Bog In, Mate: Aussie Veggie Burgers and Pavlova {Australia, of course}

I was supposed to make some Costa Rican food Friday.  But then a group dinner at Ghengis Grill, one of those faux-Mongolian grills, was mentioned as a possibility.  It’d been a while seen I’d seen some of Jordan’s co-workers and their families and it sounded like a fun time.  While I am dedicated to the Pearl Project, I don’t want my blog project time to prevent me from real people time.  To the Ghengis Grill we went. Costa Rica had to wait.

But I did promise some Aussie food to celebrate Australia day (two days late).  And if I promise, I try to uphold.

It was a little rough trying to find a vegetarian Aussie meal, since many traditional recipes seemed to incorporate seafood or meat.  Sure, I could have made some damper, but we’ve made a lot of soda bread lately, and it didn’t seem like much of a stretch.  When I heard that Australian burgers are typically served with bacon and a fried egg, I knew I’d found my meal.

Meet the Aussie Black Bean Burger. (Complete with tempeh bacon and a medium egg)

Basic black bean burger recipe (Makes four patties):


  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (ground to very coarse flour)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce (if you’re trying to keep it strictly vegetarian, be sure your W. sauce is anchovy free!)
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t paprika


  1. Wash and drain beans.  Mash them with a fork or pastry cutter in a medium/large bowl.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in.
  3. Form into four patties.
  4. Heat oil in pan (or spray with cooking spray) and cook burgers for 6-8 minutes on each side.

These burgers hold together soooo much better than some of the goopy messes I have tried to pass as veggie burgers in the past.

I loved this burger.  (A fried egg helps, yeah?)  But even more than the burger, I loved dessert.

Now, if a Kiwi (New Zealander) ever reads the blog, he or she will probably disagree that pavlova is actually an Australian dessert.  But hey, the Aussies claim it, and I’ll gladly make it again when the time to make a meal from New Zealand comes around!

Pavlova is beautiful, just like it’s namesake: the ballerina Anna Pavlova.

The story goes: Anna Pavlova was visiting Australia and a dessert was made in her honor.  Naturally, it had to be light on its feet and airy…like meringue.  Pavlova is a meringue (mine used four egg whites and 3/4 cup white sugar), filled with vanilla whipping cream and fruit.

Every time I make meringue, I think of the first time I made it, which happened to be while I was in undergrad and had few kitchen tools.  No electric mixer.  I do not believe I know another person who has whipped egg white into meringue by hand.  It was a long, long night…  This time wasn’t so bad. 🙂

Often, pavlova is made with strawberries, but Jordan’s not a huge fan of them so we went with a different fruit combination.

Interesting to see the photos taken outside of the light box compared to inside of it, huh?  I love when meringue is cut, because I am always amazed at what a crumbly bit of goodness those eggs and that sugar have turned into.

I had a large slice for dessert.  And then I may or may not have had more while typing this post.  Meringue binge.  Don’t judge.  Everything is made healthier when there’s fruit on top, right?




Categories: Australasia, Desserts, Food, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

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