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Spicy Vegie Burgers with Spinach and Cannellini Beans

A great vegie hit and so satisfying. We are eating more high protein vegetarian meals during the week for good health, and this is one of our favourites with such a good spinach hit that I particularly love. Feel free to wilt some fresh spinach, but as it is mixed with the burgers I felt this was a good one for the simplicity and ease of frozen spinach, and also means the burgers can made from store cupboard whipped up midweek easily. If you don't have the time to make tzatziki* just use plain yoghurt instead, or even hummus would work well.

Pictured: Spicy Vegie Burgers with Spinach and Cannellini Beans

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small chillies, finely chopped, or substitute with 1 tbsp of a favourite spice or curry paste
1 tsp ground cumin
250g packet frozen spinach, thawed
400g can cannellini beans
125g can or 200g kidney beans
Large handful or more of fresh breadcrumbs – I like to use wholemeal or multigrain that I make myself
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or use parsley or coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Burger buns, salad and tzatziki* to serve

Heat some light olive oil or vegetable oil in a small pan and fry the onion and garlic til soft on low heat. Add the chilli/paste and cumin and fry for a minute more.

Squeeze out as much excess water from the spinach as possible – I use paper towels to wring it out after pressing as much with my hands.

Place the spinach and onion mix in a large bowl with the beans and mash to a consistency you like – I like to leave a little chunky. Add the breadcrumbs and basil – enough to soak up the excess water and help form the burgers. Season well.

With wet hands shape the mix into burgers whatever size you like and that suits the buns you bought – the mixture is delicate though so not too large. Roll them in any left-over breadcrumbs. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little.

Grill or shallow fry the burgers on each side for a few minutes til nicely browned, while toasting the burger buns.

Serve in burger buns with a good dollop of tzatziki* and salad in between.

Serves 3 – 4

*To make tzatziki (yoghurt and cucumber salad) - mix 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 1 tsp white wine vinegar and 1 clove of garlic crushed. Add 250g Greek plain yoghurt (light or full fat), and a good pinch of sea salt, and beat lightly til well amalgamated and smooth.
Mix in 5inch cucumber, that has been peeled and grated coarsely, plus ½ tsp dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh mint, lightly chill before serving. This is a great dip in its own right and delicious as a starter with bread.