Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chickpeas 3 Ways: Part One

I can't think of a better way to get things started again than to focus on chickpeas.  This is silly, you might be saying.  What do chickpeas have to do with starting over?

Well, dear readers (if you are out there), chickpeas are an extremely versatile source of protein.  Beans are great, but for the most part, I get burnt out on beans.  Chickpeas seems to have a light flavor that makes them a source of protein that I can eat without getting tired of them.  Plus, they pick up flavor well, you can process them a ton of ways (hummus, mashed, whole).  Chickpeas keep on keepin' on.

For my first recipe, I'm going to see how many puns I can make.

Vegan Falafel With Tzatziki Sauce
Do you sometimes falafel [feel awful] about deciding what to eat?  Do you want something quick and easy?  Well, here's something I falafel [fell] in love with.   Okay, I'm done being silly.

Falafel are great because I can eat them cold.  They're easy to pack.  They're a quick, cheap, and easy meal.  Plus, they're really easy to make vegan (most falafel already are!).  These are baked, so they aren't totally FALAFEL [awful] for you!

Yields: 12 small falafel patties
1 can of chickpeas (you can use dry if you want to save even more money. if using dry, cook normally, and then use a cup and a half)
1 tbsp oil (I used sesame oil!)

4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro (fresh)
4 mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander

3-4 tbsp chickpea flour (you can use any flour, but I'd use less)
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a cookie sheet, set aside.

In a large bowl, mash up the chickpeas with the oil.  Use your muscles.  DO NOT USE A BLENDER! You will puree it to the point of hummus.

In a blender (I used a magic bullet), add green onions, garlic, lemon juice, mint, cilantro, and spices.  Puree until you get this awesome green stuff.

final product!
When you're done, add it to the mashed chick peas.
Lastly, add flour and baking powder.  Mix all the ingredients together.  (I used my hands because I am awesome).

Take a tablespoon or so of the mixture, roll into a ball, and then flatten it.  Place flattened patty on the cookie sheet.  You should have about 12 patties.

Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake until brown and crispy.  Be careful! The bottoms will brown quickly. You may want to flip them over to get a nice even browning.

Vegan Tzatziki Sauce:
 A ton, but that's okay because it's light and delicious.  You can eat it on other things too, and you'll want to because...it's light and delicious.  Seriously.  It's like a delicious cloud of awesome.
Ingredients:1 Box of Silken Tofu (make sure you drain the excess moisture)
2 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Oil (of you choosing, I used sesame)
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Large Cucumber, peeled.
3 Tbsp Dill Weed (I used dried)
3 Tbsp Garlic

In a blender, pulse cucumber to chop it up.  Don't liquefy it.  Remove and place into a bowl.
In the blender, add tofu, vinegar, salt, oil, lemon juice and garlic.  Puree until creamy.  Place this mixture in another bowl.
With your hands, take the cucumber and squeeze liquid out of it.  Add half of the liquid to the tofu cream, discard (or use for something else. you can infuse mix it with some water for a refreshing drink or use it to wash your face. trust me) the other half.  Add half of the cucumber flesh to the cream.  Discard (or use for something else) the other half.
Add dill to tofu cream, stir in dill and cucumber (by hand or with a blender).
You can add the cucumber to thicken the dip, if needed.

Put tzatziki sauce on falafel.  Stuff your face.  It's amazing.

hope you enjoy!
be well,

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