Spicy Chickpea & Pecan Nut Patties

15 06 2011

At the risk of making you feel uncomfortable, and potentially invoking the need to have an awkward conversation with yourself (quelle horreur), I have to ask if you’ve read ‘Eating Animals‘ by Jonathan Safran Foer? He’s an acclaimed author turned self-appointed ‘food source investigator’ who was so shocked to discover the gruesomeness of animal farming in the US that he veered off his usual path of beautiful and insightful literary fiction and published a documentary-style book on the bottomless pit of horrors he unearthed. It’s a shocking read. The New York Times sums up the whole debacle pretty smartly right HERE. Read it, it’s riveting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a farm girl who loves her steak more than most, and couldn’t imagine life without roast chicken. In fact, growing up on a farm and seeing happy cows and chickens has probably, ironically, made me less aware of food issues than I should be. I’ve just always seen that as the status quo. BUT ‘Eating Animals’ has made me realise that at the very least we need to be serious about being ‘selective omnivores’ and as far as possible choosing food that has been fairly farmed. We need to think seriously about supporting global initiatives such as Sir Paul McCartney’s Meat-Free Mondays initiative, and making the effort to educate ourselves and form our own food philosophies. And, perhaps most importantly, to act on what we find. So, in the spirit of all that is good to the earth, here’s my latest meat-free offering.

Spicy chickpea and pecan nut patties
Makes 12 | Preparation time 5 minutes | Cooking time 10 minutes

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
400 g can chickpeas, drained and roughly mashed
2/3 cup pecan nuts, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp brown sugar
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
½ cup goats cheese or feta
olive oil for frying

1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 4–5 minutes. Pre-heat your oven’s grill to the highest setting.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and throw in the chickpeas. Toss to warm through and then mash with a fork.
3. Add the rest of the oil and the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine.
4. Shape the mixture into patties, brush with olive oil and place under the grill for about 3-5 minutes each side.

Notes: I didn’t originally have cheese in this recipe but on making them on Monday I decided they needed a little added moisture and I think the cheese will be the perfect sidekick.
Serving Ideas: With a side salad or potato wedges and a pesto and cottage cheese dip.



8 responses

15 06 2011
Hayley - sciencesightseeingandsustenance

Lovely post – recipe sounds delicious! I too read eating animals and it has formed the basis of my drive towards free range produce 🙂

Keep up the good work.


15 06 2011

Thanks for stopping by and for the feedback Hayley! Feel free to send through any tips or info you find about eating sustainably in SA. Take care, Sarah

16 06 2011

HI Sarah! I have been making sure I eat ‘happy’ food for a long time, and I can swear that is why we never need the Doctor! I hope you are having a lovely time with your folks and enjoy the last few days of being a mummy to be!

16 06 2011

Hi Tandy, so interesting you say that about the Doc! Jonathan Safran Foer reckons so many animals are injected with crazy anti-biotics and I totally agree it’s not good for our bodies! (Never mind the animals!) Thanks for the best wishes 🙂

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