Up until a few months ago I never, ever thought either of us could go vegetarian. In fact I’m pretty sure a 17-year old Scruff once told me that if we ever got married and I made him dinner without meat he would leave me! Fast forward 15 or so years and it turns out we did actually get married, but one thing we both got wrong was that he does the cooking nearly 100% of the time so the entire scenario of him leaving me over my cooking is no longer an issue.
One other thing we got wrong is we are now both much more open to the idea of giving up meat. We’ve watched a few of those Netflix documentaries that really push plant-based diets, and while I’m sure a lot of it is scaremongering and not completely unbiased it has got us both thinking about how much meat we’re consuming.
So after talking it over we’ve agreed we are going to incorporate more plant-based meals in our diet, and that preparing a vegetarian meal for dinner is no longer grounds for a divorce. Hopefully as more plant-based dishes become routine for us, the more recipes we can share with you on this blog.
Our first plant-based recipe is inspired by these chickpea fritters from Naturally Ella, one of my favourite vegetarian food blogs. I have a few of her recipes on rotation for the five times a year I cook, and these chickpea fritters were probably the beginning of us realising that going plant-based might not be so bad.
I won’t try to convince you of the merits of one diet over another, but I will try to convince you to make these fritters. They have sweetcorn for added sweetness, dried split peas just to be different, and are served with horseradish mixed with sour cream for extra punch. It’s a great dish that will be a hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Sweetcorn and chickpea fritters
- 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/4 dried green split peas
- 1 ear sweetcorn
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- freshly cracked pepper
- 2/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (Note 1)
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups leafy greens (lettuce mix, spinach, rocket)
- 1/2 continental cucumber, cut in half lengthways then thickly sliced.
- 1/4 green apple, cut into matchsticks (Note 2)
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Sour cream and horseradish sauce
- 60 ml sour cream
- 15 ml horseradish
- Place the chickpeas and split green peas in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for one hour.
- Once the chickpeas and split green peas are done soaking, drain, then cover with boiling water and boil for 50 minutes, or until soft.
- Meanwhile, place the sweetcorn in a medium saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for five minutes.
- Combine the seasonings, and place in a large bowl with the parsley and breadcrumbs.
- When the sweetcorn is done, cut the kernels off and add to the bowl.
- Drain the chickpeas and peas, then mash until mostly broken down. Leave some pieces whole for texture.
- Add to the bowl, along with the eggs and mix through.
- Use your hands to mould into fritters (I get about ten fritters).
- Heat oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat and fry for 2.5 minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden.
- Drain on paper towels, and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- Combine the vegetables in a salad bowl.
- Whisk the olive oil and ACV then toss through salad.
- Combine in a small bowl.
Cooking Notes – ideas for leftovers
- I used to always avoid recipes that called for herbs since I would use them for that one recipe then let the rest go to waste. Don’t let this happen with the parsley. Try making Slow Cooked Oxtail with Angel Hair Pasta, Pearl Barley Salad or Bacon and Egg Pastries
- I realise calling for a quarter of an apple is a bit awkward. What you can do with the leftovers is make Vietnamese Beef and Watercress Salad – Bo Xao Sa Lat Soong, which uses half a green apple. Otherwise, the green salad/sour cream and horseradish sauce combination also goes great with scotch eggs, chicken schnitzel and potato pancakes. If you need to store any leftover apple, squeeze over some lemon juice to keep it from browning.
- These fritters can also be broken into pieces and added to salads and wraps. They are great cold or warm.