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.

Baked falafel

I had the best falafel in town today at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market. On the last Sunday every month we make a mission to this small market which has mostly useless crafty junk, but also a fabulous falafel stand. The falafels have that perfect nutty texture, with a slightly crunchy outside. They’re served in warm homemade pitta breads, with loads of chilli relish, hummus, yoghurt, shredded cabbage, sprouts and deliciously acidic pickled vegetables. I have yet to find falafels that beat these ones in Cape Town.

I go the healthy route when I’m making my own falafels by baking instead of frying them. They’re really easy to make, and are great for a midweek supper if you don’t really feel like doing any cooking. I eat them in toasted pitas with hummus, tomato and onion, fresh coriander, tzatzki, shredded cabbage and carrot, avocado and chilli sauce.

Falafel

(Adapted from a recipe in Fairlady Magazine)

Makes about 20 falafel balls

  • 2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Juice of a lemon

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and then leave the mixture in the fridge for an hour or two to firm up. (This is not essential if you don’t have time, but it means the balls will be less crumbly).

Preheat the oven to 200C. Shape the mixture into small falafel balls and lay them on a baking sheet on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.