Thursday, 9 February 2017


Healthy, dirty lentil burger.

I know that nowadays there are numerous burger places with hand reared, home made options but to be really honest, I’ve never been a huge burger fan, unlike the rest of my family. Mainly because I don't like huge chunks of unidentified meat, however I do like the whole layering, the combination of different flavours and textures that you get with a good rustic burger.

Over the last few years Teen V and I struggled to find tasty vegetarian burgers. We tried lots of gloopy bean burgers, and tasteless cardboard-like veggie things, but nothing came close to replicating that juicy, tasty feel you get with a proper handmade meat burger! OK so I do like a proper one occasionally! We got very fed up with mushed vegetables, pretending to be a burger…really? 

I’ve experimented with a variety of options, but the most interesting is the lentil burger… Bare with me here, I know lentils don't sound like a good alternative, however, even the traditional meat eating burger lovers in the family have approved this alternative!!

So maybe you don't like the sound of a wholesome burger, just trust me, these are good and don't feel like a second best.

Lentil, sun-dried tomato and watercress burgers warming with ciabatta rolls


Prep time and cooking time 35 minutes
Chilling time 15 minutes
Serves 3-4 depending on the size burger you want! 
The mixture can be doubled easily for a crowd- or v hungry family.

120g puy lentils
1/2 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic
20g sun-dried tomatoes 
1Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano 
300ml good vegetable stock 
20g watercress
1/2 Packet of mozzarella
1tbsp wholemeal plain flour

I like Ciabatta rolls, but if you want to be hip, use brioche buns, I think the crisp crust of the ciabatta works better. Then just add any other bits you like to build up your perfect burger. 
A few suggestions are: Slices of tomato, lettuce if you can actually find some..see my previous post re lettuce shortage!!or watercress if you are being really healthy, mayonnaise, slices of avocado, gerkin, cheese - the list is endless..

  1. Finely chop the garlic and onions, then fry in the olive oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes or until soft. 
  2. Slice, or snip up with scissors, the sun-dried tomatoes and add them and the oregano to the pan to soften for a few minutes.
  3. Add the dried lentils and stir for about a minute until coated in the mixture then add a third of the stock and simmer. Keep adding the remaining stock as it reduces down and the lentils cook. This process should take about 25 minutes. Whilst this is cooking roughly chop the watercress and mozzarella and leave for later.
  4. Try the lentils to ensure they are soft and cooked, they should have a rich dense flavour and have soaked up all the liquid. Obviously don't let them burn, but it is important that there isn't any liquid left as it’ll be harder to keep the burger shape later. Let them cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add the watercress and mozzarella to the mixture and stir in well. Stir in the flour, this should help keep the mixture together. At this point you can shape the mixture into rough patty, burger shapes. I would put them on baking paper and let them cool a bit in the fridge.  
  6. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan and then gently place the patties to fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Whilst this is happening prepare your bun. I only like half a bun but I appreciate this is light weight, so obviously prepare what you need. If you have a griddle then lightly grease and warm the bun then start to assemble your dream burger, mine includes mayonnaise, avocado, watercress and tomato…yum…get creative!

Lentil burger with topped with avocado, tomato and watercress

Saturday, 4 February 2017


Lettuce free salad- advocate, watercress, mint, cucumber and spring onion

Yesterdays headlines and radio news bulletins here in England seemed rather comic after the recent few weeks, no months, of world craziness..

“Salad crisis!” 
“Supermarkets limit customers to three iceberg lettuces!”

The reality of farmers in Europe loosing entire crops is sadly anything but comic, however, the reports do explain the distinct lack of spinach in my favourite supermarket in recent weeks. 

To counteract this lack of spinach, and the fact that it’s winter so there’s no rocket or salad leaves in my garden, except a few herbs, I’ve been improvising some great green salads.

As some of you are aware I have been ill for many months, hence no blog posts for such a long time, there were weeks, well months when I struggled to eat however thanks to wonderful care and some incredible immunotherapy drugs, I have my appetite back and am now even more conscious of what I put in my body.

Hampshire watercress

Watercress features even more highly in my diet, (I will do another post about this) I’m having it in smoothies every morning as well as any other opportunity.

So, whilst we await new crops from Europe, I wish the farmers good luck and good growing weather, and hope the following salad should help keep you healthy. 

It’ s very green, delicious (in my opinion), fresh, easy to throw together and packed full of goodness.     



Serves 2
Time- a few minutes to chop

2 spring onions,
I ripe avocado chopped into small cubes
A large handful/bunch of watercress and fresh mint both roughly chopped
Half a cucumber chopped into small cubes
The juice of a whole lemon, salt and pepper to season and a drizzle of olive oil if you like that.

Assemble all the above chopped ingredients, then squeeze over the juice of the lemon, season with a few twists of  salt and pepper and splash a tiny bit of olive oil over and you are ready to eat.

Watercress and mint

Thank you to the kind friends, you know who you are, who have encouraged me to return here, and to all of you for checking this out after such a long pause in posts. I look forward to sharing more tasty ideas and recipes with you again soon.

Enjoy the salad..

Fresh dill and mint.