)

In typical Bristish style the sun began to set and the breeze got up just as we sat own to eat. It was a little on the chilly side, after having been so hot all day, so as soon as we’d eaten we cosied up inside for an evening of girlie chat.

Recipe: Mini picnic quiche


  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbs potato starch (or other starch)
  • 3 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ tsp mixed herbs
  • pinch paprika
  • Large pinch baking powder
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Veggies- I used ½ grated courgette, 1 small pepper diced, 1/3 cup  each sweetcorn and soy beans. Feel free to use whatever other veggies you have to hand, ensuring you chop the pieces small enough.


In a medium bowl whisk together the ingredients, other than the water. Once a smooth paste is achieved add the water and whisk again until smooth. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter and have no lumps.

Pour the batter into mini muffin pans filling them  half way. Add the vegies equally between each muffin pan.

Bake for approx. 30 minutes, until the filling appears well set and pulls away from the side of the muffin tray. Let cool in tray before removing.

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Tomato ketchup

So, you remember this post from a couple of days ago…

Black bean beet burgers!

Well just peeking through in the corner of that photo is a little pot of tomato sauce. Homemade tomato ketchup, with a sweet  kick just like regular tomato ketchup but without all the sugar!  What provides the sweetness…plums! Helped out with a little agave syrup (you could omit this is you liked), the plums are a perfect complement to the fresh tomatoes.  I also added some ground chia seed stirred through right at the end to give a health boost and to act as a thickener. If you don’t have chia I would advise experimenting with some other form of thickener to achieve the right consistency for your sauce.

This will store in the fridge for a good for weeks and is the perfect companion for summer time. I can already picture the burgers on the BBQ now! It’s best to store this sauce for a couple of weeks before consuming as it will allow the flavour to mature…nut feel free to dip in of you can’t wait that long!

This sauce would also work well as a basic pasta sauce or base for my super- speedy GF pizza crust.

Recipe: Healthy Tomato ketchup

Makes approx. 500ml


  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 400g ripe vine tomatoes
  • 120g ripe plums
  • 2tbs tomato puree
  • 20g agave
  • 1tsp molasses- optional (gives a slightly deeper richness)
  • 50g white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small chilli pepper with seeds removed
  • Salt to taste (I added approx. ¼ tsp)
  • 3-4 tbs ground chia seed


Roughly chop the garlic and add to a food processor along with the tomatoes and plums, pulse to achieve a coarse even ‘paste’.

I used my Thermomix for the entire cooking process, but for those without, transfer the tomato mixture to a medium pan, add the remaining ingredients (except chia) and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring as required to avoid sticking. Add the ground chia in the last  minute.

Remove the cloves and bay leaf (if you can find them) and then transfer the mixture to a blender (or use a stick blender in the pan) and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar and store in the fridge. The flavour matures over a couple of weeks.

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Black bean beet burgers

Chant the title of this recipe over and over and you’ll have yourself a rap…or something of that sort! Either way these burgers are worth the chant (and the wait for those of you saw the sneaky picture I posted on my Facebook page when I’d first made them a week or so ago)

I know I still have a few recipes to share from my birthday post, and also another birthday related recipe (who doesn’t like to keep birthday’s alive for as long as possible?) but for today, I didn’t want to make you wait any longer for these burgers that have been grinning at me from the folder of photos on my computer desk top for too long!

Black bean beet burgers… Black bean beet burgers… Black bean beet burgers… Black bean beet burgers… Black bean beet burgers…

So I figure the title of this post gives them away rather but apart from having a slight purple tinge, I think they look pretty authentic, complete with chargrilled lines and all.  When I make these burgers again I may reduce the amount of beetroot slightly and also use a mix of cooked quinoa and rice for a variation in texture, since quinoa holds the firmness of the grain more so than rice which may be even more realistic for a meaty texture…just a couple of tiny thoughts to bear in mind, but here I have given you the recipe exactly as I made it.  It goes without saying that you could make a big batch and freeze some. You could also form balls and make meatballs…another variation on this theme.

Typically I don’t seek to replicate ‘meat’ in my meals, I simply don’t feel the need to and a just don’t miss it. I love the taste and textures that veggies and non-meat foods provide without trying to replicate meat…but this was simply a challenge I could not ignore. Plus I wanted to see how authentic I could make these, particularly for non- veggie friends. 

Another important side note to these burgers is that they are very ‘stable’ by that I mean they hold up very well to handling pre-cooking so I think they’d be great for a BBQ! I am definitely going to be making some of these this summer.  I found that the most authentic colouration came from part oven baking and part pan frying in a griddle to obtain the best colour and charred lines. The first batch I just oven baked and they tasted great but just lacked a little something in the visual department… me…perfectionist…never!

I teamed this meal with homemade tomato ketchup, cheezy mustard dip, avocado slices, and a homemade coleslaw. The burgers buns were simply baked versions of my gluten free flatbread with sesame sprinkled on top. Sweet potato fries sealed the deal! I have a recipe for the ketchup and cheezy mustard dip on the way soon….


Recipe: Black bean beet burgers

Makes approx. 6 burgers


  • 1 cup black beans- cooked
  • 1 cup brown rice- cooked
  • 1 cup oatmeal (GF if needed)
  • 1 small onion- finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup cooked beetroot- shredded finely
  • 2 tbs chia and 3 tbs water
  • 2tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs tamari soy sauce 
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • Approx. ½ tsp hot chipoltle sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½  tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp paprika


Mash black beans and mix with all other ingredients until you have a well mixed but still textured (meaty) mixture. The mixture should be sticky but manageable.

Form into burger patties approx. 1.5cm thick using your hands or use a cookie cutter as a mould to achieve neat edges (perfectionist!). Lay the burgers on a lined baking sheet and bake for approx. 10 minutes until they are just beginning to brown and then fry on a griddle pan for a few minutes each side to complete the cooking and achieve seared pan lines.

Can be frozen.

This recipe was shared in Allergy Free Wednesday's

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