These Beetroot Burgers are simply the best veggie burger I’ve ever tasted. It’s hard to believe that they are mainly chickpeas with added raw beetroot. The Beetroot Burgers are served in a toasted brioche bun and accompanied by layers of salad, gherkins and a delicious smoky chipotle mayo.
The Beetroot Burgers are the creation of the talented Elly Curshen passionate foodie and proprietor of the Pear Cafe since 2006, which was where she got her nick name ‘Elly Pear’. It’s also where she found her weight creeping up, it’s tempting working around food all the time.
Elly found that the 5:2 philosophy of eating worked for her and has created this book to share her recipes for Fast Days and Feast Days. I also follow the 5:2 diet, five days of normal eating, two days when I eat only 500 calories (600 for men). I’m always looking for new ideas for fast days, however I also loved the feast day recipes like the Beetroot Burgers.
Elly starts with some great chapters on ingredients and techniques, I loved her approach to leftovers and she even gives us helpful hints on how to shop. The book is then organised into meal based chapters, here are some of the recipes that jumped out at me:
Breakfasts and Brunches: Sweetcorn, chipotle and buckweat fritters (feast); Italian-style baked egg (fast)
Weekday Lunches and Salads: Edaname, pea, miso and ginger salad (feast), Prawn, mango and jalapeno salad (fast), Crab salad with toasted rye crumbs (fast), Chickpea curry (fast).
100 calorie packed lunch boxes: Courgette, chilli and herb salad with feta, Smoked trout with cauliflower rice salad and Canellini bean salad in little gem cups.
Soups: Yellow gazpacho with avocado salsa (fast), Chillled Beetroot Soup with wild garlic or spinach (feast).
Weeknight Dinners: Twenty minute cheat’s tagine (feast) Root veg ad halloumi fitters with frying pan flatbread (feast), Beetroot Burgers (feast), Open lasagne (fast), Kedgeree-ish (fast), Salmon rice bowl (fast).
Nibbles: Little roasted spuds with roasted red pepper sauce (feast), Smoked mackerel and horseradish pate (fast), Radishes and nori salt (fast).
Sauces, Pickles and Dressings: Golden Amazing sauce (fast), Kachumber (fast), Impatient rainbow pickles (feast), Marinated feta (feast).
Puddings and Cakes: Lemon polenta and rose shortbread (feast), Rosemary and lemon posset with Italian meringue (feast), Cranachan-ish (fast), Starwberry, lime and basil granita (fast).
Fast Days and Feast Days finishes with some sample fast day menus and a brilliant calorie index so you can find recipes to the calorie count that you need!
Who is it for: anyone looking for healthy nutritious food all year round and, of course, anyone who is following or would like to follow the 5:2 way of eating. Elly is a Pescatarian so there are many vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as some containing fish and seafood.
Pros: A well organised book with great photographs and tempting recipes, it’s a great resource for healthy eating.
Cons: If you are a committed carnivore, you won’t find any meat based recipes.
The Verdict: I absolutely love it! Elly has hit just the right combination of fast and feast recipes with the bonus that even the ‘feast’ recipes are also healthy and nutritious and not too high in calories.
Fast Days and Feast Day by Elly Curshen | Published in Hardback by Harpers Collins Publishers on 7th April 2016 | RRP £20.
Follow Elly Pear on Twitter @PearCafe and on Instagram @EllyPear
- 4 x best-quality burger buns (I used brioche buns)
- 1 x 400g tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
- 1 tsp toasted caraway or cumin seeds
- approximately 2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
- a small handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or coriander (include the stalks)
- 150g raw beetroot
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- smoky avocado and chipotle mayo
- little gem lettuce
- sliced tomato
- gherkins cut lengthways into 3mm slices
- red onion, very finely sliced
- China rose radish sprouts
- Impatient Rainbow pickles
- fried egg
- cheese (any you like)
- Blitz all the ingredients for the burger, apart from the beetroot, flour and seasoning, in a food processor with the main chopping blade.
- Switch to a grating blade and grate the beetroot on top. Tip into a large bowl.
- Shape the mixture into four even burgers. Combine the flour salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- Dust the burgers with the seasoned flour.
- Pour enough oil into the frying pan for shallow frying and place over a medium heat.
- Add the burgers and fry for 6-8 minutes, until browned.
- Flip over and brown on the other side. Check that the burgers are hot in the middle by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the centre for a few seconds and then pulling it out: if the blade feels cold, cook the burgers for longer. If the outside browns too quickly, turn the heat right down.
- Serve with your choice of toppings.
- Recipes for Avocado and Chipotle Mayo and Impatient Rainbow Pickles are included in Fast Days and Feast Days.
If you love burgers and want to try a few other vegetarian options, here are some great ideas from the UK’s top bloggers: