Friday, 25 February 2011

Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

Something very exciting arrived in the post yesterday...a burger making kit. I got it for a reasonable £4.99 at Amazon and so far it's worth every penny.

I've been wanting to make my own burgers for a while now, all the shop bought ones are around 6 syns each because of oil and breadcrumbs and I have a real lack of monies at the moment and can't justify buying them. I definitely recommend using a burger maker for this recipe just because it makes the mixture go a whole lot further. When I used to make patties with my hands they would always be too bulky in the middle so they wouldn't cook properly and then they would crumble at the edges where they were too thin.

Anyway, enough is the recipe..

Mushroom and Chickpea Burgers

The curry paste I use is synned at 2 syns per tbsp. Considering I only used 1/2 a tsp and that it went into 11 burgers the syns are pretty much non existent so I don't count them. If you want to do the insane maths and work it out then you're welcome to!
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tins of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 tsp curry paste
  • grated rind of 1 small lemon
  • approx 2 cups of made up instant mash ( Smash is now synned but most supermarket own brands are syn free and vegan friendly too)
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Spray a pan with fry light and add the chopped onion. Fry for a few minutes until soft.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is soft and browned
  3. Chuck the mixture into a bowl with the chickpeas, curry paste, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth.
  4. Stir in the mash potato until the mixture is nice and thick (instant mash is better for this as you can add less water than usual to get really thick potato, pretty much works the same as breadcrumbs but without the syns)
  5. Either shape with your hands or add the mix into your burger maker and press them into shape.

There are two ways to cook these:

  1. Fry in 1 tbsp of olive oil (B extra)
  2. Or, spray with fry light and grill for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through so both sides are golden
I had two of these last night with mash potato, peas, carrots and gravy and today for lunch with jacket potato, hummus and salad. I'll be having one later in a wholemeal pitta (B extra) with soy cheese (A extra), beetroot, cucumber, lettuce and tomato. Can't get enough at the moment...and they're SYN FREE!

We have a taster session in class on Tuesday and think I'll make these for everyone to try. I will update if there are any positive comments!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lemon, Leek and Pea Risotto

I love risotto but can rarely be arsed to spend the time cooking it. It's totally worth it when you get the craving though. This is one of my favourite risotto recipes, hope you like..

Lemon, Leek and Pea Risotto

  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 250g aborrio rice
  • 1 litre of stock
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • A load of peas (sorry, never measure them out, just bung them in!)
  • Vegan parmesan (I used about 2 syns worth, an entire pot is 14 syns)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional, you could use fry light...1/2 Healthy extra B per serving)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the leeks, onion and garlic and fry until soft.
  2. Add the bay leaves and rice and cook for a few minutes, until the rice is coated in the veggies and oil.
  3. Pour the stock in 1 ladle at a time, adding more when it absorbs. Stir constantly for the first 5-10 minutes. When you have the last few ladles of stock left, add the peas. The rice is cooked when all the stock is absorbed, it should be nice and creamy (about 20 minutes)
  4. Add the lemon juice and rind and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the parmesan, season with salt and pepper and leave the dish to rest off the heat for a few minutes before serving

Serves 2

Monday, 21 February 2011

Mexican Bean Pitta

There are a few things I miss doing Slimming World. One of them is cake and another is Mexican food. Apart from chilli, there's not much I can eat that doesn't require me saving a silly amount of syns during the week. If only tortilla wraps were free! But, all is not lost. I found a good substitute to replace the beloved burritos I used to gorge on.

Mexican Bean Pitta

  • Wholemeal pitta (Healthy extra B or 6 syns)
  • Lettuce, chopped
  • Tomato, chopped
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • Large handful of coriander, chopped
  • 4 Spring onions, sliced
  • Lemon juice
  • Tabasco
  • Salt
  1. Pour the tin of beans with their weird bean juice into a saucepan and heat through for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans, return to the pan and mash.
  3. Stir in the coriander, spring onions, lemon juice, salt and as much tabasco as you can handle
  4. Toast a pitta bread, split it in half and fill with lettuce, as much of the bean filling as you want and then top with tomatoes.
  5. Feast.

This was a great, filling lunch for me. I decided to have 2 of these beasts but it was a bit too much for even my stomach to handle. I reckon leftover rice, low syn vegan mayo and some cheezly would make these even better. Avocado would be great for anyone not following a diet but at 6 syns per 28 grams it's just not worth it...damn you all...