Bring on summer (and my secret obsession with American mustard)

Finally, a bit of heat over the weekend. Back to being covered in miscellaneous bug bites and sunscreen. The kids are loving the longer days, although trying to get them into bed while it’s still twilight is a challenge. Then they’re up at the crack of dawn (as is the new kitten). I always forget how sleep deprived and cranky they get at this time of year!

As the weather warms up I’m always trying out new recipes that are a bit lighter and use more salad ingredients. Rest assured, I can find a way to stuff some vegies into nearly anything and this burger is a great example. Once you’ve tried burgers with extra hidden ingredients, you won’t want to go back to the bland, supermarket ones. There’s just so much more flavour and texture to enjoy in these.

Melting cheese over the top of the pattie does a double job of hiding the bits that aren’t brown and luring the children to eat more… more… MORE!

While I don’t deliberately avoid McDonalds, it does seem as though I can usually find a lot of other places I like to eat at first, so it’s with real glee that my kids like to tuck into a burger ‘just like McDonalds’.

The bun in the picture below is all fancy looking, but I usually serve them in the regular supermarket ‘sugar bread’ buns to get that real authentic burger vibe going on. And my secret, guilty pleasure – American mustard – is a great addition. Even if you’re already using the relish and tomato sauce, there’ll still be a place for a bit of the iridescent yellow stuff.

Here’s the recipe for the burger pattie – the relish recipe can be found in the new Vegie Smugglers 2 cookbook. Did you see that I’ve discounted the postage on it for a bit? It’s my way of apologising for any inconvenience as I find myself out of stock on Vegie Smugglers 1 until late November.

Guilty pleasure... American mustard on this is trashy but tastes great.


500g lean beef mince
250g chickpeas, rinsed, drained (about half a cup)
1 carrot, peeled, grated
½ red capsicum, seeded, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked

Olive oil
4 cheese slices

To serve: Bread rolls or burger buns, tomato slices, lettuce, onion relish (recipe in the book), tomato sauce, American mustard.

Place the mince in a large bowl. Use a stick blender to blitz the chickpeas, carrot, capsicum and parsley. You can do this by hand, but the blender is good for lazy people like me.

Add the chickpea mixture, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg and black pepper to the bowl with the mince and use your hands to combine and make good-sized patties. Squeeze them firmly, then shape into thin patties.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the patties and squish down to 1-centimetre thick. This helps them cook through and makes them easier for small kids to eat.

Cook for 5 minutes, gently flip over and cook the other side for 4–5 minutes until cooked through. While the second side is cooking, place a cheese slice on top and let it melt over.

Serve the burgers on bread rolls or buns, topped with tomato, lettuce and onion relish.


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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Meghan said,

    Hi, I love this recipe but wondered if you need to include the egg? I have a child with an egg allergy.

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      You can try leaving it out, but I suspect the mixture will crumble apart. Still, if you use a hotdog bun, you can make them more like ‘sloppy joes’ – they’ll still be yummy!

  2. 3

    Rosie W said,

    There’s nothing trashy about American squeezy mustard – I was super surprised when I read the ingredients on the side of mine, it’s just mustard seeds and vinegar and salt!

  3. 5

    Helen-Claire said,

    Love American mustard! Nothing beats cooking homemade hamburgers on the bbq in warm weather.

  4. 6

    Kieran said,

    Howdy excellent blog! Does running a blog similar to this
    require a lot of work? I’ve absolutely no understanding of coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply wanted to ask. Appreciate it!

  5. 8

    Anne said,

    re Meghan’s question – i always leave egg out of my (similar) home made burgers and they don’t fall apart…I think the trick is to refrigerate for half an hour or after making them so to help them hold together

  6. 9

    […] authentic-looking beef burgers from Veggie Smugglers are secretly hiding chickpeas, capsicum and carrot inside their delicious meat pattie. The layer of […]

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