Purple, Green & Gold © 2012 kit

Purple, Green & Gold

More than a week ago, I finally got around to soaking some mung beans to sprout them. I’ve never attempted that before, and I’ve since learnt that the fat-root commercial variety is probably weighted down to encourage growth. But having more vegetables available is a welcome addition to meals, especially one which contains a dose of protein.

With Summer slowly winding down, the salad leaves and herbs seem to be lapping the rather generous sunlight. It also has encouraged us to more cycling, gardening and BBQ-ing; and with a certain duo some strategies to eat less (it never seems too hot to lose your appetite in the UK!). One benefit also: reducing meat intake by replacing it with more vegetables is budget friendly (so more change for lounging in the beer gardens perhaps?)

With salad and a lower calorie burger in mind, I have been mulling over reducing the calories even more: by ‘veganizing’ it! It wasn’t intentional – ‘vegetarian’ was all I was aiming for but it turned out I didn’t need any egg. Paired with some capsicum kicking around and a bit of Yvan’s deliciously marinated seared beef steak slices (skirt – another budget friendly item) the resulting lunch was filling, tasty and hopefully lower in energy density.

Purple, Green & Gold

Top tier

Bottom tier

Top tier contents: salad leaves with slices of marinated beef skirt, nori tamagoyaki, rice with red kidney beans and sesame seeds.

Bottom tier contents: ‘Purple’ bean burgers on a perilla leaf, stir-fried bean sprout, yellow and green capsicum with marinade dressing.

Though Yvan did not like how the cut of skirt being on the chewy side, I find that it actually enhances it: the marinade that has penetrated deeply bursts out as you chew. And, the more you chew the fuller you feel – though the flavour alone makes me want to savour each bite. The quick stir-fry – which was dry-fried and lightly salted only – was made extremely edible with additional marinade.

For the burgers, I was surprised how they kept a strange purple/maroon colour and thus served it on a massive perilla leaf to match..

'Purple' Bean Burgers

'Purple' Bean Burgers


  • 1/2 red onion, fine diced
  • 20g bean sprouts, diced
  • 20g green capsicum, fine diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, fine minced
  • 230g red kidney beans (tinned), rinsed and drained


  1. Mash the beans in a large enough bowl (rather mush by machine to retain some texture and fibre).
  2. Heat a tiny bit of oil in a frypan. On high heat, toss around the red onion. After 30 seconds add the sprouts.
  3. When the onion begins to become aromatic, add the capsicum and the garlic and stir-fry.
  4. Once the garlic becomes aromatic, stir-fry for a further 30 seconds to a minute then add the cooked ingredients to the mashed beans.
  5. When cool, use a tablespoon (or two) to shape into small 'slider'-sized patties an put onto a lightly floured surface. Heat the oven to 200 C. Chill the patties in the fridge to help keep their shape.
  6. Once the oven has reached temperature carefully transfer the patties onto a silicon-lined tray. Spray some vegetable oil lightly on the surface of each burger and cook for 25 - 30 minutes.
  7. Remove tray and carefully flip patties over. Switch off the oven. Leave patties in the cooling oven to dry out the bottoms.

The nine little burgers end up crispy on the outside when fresh – the light oiling and the rough surface of the mash helped with this. I can’t help but think of using the rest in sliders, each with a little slice of crispy bacon – oh well, I don’t think I can survive as a vegetarian!

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