Falafel Burgers

This is my mums recipe for home made falafel burgers, she is an amazing cook and everything I know has been taught from her. As a family we have always ate nutritious home cooked meals, even when I leave my Grandparents house I am laden with bags full of organic goodies from my Granddads allotment. Eating clean, fresh, good food is a way of life for me, without having to compromise on taste or spending all my life slaving in the kitchen. I don’t believe in fad diets, eating three good meals a day, knowing how to control your portion sizes, choosing the right snacks in between and having treats  in moderation is the way to not only look after your figure, but to also feel good, have great energy levels and know that you are taking care of your inner self. If you are on a budget this recipe is really cost effective too, for the kids toast a whole wheat burger bun, melt a little cheddar cheese and add some ketchup, they will go down a treat! The past year I have really cut down on my intake of red meat, I still enjoy the odd fillet steak or lamb dish, but I mostly eat white meat & fish. These burgers are super filling, incredibly tasty and so easy to make. Falafel is a traditional Arab food, mainly made of chickpeas, you can roll this mixture into balls and also eat in pitta breads, gorgeous warmed up with salad and houmous. Falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Chickpeas are also low in salt, fat and contain no cholesterol, key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, thiamine and vitamin B. Wow! So you get the idea, a great alternative too meat and really good for you!

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What you will need to make four patties:

2 cans or 1 large jar of chickpeas, breadcrumbs, olive oil, 1 lime, half a red onion, half of a courgette, 1 carrot, a handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 spring onion, half a handful of fresh coriander, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1 tsp of paprika, If you like them spicy a few dried chilli flakes.

Preparation:

1. Drain the chickpeas, put into a large pan, mash, add the juice of half a lime and the spices, add salt and pepper to season.

2. In a separate frying pan heat the olive oil, finely slice the veggies and fry off over a medium heat for five minutes. After five minutes add the veggie mixture to the chickpeas, mix well.

3. Take the mixture, sprinkle breadcrumbs onto a cutting board, with your hands form into separate patties ensuring to coat well with the breadcrumbs (So it all sticks together) You can also use an egg to help the mixture stick, but I didn’t find it necessary.

4. Once the patties are formed, go back to your frying pan, heat some fresh oil and fry off for around 4-5 minutes each side, until they start to look nice and crispy.

5. Serve with a fresh rainbow salad and your choice of sauce on the side, we love them with some ali oli (garlic mayonnaise) Squeeze the other half of the lime over the burgers and salad to finish. As seen in the pics, they’re also tasty with a fried egg on top, which is how my brother takes his ;)

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