Friday, 5 February 2010

Emergency Zucchini and Rice Burgers

Sylvia was going so well with her eating. Really truly. I am still not sure what went wrong but this time last week we were hanging about the Emergency Department of the Royal Children’s Hospital and wondering what had made her face swell so alarmingly. All I know is that it might have been these burgers but probably not, and even if it was, I was glad to have them to eat before running off to the hospital.
It had been such a pleasant day. Sylvia and I had been to the city. We had bought clothes for both of us and stopped at a café where I ate vegetarian sushi and Sylvia ate rice cakes in her pram. It was so lovely to sit at the pavement chairs and tables during the day out among leafy trees, cheeky birds and blue skies. Then I headed home, intending to feed Sylvia dinner and make pizza with E for our dinner.

My plans for making pizza went out the door as quickly as we did. The staff were very good at the hospital. Quick to see her, though it seems a follow up appointment will take much longer. We got home at 2am, glad to get to our own beds and even gladder that Sylvia’s face was looking slightly better. The next morning we kept looking at her face and asking ‘Do her lips look a little swollen still?’ or ‘Can you see traces of the rash around her lips lingering?’

It was a frustrating experience because I had made some burgers that I thought she was enjoying a little and I did not feed her anything that she had not tried before. The burgers were really good. I tore one up to put on Sylvia's plate and she helped herself to some of it. Maybe the egg reacted with her. My suspicions are on the strawberry yoghurt. But I am still keeping egg out of her diet for now. So the burgers that were intended to be put in the freezer for when I returned to work were suddenly off the menu.

It is a shame that she reacted when she did because the eggs were the ones from Kathleen’s chooks. I was all excited by them because there was a double yolker. It is ages since I cracked open an egg and found two yolks in it. Why don’t the eggs we buy have such wonderful surprises! Kathleen’s chooks gave me not one but two double yolkers. The second was in a nut roast that I threw together. Both burgers and nut roast used up the rice that I had intended to be a salad at my birthday lunch, as well as the backyard eggs.

I have swithered over whether to post the nut roast but it really was too good not to mention. I made it the following night to use up some failed tahini walnut balls and mashed veggies, as well as the remainder of the rice. I added a couple of eggs and grated a few carrots. This nut roast was excellent so I will give you an approximate recipe below. I loved the flavour of the tahini and the texture of the rice in it.

Sadly, nut roast with eggs also seemed too risky for Sylvia until we knew a bit more about any allergies she might have. I will tell you a bit more about her eating soon. But I recommend these burgers for small and big kids alike, allergies permitting. They are delicious with some chutney as a meal grabbed when running out the door, but I am sure they would also be lovely as finger food or a sit down meal.

Zucchini and Rice Burgers
from The Australian Women’s Weekly Vegetarian
makes about 10-12

1½ cups cooked brown rice (about
cup uncooked rice)
3 medium zucchini (about 360g), grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley (I probably used a bit more)
2 tsp seasoned pepper (I didn’t use much black pepper because I wasn’t sure if Sylvia would like it)
2 eggs
1 cup stale breadcrumbs
125g can of creamed corn
oil for cooking

Mix all ingredients except oil to make a thickish batter. Use hands to shape handfuls into burgers-shaped patties. Brush with oil and place under the grill to cook till golden brown on both sides. (This can take a while). NB the recipe said to fry in a frypan but I find it easier to fry under the grill (or broiler).

Tahini walnut roast

With inspiration from the Vegetarian Society

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
6floz/175ml tahini
6oz/175g walnuts crushed
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp coriander seeds. crushed
2 thick slices of wholemeal bread, finely grated
1-2 cups of cooked brown rice
about 1 cup of mashed vegies (I used a potato, pumpkin and white bean mash)
2 eggs
3 carrots, grated

Mix everything together and spoon into a silicone loaf tin (or a well greased and lined tin). Use the back of a spoon to smooth it down. Cook for about an hour at 180 C. It should be firm and starting to brown on top when it is ready. Stand for 10-15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cook.

On the Stereo:
Illusia: Dark Lily


  1. Ack! How scary! I'm glad Sylvia is OK, but sorry she can't have any more of those yummy sounding burgers.

    I have read a theory of allergy that while some foods are OK on their own, particular combinations of things can be problematic for certain people, so for example eggs might be fine, and zucchini might be fine, but eggs + zucchini might not be.

    I hope you can find out what's behind it all.

  2. Poor little Sylvia! But the burgers do sound excellent.

    Had she had corn before? Corn is actually one of the top 10 allergens (as are strawberries and eggs!). It's so frustrating to have a reaction and not know what caused it (as I well know!). But I must say your emergency services sound a lot more efficient than ours over here (12 hour wait for my hubby to see someone).

  3. MMMMMMM,..a lovely outside in the city!

    Your zucchini & rice burgers sing to me!! They look awesome!!


  4. So sorry to hear about your awful night, but glad that it all settled down. The burgers do look wonderful (even if I was confused upon loading this page as I honestly thought they looked like pork!) - is it the kind of recipe taht could work with something like a flax egg replacement?

  5. Wow, this is something hta I would definitely try to make...looks so yummie and yet very healthy :-)

  6. Oh dear :( I hope it is not an egg allergy. My kid sister had a severe egg allergy as a kid, bad enough that she could not even get immunizations where the virus was grown in eggs. But it was still not something that got in the way of her being able to enjoy most foods.

  7. I hope Sylvia is all better now. Your burgers look really good too!

  8. another yummy delight and I'll be so glad of this recipe when the summer courgette glut happens again.
    Thanks for my birthday wish. Not the best birthday I ever had - no cake and ill in bed, boooo. So we're moving my birthday to next month.
    I found the Rose Elliot low carb book in the library last week so perhaps I'll find a suitable treat in there to make.

  9. Poor Sylvia. It must have gave you such a horrible scare! If it is an egg allergy, I know lots of egg free recipes :-)

  10. Glad to hear Sylvia is ok now, but it must have been very frightening for you all. At least they saw her quickly at the hospital. Hope the follow up appointment isn't too far away, I'm sure you want to find out what happened if possible.

    The burgers look great too - your meals always look so colourful and inviting!

  11. Oh my goodness - that sounds very scary. I hope you've all recovered now, and that you find out what it was that caused it. What a shame you didn't get to enjoy the burger properly - they sound lovely!

  12. Thanks Kathleen - I love your theory - E keeps saying it is the additives but at the hospital they were saying that the reaction is to a protein - once we get an appt we might understand it better

    Thanks Ricki - she had had corn before - but not this canned cream corn - again it seems unlikely to be the additives - but who knows - and the benefit of an allergic reaction is that jumped the queue in front of many people waiting around to be seen - it is an emergency that just wont wait if the throat is swelling - which fortunately Sylvia's wasn't or it would have been more serious

    Thanks Sophie - it is the weather for outside right now

    Thanks Hannah - they taste better than pork - I swear (even though the taste of pork is a distant memory - Sylvia could probably give you a more accurate comparison as I hear human tastes quite like pork and she loves to bite one of our fingers or toes if possible) - I need to experiment with flax eggs more

    Thanks Juliana - yes, I think they are quite healthy as well as tasting great

    Thanks Nupur - I am pretty sure it is not an egg allergy (tested it with a lamington today and no reaction) - as I don't like eggs much I would not bother about avoiding them a lot of the time - except it is a pain when you buy food in shops or cafes

    Thanks Vicki - Sylvia is fine thanks - even in the hospital she was playing about and having a great time playing with a cord they were trying to attach to her toe

    Thanks Nic - sorry your birthday was a fizzer - moving it sounds like a good idea - and a courgette glut sounds like a wonderful thing when I find a great recipe like this - enjoy the rose elliot cookbook - she has such great ideas

    Thanks Kristy - the wonderful thing about vegan blogs is not feeling limited by restricting our diet because there are so many great eggless recipes etc - as I mentioned above I don't think it is an egg allergy, but I am trying to avoid feeding sylvia eggs for now

    Thanks C - I hope the follow up appt is not too far away - we were told we should hear from the hospital in 3 working days and when I rang after not hearing I was told it would be 10 working days to even get an appt

    Thanks Lysy - it was a shame that we had to gulp down the burgers and run out the door but I was glad to have some decent food before going to the hospital where I knew there would be nothing to satisfy me

  13. Hope Sylvia has not had any recurrences. Love those little chubby hand shots! Both the burgers and the nut loaf sound tasty - hopefully Sylvia's allergy is not to eggs.

  14. recipe sounds great, so sorry about Sylvia, keep an eye on her Gluten intake, my grandson has Celiac Disease, he was diagnosed at age 4, his only symptom was gigantic swollen hives about 3 inches in diameter all over his body.

  15. Hi Yardsailor - thanks for the tip - so far no allergy has been diagnosed - Sylvia's cousin and aunt have celiacs so I am quite aware of them but the doctor wasn't interested in testing for it - I am hoping the reaction was because of an immature immune system but time will tell if she has other reactions


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