Monday, August 13, 2012

Chickpea patties with roasted veggies

Five years ago, I cooked fairly often but didn't necessarily relish it. Trying to time each component of the meal, limit the amount of mess I made, wash the dishes as I went along (something my husband strongly believes in, probably because it means he doesn't have to spend as much time at the sink after dinner), make adjustments based on the availability of ingredients (or lack thereof)... It was kind of stressful. Also, I was perfectionistic. Every meal had to be a masterpiece. I'm no Julia Child, and with my attitude, I was doomed to culinary misery.

Going gluten free forced me to cook on a much more regular basis. I couldn't go out to eat nearly as often as I had in my pre-GF days; when I did, the food was usually disappointing. So cooking at home was almost always cheaper and sometimes more tasty. :-) At first I relied heavily on recipes, but then I realized that when you use fresh ingredients, you don't need to do a whole lot to food to make it taste good. And because I started to see food as fuel, I didn't get as upset if it didn't turn out as I'd hoped. It was still nutritious. Once I took some of the pressure off myself and reduced the complexity of my cooking efforts, the whole act of preparing a meal became a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. And as with most things, practice makes easier (not perfect - perfect is not a goal [or so I lecture myself on a regular basis]).

Tonight I made fried chickpea patties. The recipe is taken from Oh She Glows. I changed two things: I used GF flour instead of regular flour, and I fried the patties instead of baking them. We don't fry very often, and until recently it actually kind of scared me. But fried food... tastes good. And it cooks quickly. So I've gotten a little more comfortable with it.

Per the recipe, I combined red onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, and some salt and pepper (I kind of eyeballed the measurements). In a separate bowl, I mashed up two cans of chickpeas with my hands (not the cans, just the chickpeas... har har) and added the GF flour. My son mixed it all together.

Chickpeas and flour in wooden bowl; onions, garlic, and spices in blue bowl

I divided the mixture into 10 pieces and patted them into little disks:

Then I covered the bottom of a saute pan with canola oil, let it warm up on medium-high heat, and added the patties once the oil was very hot (I deemed it "very hot" when I dropped in a chickpea and saw it sizzle):

Not a pretty picture. Oh well. Does frying ever look pretty?

I fried the patties for ~4 minutes on one side and ~3 minutes on the other. Then I placed them on towels to soak up some of the excess oil.

I served them with roasted brussels sprouts and grape tomatoes (mix sprouts and tomatoes with a generous swizzle of olive oil, add salt and pepper, bake for 30 minutes at ~400 degrees). 

I was really pleased with the flavor and texture combinations: sweet tomatoes, slightly salty Brussels sprouts, patties that were light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfect. Total comfort food. And easy to make.

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