Classic Vegan Bean Burger with Chestnut Mushrooms

Wherever in the world we travel we’re always in search of the ultimate veggie burger. The closest to perfect we’ve found was from this restaurant in Madrid, but since we don’t live there we’ve been on a mission to create something just as delicious at home. We’ve had many burger experiments in the kitchen…. trying all kinds of beans, veggies & grains to find the right combination. All of them have been tasty in their own way, but just not quite perfect enough. So when we made these mushroom and white bean burgers we knew we’d finally landed on a favourite recipe.
These burgers are full flavour, have a perfect texture that stays moist when cooked and holds together really well. When we hear the word ‘burger’ we don’t associate it with being healthy, but these veggie burgers are full of really nutritious ingredients and are a great alternative to more processed options. Another thing we love about them is that they freeze really well, so if you’re busy (who isn’t these days?) then it’s worthwhile to make a big batch to have ready for an easy addition to a meal.

White Bean & Mushroom Veggie Burgers
Chestnut Mushroom & White Bean Burgers

The main ingredients of the burgers are white beans, chestnut mushrooms and brown rice. The combination of these gives a really nice texture, while there’s lots of flavours coming from tahini, miso, lemon zest and fresh parsley. Instead of adding fried onions, we added a few dates to the mix which give a delicious sweetness without having extra oil. For this reason, the burgers are really light and fresh. We love to serve them with fermented veggies, a tahini dressing or cashew sauce and either in a homemade bun or with salad. This recipe is inspired by Anna Jones’s ‘Really Hungry Burger’, but we’ve added in some extras and adapted some quantities.

Chestnut Mushroom & White Bean Burgers

Chesnut Mushroom & White Bean Burgers

Servings: Males 14 large burgers (feel free to halve the recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 500g chesnut mushrooms, finely chopped (would work great with shitake)
  • 2 x 400g tins white beans, drained (we use cannellini)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g oats
  • 8 medjool dates (or 16-20 normal dates soaked in hot water for 5 mins)
  • Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dark miso paste
  • 4 tablespoons of tahini
  • 400g of cooked brown rice (200g uncooked weight)
  • a handful of fresh parsely
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons tamari or soy souce
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan, once hot add the mushrooms, thyme and paprika (you may need to do 2 batches in your pan depending on the size of your pan). Cook on a high heat until the mushrooms are browned and fairly dried out. If you have excess water in the pan from the mushrooms then drain it off. Season with salt and pepper and leave aside to cool.
  2. Into a food processor, add the drained beans, dates, garlic, parsley, tahini, tamari and miso. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Transfer into a mixing bowl and combine with the cooked rice, oats, lemon zest and mushrooms. Mix well.
  4. Leave the burger mixture to firm up in the fridge for atleast 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to gas mark 7.
  6. When ready to cook, shape the mixture into patties and cook them on a baking tray in an oven at gasmark 7 for 12-15 minutes. You want a slight colour on the burgers but too much time in the oven will dry them out.
Chestnut Mushroom & White Bean Burgers

What’s the best veggie burger you’ve tried?
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Weekly Links // No.6

Jill-Bliss-image-3.jpg
jill-bliss-mushroom-medley-hard-frost-ADDITIONAL-5667696e7aaf5-1500.jpg

>> So excited for this event in London next month!

>> Currently reading this book about money and it’s really impacting my relationship with money

>> This has been slowly brewing in our kitchen for the last few weeks and we can’t wait to use it

>>How incredible are these fungi photos by Jil Bliss?

>> This is a must listen podcast for women

>>Also, found this podcast on loss and grief really moving

>> Been enjoying this album

>> Wisdom from Eckhart tolle


Photography by Jil Bliss


What have you been enjoying recently?

Green Lasagna with Butternut Squash & Courgette (Zucchini)

It was somewhat of a challenge to name this recipe. Is lasagna really lasagna without a tomato sauce? I’m sure many Italians would react in horror to such a thing, but we assure you that this dish is a special one, no matter what label we decide to put on it. The thing is, although we both love lasagna, we often crave an alternative to tomato sauce. This time of year it’s pretty hard to find sweet and delicious tomatoes in England and we often end up being disappointed with their flavour, especially compared to our days living in Spain. When we set out to create this recipe a few weeks ago we had some incredible looking broccoli & cauliflower that was locally grown and calling out to be used. And so, the green lasagna was invented. We hope you love this as much as we do. It became an instant favourite for us and even though it has a few parts that you need to prepare, it’s definitely worth the effort.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash

The layers of our green lasagna are compiled from lasagna sheets, a delicious green sauce packed with veggies, a creamy white sauce made with oat milk, and layers of butternut squash & courgette (zucchini). You can use any lasagna sheets to make this, but we love the green lentil pasta sheets by the brand Explore.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash

Green Lasagna Bake with Butternut Squash & Courgette

Ingredients

(Our baking tray is roughly 12 x 9 inches.)

For the green sauce:
750ml vegetable stock (home made or vegetable stock cube)
200g broccoli, chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
1 cup spinach (packed)
200g cauliflower, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the white sauce:
1 litre oat milk
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
6 tablespoons spelt flour
2 tablespoons white miso (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

also:
400g butternut squash, thinly cut into as wide slices as possible
2 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
18 sheets lasagna pasta (we use a gluten free green lentil brand)
olive oil
oregano

Method

To make the green sauce:
Add the stock, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and half a teaspoon of salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. cook for around 10 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Check the seasoning, add black pepper and salt to taste. Turn off the heat and blend the whole mix until completely smooth using either an immersion of normal blender.

To make the white sauce:
Add all of the oat milk to a sauce pan and gently bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in the flour gradually while whisking to combine. Don’t worry if it’s a little lumpy at this stage. Continue to gently simmer the sauce while whisking for 10 or so minutes until well thickened. Add the nutritional yeast, miso and season generously to taste. Ideally allow the sauce to cool for a while in order to continue thickening.

Assembling & cooking the lasagna:
When both your sauces are ready, assemble the lasagna. We like to sprinkle plenty of oregano and drizzle olive oil between the layers. This is the order we like to put it together, starting from the bottom:
A layer of white sauce
Pasta sheets
A layer green sauce
Butternut squash
A layer of white sauce
Pasta sheets
A layer green sauce
Pasta sheets
Combination of green/white sauces (depending on how much is left)
Courgettes on top with olive oil and oregano

Bake in the oven at gas mark 6, covered with a lid or flat baking tray for approximately 30 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife will go easily through the pasta. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


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Natural Toothpaste with Activated Charcoal & Coconut Oil

We’re so excited to start a new section of our website that goes beyond food & herbal medicine and shares our journey towards natural and sustainable living. For so many of us, our inner and outer worlds are bombarded with hundreds of toxins & chemicals on a regular basis. From hormone-dirsupting plastic packaging , to the incomprehensible lists of ingredients in cosmetics, food and household products that can cause imbalances in the body. The damage these chemicals cause us, whether noticeable on the surface or not, is a direct reflection of the harm they are currently causing to the earth around us.

We are such believers that we can vote with our money. By choosing to support natural & organic, we send out an important message to the world, as well as to the industries creating these products. Since switching all of our products to natural alternatives a few years ago, we really believe that making this change is simpler than it might seem and feels so empowering too. Even if you start small, we all have to begin somewhere and it can be as basic as buying a natural shampoo when you next run out or buying some essential oils that you love to make some products at home. We wanted to begin this series with one of our favourite and most effective natural recipes for this natural toothpaste with activated charcoal. It’s easy to make, shockingly black and is an amazing teeth whitener too!

Natural Whitening Toothpaste Activated Charcoal Coconut

Why should we avoid toxic chemicals in toothpaste?

Some people might wonder why it really matters if your toothpaste contains chemicals if we only use it for a short time and don’t actually swallow it. But even for the 4-5 minutes that we brush our teeth every day, our mouths can absorb toxic ingredients into our bloodstream and the balance of oral bacteria can become disrupted. We spit the chemicals down the sink, which goes back into the water system, and when the toothpaste tube is finished we throw the plastic in the bin and it goes to landfill. Times this by billions of people and we suddenly have a lot of chemicals and packaging causing harm to the planet. It’s a good example that our choices, however small, are not as insignificant as they might seem.

Some common harsh chemicals used in commercial toothpastes are sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), triclosan, parabens, diethanolamine and titanium dioxide. All of them are pretty nasty ingredients for their own reasons, and if you’re interested in learning more we really encourage you to do some research as there is so much information out there. This is a quick and simple article that explains these chemicals in more detail. Palm oil is also a common ingredient used in toothpastes and we really recommend reading this article if you’re unaware of why we need to stop supporting the palm oil industry.

Non-toxic Toothpaste Ingredients

So now onto the recipe! This toothpaste only requires 4 ingredients:

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) - Bicarbonate of soda helps effectively clean and polish the teeth in a non-abrasive way. It helps to neutralise food acids and bacterial acidity.

Coconut Oil -
Coconut oil not only helps form the great texture of the toothpaste, but it’s been shown to significantly improve oral and dental health. It’s anti-bacterial properties help reduce plaque buildup and it can help reduce inflammation. It’s also been known to naturally whiten teeth, which is an added bonus!

Activated Charcoal Powder (optional) - Activated charcoal is a popular ingredient right now for it’s claim to be a natural teeth whitener. Although there aren’t any studies to prove this, many people (including us!) notice a difference using this ingredient. We only use a very small amount of charcoal powder in our toothpaste so that we don’t damage the enamel of our teeth. If you don’t want the toothpaste to be black or you don’t have any of this, you can leave it out of the recipe.

Essential oils of:
Peppermint -
The cool flavour of peppermint helps to keep breath fresh for longer. This is a familiar and well loved flavour to include in toothpaste and also has antibacterial properties.
Clove-
Clove has been used as an ingredient in oral care for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years. It’s highly anti-inflammatory and helps freshen breath.

Natural Whitening Toothpaste Activated Charcoal Coconut
Natural Whitening Toothpaste Activated Charcoal Coconut

Natural Whitening Toothpaste with Activated Charcoal

Ingredients
1/2 cup of coconut oil (in non liquid form)
1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda
1-2 teaspoons of activated charcoal (2-3 capsules)
2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
2-3 drops of clove essential oil

Method
1. Add the coconut oil to a bowl and using a fork, whip the coconut oil until it becomes soft and smooth.
2. Add the bicarbonate of soda and activated charcoal powder and thoroughly mix. The charcoal can be a bit messy so use with care.
3. Finally, add the drops of essential oil to the toothpaste and stir through. Transfer the toothpaste to a jar.

** If you live in a hot climate and your coconut oil is already liquid, then thoroughly combine all ingredients and place the toothpaste in the fridge for a few hours until set**

Some Tips for Use
* To apply your toothpaste to the brush you can either use a small spoon or dip the toothbrush in the jar.
* When you spit out the toothpaste make sure to aim straight for the plug otherwise it can cause quite a mess if you’re not careful! Of course, you can rinse the sink with water straight after but we thought you may appreciate a warning.
* If for some reason your toothpaste separates or dries out a few weeks after you make it, you can simply use a fork to whip the ingredients together and add 1-2 more drops of essential oil.
* If you’ve been a life-long Colgate user, it may take a while to get used to a completely different toothpaste experience. It definitely took us a few days to adapt to this and we kept an open mind throughout. Good luck and happy brushing!

Natural Whitening Toothpaste Activated Charcoal Coconut

-We’d like to close this by stating that neither of us are dentists, so if you do have a history of dental/oral issues please consult a professional if you’re concerned about changing your toothpaste -


We hope you enjoy this new series on the blog. We’d love to hear if you’ve changed any of your products to natural alternatives?

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