Thursday, November 29, 2012

Revised Chickpea Cutlets

A recipe that used to be a staple around this house was Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Chickpea Cutlets. There was always at least a half dozen in the freezer at any given time for quick sandwiches or a complete dinner with all the fixings.

Then I stopped making them. I wanted to be a good little McDougaller and avoid all processed foods that these fell by the wayside, as did Julie Hasson's sausages. I started to follow Jeff Novick's advice and just add extra vegetables and greens to a lot of dishes, like our weekly pasta meal. Yes, all those extra veggies did add bulk, but not satiation or even much flavor. About 2 hours after a veggie-heavy dinner we were both hungry again. My husband, being a non-McDougaller who's the same weight at age 62 that he was when he graduated high school, reached for the cookies and potato chips and I would either white-knuckle it and eat nothing (and be awake half the night with hunger pangs), eat some fruit or more veggies (and be awake half the night running in and out of the bathroom), or make the occasional on-plan quickbread (which didn't keep me awake but gave me weird dreams).

Then I used some crumbles in a VeganMoFo recipe in October and it almost brought tears to my husband's eyes having "real food" back again. I then used some more the other day in a tater tot casserole recipe and got the same response.

He also wanted more to our pasta then just veggies and so I made a batch of Julie's sausages. We used 2 of them for the three of us (plus leftovers) and the rest are in the freezer for future meals.

During the blackout after Sandy we had to toss all the perishables from the refrigerator and freezer, leaving only things that really didn't need to be refrigerated but we kept them in there anyway:

Yes, my refrigerator is this small-the left wall is right after those water bottles - you can see a few molecules of it in the upper left hand size of the photo. If I raise that top shelf up one notch the bottles and milk container hit the top. The freezer is only about as large as that second shelf, the one with the nooch. 
The rice milk is unopened, the lettuce was only 2 days old and is un-refrigerated in the store so we decided it would be fine in there for the 2 more days it would take to eat it; our son doesn't mind warm soda, and the many times the stores display the dairy cheese (American cheese-like food product) in un-refrigerated cardboard displays so our son said to keep those, too. Surprisingly, the temp in there never rose above 50, probably because that was the room temperature most days, too.

One of the things tossed was my husband's beloved hot dogs. Every day off work he would eat 2 sandwiches with 3 dogs total for lunch. It took 20 years to get him to stop putting a slice of cheese on each sandwich but he would never give up the dogs, nor would he eat veg dogs like Smart Dogs or any of the other brands I tried. But after we got our power back and we started to restock the fridge and freezer he told me not to buy any more hot dogs, that he would eat "something else" for lunch on those days. For the past 2 weeks we were lucky and I had "planned-overs" ready for him, but this week - nothing. There isn't a leftover in the house and I know there won't be any after today or tomorrow's dinners.

First I made up another batch of Jeff's burgers, the Southwest this time, but he usually complains they're too much for lunch, that he'll want something lighter.

Chickpea cutlets to the rescue! I found the recipe in my AZZ Cardfile program and made a double double-batch of them and used the tomato paste instead of olive oil option and cooked them like I always did, in the oven. Here's how they came out:

As you can see by these cooled ones, they do have an orangy tinge to them in places. The quadruple recipe made over 20 cutlets (I used my ice cream scoop to get uniform sizes, just perfect for a burger roll) plus a few tester meatball sized pieces. This is the first time I used tomato paste instead of oil (Gasp! Yes, I used oil in the past!) and contrary to some of the commentors comments, you do taste the tomato and they are a bit drier. I'll see if he notices the difference this weekend. I placed this entire batch into the freezer with circles of plastic cut from container lids between them so they don't stick together. When we're ready to eat them we just remove a few, place on a plate and nuke for less than a minute. Always perfect for a quick sandwich.

Next week I plan on making Bryanna's chickenless cutlets (no recipe, just a photo - sorry) and soon maybe dabble in regular seitan loaves again.

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