As I was flipping through the Veganomicon, I found a nifty recipe for chickpea cutlets. I adore chickpeas in any form. It was SO gonna happen.
I also really enjoyed the Veganomicon, because there were lots of real recipes, and they didn’t use too much kitchen chicanery or faux ingredients in their recipes. I really do not enjoy the way vegan foods taste when they’re made with vegan cheese, vegan egg replacer, etc. etc. They taste really fakey, off, and just plain ole’ not good. If there’s anything you know I like, it’s for my food to taste good! I really enjoyed that this book went that route – letting the ingredients stand out for themselves, which is how I normally like my animal product-free foods.
The Albany Public Library system has a copy or two of the Veganomicon, which is where I got it from after seeing it at Border’s (and shrieking when I saw the price).
The chickpea cutlets were amazing, simply put. I thought the ingredients were incredibly simple and flavorful, and the process of making them was also insanely easy. They tasted firm, basically like a gigantic cutlet. As you can see, I served these with some spaghetti and sauce (that part was really bad. Oh, man, I can really mess up spaghetti and tomato sauce). I also baked these in the oven after brushing both sides with a bit of olive oil. You can also pan fry them. My only suggestion is to roll them out as thin as you can, if you want cutlets thinner than this, since they puff up a bit in the oven.
For Boxing Day this year I’m having my family and close friends in the area over for dinner. For the veggie friendly main dish, I think I am going to make a chickpea cutlet parm of some sort. I spent all of Friday night (OMG, wasn’t that traffic AWFUL to drive home in?! 2 HOURS I was in traffic, aiii) making a vegan ragu for a (hopefully) large chickpea parm of sorts. I think it will hold up really well and be very tasty. The cutlets themselves aren’t dry, and were more than fine naked, but I think a sauce will really jazz them up.
I increased the recipe a bit, since a can of chickpeas is just over 1 cup, and the remaining chickpeas would have made a paltry salad garnish (but then again, I really love chickpeas.)
Veganomicon’s Chickpea Cutlets
1 Can chickpeas
2.5 T olive oil
3/4 C vital wheat gluten
3/4 C bread crumbs (I had some garlic bread I’d made left in the freezer – score!)
1/3 C Water
3 T Soy Sauce
3 Cloves Garlic, pressed/minced
just under a teaspoon of:
dried, rubbed sage
Mash chickpeas until smooth/ as smooth as possible. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for 3 minutes. You’ll see gluten strings form when you knead, and they look like snot/goo. It’s really cool.
Make 6-8 cutlets and pan fry. Or cook in a 375F oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping midway through. Brush with olive oil if you’re baking them.