Vegetarian January: Day Three - Bean Burgers

We cracked: a mere three days into the Vegetarian Experiment, we have resorted to the bean burger. After succumbing so soon to what A considers to be the ultimate in hippie cuisine, A wanted to write a vitriolic piece slating the things. However, A discovered that making them himself was not only satisfying, but they actually tasted pretty good into the bargain. Every cloud has a silver lining.

As we often do, we took an existing recipe and tinkered with it. The basis of this dinner came from a TV food website. While Channel 4 calls the dish a "hash", we don't.  We're in the habit of calling a spade a spade and this is a burger - it's just a massive one, topped out with an egg.

How eggciting!

We essentially followed the recipe in terms of method, improvising in places. We swapped out the butter beans for kidney beans because A isn't a huge fan of the former. This may have worked from a taste perspective, but mashing was intense. The skins of kidney beans are pretty tough: a fork barely dented them. Only vigorous pounding with a masher finally broke them up. As the recipe doesn't specify what kind of lentils were required, we tossed in a whole can of green ones along with the spuds and cheese.  The patties themselves are pretty much a blank canvas, and you can do whatever you want to them. We considered using Baharat, Ras al Hanout, or Garam/Chat Masala, all of which are available from good supermarkets, but ultimately followed the recipe's recommendation for spices.

Burger, it's bean good knowing you...

As we've already said, these were pretty good. A liked the contrast of the red onion and cumin against the egg . The warmth and crunch from the onion and spices worked really well with the cooling richness of the runny yolk, resulting in a really pleasant flavour sensation. To boot, this meal was super-filling. We hadn't eaten all day and had done a long walk when we made these, but neither of us could finish a double portion. A normally finds he's still hungry after a vegetarian meal, but not this time. That's a big tick for us and we'll be making this again.

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