Russ and I had a fabulous time in Alaska and Canada but now I have serious case of post holiday come down fueled by my worst jet lag of all time, it’s cruel! The last two weeks were pretty special though, definitely this year’s highlight as I adore travelling by RV road trip style. We managed to cook some amazing food on the move too, stopping off at local stores for a fridge top up and a mosey. I fell in love in Canada, with Whole Foods. I have to say I really have developed quite the love affair with Whole Foods supermarket. Why oh why is this not a permanent fixture in my life, come on the UK – get with the programme. Whole Foods is almost reason enough to move to Canada! Seriously, I was so impressed by the layout, the actual food, the choice, the cosmetics, the take out counter, come to think of it I was impressed by Canada in general. But shopping in that supermarket is pure pleasure, I need Whole Foods here!
Moving on, travelling by camper van really is pretty special and gave us total freedom and flexibility to explore and make stops at our leisure. The kitchen was amazingly user friendly and well equipped so there really was no excuse not to make some great food. It was so nice to stop off somewhere different everyday, make a fabulous meal and soak up the scenery. The only thing is the van did have the faint aroma of cumin and curry powder when we delivered it back to Vancouver. Oops, that’ll be those black beans and the delicious lentil curry!
I made this butter bean and harissa burger before we went away, when it was a little warmer and we were eating outside. What is that about- I’m away for two weeks to return to close on winter weather? No matter, I’m layering up and will continue eating outside until it’s near freezing! Bring on the chili sauce and harissa paste for a bit of warmth. The harissa (formed of red peppers) in this burger has a some good spice and adds a very authentic North African flavour and makes a great colourful looking pattie too. The lemony onions are a delicious and sweet addition to the punchy and spicy flavours in the butter beans, I just have to, actually need onions with my burger. Any bean would work really, I just happened to have some of these handy the day of my burger craving.
You just gotta love a good old juicy bean burger. They’re just so satisfying and beans are fabulous for carrying robust flavours and are miles tastier than meat varieties. Making bean burgers is sooo easy too, they take no time at all and it’s really pretty satisfying to create your own burger from scratch, in a flavour to suit your tastes. I really do think you can pretty much form a workable burger entirely from guess work and have it in the frying pan in 10 minutes flat. You can adjust quantities as you combine the ingredients to create a workable consistency and more importantly have full control of what is going into your burger. Let’s face it, you cant say that for any shop bought varieties out there. This better, I mean ‘butter’ bean and harissa burger is entirely plant powered as it contains chia egg for binding the mixture but a regular egg would work also.Easy, spicy, plant powered and delicious. Nice.
Butter Bean + Harissa Burgers with Honey Lemon Onions
(makes 2 large burgers or 4 small patties)
1 can (240 gram drained) butter beans
2 teaspoons chia seed just covered in water or 1 egg if not vegan
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt + pepper
handful basil leaves
3 teaspoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 burger buns (I used Waitrose gluten free quinoa rolls)
for the onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1. Drain the butter beans + transfer to a large bowl. Mash the beans with a fork + add the remaining ingredients continually pressing down with the fork until you have a pliable burger ball. If the mixture is too sticky add some oats + if too dry add a little milk.
2. Divide the mixture into two + form into 2 burger shapes.
3. Preheat a medium grill. Heat the olive oil in a large pan + fry the burgers on 1 side until browned. Flip + finish cooking under the grill for an even brown finish.
4. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a small pan + add the onion, lemon + honey. Cook until softened.
5. Slice the buns, add the burgers, top with honey lemon onions + salad.