When I was recently asked if I’d review Donna Hay’s newest book Fresh and Light, I have to admit to jumping out of my office chair and doing a little dance! I’ve been a huge fan of Donna’s for a while now. Donna Hay is Australia’s leading food editor, author and publisher. Not only does she publish her own Donna Hay Magazine, but she’s the author of twenty cookbooks, a weekly newspaper column and a creator of beautiful homewares, with her own general store in Sydney. What has always drawn me to her work is her approach to using fresh and seasonal ingredients in creating beautiful and simple recipes. This book is no exception. In fact, this book is the epitome of fresh, simple and healthy.
The book itself is really beautiful. Its full-sized, lush images will have you battling between running into the kitchen to get cooking or lingering in your chair to devour each page. Each dish is photographed so beautifully…simple and elegant. Yet, her creative flair doesn’t leave you feeling inadequate or incapable of reproducing these recipes. In fact, they leave you inspired and finding that there is nothing more gorgeous (or doable) than pure simplicity.
I found the format of the book really interesting. I love that within each section, Donna gives you six variations on several recipes. For example, she gives you her basic frittata recipe on one page, then in just a flip, you’ve got two pages of full size images of six mouthwatering frittatas with simple adaptations below. And, isn’t that they way we all cook? We all have our go-to recipes that we change up with different seasonal ingredients. This book gives you more of those great recipes that you’ll use over and over again.
The most difficult part of reviewing this book was choosing one recipe to adapt. After bookmarking some favorites with sticky notes, the book began to look more like a flower. I finally chose this quinoa and chickpea burger because I’ve been searching for a great veggie burger recipe for the longest time. I love veggie based burgers. They can be really versatile and they are such a great way to incorporate plant based ingredients and reduce the amount of meat we eat. I was really happy with this recipe. There are so many flavorful elements between the cumin, cilantro and jalapeño. The Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise is the perfect accompaniment with its fresh herb and citrusy flavor. We will be making these often.
I’d love to share a copy of this wonderful book with one of you. Harper Collins and Donna Hay generously agreed to send one of my readers a copy of their own. Enter here!
Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
Adapted slightly from Donna Hay, Fresh and Light
1/2 C. white quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh sieve
1 C. vegetable stock
2 slices whole wheat bread
16 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/4 C. cilantro leaves
1 t. ground cumin
1 small jalapeño, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
olive oil, for brushing
4 whole wheat flatbreads
mixed greens, tomato slices and avocado for serving
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise (recipe below)
Combine the quinoa and vegetable stock in a small covered saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside and cool slightly.
In a food processor, add the whole wheat bread slices. Pulse until you get fine breadcrumbs. Add the chickpeas, quinoa, egg, cilantro, cumin, jalapeño, red pepper, sea salt and pepper. Process in short bursts until finely chopped. You can divide the mixture into 4 large patties or into 8 smaller ones. Brush each pat tie with some olive oil and place in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
Serve over flatbread with mixed greens, tomato, avocado and Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise.
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
1/3 C. mayonnaise
juice of one lime
1/8 C. cilantro leaves
Combine ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender. Process until smooth.
- These burgers can be made in advance and reheated. Either pop them into a hot oven for about 5 minutes or in a fry pan over medium heat. They are just as wonderful!
- If you’d rather not eat them with flatbread, try topping some mixed greens off with the burger, adding some chopped tomato and cubes of avocado then drizzle the top with the mayo. That’s what I had for lunch today…delicious!
- Donna makes her own tofu mayo that sounds incredible! I just used regular mayonnaise made with olive oil. If you’d like to lighten things up a bit, use a nice thick Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise. I’ve made it both ways!
Take a peek at some other blogger reviews of Fresh and Light!
Polenta Crust Tomato Tart from Taste and Tell
Breakfast Parfait from Wonkey Wonderful
Twice Cooked Quinoa with Chipotle and Lime Chicken from A Family Feast