Perfect with hummus, salad and pitta bread, this falafel recipe is ideal for lunch or for a light dinner.
275g/9oz dried chickpeas (you can use tinned, but the falafel isn’t as good)
1 small onion
A handful of fresh coriander (you can use dried, but it’s not as good)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp plain flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Soak chickpeas overnight in cold water
- Boil chickpeas for 1 hour, then drain them
- Roughly chop up the onion, garlic and coriander, then put them into the blender along with the chickpeas, baking powder, cumin and salt
- Blend until the ingredient are finely ground and hold together
- Take a small handful of the mixture and shape it into balls
- Lightly cover the falafel balls in flour
- Fry the falafel balls in the vegetable oil until brown and crisp on all sides
- Serve with pitta, hummus, salad and other sauces
- Eat and enjoy!
Makes 6 small burgers
2 tins red kidney beans (approx. 800g if you use dried beans)
1 1/2 medium sized onions
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp plain flour (and extra flour for coating the burgers)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (and extra for frying)
1 garlic clove
1 vegetable stock cube
- Bring some water to the boil in a pan and dissolve the vegetable stock cube (and half a tsp chilli powder if you want them particularly spicy) in the boiling water
- Add the kidney beans to the boiling water, boil for the recommended amount of time according to the tin (or packet if they’re dried), then for an extra 5 – 10 minutes so that they start to go a little mushy (then they’ll be easier to mash and shape)
- Whilst the beans are boiling, dice the onions and peel the clove of garlic (do not chop it up). Put some oil in a frying pan and when it is hot, add the onion and the clove of garlic, then fry until the onions are sauteed (slightly translucent, not at all brown/burnt) then pick out the clove of garlic and bin it and set aside the onions.
- Drain the beans when they are done and put them into a medium sized bowl
- Using a potato masher, mash the beans
- In another large sized bowl, put in the flour, chili, cayenne pepper, curry powder, black pepper, salt and oil and mix together to form a paste
- Add the mashed beans and onions into the large bowl (that has the paste in) and mix it thoroughly.
- Put flour on a surface and on your hands, then shape the mixture into 6 small balls, flatten the balls into burger shapes and coat in flour on the outside
- Leave the burgers to cool on the surface for 10 – 15 minutes
- In a large frying pan add some oil (and wait for it to get hot), then add three of the burgers and fry for about 3 minutes on each side (fry them until they go brown and crispy, but make sure they don’t burn), repeat with the remaining three burgers
- Serve with bread, a salad and sauces of your choice for the perfect bean burger, eat and enjoy!
Yesterday I made some vegan pizzas which were surprisingly good, I use the word surprising because I expected to be fairly upset about the lack of cheese on my pizza. Needless to say, I wasn’t, not all at, this pizza recipe produces some glorious results. I made my own tomato sauce (recipe below) and added lots of fresh vegetables. Sam (my handy side kick) added some pesto and hummus (which I’ve been informed is brilliant when baked) too, which also works really well in combination with the tomato sauce. Make sure you have olive oil in the house before you attempt this though, because I just don’t think you can substitute this with any other oil. This recipe is enough for 2 large pizzas or 4 small ones (the ones in the picture are the small-sized ones). So hungry writing about this, wish I had some pizza left..
For the base
300g plain flour (can be replaced with strong bread flour/wholemeal flour)
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
For the tomato sauce
150 ml passata (you can use chopped tomatoes but I find the sauce is a little too sweet then, so I prefer passata, and if I want more tomatoes I will add slices of fresh tomato on top of the sauce)
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves (I like it quite garlicky so change it to suit)
For the topping
1 – 2 tsp dried oregano (make sure you sprinkle this on straight after you put on the tomato sauce, I prefer oregano because my Italian friend suggested using it rather than basil, but you can use basil too if you want to)
1 – 3 tsp pesto (if you use this, do not use it in combination with the oregano, it’s not good. Just spread it on after you put on the tomato sauce)
Hummus, lots of hummus (put it on in big dollops, as you can see in the picture, it bakes nicely like this)
Assorted vegetable (I used spinach, pepper, broccoli, mushrooms and sweetcorn because that’s what I happened to have in the house, but you can use anything, the more toppings the better in my opinion)
- Put the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and salt
- Pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together until you have a soft, fairly wet dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth.
- Cover with a tea towel and set aside. If you want the dough to rise set it aside (for 2 hours at the most probably), I didn’t do this as I like thin crust.
- Then make the sauce by mixing together the passata and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly and when it starts to bubble a little, take it off the heat, season to taste and leave it to stand at room temperature whilst you shape the base.
- (If you have let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, and then) split the dough into 2 – 4 balls depending on whether you want two big pizzas or four small ones.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into rounds using a rolling pin. The dough should be very thin as it will rise in the oven.
- Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
- Heat the oven to 240c/gas mark 8
- Once the oven in on, put a baking tray or another baking sheet in the oven on the top shelf.
- Smooth tomato sauce (and pesto if using) over bases with the back of a spoon.
- Add your toppings, drizzle with a little olive oil and season
- Put one pizza (that is still on its baking sheet) on top of the preheated tray/sheet which is already in the oven.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until crisp.
- Eat and enjoy!