I have 2 points to make with this post.
1) Chickpea flour is awesome….
I have my BuddyEE to thank for my passionate appreciation of besan (chickpea flour). I had played around with it a little before I encountered my little friend and his restrictive diet, but not to the extreme that BuddyEE inspired me to go. Basically, amongst a handful of fruit/veg, chickpea flour was BuddyEE’s only real form of protein, and his only source of cooking “glue” if you will. So I got to know chickpea flour pretty darn well while trying to come up with new, exciting recipes for BuddyEE’s Mama to recreate for him. Sometimes when you have limited ingredients to work with, it really gets you ‘thinking outside the box,’ in terms of creativity (photo below from such moments of culinary inspiration).
Chickpea flour is not just handy to have on hand for vegans… it’s a terrific “binder” in all sorts of dishes, and a lifesaver when you have no eggs in the fridge. You’re not just limited to using it in savoury dishes, mind you, I made my own recipe for a traditional Indian sweet using besan here. It’s also a great source of protein, and super easy to sneak into things… not that I’m sneaky or anything.
2) Meat is great (if you are that way inclined) but buy BETTER, eat less of it… great advice courtesy of Mr Michael Pollen. Comparatively, organic, free range meat IS more expensive, but like anything – you get what you pay for. As I’ve said before, in our household, we are on a budget – one income, child, mortgage – we live a pretty humble existence, yet we still manage to eat really well.
Today’s recipe is in not way vegan, but it shows how you can make a smaller amount of quality meat go further. Consider meat as a “side” and make veggies/whole grains the heroes of your dish* You can even make this recipe without any fancy equipment, all you need is a sharp knife. Viper has pulled me up on making patties in the food processor – apparently he likes patties that still retain a bit of chew texture, so I have refrained from whizzing today.
*(Your body and wallet will thank you)
- 1 large chicken breast (equal 1C finely chopped chicken)
- 1/2C sundried tomatoes… I used dried tomatoes I made myself in the dehydrator, if you are using sundried tomatoes that have been stored in oil, then pat off excess oil.
- 2T finely minced red onion
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 2T fresh oregano (or basil would work nicely) roughly chopped
- 1/4C crumbled feta
- 1/4C chickpea flour (sifted)
- 1T milk
- 1/4t sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2t baking powder (gluten free)
- Coconut oil/butter/ghee for cooking – I suggest these as olive oil tends to soak into patties such as these, and super greasy patties are not nice.
- Using a sharp knife, finely chop the chicken as small as you can.
- Toss through your finely minced red onion, crushed galic, herbs, feta, seasoning.
- Add the chickpea flour (sift it if it seems lumpy) milk and baking powder.
- Combine well.
- Heat oil of choice in a large frypan… pat the mix into 4 medium sized patties and place in the pan, flattening down slightly so they are around 1cm in thickness. Now turn down the heat to a moderate temperature so the patties don’t just burn on the outside, while remaining raw in the middle, ick.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through and golden brown.