Lentil Burgers with Mushroom Buns.

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Veggie burgers are one of those things that can be REALLY delicious, but REALLY messy to eat. I hate biting into a burger only to have most of the patty squish out the end of the bun! I am already a messy enough eater! These guys however, are the best burger patties I have made. I would recommend cooking your own lentils – it really doesn’t take that long and it is totally worth it!

For a few weeks I haven’t really felt like myself – which has also meant I haven’t felt like doing a lot of the things I love to do, like cooking!

After a few rough weeks I am feeling better than ever and what a way to get back in the swing of things than with an awesome burger recipe! Life has a funny way of throwing you a challenge when you least expect it. That’s definitely a cliche – but it doesn’t make it any less true!

A little while ago now, (almost 7 months but who is counting ;)) I met the most amazing man boy :P! Normally on the blog I don’t really go into too much detail about these things but this guy deserves a special mention! You may have noticed my posts mention this guy, “Nate” anyway…

…In such a short time he has become my best friend and I cannot remember life without him – we train together, we play together and we even cook together! He is now my official taste tester, although I have my suspicions he may be a little biased!IMG_6540

I cannot imagine where my life would be now without knowing him, and without having his support and encouragement. So Nate, please accept this as my little thank you note to you!

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And for everyone else, sorry about the soppiness – but I feel you have to acknowledge the good things in life… especially while they are unfolding around you!

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The bits and pieces

1 cup green lentils

4 cups water

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/3 cup coriander, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

2 Tbsp flax seeds

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 red chillies, finely chopped

salt + pepper, to taste

 

1/2 zucchini, cut into thin strips

4 large flat mushrooms

lettuce, tomato, avocado, mustard, to serve

2 potatoes, washed and cut into chips

 

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Pre-heat oven to 150°C.

In a medium sized saucepan, add water and lentils and bring to the boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Remove from heat and drain.

Add lentils, flour, spices, seeds and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine.

Roll into burger patties – this recipe should make at least 8. Place on a plate and put in freezer to set.

While burgers are in freezer, pop chips into oven with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper.IMG_6490

Fire up the BBQ or heat oil in a large pan. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Hint: I wet my mushrooms before I cook them to avoid having to smother them in oil!

Remove mushrooms from pan or if using a BBQ, place them on the warming rack.

Grab burgers from the freezer and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until browned.

Cook zucchini for about 1-2 minutes until softened.

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Remove chips from the oven (they should take about 20-25 minutes to crisp up) and construct burgers using the mushrooms as the bun. We cut up some iceberg, added avocado, tomato and mustard and hot chilli sauce!

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Enjoy!

Brickie xx

 

 

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Topping it off in Turkey.

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I jumped on yet another plane and headed for another country.

Turkey!

After Rome, I was well and truly ready to see my family. I had no idea what to expect.

7 nights on a boat with 19 family and friends, including my mum. Recipe for disaster?!

The older I get, the more appreciative of my family I become. I have so many first cousins with whom I catch up with on a regular basis, I’d consider them more siblings than cousins! And all of my Aunties and Uncles provide such a loving support network.

Here’s to family…!

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Yep, someones gotta love em!

…I arrived late in the evening with my Aunty and Uncles close friends Marta and Riccardo, who I happened to stand next to on my bus out to the plane.

The  hotel we stayed at was hilarious. Anybody who has seen The Inbetweeners movie, imagine that X 10. Lads and ladettes everywhere!

The following morning we headed off to Marmaris to hop aboard our boat.

Wow.

It was HUGE! Every room slept 2 people, had a private ensuite for each and so, so many sun beds and tables for cards!

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The guys doing some planning.

 

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This was going to be awesome.

We had the greatest crew. They were all lovely and helped make our time on the boat something special.

Our crew!
Our crew!

Every morning we would wake up eat breakfast, have a nap and then the card games would start. I don’t think more games of Euka have ever been played!

Most of us were keen swimmers and every day when we would drop anchor someone would pick a spot for the morning swim… trying to earn breakfast!!

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We sailed to some amazing spots – Turkey is such a gorgeous country. I jumped off some cliffs with my cousins, and the boat and watched the girls learn how to do backflips from the boys!

We all got to share in the celebrations of Matt and Emma’s engagement too. I hear this squeal and Em comes bounding down from the front of the boat sporting an amazing new piece of bling!! It was so great to share that with everyone.

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The dynamics on the boat worked so well too. 20 people in each others space for a week, could go either way. Luckily, it worked perfectly!

…and SO many cocktails thanks to our main man Koray!

The Turkish Kiss!
The Turkish Kiss!

One night, a couple of my cousins and I decided it would be a great idea after about 1000 cocktails each to go for a swim. This would have been fine – if we didn’t decide to skinny dip then run around whacking people sleeping up on deck on the head with noodles.

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Again, everyone was such good sports and didn’t seem to mind too much. We were however banned from late night drunken swimming after that… I don’t really know why!!!?

I slept on deck every night and it was amazing watching the sunrise each morning.

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This was the most relaxing holiday I have ever experienced. It consisted of eating, drinking, reading, swimming, cards, charades, giggles, music, the worm and more eating.

I WILL be doing this for my 30th in the totally distant future!!

Oh and the food… OH MY GOSH, the food.

Our chef Janus (excuse the spelling) produced some of the most amazing feasts I have ever experienced out of his little kitchen. This guy worked HARD to cook us the most wonderful meals and afternoon tea… I’m also blaming him for the majority of the SIX KILOS I put on while on holidays (although all the food was SO fresh, it’s pretty obvious it wasn’t from that….)

Here’s just a small selection of food shots…

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This truly was a trip of a lifetime, shared with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met!

And a massive thank you to Sue and Phil for making this happen.

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xx

 

 

 

All of us!
All of us!

Roughed up in Roma.

After an awesome night out in Barcelona, I hopped on a plane feeling a little worse for wear and headed to Roma!

Ahhhhh Rome, I had heard so much about this beautiful city and couldn’t wait to explore.

I dropped off my bags and quickly headed out before the sun went down. I had booked a cute little place where I had my own room but shared kitchen and bathroom. It was a beautiful old apartment in a really shitty part of town.

Dammit!

I walked around for a while not straying too far from my apartment and found a place to sit down and eat.

First mistake.

My waiter quickly took a liking to me and asked me for a drink when he finished work. I was umming and ahhhing about it because I thought he was full on and my instincts were telling me it wasn’t the best idea. Finally he said “Well I finish at 10 so come back down here if you want to have a drink”.

I went home, messaged a few friends asking what should I do – that should’ve been the indication right there… after a while I decided bugger it – it’ll be nice to go have a chat with someone and get out in rome – after all “When in Rome…”

Second mistake.

I arrived and first thing old mate does is grab me on the butt – yeah, this was never going to end well.

We walked down to a pub and had a drink, all the while he’s attempting to grope me and I’m attempting to exit.

After what was far too long I ended up making a speedy exit – not before he asked to come and lay with me in my room and casually stuck his hand up my skirt.

Yeah – good try buddy.

So after that I didn’t really venture out in Roma after dark.

The following morning I got up early and walked and walked and walked!!

First stop – Colosseum…

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Ooooh a Fiat in Rome!

I then stopped to get some gelati before visiting the Trevi Fountain.

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While walking around near the Trevi Fountain, I saw this guy killing it with a spray can. There are heaps of these people all over Rome but this guy was unreal! I watched him complete 2 paintings in the space of 10 minutes.

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I bought the picture of The Colosseum for my friends and carted it all over Rome and into Turkey before leaving it behind somewhere!

I also visited the Altare della Patria, also known as the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.

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This thing is HUGE! I mean, everything in Rome is huge but this was crazy – inside I saw some really cool artefacts from Italy’s war efforts.

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First fixie perhaps?

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The next morning I headed straight to the Pantheon.

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I was blown away by this building. It was definitely one of my favourite sites in Rome.

I had read that “Rome’s Best Coffee” was situated right near The Pantheon so I had to stop in. The coffee was pretty good, typically Italian.

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The latte art, however!

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I sampled some more gelati on my way to Vatican City…

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I then hung out in Campo de’ Fiori and snacked on some truffle bruschetta and an awesome salad.

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Aside from the creepy guy on the first night I really enjoyed the sites of Rome. It is like walking around a museum and everything is MASSIVE! It was awesome seeing all these places you hear about in school and university.

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I did feel hassled in Rome though – I think the blonde hair drew attention which was a shame. I definitely would stay in another area next time and I think I would enjoy it heaps more walking around having someone to share it with!

After 3 days of walking in Rome it was time for Turkey! YEW! Meeting up with family sailing on The Med. Hells yeah!

Speak soon!

Brickie.