I was vegan for ten years. My culinary training as a Chef has all been plant-based and I am so grateful for the innovative cutting-edge training I have been so fortunate to receive. Even though I eat meat now, most of my diet is comprised of whole food plants and I recommend this for everyone. Not only do plants contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, healthy fats, protein (yes proteins!) they are our most abundant source of an often overlooked macro-nutrient, fiber! Fiber is food for our good gut-buddies in our microbiota and a fiber rich diet helps them to proliferate and thrive. If they thrive, you do too seeings as we are mostly made up of microbes, ten to one human cell respectively! Yes, we are a walking talking eco-system with our microbes basically running the show (hello gut-brain axis.)
Fiber also puts weight in our stomach where we have stretch receptors to tell our brain that we are full. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that makes us ‘HANGRY’ (sounds like a gremlin because it is!) It requires weight in our stomach to shut it down – enter fiber. Further, fiber slows the release of glucose into the blood stream which makes it paramount to blood sugar balance regulation. Our ancestors ate approx. 100g of fiber each day and most of us are deficient hovering around 12g or less per day! No wonder people suffer from so many gut issues and inflammation. We can all agree that we need more plants on our plate and I recommend ¾ of your plate be mostly non-starchy plants that grow above the ground!
Now, back to these mouth watering burgers. As a chef, I used to hold ‘private kitchens,’ and worked with some celebrity chefs here in Hong Kong and abroad. We would hold exclusive evenings or lunches where we would showcase innovative plant-based culinary dishes. This burger was a hit with all of the ‘meat eaters,’ – it did not disappoint. Most of the pre-frozen store bought burger patties today contain a lot of unnecessary junk and fillers to include grain and soy, which can act as an endocrine disruptor in many people. When we aren’t making my pasture raised grass-fed burgers we are making these and we love to pair them with my Mexican sweet potato wedges, or home made skin-on fries in the oven. We pull out our frozen pre-made clean keto buns from the freezer to defrost then we grill them for a minute or two on the BBQ, or pop them into the oven to make them warm. We sometimes prefer to pop these patties into lettuce/ collard wraps too with all of the toppings below – just do you! 🙂