“Always a bee in your bonnet”, says Head Chef! Expecting a relaxing Sunday after completing the normal weekend chores and, my weekly food preparation routine yesterday, he says that expectation was short-lived, knowing me! So while all my boys participate in “guy” stuff, as in starting their newest car restoration project, I needed to get lunch and dinner prepared, including something different, yet similar to a previous make.
Based on my recent past tuna and sweet potato burger / patty recipe, using the same method but with slightly altered ingredients, these burgers are equally good, if not, better! I used a combination of “Indian style” braised butternut, cooked with garlic and onions, combined with canned tuna in water. I find that including raw onion in burger making, often releases water, which contributes to how the mixture moulds into shape. If using raw onion, always add it as the last ingredient before moulding into burgers.
A good balance of a raised carb loaded vegetable with a low fat protein, delivering a filling and tasty burger, that is served with accompaniments that suit individual preferences. I am always more attracted to butternut than sweet potato, and, as can be seen from the nutritional information for a cup of each, as illustrated in the picture below, the carb load of butternut is half that of sweet potato:
A cost effective, easy to prepare and cook burger, these add the necessary variety for those following a low carb or gluten free lifestyle. Lunchbox fare too, the burgers store well refrigerated after cooking, or freezing for convenience, un-cooked.
FOR THE BUTTERNUT
500g butternut, peeled, cubed and washed
1-2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
½-1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼-½ tsp cumin seeds
Himalayan or Sea salt to taste
Optional: 1 slivered green chilli and a few curry leaves
- Heat a non-stick pot on medium stove top heat, add in the olive oil and when the oil is hot, add in the cumin and mustard seeds. As the seeds begin to splutter and become aromatic, add in the sliced onion (with chilli and curry leaves, if using) and cook until the onions are translucent and soft.
- Add in the crushed garlic, and mix with the onions to combine them well. Thereafter, add in the butternut with salt to taste, cover the pot with it’s lid and cook until the butternut is soft. This takes about 15-20 minutes until fully cooked. If the butternut sticks to the pot during cooking, add in no more than a quarter cup of boiling water.
- Stirring with a spoon renders the soft cooked butternut into a mashed state.
- Serve was a side vegetable to a main meal, or cool and chill for inclusion in fish or chicken burgers.
TUNA AND BUTTERNUT BURGERS
1 x 170g can tuna in olive oil or salt water, drained (mass after draining equals 120g)
½ – 1 cup cooked butternut, mashed (cooked as above for a intense flavour)
2 to 3 stems spring onion, finely chopped
2-3 tblsp fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 egg (whisked)
2-3 tblsp coconut flour (almond flour works well too)
Himalayan or Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil to fry
Optional: Chilli flakes or chopped fresh green chilli as preferred
Dried or fresh herbs like parsley, mixed herbs,dill, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, onion powder all add to the flavour and taste you wish to create.
- Mix together all the ingredients up to the coconut flour, in a mixing bowl.
- Season with Himalayan or sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Mould handfuls of the mixture into patties, making about 4 small to medium or 2 large burgers. I advise that small-medium burgers are made as they are easy to manage. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1-2 hours to firm up.
- When ready to fry, using non-stick pan over medium-high stove-top heat, add the oil of choice, lightly, to coat the frying pan. You may also cook these on an electric grill.
- Place up to 2 patties into the pan, leaving space around the patties so they may cook evenly. Cook the patties on each side until golden brown and cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Serve with a salad and / or grilled vegetable chips or mashed vegetables.