Pumpkin and Chickpea Burgers with wedges

burgers, vegetables, Vegetarian

I am always keen to introduce more vegetarian dishes into our diet. I was vegetarian, or almost vegetarian, for about 15 years, but then after becoming pretty anaemic in the process of having babies I introduced red meat back into my diet. There are still some forms of it that I don’t like, steak has most people drooling but it just makes me feel nauseous!

I remember when I was vegetarian eating a chickpea and pumpkin burger several times from a gourmet burger chain and really enjoying it. This is my attempt to reproduce that.

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Burgers

300g pumpkin or squash (butternut squash is a better option as it is drier), cut into about 5 or 6 small chunks with the skin still on but seeds removed

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 t curry powder

1 T oil

420g tin chickpeas

1 egg

4 slices bread

oil to shallow fry

4 burger buns (or more if you have a hungry crew)

cheese, lettuce, beetroot, chutney, mayonnaise etc to put in the burgers

Wedges

6 potatoes (medium – large)

2 T finely grated parmesan

1 t chicken stock

1 1/2 T flour

2 t smoked paprika (my favourite!)

3 cloves garlic, crushed

4 T oil (2 for wedges mix, 2 to cook them in)

1. Heat the oven to 190 C fanbake and once hot put the pumpkin in to cook for around 20 – 25 mins until cooked through. Cool slightly.

2. Once the pumpkin is in prepare the wedges. Slice the potatoes in half long ways and then into quarters. Cut each quarter into 2 – 3 wedges and pat dry with a tea towel. Place in a large bowl.

3. Mix the parmesan, chicken stock, flour, paprika, garlic and 1 measure of oil together in a small bowl. Rub all over the wedges in the bowl.

4. Preheat the oil in a large oven dish in the oven for about 5 mins. Put the wedges in. Turn them every 10 mins to ensure even browning and cook for around 30 mins until crispy and cooked through. Once the pumpkin is out of the oven you can turn it up to about 200 C.

5. Place the 1 T oil in a frying pan on low – medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic., Stir often until onion is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. You can add more curry powder if your family’s palate likes things more strongly flavoured.

6. Place the bread in the food processor and pulse to crumb. Place half the breadcrumbs on a plate and leave the other half in the food processor.

7. Remove the pumpkin flesh from the skin and place in the food processor with the onion mixture, chickpeas and egg (half the breadcrumbs are already in there). Pulse to mix. You ideally want a few of the chickpeas to not be completely pulsed into the mix.

8. Form the mixture into patties and roll in the extra breadcrumbs. Shallow fry in oil until golden on both sides.

9. To serve the burgers place the buns on an oven tray cut in half (not quite the whole way through) with the cut side up. Place a slice of cheese on one side. Grill in the oven until slightly golden and warmed.

10. Place a piece of lettuce on each bun, top with the patty and anything else you want to put in your burger. Serve with the wedges and a salad on the side.

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Fish Burgers with kumara chips and coleslaw

burgers, fish, salad

My husband hates fish. Sometimes I am nice and organise an alternative protein for him, like steak. Sometimes I ignore the fact that he doesn’t like fish and cook it anyway as both girls and I love it! This burger would work fine with a steak if you have a non-fish eater in the house, I would just use some relish or mustard to top it rather than tartare sauce.

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Fish burgers and kumara chips

3 – 4 medium kumara, chopped into chips

3 T oil

4 baps (soft white bread rolls)

tartare sauce

rocket, lettuce or other salad greens for burgers

2 large fillets of terakihi or other suitable fish

Flour on a plate mixed with 1 t garlic salt (fish coating)

1 egg, beaten in a bowl (fish coating)

Breadcrumbs or panko crumbs on a plate (fish coating)

tartare sauce

Coleslaw

1/2 small cabbage (I used a 1/4 each of a white and a red cabbage), sliced thinly and then chopped into smaller bits

1 t sugar

2 pinches salt

2 spring onions, chopped

2 carrots, grated

2 – 3 T mayonnaise

1. Turn the oven to 200 C fanbake and put an oven dish in to heat.

2. While the oven is warming place the chopped cabbage in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and salt and toss through. Stand to the side. The sugar and salt helps the cabbage soften and wilt slightly. If you don’t want to add these, just skip this stage.

3. Once the oven is heated add 2 T oil to the oven tray and leave to warm for about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the kumara chips. Toss these every 10 mins until golden and crispy, they will take about 25 mins total.

4. While the kumara chips are cooking prepare the fish. Set up your 3 plates for coating – flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

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5. Chop the fish fillets in half – I used the smaller sides for the girls and the larger sides for the adults. Heat the frying pan on medium heat.

6. Coat each fish fillet thoroughly in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Add 1 T oil to the pan and heat. Fry on both sides until golden and cooked through. I coat the fattest fillets first and place them in the pan as they take longer than the little skinny ones.

7. While the fish is cooking finish the coleslaw by adding all other ingredients to the bowl and tossing well to coat in mayonnaise. You will need 2 – 3 T mayonnaise depending on the size of the cabbage.

8. Put the baps in the bottom of the oven for about 3 mins to warm under the oven dish – you don’t want them going too crispy.

9. Construct the burgers: Place salad greens on the bottom of the burger bun, top with a fillet of fish (you may need to chop it in half to fit) and top with tartare sauce. Serve with kumara chips and coleslaw on the side.

Hint: If you have little people whose hands struggle to hold a burger you can serve them a deconstructed burger – half the bun and the fish separately. Miss 4 is only just starting to be able to eat a burger without losing the contents out the bottom!