Recipe #2 Spicy Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Chips

Beans, beans, good for the… well pretty much everything really. I’ve found there is very little in the way of nutrition you can’t get from eating beans. Rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre, beans manage to pack loads of good stuff into tiny packages. Different beans also have varying levels of micronutients, such as iron, copper and calcium, so as a vegan, (or even if you’re not) eating a few different types of beans throughout the week is always a healthy option. They can be a little bland on their own, so we’ll spice them up a bit.

Let’s get Cookin’

This recipe changes quite literally every time I make bean burgers depending on what spices I have to hand, so again, I advise using the ones here as a guideline and to chop and change depending on what you have and what you like. The amounts here should serve two people.

For the Chips

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

1 tbsp of vegetable oil

 

For the Burgers

2 tins of your favourite beans (kidney beans and butter beans work well)

1 lime

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp turmeric

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

2 cardomom pods

1 tsp of ground ginger

1/2 tsp chili powder OR 1 fresh chili, chopped finely

About 2 tbsps of flour

2 tbsps of vegetable oil

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and cut the sweet potato in half lengthways, then cut into chip shapes about 1cm thick and however long you like.

Chips

2) Put the chopped up sweet potato into a baking tray along with the vegetable oil and give everything a good shake up and rub, making sure all the chips have a good covering of the oil. Put the tray in the oven, the chips will cook in about 45 minutes.

3) Drain and rinse the beans then put them in a food processor (alternatively you can use a hand masher, but the processor just makes things a little easier). Put all the spices and seasoning into a mortar and pestle and give them a good crush, especially the cardomom pods. Then add the spices to the food processor.

Mortar and Pestle

4) If you’re feeling zesty, grate the skin of the lime and add it to the beans, then juice the lime and add that too.

5) Pulse the beans with the spices and lime juice until it begins to form a paste. It’s very easy to overdo this so go easy so as not to end up with bean puree. When you start getting a paste-like consistency, add a little of the flour if you need to make the mixture a little stiffer (if you add too much, use a little water to thin it). There is an art to getting the right consistency and I still haven’t worked out the definitive method, so experimentation is key! The mixture needs to be stiff enough to handle and shape, but wet enough to hold together. If its wet enough but not quite stiff enough, putting the mixture in the fridge for a little while will stiffen it up.

6) With the mixture at the desired consistency, divide it into 4 equal parts and shape into burgers, you may need a little flour on your hands to do this. When the burgers are shaped, cover the outside of them in flour.

7) Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the burgers off, 3-4 minutes on either side should be ample to ensure they’re cooked through, but this can vary depending on the shape and size of your burgers, you want them to go nice and crisp on the outside.

8) Serve up and enjoy! Give the chips a prod with a form to check if they’re cooked, it should go in very easily when they’re cooked through. Buns and a green salad work really well with this, I put some mushrooms in the oven to cook with the chips when making this because oven cooked mushrooms are the BEST.

I hope you enjoy this, feel free to swap out any of the spices for any you prefer. I’m continually experimenting and changing ingredients with the burger recipe (a bunch of fresh coriander thrown in with the mixture works really well), so as with all the recipes I’ll be sharing, it’s open to interpretation!

Peace.

 

 

Chasing the Sun Home

I work in running shop.

Naturally, as it’s a weekend day I was working today. Sundays are OK; start late, finish early, and it tends to be pretty quiet. A nice easy day on the whole and today wasn’t any different to the usual.

I’m also a runner; I ran my first marathon just over a month ago now. I phrase this as ‘first marathon’ because while it was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done and it made my body ache for a week and pushed my mental ability to keep going until I crossed the finish line to the edge as well, 15 minutes after having finished I wanted to run another one. Not right there and then mind you, and still not for a good while yet. It turns out that 26.2 miles is a really long way.

Footpath

Most days I would either drive or cycle to and from work, but there are some days when the commute just has to be run. I live around 5 miles away from work, and am lucky enough that there are off road footpaths all the way from my back door to town. It’s a great way of getting the mileage in, as well as hills and mud. I love it.

I drove in this morning and ran back in the afternoon (not pushing mileage too much as there are still a few aches and pains from the marathon that need addressing). There is something really stress relieving about locking up at the shop, then just trotting on home out of town, through the country side. Normally I would take this run fairly steady. Today however, I raced.

I live in the UK, and our clocks went back last week, meaning that we have more light in the morning in the moment, and less in the afternoon. In the next few weeks we will be plummeted into what seems like an eternal pit of darkness by 3:00 in the afternoon.

Today the sun set at 4:31, I finished work at 4:00, which gave me just enough time to get home before it turned pitch black. I was equipped with a head torch, but being in the middle of the countryside in the dark on your own isn’t always the best idea.

Even though I was pushing the pace and using this run as a work out, as I climbed to the top of a narrow footpath covered overhead by tree branches, I had to stop for a picture of the sun setting as I emerged from the path into the open field. And some trees. Nature is great.

SunSet

NV Tree

From this point there is a lovely bit of downhill, perfect to make up a bit of time lost to taking in the scenery! After bombing down there, its pretty much flat from the bottom of the hill back home, great terrain for working on some speed. Not so great when you run by some walkers, and you’re out of breath, but so English you can’t not at least attempt to say ‘good afternoon’ to them. I’m sure they got the general idea of what I was trying to say with the wheeze that left my mouth.

It’s not even a very long route, but I find it turns running into more of an adventure when using it as a mode of transport to get from A to B. I always have fun on this route which is always my main aim when running. I’m not the fastest runner in the world, but I’m convinced you would be hard pushed to find someone who enjoys it as much as I do.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe #1 – Easy Veg Stir Fry

Let’s get Cookin’

We’ll start with something straightforward that’s dead easy to cook, and easy to make vegan. This is as quick and easy as it gets for something filling that’s going to do you good as well.

Ingredients – With all my recipes I suggest using the amounts given as a guideline, with a lot of the ingredients here you can use more of less of almost everything depending on how many people you’re feeding or how hungry you are! The amounts given here should feed two people.

Rice – 150g

Ground Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon

Vegetable Oil – 2 tablespoons

1 Onion

2 Garlic Cloves

2 Carrots

1 Brocolli

1 Bell Pepper

200g of Mushrooms

1 tin of beans/pulses of your choice (chickpeas work well)

2 teaspoons of tamarind paste (this is a paste made of the tamarind fruit, look in the oriental section of the supermarket for it, this will add a really nice twang to the flavour pf the meal, this is optional but I think it works really well)

 

Cooking

1) Get the rice cooking, cook according to the packets instructions. After adding the water stir in the ground turmeric and stir. It won’t affect the flavour of the rice too much, but it makes it turn a fantastic, vibrant colour when it cooks!

2) Chop the onion and crush the garlic cloves, then get the oil in a frying pan and put it on quite a high heat. You want the onion and garlic to sizzle when you put them in next. Fry these until they start to soften.

3) Chop the brocolli, carrots and pepper into whatever shapes and sizes you like (the smaller the better so they cook quickly and stay crunchy) and fry these with the onions for a few minutes, still on the high heat stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms, as these won’t take long to cook, they can fry off for a couple of minutes at the end.

4) Drain the tin of beans/pulses and rinse, and throw these in the pan as well and give everything a stir.

5) Now stir in the tamarind paste (if using) and try and get it evenly spread among the veg so it coats it as much as possible. Now throw in the chopped mushrooms, stir through and cook for another few minutes.

6) By now all the veg should be cooked through (ideally keeping the crunchy veg crunchy). It’s a balancing act timing cooking rice with the rest of a meal, I’ll leave that bit up to you.

7) Serve up and enjoy!

A healthy, balanced and tasty vegan meal – nice and easy, see? The great thing about stir fries is that you can substitute pretty much every vegetable with anything else you like (aubergine and cauliflower works really well) so I encourage adaptation and experimentation.

I hope you enjoy this, let me know how you get on, use this as a guideline to get creative!

Happy cooking!

Peace.

 

 

 

An Introduction of Sorts

Cross Country Race
Here is me in a state I can regularly be found, getting muddy running in a cross country race for my club, Alton Runners

Hi, I’m Chris, and welcome to my first ever blog post!

I’ve decided to take a step into the 21st century and make this page to share things I love, like vegan food, running, animals and bad jokes.

I’m a qualified nutrition adviser (for weight loss and for sport and exercise), and am on the way to becoming a qualified Personal Trainer, so I look forward to sharing meal ideas and plans, as well as workout ideas and exercise info.

The main goal (other than my own enjoyment) is to break down the idea that veganism has to be limiting/difficult/expensive. There will be no kale smoothies or lettuce sandwiches here, instead we’ll have curries, chilis, wraps, burgers, pretty much everything you can think of, but veganised! You won’t miss a thing, promise.

I also want somewhere to share what I get up to when running, and to show you can absolutely be vegan and still run well. I’m not the fastest runner in the world, but I want to show that you can still be string when eating this way.

Hopefully that gives a brief outline of what Vegan for the Long Run is about, I’ll keep this brief for the time being and look forward to posting some content soon.

Peace.