Sunday, January 31, 2010

It helps to read the recipe first

A Louisiana black bear cub being relocated to a new home
Copyright (c) 2006 Wendee Holtcamp

It helps to read the recipe first, apparently. It's technically transition day, when I'm supposed to have fresh-squeezed orange juice, and the veggie soup only but I couldn't help myself. In the evening, after the gym, I decided to try out a recipe I've been drooling over in the Vegetarian Times magazine, Oct 2009 issue: Chickpea Croquettes with Greek Salad Topping. I don't know what it is about chickpeas, but I have been craving them or days. Yesterday I forgot to mention that in addition to the two almoonds and one raisin, I ate about 6 chickpeas with salt on them. Yum!

I halved the recipe, because it called for one can of chickpeas, and I'd already used a half-can in the veggie soup so I had a half-can in the fridge. It's a good thing I halved it, since although they turned out good, I want to try the recipe using the water, instead of omitting it. They turned out a bit dry, and I think that may have been why...

Here's the recipe:

Greek Salad Topping (I omitted the cheese since I'm transitioning and wanted to use only non-dairy at this point. When I make it again, I am not going to use the vegan feta...but regular). :)
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced (1 cup)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled low-fat vegan feta cheese, optional

1 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

(I substituted rice flour because I couldn't find chickpea flour in bulk and I already had a bunch of rice flour. I also added a bit of leek because I was so excited about the leek chopping video, I just couldn't help myself. I had to try my newfound skills on the rest of the leek from yesterday. I used the final technique, quartering the leek, and then chopping fine. I also started chopping yellow bell pepper because I had one partly used in the fridge but then felt guilty so used a combo of red and yellow. I diced them up pretty fine but I think it would work better (more flavor detection) with a bit bigger chunks.

Notice there is no mention of 3/4 cup hot water?? Recipes should put that in the ingredient list! I have a tendency to skim the recipes, so hopefully I'll learn that lesson. I should've learned when I make Elissa's recipe for Beef Burgundy (from Mark's Daily Apple) on Halloween. It apparently had to bake two hours... so we didn't get to eat it until the next day but all the trick or treaters said it smelled amazing!

What you are supposed to do is whisk together the flour, cumin, chili powder and salt in a bowl (I already failed at this point, because I dumped in the chickpeas before stirring the flour and spices. Doh!). Whisk in 3/4 cup hot water (second fail!). Stir in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. I am using this brand new pepper grinder I got super cheap - like a couple bucks. It already had the pepercorns in it! I never had a peppercorn grinder before. I'm like a kid in a candy store! At any rate, then you put dollops of the mix into a skillet at medium heat coated with cooking spray like you're cooking pancakes. I have switched from cooking sprays to a oil mister, which has the same effect but without the "propellent." I got it 50% off at Randalls grocery store a few weeks ago, and I love it. I use olive oil in it.

Amazingly they cooked just fine, and taste good! Topped with the fresh cucumber and tomato - mmmm. I was slightly disappointed but I think the dryness was part of the problem. There was also a slightly bitter flavor but I think that was because my green onions (which I call chives but technically those are different I guess) are a couple weeks old. I think it will be really good with the feta cheese too! I look forward to trying this next week. I Only ate one small croquette, since it was my first solid food in 13 days, and I have three left over. I'd have made up a sauce or something to make up for the dryness but again only wanted to put pure vegetable stuff (very little fats, no dairy yet) in my body. If you try it, let me know what you think!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love all these veggie recipes, and the advice within.I have to try them!

I love chickpeas too for some reason. I have hummos with low fat crackers as a snack almost every day. I like to make my own but if you buy Sabra is the best! Their jalapeno, roasted pepper, and garlic hummoses are awesome.