Cajun Chickpea Burger With Kale, Sun-Dried Tomato & Sweet Potato Salad

I have been experimenting with different recipes and my own take on some recipes for chickpea burgers. There are a variety of ways to make these but I have recently found one of the best so far. It is so flavoursome and not as dry as some can be. It's got roasted cauliflower mixed through it. Admittedly it takes more preparation and cooking time because you have to roast your cauliflower first before combining your ingredients and then cooking the burgers but it is worth it. Don't be tempted to throw the cauliflower in raw, the water content will make the mix too mushy, roasting the cauliflower dries it out and sweetens it, which totally adds to the flavour.

The kale, sun-dried tomato & sweet potato salad is a recipe from Deliciously Ella With Friends, except she adds black olives which I don't like and I also toss the kale in a frying pan before adding all the other ingredients to the pan to create a warm version of the salad. 

You can finish the dish off with a dressing or sauce of your choice, a lemon dressing would work well (yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, chopped coriander & seasoning) but on this occasion I used a sweet chilli sauce (I had a portion left over in the freezer).

Cajun Chickpea Burger
(makes 4 burgers)

3 cups of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 ½ tbsp oil
sea salt
sprinkle smoked paprika
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 batch cajun mix (Recipe Below)
2 tbsp chopped parsley or coriander
3 tbsp chickpea flour

Cajun Spice Mix
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Toss the equal sized cauliflower florets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Roast in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile chop the onion and fry over medium heat until they soften, then add the sliced garlic and fry for a few more minutes before removing from the heat.

3. Once the cauliflower is cooked, you can make the burgers. In a food processor, place the chickpeas, cajun spice mix, coriander, onion and garlic and puree until half way smooth. Then add the roasted cauliflower and pulse a few more times before transferring to a bowl. Then work in the flour. Let it rest for a few minutes for the chickpea flour to be absorbed.

4. Divide the mixture into 4 burgers and fry until golden on each side before transferring them to the oven for 10 minutes.


Kale, sun-dried tomato & sweet potato salad
(serves 4)

1 large sweet potato, peeled or well scrubbed
5 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
200g kale, course ribs removed
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained weight), finely chopped
100g pitted black olives (if you like them)
100g pine nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (fan 200 degrees).

2. Cut the sweet potato into 1cm cubes, place in a roasting tin and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and add lots of salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until cooked.

3. Once the sweet potato is almost ready, fry off the kale to crisp it up, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, a little olive oil, the vinegar, lemon juice and the sweet potato once cooked.

4. Roast the pine nuts and sprinkle over the top (it may be easier to roast these before you use the pan to fry the kale).

The end result is a very healthy and nutritious meal. If you prefer, you could place the chickpea burger between a burger bin with the usual trimmings of lettuce, tomato etc. and serve up with a few home made chips. This makes a great Friday night dinner, the only indulgence is a few 'healthier' chips.


lifestyle, foodBy Regina Turk