A Mostly Plant Burger

In his brilliant book ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ Michael Pollan outlined a foolproof approach to healthy eating –


Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


It is sage advice, but with busy lives and kid palates to cater for, it can be challenging to achieve the mostly plants bit.  Adopting a plant rich diet is also good for the planet – 20 servings of vegetables create fewer greenhouse gas emissions than 1 serving of beef.


This is my version of the Superiority Burger – the plant based burger from the cafe of the same name.  I have added an egg to boost the protein content, and melted cheese, for taste and shape retention.


There are a few parts, so it’s not a last minute dinner option.  The recipe makes 8 patties – eat some tonight and freeze the rest.  Shaped patties frozen between sheets of baking paper make an easy meal the next time you need some plant power.




1 cup of dried quinoa

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

3 tsp fennel seeds, ground

1 cup of cooked chickpeas

1 tsp vinegar

½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup walnuts, chopped  

1 egg

Olive oil for frying

Cheese slices

For burger assembly

Burger buns

Butter, melted

Tomato sauce

Mayonnaise or avocado

Lettuce or spinach leaves

Sliced pickles or sauerkraut


Rinse the dried quinoa under cold running water, then add to a saucepan with 375ml of water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to low, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.  Place the cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl and leave to cool.

Fry the diced carrots in a saucepan with a small amount of olive oil on moderate heat until they are soft and crispy on the edges.  Set aside to cool.

Fry diced onion in a small amount of olive oil until it is soft. Add fennel and fry until fragrant.  Add the chickpeas, and stir frequently until they are tender. Pour in the vinegar, and mash coarsely with a potato masher.

Combine the chickpea mixture with the cooled quinoa, and add the carrot, bread crumbs, walnuts and egg.  Mix everything together, then shape ½ cup of mixture into a pattie. 

Fry the patties on one side in a small amount of olive oil until crispy. I find cooking them in an egg ring helps them retain their shape.  Gently turn them over, top with a slice of cheese, and continue frying, about 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bottom is crispy.


To assemble the burgers

Slice your buns in half, brush the cut side with a bit of butter and toast cut side up under the grill until brown.  Spread tomato sauce on the bottom bun, then add pickles or sauerkraut, the patty, tomato and greens. Spread mayonnaise or avocado on the bun top, put it all together and enjoy.