Friday, April 1, 2011

Hello Hawkesbury

G'day from the outback!

I'm just kidding.. I did see a kangaroo at the train station last week but the Hawkesbury campus isn't that far.. Five weeks into the first semester and things are going swimmingly well. Despite 'Biology A' being perhaps more than just a little overwhelming (there are so many goddamn words and concepts to remember), I'm enjoying my course. I've met some very interesting and passionate people, teachers and students alike.

'Primary Production' practicals make Fridays the days that I look forward to the most. I've traded in my chef knife for a grafting knife and (fingers crossed) when Spring comes around, I'll be posting photos of finger lime buds shooting out of lemon rootstock! Aside from grafting, we've been learning about planting mediums, various methods of propagation, the importance of soil structure, etc. which we then get to apply out in the field.

Our plot (our = Roi + I) no. 11 contains bok choy, choy sum, pak choi, kohl rabi, basil, onion, chives; and also beetroot, silverbeet and celeriac (although I'm wondering if/when these will sprout). I couldn't help myself and interplanted the entire bed with snake beans, which we built a trellis for last week. When faced with a big box of open seed packets, I can't resist filling any extra space in our plot with as many bizarre plants as I can find. Roi is lovely for putting up with me! :b

Unfortunately I can't quite seem to work up the same excitement over canteen food. A caesar salad contains 38 grams of fat. Salad can make you fat. In comparison, McDonalds really is a healthy choice. Who would have thought. No wonder we're facing a bloody obesity epidemic.

Last night I discovered a packet of chickpeas that I'd launched into the darkest corner of the pantry oh.. probably 6 months ago. Anyway I thought it was about time that I cooked them so I tipped some into a bowl and left them soaking overnight. During a very boring lecture, I found a random recipe online for chickpea patties containing peanut butter and whole bunch of other terrifyingly fattening things which I omitted since I now have this grand idea of eating healthy. Or at least healthier.

No more fat salads for me thank you.

Chickpea & Pumpkin Patties

425 g cooked chickpeas, drained well
22 g parsley leaves
75 g breadcrumbs
1 egg
250 g pumpkin, diced
2 garlic cloves
120 g onion, finely diced
10 g olive oil
6 g sweet paprika
5 g ground cumin
115 g greek yoghurt
4 g lemon juice
1/2 cup plain flour for dusting
Bring pumpkin and garlic to the boil in a pan with water.
Simmer until cooked through.
Strain and cool.
Heat olive oil in a pan.
Add diced onion and a pinch of salt.
Sweat over medium heat (the onion, not you) until cooked through.
Add paprika and cumin.
Toast spices for a minute until fragrant.
Remove from heat and cool.
Throw the chickpeas, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg and garlic into a food processor and pulse until it binds together (a few whole chickpeas here and there doesn't matter).
Gently stir through pumpkin and onion.
Form into as many patties as you like, keeping them about 2.5 cm thick. (The thinner you make your patties, the more you increase the likelihood of them falling to bits before they reach the pan. You could even shape them into balls and then flatten them in the pan afterwards, although the sides won't be nearly as neat.)
Dredge both sides in flour.
Pan fry over medium heat (give them a gentle press with a spatula to maximise surface contact) with a little oil for 3 mins each side.
Stir together the yoghurt and lemon juice.
Season and serve.


  1. Looks very yummy, but are you sure that's 2.5cm thick??

  2. hi marianne! :) thanks for your comment. i've amended the recipe so hopefully it makes more sense to people other than myself hehe :P

  3. Thanks! Made it today, very tasty. Still I made them much thinner, only about 1-1.5cm. And it worked fine :) Then again I had more chickpeas so I added another egg.

  4. Yum! I put in heaps more spices (turmeric, ginger, coriander, cumin) and I wish I'd put in more pumpkin, since I couldn't really taste it.

    Awesome served with homemade beetroot pickle and homemade quince chutney, since I didn't have any yoghurt.

  5. mmmm that sounds pretty tasty :P~ maybe you could try roasting some cubes of pumpkin in the oven to intensify the flavour and mix them through at the end? :)


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