Easy Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Burgers

Easy Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Burgers

 

I really need to get better at taking pictures of the completed meal before eating it…

These burgers are so cheap and easy to make, and are a good way to make sure you’re getting enough protein! I like to serve them with fresh spinach in a bun, but they’re really good in wraps too. I’ve introduced the ingredients as I go along, but included a rough list of exact quantities at the end.

Methodtumblr_o83qz4EZkC1ujdn3no1_1280

Drain a can of pre-cooked chickpeas, and a can of borlotti or kidney beans in a colander, then empty them onto a chopping board and dry with paper towel. tumblr_o83qz4EZkC1ujdn3no2_1280
Roughly chop the beans with a knife, you don’t have to chop them finely but don’t leave that many intacttumblr_o83qz4EZkC1ujdn3no3_1280

In a large bowl, grate in one large peeled carrot, or a couple of smaller ones. The moisture
from the carrot along with the tomato puree (added later) will be tumblr_o83qz4EZkC1ujdn3no5_1280enough to bind the burgers, so no need to add egg.

Then add the seasoning; I used a generous amount of cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander as well as a pinch of salt and pepper and 2 cloves of garlic, crushed. Add about 2 tbsp of tomato puree.tumblr_o83qz4EZkC1ujdn3no6_1280

Optional extra: I added grated red cheddar as well, which means you don’t need to serve the burgers with cheese. This can be left out to make the recipe vegan.

Next form the burgers into patty shapes with clean hands. I find that a small palm-sized amount is the best size to prevent breakage when frying. Coat the patties in flour. I managed to make 9 with this recipe. burger

I couldn’t film the last step, but gently heat about 2tbsp of oil in a pan and shallow-fry the burgers for 5 minutes on each side until golden and heated through. I’d recommend frying them beforehand then adding them to a grill to heat up if you want to serve them at a BBQ just to make sure the flour is cooked. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients (rough)

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 400g tin of borlotti/kidney beans (or dried equivalent soaked overnight)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 grated carrot
  •  2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 100g grated cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander (optional)

 

Well Fuck

Well Fuck

TW: Austerity, fear, EU referendum, politics, racism, xenophobia

It’s been a really hard time to be British lately, which has really limited my creative output. Politics aside, the consequences of the EU vote has caused the scum of society to react with unbearable racism. Incidents of Halal shops being burned to the ground, people who are not white being harassed on the street, and people generally feeling unsafe are all over the news and social media.

For people who may not know what the referendum was, it was basically a vote which decided that Britain was going to leave the EU. There were arguments for both sides, and I’m not going to pretend that the EU is a perfect organisation at all. For many people though, the vote represented an ideological decision. Arguments to leave the EU were often built around thinly veiled xenophobia, and the paranoid fear of immigration. In fact, the main leave campaign is now being criticised for lying in its propaganda which stated that the money used to remain a member of the EU would be used for the NHS if the leave vote won.

A lot has happened since the leave vote won, which makes it a worrying ordeal to read the news each morning. After realising there was no defending his actions, our prime minister has decided to resign. While this is good news for people who despise him as the face of recent austerity cuts, it makes me wonder why he didn’t resign before when he admitted to receiving a fortune from his father which amassed due to tax havens. As well as this, a string of labour MPs have also resigned, making people lose confidence in UK politicians in general.

I find that how the home is affected by this change in policy is the most telling evidence of what it all means. As Mourid Barghouti wrote in his amazing book about his return to his home town Ramallah, ‘politics is the family at breakfast’. My aunt no longer feels safe wearing a hijab in the small town she lives in. My uncle is ashamed to be born British while living in his immigrated home of Germany. While the actual bureaucracy of the vote will obviously take a while to come into effect, what it means at the moment is a general feeling of fear for many people I love.

Sorry for the negative tone of this post, but I had to get some of my emotions out there. I’m not claiming to be the most informed about this issue at all, as I find it hard to remain mentally healthy while reading up about the current state of UK politics. All I can do is encourage people to be kind, and to help others whenever you can. I couldn’t choose a pretty picture so I made it my friend’s yard instead. I’ll try and make my next post more uplifting!

Yours morosely, A xx

 

Glow Up!

Glow Up!

Scrolling through Instagram it’s easy to get lost in a world of fantasy – did that person always look like that? How do they have such sculpted eyebrows? Sometimes I find myself asking whether they have had plastic surgery or if they are just really that good at makeup. For those leading the way like KimK and other ‘flawless’ celebrities the answer is easy: they are the rich elite and they have teams of makeup artists, stylists and PR people guiding their every move. But what about when lowly Youtubers are able to master the art of the contour and pass it on to thousands of viewers?

I’ve never been good at makeup. Growing up, there was no one to teach me and I always felt it was not ‘for’ me. I went to an all-girls school and there was always a lot of pressure to look good. In a way, I think this put me off experimenting with makeup. I felt that if it wasn’t perfect, then there was no point in trying. I have a vague memory of being harassed on the bus just because I didn’t pluck my eyebrows?? But then when someone I knew plucked hers she got teased because she plucked them wrong? I can barely remember now, but it was nasty.

I feel like the makeup industry is mainly built on insecurities like these. There are countless products advertising ‘perfect brows’ and other solutions to problems that ‘every woman has’. This often leads to bigger profits for the makeup companies, as an article for Jezebel talks about.[1] As well as this, a lot of companies are still testing on animals, and even the ones that don’t, belong to parent companies that do.

If I lighten up for a minute though, makeup can be so fun! Experimenting with new looks can help people of all genders express themselves better, and the internet is a great source of tutorials. Especially for this generation, makeup is accessible for so many more people now. So if you wear makeup or not, do it with pride. I’ve always thought that shaming people for wearing too much makeup is no better than shaming people for not wearing any. Having experienced a lot of both of these, I’m ready to just not care anymore. What are other people’s experiences with makeup? Has anyone else ever been told that they’d ‘look sooo much better without all the slap on?’

(featured pic is a time I tried hard on my eye makeup)

[1] http://jezebel.com/beauty-companies-love-to-empower-women-over-and-over-1530920736

A xxx

 

Endings//Beginnings

Endings//Beginnings

I haven’t been posting much recently as I have been really busy (even though I’ve somehow found the time to watch loads of episodes of pretty little liars) This is mainly because I’m coming to the end of my undergraduate dissertation and will be graduating soon (yay!).

This is a surreal experience for most students, as it marks the transition into the ‘real world’. Personally, I find this especially scary because I’ve been in full-time education since I was 4 years old. I can barely imagine a life without homework. I’ve had long summer holidays before, and the first year of uni was a bit of a doss, but nothing compares to the expanse of uncertainty that is now in front of me.

The most reassuring way for me to think about the end of uni is as a beginning. Otherwise, I end up full of regret and bitterness that I didn’t ‘make the most of it’ while I had the chance. There are lots of ways to still do the things I enjoyed while I was a student as an ‘adult’. Recently I’ve been visiting a lot of the public libraries and free museums we have in England, and have really enjoyed it (and it didn’t cost me £50,000!).

Realistically, I will have to get a job as soon as I can. In my head, I see this part of my life as the ‘prelude’ section. Girl gets small, part-time job, girl saves enough for a plane ticket and accommodation abroad, girl travels around Asia teaching English, girl returns to England and writes a best-selling sci-fi novel.

A girl can dream?

In all seriousness, I want the next part of my life to be as stress-free as I can make it. I was thinking of applying for a masters, or looking for a graduate level job but really, that’s not me. I have enjoyed uni, but it has come with a lot of unexpected life shit that has made it really quite hard. I’m still recovering from this stress, and so a part time job while I save and live at home for a bit is all I want to properly think about for now.

So here’s to the beginning of my next chunk of life! And if anyone reading this wants to pay me for sitting around and occasionally blogging pls get in touch!

(The picture is the Parkinson building at Leeds uni – where I used to go)

 

Oxycontin Abuse in the USA – Fascinating Article Featured on Longreads Blog

(CN: Pharmaceuticals, Doctors, Drug abuse, Overdose, Violence, Illness -if these things upset you, perhaps skip this one.)

Also just a disclaimer – I’m not even slightly a doctor, and I knew nothing about Oxycontin before reading this article.

This is a little different from the usual themes of my blog, but I found it a really interesting read. The first article linked is an LA Times piece about the history of Oxycontin in the US. The drug is effectively an opiate, and while it chemically provides pain relief, there are a lot of questions raised about its accessibility; mainly that it is simply too easy to get hold of. Doctors in the US have often caused controversy by prescribing medication too readily, or continuing to prescribe high doses of addictive medication without considering the implications. (Check out Louis Theroux’s documentary about behavioural meds for children). There are a number of cases mentioned in the article where people have been unaware of the addictive quality of the drug and the danger of it, resulting in overdose in the more extreme cases. As well as this, the pharmaceutical company producing Oxycontin made huge profits in the 90s, some of it coming from addicted celebrities such as Eminem.

The fact that prescription drugs are abused by over 2 million people in the USA alone is frightening. Surely the scale of the US means that so many demographics will inevitably have different experiences; but opiate abuse often affects the most vulnerable people in society. The impression I get from this article is that the drugs were actively pushed onto doctors by the company in the 80s, who then prescribed it to as many people as possible – many of whom were previous addicts.

The case studies in this article are shocking, but the comments tell a different story. Some people have accused this piece of investigative journalism of being too biased. Some cancer patients and sufferers of chronic pain are willing to take the risk of addiction in exchange for much needed relief. Evidence also suggests that those without a history of addiction are less likely to develop an addiction to the painkillers simply from taking them ‘as prescribed’. Personally, I feel it is best to read it for yourself. There are also more scientific journals about the research available online (although sometimes you have to wonder who funded the research, and why.)

Maybe the question shouldn’t be about the drug itself, but how education about addiction and drugs in general is treated in the US?  Please comment if you have also read it!

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via The Top 5 Longreads of the Week — Longreads Blog

Spring Thinking

Spring Thinking

CN: Mentions of Anxiety, mental health.

Spring is always a busy time for me. Mainly because my birthday is in April, which in the past few years has meant thinking about what I’m going to ‘be’. It was my 21st a few weeks ago, which was pretty crazy, and I didn’t really get a chance to think about what that means until now. I still don’t really have a lot of free time (dissertation due in 8 days lol) but I’m coming to terms with the idea of being an adult…

Not that I feel grown up at all. Even when I’m doing ‘grown up’ things like paying bills, travelling alone and booking my own doctor’s appointments, I feel like an imposter trying to act like I know what I’m doing. Like a dog wearing clothes. I guess I always thought that there was a moment where you just instantly became an adult, and knew what to do? Instead I’m noticing its more like a process of becoming. Looking back I am definitely a lot more mature than I was this time last year. And I’ve still got a long way to go. Some adult things are still hard for me including; job applications, serious phone calls, crossing the road, being responsible for things generally, the list goes on. (Mainly because I have anxiety and seemingly normal things stress me out).

Right now though, I’m just trying to focus on being. I find it easy to get trapped in thinking about what I’ve been through, what I still need to work on, what’s changed, and forget to think about what’s happening. That doesn’t mean ignoring the past or the future. It just means that in stressful/busy/exciting times I find it much more manageable to live in the present. Obviously there are future decisions that need to be made, and I’m not trying to aggressively ignore the past. Personally, thinking backwards or forwards in time too much can often make me feel dissociative and weird. This is something I’m working to cope with and luckily I have people to support me.

Another big help has been mindfulness meditation, which aims to focus your mind and body on the present. This has helped a lot with my sleeping pattern and general stress levels. I even get weekly emails from the free meditation class I go to which have inspirational quotes at the end!

I ended up talking about things I haven’t mentioned before in this post, like mental health, but it’s really helped to get it out. This was meant to be an uplifting post, so I’ll attach a nice picture of some tulips and a quote from my meditation tutor.

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present” – Albert Camus

Yours upliftingly, A xxx