If you have been following my social media and caught last weeks recipe post you will know my husband and I, along with Carissa at the JCN Clinic are undergoing an experimental ‘vegan week’. The weeks intension is to show you how to eat a balanced vegan diet (inclusive of these Adzuki Bean & Mushroom Burgers) and to also highlight some of the pitfalls along the way. My husband has been documenting his journey day by day on my Facebook page, which you can watch here.
Therefore, it was understandably fitting this week to go with a vegan recipe. I wanted to pick something that really paid homage to a selection of key nutrients and macronutrients that can easily become deficient in a vegan diet. These adzuki bean and mushroom burger patties are all about providing ample protein and sustainable complex carbohydrates, along with an added boost of iron. You can read more about the nutritional information below.
So how are we going with the whole vegan thing? It’s not too bad. I mean its not amazing to be honest. I’m finding the limitations of ingredients frustrating as a cook who is used to having a wider playing field. Texturally too its challenging, as there is a lot of ‘soft’ food. I miss tearing into things with my teeth (#sorrynotsorry) You can create texture with frying and crisping up ingredients but the texture of meat itself is obviously quite unique.
Actually the main foods I am missing are eggs. I adore eggs and find them so versatile. I always feel horrible when I have to deliver the news to clients that they have an egg intolerance. Any other food can generally be substituted relatively easily, but not eggs. Unless you live close to Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne getting a vegan poached egg for breakfast is simply not going to happen. Then there is mayonnaise. Oh mayonnaise how I miss thee.
Would I maintain a vegan diet? No, I personally definitely wouldn’t. I’ve been there before actually (close to 5 years in my early twenties) in a much less balanced way, so its fun to experience a vegan diet how it ‘should be’, however I have no desire to stay vegan. Now what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander, each to their own. It’s just my personal preference.
I have enjoyed eating less meat overall, but I must admit this was something that I was already doing as I function really well on a variety of protein sources. I think what will come of this experiment more so is a willingness for my husband to come to the party and be more excepting of a few less meat meals throughout our week in exchange for plant based protein. A few months back he couldn’t get his head around a meal not being a real meal if it didn’t have meat in it. I think this will be the best outcome for us as we move forward.
By the time this post goes live it will be Friday and there will be only two days left of vegan week. I’m interested to see how the weekend goes for my husband with eating out. More so, I’m interested to see how the weeks ahead go and how this experience will imprint change in our future. xx
adzuki bean & mushroom burgers
- makes 6 patties
- preparation time
- 10 minutes plus preparation of adzuki beans if making from scratch
- cooking time
- 8 – 10 minutes
- 2 cups of ready to use adzuki beans (see note)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1 carrot, roughly diced
- 1/2 onion, roughly diced
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
- salt and pepper to season
Note: If you have time I suggest buying hard adzuki beans and soaking them for 24 hours. I use the method found in “Grown & Gathered” Cookbook, which you can find online here. Allow yourself a full day for soaking and 30 minutes of simmering your beans if using this technique. Otherwise just use canned adzuki beans if you prefer.
In a large mixing bowl combine the adzuki beans and flaxseed meal. Mash with a potato masher till about two thirds of the beans are broken down (you want to leave some whole for texture). Set aside.
Place the carrot, onion, garlic, fresh herbs and mushrooms all into a blender and blend on a low setting untill well combined. It should resemble a thick paste. Spoon out the mushroom mixture from the blender and add to the adzuki beans with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix well ensuring everything is well combined.
Form the mixture into patties using your hands. You should have enough mixture to make around 6 patties. At this stage you can freeze them until you are ready to use if you like.
To cook, heat a heavy based fry pan to medium heat and add a generous amount of coconut oil or quality heat stable oil. Add the patties and allow them to cook on one side for a good 4 minutes or so, basically until nice and golden brown underneath and forming a crust. Flip the patties over and cook on the other side till golden, around another 4 minutes. You can flip them over again if you like to get a really good crust, just ensure they do not burn.
Remove patties from the heat and place on some absorbent paper to slightly cool or onto plates if you are eating them straight away. These adzuki bean and mushroom patties are delicious on burgers and with some goat cheese or nut cheese as pictured here.
- Id like to say there is some B12 in these burger patties but that would be a lie. You are not going to find adequate amounts of B12 in a vegan diet. They are minute amounts in some seaweed/algae products such as dried purple laver (nori), tempeh (due to bacterial fermentation) spirulina and nutritional yeast but not enough to maintain your levels long term in a western diet. That is why B12 needs to be supplemented with vegan diets. Deficiency signs of low B12 can include fatigue, tingling and numbness in the extremities, blurred vision, poor concentration and focus and even a swollen tongue. Low B12 is quite serious and its lack of availability in a vegan diet needs to be considered when venturing into a vegan lifestyle.
- Interestingly, a 2014 study on Vitamin B12-Containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians found that Consumption of approximately 4 g of dried purple laver (Vitamin B12 content: 77.6 g /100 g dry weight) supplies the RDA of 2.4 g/day. This high intake of nori is seen in countries such as Japan where several sheets of nori are often served for breakfast daily. If one was aiming to get B12 from their diet as a vegan this study highlights the importance of quality and quantity intake to ascertain adequate B12 dietary levels. (F. Watanabe, et al 2014)
- Adkuki beans contain a good amount of protein (around 8 grams per cup, similar to and egg) and carbohydrates combined. They are also rich in fibre and provide ample prebiotic fuel for our gut bacteria. Adzuki beans are also rich in folate and rich in minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese and copper. Their abundance of minerals along with their protein content makes them a great choice for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.