Beetroot and carrot burgers

I recently bought a juicer because I’m completely addicted to carrot and ginger juice and I reckoned it would be cheaper to start making my own. Juicing is a big mission – you need so much fruit and veg to make a small amount of juice (now I know why the juices were so expensive at the health shop). I’m still loving making my own juices though. My favourite combo at the moment is carrot, beetroot, apple and ginger. It’s zingy and fresh and makes me feel healthy just thinking about it.

The only thing with juicing is that you produce so much waste. All the dehydrated stuff you’ve juiced just gets thrown away. I love beetroot burgers (Kauai used to make a delicious one) so I decided to use the carrot, beetroot and ginger pulp that came out of the juicer as the base for burger patties. The result is fibre-rich, dense and slightly crunchy burgers (with the help of seeds and chickpeas) which are incredibly easy to make.

If you don’t have a juicer, you could grate the carrots, ginger and beetroot and then squeeze all the juice out of them. It makes things much easier if the juicer does all the work for you though!

Beetroot and carrot veggie burgers

Makes 6 patties

  • 2 cups of carrot, ginger and beetroot pulp (go easy on the ginger though)
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and mashed with a fork
  • Half a cup of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and linseeds
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Cumin seeds
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper

Combine the seeds, pulp, chickpeas and eggs together and mix well. Add a dash of soy sauce, balsamic and tabasco, a generous pinch of cumin and a fair sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Season well with black pepper. Taste the mixture and if it’s a bit bland add more soy, tabasco or balsamic. Mould the mixture into patties and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 190 C until slightly hardened on top and then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with salad, sweet potato wedges or roast vegetable cous cous.

Moroccan butternut and chickpea soup

I dreamt up this soup on a miserable rainy day a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s the first thing I crave when the weather turns horrible. It’s a really filling, warming soup, spiked with Moroccan spices and chilli. It’s really good with salty feta crumbled on top and served with toasted, buttered rye bread.

moroccan soup

Serves 4

  • 1 kg of peeled, chopped butternut
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of harissa pasta
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
  • Half a cup of red split lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped, peeled tomotoes
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
  • Tumeric
  • Cumin seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli flakes
  • Fresh coriander leaves and some feta, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder

Fry the onion in a bit of oil until it starts to soften. Add the harissa paste, garlic, ginger and a sprinkle of tumeric, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Fry until the spices become fragrant. Add the carrots, butternut and the tin of tomatoes. Fill up the empty tin with water and add that too, along with the stock powder. Turn the heat up to high. Let the soup boil for about 10 minutes, and then add the lentils. Keep it on a high heat, and stir occasionally. Once the butternut starts getting mushy, squish it and stir into the soup. The soup is ready when the butternut has melted into the liquid. Add the chickpeas and a pinch of chilli flakes if you like. Serve the soup with crumbled feta and coriander leaves.

Tomato and carrot dhal

I’m cooking all the wrong foods for this heatwave we are experiencing in Cape Town at the moment. I should be making salads and cold, refreshing things that don’t need cooking. Instead I had a craving for warm, mushy, comforting dhal, and sweated away over a stove to indulge it. This is one of the best dhals I’ve ever had though, so it was well worth it. There’s nothing like dhal for a healthy Indian food fix. It’s so easy too – anyone could make this.

I adapted this recipe from a fab new veggie cookbook my mum gave me for Christmas – 500 Greatest-ever vegetarian recipes.

tomato and carrot dhal

Serves 4

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 carrots, diced finely (this is easiest to do in a food processor)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups (400 ml) coconut milk
  • 7 tomatoes, chopped finely
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 5 tablespoons of fresh coriander

Heat a slug of vegetable or peanut oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, carrot, cumin, mustard seeds and ginger. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until the seeds begin to pop.

Stir in the tumeric, chilli and garam masala and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the lentils, water, coconut milk and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking.

Stir in the lime juice and add the chopped coriander. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the lentils are tender.

I didn’t have any naan, but I felt like eating the dhal with something to scoop it up, so I grilled thick slices of eggplant, which were really tasty.

Moorish crunch salad

This is a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s for a delicious salad with Moorish flavours. My boyfriend’s mum, Wendy, made it recently and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s really zingy and crunchy and fresh, and if you add some fried halloumi to it or eat it with pitta bread, it makes a full meal.

moorish crunch

Serves 4

300 g carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized batons

150 g radishes

2 crunchy apples

1 small handful raisins/sultanas

1 handful fresh Italian parsley

1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

4 T red wine vinegar

8 T olive oil

1 T tahini

2 T sesame seeds, toasted in the oven for about three minutes

Finely slice radishes. Quarter and core the apples and slice finely. Add all these to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, except for the sesame seeds. Toss together, and season to taste. Serve with sesame seeds sprinkled on top and eat straight away before the salad loses its crunch.

Joe’s carrot and sausage pasta

Serves 6

This is one of my boyfriend’s specialities. It’s easy, healthy and filling. I’m not a big fan of vegetarian sausages usually, but cooked in a tomatoey pasta sauce, their texture improves a lot.

Tomato, carrot and veggie sausage pasta

  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • Some garlic – equivalent of 2 heaped teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 courgettes, grated
  • 500g carrots, grated
  • 250g mushrooms, chopped
  • 500g frozen vegetarian sausages, chopped (you need to slightly dethaw them to chop)
  • 3 x 400g tinned peeled tomatoes
  • 500g tagliatelle
  • 200g feta, chopped into small pieces
  • Chilli flakes (up to you how much –  try 2-3 tsp for a mild kick)
  • 2 T Marmite
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)

Pour a little olive oil into a deep frying pan (I prefer to use a big casserole dish that you can put on a hotplate) and add the garlic and onions.  When the onions have started sweating a bit, throw in all of the mushrooms, and the chopped veggie sausages.  You made need to add a little more olive oil at this point, depending on how thirsty the mushroom are for it.

After about 5 minutes or so, add all the tomatoes and mash or chop them up.  Once they are simmering nicely you can put in all the grated carrot and courgette.  For seasoning, add some chilli flakes for a bit of heat, a couple of tablespoons of Marmite for some saltiness and body, and the lemon zest and juice of a lemon (or half, depending on the size of the lemon).  Also add a sprinkle of brown sugar to cut through the acidity if necessary.

The meal can now simmer away for about 20 minutes, during which time you can cook the tagliatelle.  When the sauce is ready, season with plenty of black pepper and crumble over the feta. Serve on top of the tagliatelle.