A true enjoyment of food can never exist when your focus is constantly on what you can’t have. Instead of battling through lengthy diet rules, and running for the hills from your fast food foes, start focusing your creative mind on turning any sugar filled treat, or preservative laden burger into a meal full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This approach to food brings a joy to both your mind and your body, and is a fun, freeing experience. The journey of appropriating meals will open your eyes up to a world of exotic flavours and ingredients that you never thought existed, and you’ll be constantly surprised at the astounding impacts that the everyday components of your meals are having on your health and wellbeing. When you embrace this lifestyle of true appreciation and passionate interaction with your food, the local fast food franchises will be like a distant memory and the locavores will be top of mind.
Food was created to be respected and enjoyed. It has the power to build community, create atmosphere, inspire, comfort, and ignite the senses. Unfortunately today, in the money crazy world we live in, this idea has been warped beyond comprehension. Currently, over half the world’s population lives in cities; so the demand for convenience food is increasing rapidly. As a result of this growing demand, and the growing money-hunger of multinational food corporations, integrity has been lost in the preparation of food. A genuine joy and healthy passion for food has been lost because there’s such a vast separation between the ingredients and the consumer. In many fast food franchise meals, the story of the ingredients would perplex a rocket scientist. When you munch on a happy meal, you’ll be consuming a concoction of components that have flown from the four corners of the earth, and have been processed, shipped across a few more continents, reconstituted, manufactured, finally to be collaborated (along with various additives), deep fried, packaged and consumed. What you’re left with is a poor quality, bland, and more or less dead form of chow. Nothing inspiring about that.
I think a lot of our inner health comes from reigniting our passion for food, and part of the passion comes with a close interaction and appreciation of the ingredients. That’s why I’ve been skipping around the kitchen trying to transform dead, fast food favourites into beautiful, flavour filled creations using high quality ingredients. This bean burger with green salad is the perfect example of how a lifeless, run-off-the-machine-line burger can be re designed into a scrumptious, joyful, disease busting masterpiece.
Rather than merging a range of hormone filled meats, additives and trans fats, this burger is bursting with phytonutrient rich plant foods and antioxidant rich spices. If you choose to shop locally, which is always best, I promise that the outcome will be all the more joyful; both within your mind; because you’ll know you’re supporting local farmers, and in your body; because your insides just love the benefits of organic, pesticide free produce!
These beautiful burgers are built on the foundation of the boastful black bean. Black beans have alot to boast about; they contain an almost magical array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and studies have linked them to a decreased risk of cancer; especially colon cancer. They are high in folate, fiber, tryptophan, manganese, protein, magnesium, vitamin B1, phosphorous and iron. Black beans have been found to have huge benefits for digestive health due to the unique ratio of fibre to protein, which helps to regulate the movement of food through the digestive tract. Black beans help to get your food moving in a way that will support optimum chemical balances in the gut, and promote the balance and population of microorganisms.
The unique “protein-plus-fibre” combination in black beans has shown to provide outstanding support for blood sugar support and balance. The regulated breakdown of food in the digestive tract that’s promoted through black beans, helps to prevent extremes in simple sugar uptake in the gut, thus preventing nasty blood sugar spikes and drops. They also contain alpha-amylase inhibitors which work together with the proteins and fibres to steady blood sugar levels; so they’re a great option for both the prevention and management of diabetes.
These scrumptious burgers also contain cinnamon, another brilliant blood sugar stabilizer that’s being recommended by several health professionals to manage and prevent diabetes, as well as helping all people to avoid those 4pm slumps that have you reaching for the nearest sugar fix. It does this by stimulating insulin receptors, giving them a stronger affinity for the blood sugar lowering hormone. This creates less pancreatic stress, improved metabolic rate, and decreased inflammation. I absolutely love cinnamon for its high antioxidants, powerful medicinal properties, and its spectacularly sweet taste and tantalizing aroma. For other sugar stabilizing cinnamon recipes, try this creamy curried cauliflower with cashews, this warm and spicy chai custard, and for a stable dose of energy throughout your day, try this spectacular supercharged granola.
So there you have it; for every greasy, trans fat and additive filled dish, there’s an opportunity for it to be transformed into a nutrient rich feast. The magic doesn’t just lie in the eating, but in the careful selection of quality ingredients, and all that fun you have in the kitchen; something that can’t be replicated when you purchase burgers at the drive through. Nevertheless, you and your guests will absolutely adore the complex flavours of these bountiful burgers, as your joyful preparation overflows into the delicious finished product. If you can’t skip the bread, try it with a couple of slices of this nutrient rich, gluten free nut loaf or Superseeded Bread from my recipe book Supercharged Food.
Bean Burgers with Green Salad
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 carrot grated
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 coriander
- ½ chili chopped
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Celtic Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 cup basil and mint leaves
- 1 cucumber sliced
- 1 green capsicum chopped
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Place seeds in food processor and grind until coarsely chopped
- Grate the carrot, and then add to your mixture in the food processor and mix for 10 seconds
- Add ¾ of the black beans, spices, and olive oil and salt and pepper and then mix again for 10 seconds
- Remove mixture and add rest of beans so that you have chunkier bean pieces throughout the mixture and then using hands form into patties
- Place in an oven 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 mins
- Mix salad ingredients in a bowl and dress