Monday, 2 April 2012

RECIPES: Bean burger and Falafels

Being a nutritionist has made me more aware and informed about what is in my food, not only inside my home but outside my home as well. One of my missions is to make healthy alternatives to take away and processed food. My love for fresh food is always growing because I am always finding out about new foods that I may not have heard of, like recently I have been hearing a lot about kale, which I hadn’t heard of until recently (It’s a dark green leafy vegetable, a type of cabbage with many health properties). I still need to try it out!

Last week I decided to make home-made bean burgers, I looked at a few recipes online to make myself familiar with the basics and what ingredients I would need and decided to make a simple version, which didn’t take very long to make. So here’s how I made them:

Bean Burger

You will need:
·         2 x 400g cans of kidney beans (can use other beans, or mixed beans)
·         100g breadcrumbs
·         Small bunch of fresh coriander
·         Small red onion – peeled and chopped
·         1 egg
·         Spices: garlic paste, chilli powder, cumin powder - to taste (no salt)

What to do:
1. Mash the kidney beans in a bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with your hands.
3. Make in burgers/patties and grill on medium heat for a few minutes on each side. Alternatively, you can cook them on a griddle.
4. Serve on wholemeal roll with lettuce, yoghurt and mint relish and some salsa.

I also made falafels, which I have love now, as it reminds me of Palestine when I went with my family in 2010. Although, they are usually fried, they still taste good when grilled or oven baked, without the excess oil. Here’s how I made the lovely falafels:

Healthy Homemade Falafels

You will need:
·         1 x 400g can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
·         1 small red onion - quartered
·         A small bunch parsley
·         1tsp paprika
·         1tsp crushed garlic 
·         1tsp cumin powder
·         1tsp of coriander powder

How to make the falafels:
1.  Simply add the ingredients in a food processor with a drizzle of olive oil and blend until the chickpeas are slightly smooth but still lumpy.
2.   Make round flat balls and grill or cook on a non-stick frying pan. If you need to add a few squirts of the spray oil. 
3.   Cook each side for a few minutes on medium heat. Alternatively, you can oven bake them for 30 mins at 180'C. 
4.   Serve in a warm wholemeal pitta with some lovely salad, hummas and chutney.

It was my aim to not add any salt at all to my cooking, so I left the salt in the cupboard and didn't tell my family and they didn't even realise. I told them after I didn't add any salt ;)

Bear in mind these were my first attempt. I will be making them again to get better at it and see if I can experiment with them. My mum, sister and nieces liked it so I was happy it came out ok for my first attempt. In the meantime why don’t you give it a try or share your own recipe.

A H Nutritionist
2nd April 2012

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