Thursday, 12 November 2015

MADE: Courgette, Pea and Quinoa Burgers with Homemade Guacamole

It's no secret to those that know me that I've become a HUGE fan of Ella Woodward, the brains and beauty behind Deliciously Ella. And I'm sure, unless many of you have been living under a rock, you'll ALL know about Ella.
I know there's been a lot of controversy lately about 'clean eating', healthy bloggers/public figures etc and their advice not actually being that good - but I do believe a lot of what Ella says can help your body and prove that healthy food can be tasty and nutritious. I still think most things in moderation does you no harm but as I'm attempting to get fit again, look after my body and also tailor to a couple of intolerances I have, the Deliciously Ella recipes suit me down to the ground.
Back in January I attended Fare Healthy, a fantastic event where I was lucky enough to sit in on one of Ella's talks. Her way of thinking about food isn't just down to her own health reasons, it also involves a way of cooking to make life easier (ie. bulk cooking vegetables, rice etc one night of the week to last you several meals but for different recipes) and healthier alternatives. I really think Ella highlights one of the most important things about food and our relationship with it - tailor the way you eat to what your body is telling you. She started this journey with food after discovering she suffered from a rare illness. I'm not saying everybody should totally change their diet but listening to our bodies is key. I'm intolerant to dairy - so I avoid it 90%. Sometimes I'll have a greasy, cheesy pizza after a night out then feel on deaths door straight after and for a couple of days after. Is it worth it? NO! It definitely isn't. And that's why I'm glad people like Ella, Madeleine Shaw and The Hemsley's have brought into the limelight different ways of eating and alternatives to our favourite meals (quinoa and cauliflower based pizzas - YES PLEASE!)
My opinion, however, has not changed completely because of the advise and influence these people have had. I still don't think, unless you're intolerant or simply don't like something, you shouldn't cut it out of your diet completely. Like I said, everything in moderation.
I'm rambling now...and this is a recipe post, so here's your recipe:
Makes 4 large burger patties:
1 cup of peas
1 small courgette, grated
1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
1/2 cup of quinoa - I use this one from Tesco and it's my fave!
1/2 lime
1 desert spoon of apple cider vinegar
1 desert spoon of tahini
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt (or Himalayan Pink Salt) to taste
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 shallot, diced
Serve with - salad, guac and hummus or in a bun with sweet potato fries on the side.
Equipment - large mixing bowl, baking tray, tin foil, chopper/blender (you will be fine if you don't have either), two small saucepans
To make my homemade guac for 4 people:
2 avocados
A few plum tomatoes, diced
1 shallot (or half an onion), diced
1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1/4 fresh red chilli
1 lime, juice only
1/2 tsp paprika
1. First things first - preheat your oven to 180 (fan assisted) and line a baking tray with tin foil - coat this with the tiniest bit of oil so the burgers don't stick.
2. Grab a small saucepan and cook the quinoa for 12-15 minutes - I always use more water than suggested as I don't think it cooks properly otherwise. For 1/2 cup of quinoa I would recommend 2-2/12 cups of water. If the quinoa is still hard and the waters nearly absorbed, add a little until it softens.
3. Dice the shallot and add to a large mixing bowl. Mix in the flaxseed, chilli flakes, parsley and grated courgette.
4. When the quinoa is also done, cook the peas for a couple of minutes in a small saucepan of water. Once these are done, use a mini chopper like mine (or alternative) to blend the peas. I add a drop of water to this so it blended more. If you don't have something like this, just mash them up on a chopping board with a fork.
5. Once the peas are blended, add the to the large mixing bowl along with the quinoa. Mix everything together.
6. Now add the apple cider vinegar, tahini and lime juice. Mix well. Add the salt for seasoning.

7. Once everything is mixed together, separate the mix into four and shape into patties. Once shaped, place on the foil-lined baking tray and pat down a little.
8. The patties will need about 20 minutes in the oven to cook through and become firm. Whilst they are cooking, make your guacamole. Mash up the two avocados and add the diced tomatoes and shallot. Stir everything together before adding the chilli, lime juice and paprika. All done!
9. Once the patties are done, dish up with a salad, your homemade guac and whatever else you fancy. If you're doing sweet potato fries, obviously allow 30-40 minutes for these to cook.

And there you go, a deliciously healthy burger alternative - perfect for midweek dinners or a weekend treat!

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