I grew up in an Italian family and like any good Italian kid, I loved me some Sunday night pasta dinners. A bowl of pasta and sauce still tastes like home. However, let’s be honest, without the meat and cheese of a traditional Italian meal, things can get a little dull after a while.
So, coolest vegan “meat” ever meet coolest vegetable ever. Ahh, love at first bite. Pasta night will never be boring again.
If you’ve been vegan for any amount of time, you’ve probably tried The Post Punk Kitchen’s chickpea cutlets (originally published in Veganomicon) and know how they are just the most delicious patties ever made. If you’re new to vegan cooking or somehow you missed the chickpea cutlet craze, you must make these ASAP.
The PPK’s original chickpea cutlet recipe is genius, so I stay pretty true to it but with a few minor changes. Namely, I use half as much oil and substitute traditional breadcrumbs with panko flakes (Japanese bread crumbs). The biggest change I’ve made is in the cooking. Rather than cooking the cutlets on a stovetop or in the oven, I’ve had the best results using our George Foreman. Okay, fine, it’s not actually a George Foreman…at all. It’s just a panini press, but it cooks the chickpea cutlets to perfection every time. Any electric grill will do the trick and the more traditional cooking methods still yield good results if you don’t have one.
The only excuse you have not to make these is if you are gluten-free. In that case, you might want to check out these gluten-free chickpea cutlets. Unfortunately, I cannot vouch for them at this time as I love the glutenful ones so much that I have yet to be adventurous enough to try the gluten free recipe…maybe someday.
Chickpea cutlets can be served any number of ways: on a sandwich, in a pita, on a salad, dipped in sauce, on Thanksgiving, in the rain, on a train. Okay, okay, you get the idea. They’re totally versatile and delicious. However, I think they are at their best when served with spaghetti squash and smothered in sauce. (My favorite sauce as of late is arrabbiata – recipe coming soon!)
Spaghetti squash is really exciting to make. It looks like a regular old squash before you bake it and then, after, with a few scrapes of a fork, it magically transforms into spaghetti strands. Wow. It delights me ever time. Also, it is super low in calories and carbs, which helps keep this meal pretty darn healthy!
- 1 16 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 cup panko flakes
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest.
- Preheat your George Foreman or other electric grill - a panini press will work great! (See notes for alternate cooking options.)
- Mash the chickpeas with the olive oil until no whole chickpeas remain. A strong fork, slatted spoon, or avocado masher should do the trick.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until most of the liquid is absorbed. Then knead the dough for a few minutes with your hands to finish the job. The dough will become thick and strings of gluten will appear.
- Split it into six equal sections and roll into oval shaped balls.
- Place two at a time on the electric grill and close the grill firmly to flatten out the cutlets. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
- Place on a cooling rack while you cook the remaining chickpea cutlets.
- Serve with spaghetti squash and pasta sauce or any other way you like them--on a salad, in a sandwich, as chickpea fingers, the possibilities are endless!
- Spaghetti squash
- Cooking spray
- Your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half length ways. (Consult this video for tips or select the strongest person in your family to do the job for you--it can be pretty tough!)
- Scrape out the seeds and guts of the spaghetti squash, leaving the sides clean and smooth. An ice cream scoop is the ideal tool for this job.
- Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the spaghetti squash face down.
- Cook for 30 minutes or until the squash can be punctured easily by a sharp knife. During this time, prepare or heat your spaghetti sauce.
- Set aside to cool until easily handled. Then flip the spaghetti squash over. Using a fork, gently scrape the sides of the spaghetti squash in order to pull the spaghetti strands out of the squash. Continue until all squash has been removed from the skin.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve with spaghetti sauce.