- 600g chickpeas (one & a half tins)
- spring onions, 5
- turmeric, 1 tsp
- cumin, 1 tsp
- grated fresh ginger, thumb-sized piece
- garlic cloves, 2
- grated lemon zest, 1
- Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp
- fresh coriander, handful
- fresh mint, handful
- large egg, 1
- salt, half tsp
- sundried tomatoes, 4 (optional)
- plain flour or gluten-free flour for coating the burgers, 4 tbsp
- vegetable oil for frying, 1- 2 tbsp
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Blitz but don’t go mad – you want the burgers to keep some texture.
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat with a tbsp of oil.
Shape the mixture into burgers. Coat in flour. Fry for approximately 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
These go incredibly well with sweet chilli sauce.
Wednesday 25th March
We walk home feeling relieved (or maybe that’s just me): the end-of-term drama performance has been shown. Certificates have been issued; doughnuts eaten.
It is late by the time we get home because I have stopped for my regulation post-drama cup of tea at Kerry’s when picking up Ollie.
“What’s for tea?” The kids ask when we get home.
“Burger and chips!” I say brightly, then add under my breath, “chickpea burgers,” hoping that no one will hear.
On Monday, spurred on by all the talk of Meat Free Week on Twitter, I decide (on behalf of the family ) that we will jump on the band-wagon and eat no meat for a week.
I would like to improve my vegetarian repertoire and I agree wholeheartedly with the purpose of the campaign:
WHY GO MEAT FREE? IT ENCOURAGES YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH MEAT YOU EAT, WHERE YOUR MEAT COMES FROM AND THE IMPACT EATING TOO MUCH MEAT HAS ON YOUR HEALTH, ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENT. https://uk.meatfreeweek.org/home
So with this in mind, after a tiring day when I should be getting fishfingers out the freezer, I raid the cupboards to create the ultimate chickpea burger.
Daisy, meanwhile, is full of talk of Easter after her trip to the local church. She has a homemade Palm Sunday branch, a crucifixion book-mark, and her favourite: a paper plate folded in half with a door cut out, to represent Jesus’s tomb.
Ollie looks confused; the Easter bunny hasn’t been mentioned once.
“Easter is about Jesus, not the Easter bunny, Ol!” Informs Daisy. “Jesus was born at Christmas, then died at Easter.”
She omits the fact that there were 33 years between these two events.
“Poor baby Jesus,” whispers Ollie, his bottom lip wobbling.
Daisy goes upstairs to retrieve The Children’s Bible that Nanna bought her.
“Come on Ollie, I’ll read you all about it,” says Daisy, returning again. I’m very grateful to have the kitchen to myself but I’m worried about the cheerful brutality that Daisy will be issuing the Easter story with.
Within five minutes they are back, hovering around me. Ollie has been upset by something to do with Egypt; Daisy wants to know what kind of bad behaviour merits you going to Hell.
I pause and take a breath. The kitchen looks like I’ve tipped out all the cupboards and thrown the contents around, which essentially I have; not for the first time, I wonder why I have embarked on this today.
We finally sit down to eat at 7pm (thank goodness for the earlier doughnuts), just as the cat decides to display more of its bulimic tendencies: it wolfs down a pouch of cat meat, vomits it all up, then minutes later claws a hole in the cat biscuit bag because it is ravenous again.
Aside from this, and the fact that I am getting into hot water with my explanation of Hell, it is a very tasty meal. Previous chickpea burgers have been a bit bland, but these pack a punch of flavour (and so they should, I’ve thrown everything into them!). Daisy and Tom both enjoy them and the home-made oven chips are the perfect accompaniment. Most burgers of this ilk call for bread crumbs, but as these are dairy and gluten free, I have omitted them, and they seem none the worse for it, just a little lighter.