Spiced Squash & Chickpea Burger

Call it an overdose of meat in Argentina, or an acknowledgement that none of my clothes fit and it’s time to get a little healthier. I want to feel good, and I want to feel lighter. I want to feel like I did 2 years ago before I started to over indulge in this crazy little blog world of mine, and gain weight. So expect some healthier recipes from me here, and the occasional over indulgence.

I can’t diet, I love food too much. I can make lighter, nutritious food that still tastes great and sates my appetite. Ceviche is a perfect example of delicious food that is gorgeous and that won’t pork your waistline. I plan to dedicate my summer to cooking food like this, eating it and blogging it. Hopefully, at the end of it my clothes will fit too. There will be some exercise also – I cycled 15 miles yesterday. And the essential, occasional blowout. Yeehaw!

Recently, a veggie friend came for lunch so I made some lovely veggie burgers. I can never understand why veggie burgers are so crap! Beans and lentils are fabulous so why do they become so nasty in a burger? Because they are crap processed beans I expect. These were perfect for the glorious summer day that we met, light and packed with flavour. I wanted to show my veggie friend that she could have fun at a bbq too.

Chickpeas! What’s not to love? And pumpkin / squash, well I am sold. Spices, well, yes of course. Garlic, fresh coriander, uh-huh. You see where I am going with this. A gooey pattie shaped into a ball, squished and fried and there you have a glorious veggie burger ready to tuck into a bun and be devoured.

Note on the ingredients: These burgers really benefit from home cooked chickpeas but you can try tinned ones too. They will be a little soggier, get the best ones you can and drain them well. Expect the patty to be a little sticky, you don’t want it to be dry after you cook it after all. You will need to roast the pumpkin in advance, any leftovers will make a lovely soup.

Recipe: Spiced Squash & Chickpea Vegetarian Burgers

Ingredients:

300g homecooked or 1 drained tin of chickpeas
300g roast squash or pumpkin, mashed (the weight is after it is roasted – use the rest for a soup!)
75g plain flour, sieved (just to remove any lumps)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander leaves chopped

Method

If your pumpkin is very wet, drain it in a sieve. You won’t need to do this for butternut squash.
Mash with the chickpeas using a potato masher, don’t blend or it will become too gooey, you want it to be rough, with approx half of the chickpeas well mashed.
Toast the spices in a dry pan over a medium heat until fragrant (no more tan a couple of minutes) and grind in a pestle and mortar.
Fry the chilli and ginger for a few minutes in a little oil, then add the garlic for a further minute, and finally the spices and fry for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Add to the pumpkin and chickpeas with the coriander leaves and flour, mix thoroughly and season to taste.
Shape into little round balls (they should be sticky), then squash until about 1 cm thick.
Fry for 3 – 4 minutes on each side and serve hot.

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Niamh

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