Nutritious mung beans have been ignored for too long, says Susan Jane White, so let’s start the revolution
Given that mung rhymes with bovine excrement, these beans have not enjoyed much success outside of California. I'm confident this is about to change (so long as the tinned varieties are avoided, along with any inappropriate childhood songs).
Mung beans are a cheap food, containing a library of super-seismic nutrients. Each teeny bean is a centre of nourishment. Mung beans may not be as sexy as blueberries or raw chocolate, but they're sure to keep your brain cells on speaking terms with you. These beans will also help keep your ticker tick-tocking with generous supplies of magnesium, potassium, bioflavonoids and homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. No big deal — unless you're mortal.
MEATY MUSHROOM BURGERS
There's an underground cult forming. And I found it. Cosmic food, beautiful people, a heady atmosphere — all wrapped up in a private dining room on one of Dublin's most historic streets.
Living Dinners may be gone by the time you read this, but check out www.lovelivingdinners.com for information. It's a unique pop-up venture showcasing raw foods with a playful twist. And stunning-looking staff. It has to be only a matter of time before some clever celebrity finds out, and monopolises the head chef 's talent.
Here's one of the recipes I wrangled out of the pop-up's creator, Katie Sanderson. They're veggie burgers that defiantly fill that meaty void. We'll be sipping sangria with these guys. I threw in an extra few mushrooms and capers, but only because I have a deficit in obedience. They worked out well. Mustard, gherkins and Bell X1 are obviously compulsory companions.
You will need:
1 cup dried mung beans 3 cups seasoned water or stock 2 red onions, chopped Olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced 3 Portobello mushrooms, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce ½ cup sunflower seeds 1/3 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons capers A few turns of the salt and pepper mill Handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped Cook the dried mung beans in the seasoned water or stock, whichever you are using, for about 20-30 minutes or until cooked. Drain in a sieve and allow to dry for 10 minutes.
Saute the chopped red onions on a low heat in a little of the olive oil until glassy and translucent. Add the sliced garlic, and stir briskly for one minute to avoid burning. Transfer to a plate.
Now saute the chopped Portobello mushrooms with another splash of olive oil. After they have picked up some colour, but still have some cooking time, add a tablespoon of the tamari or soy sauce, whichever you are using, and finish cooking. Add to the plate of onions and garlic resting on the side.
In a Magimix or food processor, blitz the sunflower seeds and the walnuts until they look like breadcrumbs. Tip in the lemon juice, the capers, season with some salt and pepper and add the chopped flat-leaf parsley. Add in the onion, garlic and mushroom mixture also. Don't forget to add more tamari or soy sauce. Blitz and adjust the seasoning to taste. The mixture will be smooth and easily roll-able. Use an ice-cream scoop to measure out the bean patties. If the mix seems too wet (which can happen if the beans are overcooked), just add more milled sunflower seeds. Flatten each patty a little.
Since everything is already cooked, it's more a case of heating the burgers up. Pan-frying on a grill pan is the quickest, and will give groovy griddle lines across the burger. So too will a barbecue. You could also oven bake at a high temperature, or place them directly under a hot grill.