Monday, October 4, 2010

Chickpea Cutlets, Brown & Wild Rice, and Butternut Squash

I skipped lunch today (bad, I know).  But, I was busy at work, so I only had high fiber oatmeal, and a couple of cups of Joe. That was it.  I wanted something good for dinner.  Dinner is a mix of several things.  I bought some Roasted Butternut Squash with Grapes and Sage at Whole Foods and need to eat that.  But, it's a side portion, not a meal.  I threw a mixture of different brown rices in my rice cooker.  But, that still didn't make a meal.  So, I pulled out my vegan cookbooks and began searching.  

Lucky me, I found a recipe in the second cookbook I grabbed ... Veganomicon.  One of the pictures in the middle of the book caught my eye.  It was Chickpea Cutlets.  Of course, the picture has them being served with gravy, but I don't know which one since it doesn't say by the recipe.  BUT, the steps to make the cutlets and the baking time was good for a Monday night, so I began.

OK, I cooked a 1 pound bag of dried chickpeas yesterday and made a wonderful Chipolte Chickpea Dip from the Fat Free Vegan website that looked like hummus.  It is excellent.  I will be taking the rest of that into work tomorrow to share with my BFF for lunch.  That still left me with 3 cups (at least) of cooked chickpeas.  Think I left any out to use this week?  NO, Silly!  Why would I do that?  Nope, I froze them all.  So, I grabbed a can of chickpeas from the pantry shelf and rinsed them well.  I measured out a cup for the Chickpea Cutlets and then I tossed the rest to my dogs, one chickpea at a time for a snack.  (All three of my dogs love them!)

The cutlets were really easy to pull together and form into patties.  The ingredients are all basic ingredients that I had in my kitchen.  (I LOVE those kind of recipes!)  I decided to bake mine over frying them.  Although, I may like them better fried, and I'll try that at another time.  However, when I flipped the cutlets over on the baking sheet, the bottom side had browned nicely and looked crispy.  YUM!

The rice was done well before the cutlets, but the beauty is, I cooked it in my rice cooker, so it will stay piping hot on the "Keep Warm" setting forever without scorching the rice.  Plus, I could feed the girls (my 3 dogs) a healthy portion of brown rice for dinner.  :)

How was the dinner?  It was good.  I ended up putting coarse ground Dijon mustard on the cutlet, and that was a perfect match.  I either need to make the Mustard Gravy in Veganomicon or the Mushroom Gravy.  Also, I do think I'd like these pan fried much better.  Instead of making the 4" by 6", I'd rather they be a little thicker and smaller so they are less dry.  All in all, not bad for my first try.  I'm glad I made them.  Chickpeas are my favorite bean, so I will definitely make these again with some slight alterations.

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