I spent most of my childhood and teenage years as a vegetarian, it was completely my own choice – coincidently it happened around the time I learnt that a lamb from my Uncle’s farm, that I’d lovingly bottle-fed, had ended up in our freezer. Poor sod.
I’d never been too fussed on meat anyway so it didn’t feel like a big sacrifice. My Parent’s simply adjusted portions a little – I’d have a huge veg Sunday roast and I never felt like I was missing out. My Mum added one or two vegetarian meals to the rota and in a way they were happy for the change because they’d found some delicious new recipes.
One of my favourite discoveries during this time was falafel. I’d found it in the food hall at the Trafford Center, served in a huge pitta and covered with tahini. I went back for seconds even though at the time I wasn’t quite sure what I was actually eating.
It’s a nutritious snack and makes a wonderful lunch but best of all it’s super easy. This is my blender version that’s cooked off in a pan rather than deep fried.
400g drained chickpeas
1/2 tsp harissa paste
1/2 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried garlic (or 1 garlic clove)
1/2tsp onion salt (or 1/2 a small onion)
1/2 Tbsp plain flour to mix
1 Tbsp plain flour for rolling
Add all the ingredients to a blender and whizz until you see an even consistency. Roll in to small golf balls. Then roll in the flour.
Bring a skillet pan to a medium heat with a glug of oil and fry your falafel until golden, turning as you go. When they’re ready, transfer them on to some kitchen paper to soak up any oil.