Walnut falafel burgers

Walnut falafel burgers with beetroot, carrot & apple slaw

The weather is warming up around here at the moment and burgers are calling out to be made. While they may be delicious, most burgers are filled with lots of saturated fat and empty kilojoules (you know, kilojoules that don’t provide the body with many of the nutrients that it needs). I’m all for a greasy burger as a treat every now and then, but if you want to have burgers a bit more often, I’ve got the recipe for you!

This burger has plenty of fibre to help you feel full, lower your cholesterol and stabilise your blood glucose levels. There’s also lots of the healthier unsaturated fats that are protective for your heart, especially ALA from the walnuts – in fact you’ll get more than the required 2g of ALA you need each day from just one of these burgers. Add to that the goodness of whole grains which you don’t get in your regular burger and the crunchy slaw with a nice touch of sweetness from the apple and you’ve got a burger you could have every week if you wanted to. Why not give it a go for Meatless Monday?

The original recipe is from the October 2014 issue of Taste magazine, but I’ve tweaked it slightly to make it healthier. Let me know what you think if you give it a go.

Walnut falafel burgers

Walnut falafel burgers with beetroot, carrot & apple slaw

Serves 5

115g walnuts

400g can chickpeas (no added salt), drained & rinsed

1/3C firmly packed fresh mint leaves

1/3C firmly packed fresh coriander leaves

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1Tbsp ground cumin

1/2tsp dried chilli flakes

1 lemon, rind grated & juiced

2Tbsp wholemeal flour

1 green apple, quartered & cored

2 beetroot, peeled (remember to wear gloves!)

1 carrot

1.5Tbsp olive oil

1/2C low fat natural greek yoghurt

5 wholegrain bread rolls, to serve

125g mixed lettuce leaves, to serve

extra mint leaves, to garnish

1. Process walnuts, chickpeas, mint, coriander, red onion, cumin, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon rind and 1Tbsp flour in a food processor until well combined. Shape into 5 equal sized patties and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to firm up a bit.

2. In the meantime, feed apple, beetroot and carrot through the chute of a food processor with a grater attachment, or grate by hand. Transfer to a bowl and mix through 1-2Tbsp of lemon juice to keep apple from browning. Combine 3tsp of remaining lemon juice and yoghurt in a separate bowl and set aside.

3. Get patties out of refrigerator and coat patties in remaining flour. Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook patties a couple at a time for a couple of minutes each side. Be careful when turning the patties so they don’t fall apart.

4. Serve on bread rolls (or wraps) spread with a little of the yoghurt mixture, a handful of mixed lettuce leaves and garnished with some extra mint leaves. You can serve the slaw on the side or inside the buns – I prefer mine on the side.

Nutrition info (per serve) - 2230kJ, 23.3g fat (3.3g saturated/20g unsaturated), 16g protein, 53.1g carbohydrates (11.9g sugars), 408mg sodium, 17.6g fibre, 2.3g ALA (plant based omega 3s). 1.9 vegetable serves. Cost = $3.91.

Why should you eat this? These burgers are packed with flavour, fibre and the healthy kind of fats thanks to the walnuts and chickpeas. In fact, it gives you all the ALA you need for the day and it’s filled with so much fibre it gives men half their daily fibre recommendation and women over two thirds! It’s a great option for a meatless meal that is still tasty while also being low in sodium and giving you almost 2 serves of vegetables for the day as well.

How often does your family go meatless? Share with us in the comments below.

What do you think?