Wednesday 18 May 2016

Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum

"I'm thinking of going vegetarian, even vegan". Both my wife and I looked at each other incredulously. My daughter was also surprised. What my son had just said was as shocking as Donald Trump saying that he's been a closeted fan of Andrea Dworkin all his life. My son, vegetarian? Vegan???!!! This is the skinny lad who was wolfing down steaks with his mate less than two weeks ago. "Well, if it were down to me, I would have turned the whole family vegan long time ago." It was my wife's response now that made me laugh.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love vegetarian and vegan food. That is why I'm an omnivore. I get to experience the best of both worlds. But I like my meat. I can't hide it. Tonight, however, I am making an exception in order to post a recipe I came across whilst reading The Voice the other night. It sounds so yummy that I had to share it with you. This is the sort of fare I like tucking in and which I will be making at some point in the near future.

Baked Chickpea Burgers

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 8 burgers


2 tbsp olive oil (or canola oil)
8oz or 225g onions (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp ground cumin
2oz or 50g carrot (finely chopped or shredded)
7oz or200 g canned or cooked chickpeas (drained)
1 tbsp tahini (or peanut butter)
2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
1oz or 25g chickpea flour (white)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
2tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Spray oil


1. Sauté the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they soften.
2. Add the garlic, cumin and carrot and continue cooking for two more minutes.
3. Transfer to large bowl or food processor and add the chickpeas.
4. Mash or process until ingredients are combined.
5. Stir in tahini and parsley and lemon juice.
6. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in the small bowl, and stir into chickpeas.
7. Add flour to the bean mixture.
8. Flour your hands, shape mixture into four patties and dust them with flour. Fry in 1 tbsp
oil over medium-low heat for 1 minute, until just beginning to brown or spray with cooking
spray and cook that way for fewer calories.
9. Bake in a medium oven for 20-2 5 minutes or until golden brown.

The music to go with this groovy recipe must be equally groove-inspiring. That is why my first offer comes from Gorillaz, the animated invention of ex-Blur frontman Damon Albarn. Still love this song after all these years.

Next up an oldie for those who are into reggae. I've always had a soft spot for Tosh's music. I still find it more radical than the more radio-friendly Bob Marley (no disrespect to Bob, by the way, but once you become a legend, your hard edges are softened to accommodate new tastes and audiences). This is foot-tapping music with a message.

The Unthanks get heavy play chez moi. As the clip below shows, there are many reasons: the harmonies, the arrangements, the risk-taking approach, It all adds layers of delicious musicianship to be enjoyed, preferably, with baked chickpeas burgers.

Last clip comes from my neck of the woods. I have followed William Vivanco's musical career closely for some years now. I'm glad he has carried on pushing boundaries and making it hard for others to pigeonhole him. I am sure that tonight's recipe has done a similar thing: vegan food has its own groove. That's why I'm an omnivore, remember?

Next Post: "Saturday Evenings: Stay In, Sit Up and Switch On", to be published on Saturday 21st May at 6pm (GMT)


  1. My son lasted all of one term at college as a vegetarian. He's a runner and a biker with a fast metabolism so he lost too much weight. His girlfriend at the time was vegetarian. Maybe it's time to ask your son some questions about his dining partners?

  2. My blog invisible husband is a healthy senior way past 65 who has been vegan for 45 years! It is possible. For him it is about the animals, morality, and only incidentally very healthy. I follow an omnivore menu but try to eat clean, organic, more veg than meat......fruit for sweets.
    I love your new header!

  3. Questions need to be asked I think, ha. It may just be a phase, who knows. Either way, eating healthy and taking good care of the body is all that matters.

  4. Quite the music array here today. As for vegan or vegetarian umm no way!

  5. Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood... Prep.
    Peter Tosh - Rastafari Is... Salad
    William Vivanco - Carabela... Entree

    Unthanks - Mount The Air...Dessert with Champagne

    I'm Jonesing for a bacon-buger-dog :)

  6. I applaud you, personally, I do like meat but beef has caused me many problems (and only beef), which is why I try to stay away from it. I had several attacks of gout thanks to beef.

  7. Yum, yum and yum.
    This vegetarian is slowly edging towards veganism. And will be the only one in the house to do so.

  8. The use of chickpeas in a burger makes sense. Don't forget to make meringues out of the aquafaba!

  9. As I frequently note, CiL, my interest in food extends only to frozen dinners, pizza and restaurant meals, and I often have wished I lived in an age where a pill or two could satisfy all dietary requirements. So, no thoughts from me in this regard.

    As for your son, I think his generation will be wiser than those which came before in terms of healthy eating habits. Good for him. I hope he gives it a try.

    As for the music, half now / half later. All your entries are complete strangers to me.

  10. I'm a vegetarian, and rubbish cook - but have passed this to a daughter and will look hungry next time I visit in the hope that she makes them!

  11. looks like a good veggieburger recipe!

  12. I tried to be a vegetarian and failed. I guess I missed the more substantial meal that meat provides. I did stick to white meat for a few years but have now sunk deep into the red. Good luck to your son whichever path he follows.

  13. Hi Blogoratti - I don't eat a lot of meat ... and occasionally just have to have some meat of some description - then back to normal. I do eat a lot of fish ... I'm trying to cut out the cheese at the moment ... I love food ... positively love trying different things - those burgers look a delight - the bun would have to go - but the burger I'll happily eat those. Good luck with your son and his food bud tastes .. cheers Hilary

  14. I have been a vegetarian for about forty years but never vegan whixh feels too extreme to me and a little self-indulgent honestly as it ends up requiring so much effort and a kind or preciousness. But I am so thankful for your chickpea recipe. Also enjoyed column re queen and Cameron though I am a little sympathetic to queen just because of her age. I am sorry to have been so absent- a lot going on in my neck of woods that's kept me from doing as much-- work and health issues-- thanks. K

  15. I'm vegetarian - have been for the past 30 years - so I love love this recipe!

  16. Ohh! Thanks for this recipe! I'm going to try it now!

  17. I've had a number of different veggie burgers that I enjoyed, but my hubby is an unabashed carnivore. I'll be interested in what you think of this burger version after you've fixed it. (I'd love to find a veggie burger recipe that could... heh, heh... fool my husband into thinking he's eating meat.)

    Have a super weekend.

  18. Brilliant recipe, CiL...just the thing for a guilty meat-eater like myself!
    I will definitely try this one as soon as I can buy the ingredients.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    Have a great weekend! :))



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