Saturday, March 29, 2008

Creamy Pasta With Crispy Chickpea-en

First of all, this morning I woke to a fire in the first floor of my apartment building-- or more accurately, I woke to firefighters, smoke, confusion and panic. Everyone is safe, but I have to say that opening my apartment door to a hallway full of smoke was really scary. But you know what's scarier? The fact that no one's smoke alarms went off.

Anyways, luckily the fire was in an empty apartment so no one was hurt. Also, despite being scared, I knew I was safe because no one was breaking my door down to rescue me-- I mean, it clearly was contained. But the smoke burned my throat like crazy! I couldn't imagine 'fighting fire' as a career. I've always really respected and admired fire fighters, but being in a extremely mild fire-situation and seeing how scary it is really puts their responsibilities into perspective. So, yay for fire fighters! And police officers! Thank you for putting your life on the line to protect others every day. :)

So, now that that's out of the way, I'd like to share today's luch with you. I really need to go grocery shopping, but I had some things I thought I could use, namely frozen peas, pasta, a can of chickpeas, and various types of flour. I keep reading about these mysterious and wonderful "Chickpea Cutlets" from Veganomicon. But I don't have Veganomicon, and I don't think I'm going to buy it, because I made myself a promise recently (more on that later). So, armed with what I've learned recently about making your own faux meat, I decided to make my own. I'll call it Chickpea-en, because that's the worst name I can possibly thing of. Thanks to Vegan Dad for this, as his blog introduced me to the art of steamed gluten.

Makes 6 pieces

  • 1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (or ww pastry)
  • 1/3 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • pinch of turmeric for color
  • 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. water

1. Mash the chickpeas well in medium sized bowl.
2. In another bowl, add all of the dry ingredients together, i.e. flours and spices.
3. Add the dry to the chickpeas and cut them together with a fork. Once combined, add the water and knead for up to five minutes, or until the wet ingredients seem well absorbed.
4. Get the water simmering in whatever you use to steam stuff **. Divide into 6 pieces and press flat. Wrap each into a little packet of tin foil and place them into your steamer. Steam for about 30 minutes and you're done.

Here they are just out of the tin packet:

I made a cream sauce from a roux, and I wasn't very impressed by it, so I'm not going to post the recipe. But the peas were a nice touch. I also breaded and baked the chickpea-en just like my baked 'fried chicken' (I didn't fry it this time!) and it dried out so much. I don't think there was enough moisture in it to withstand the oven.


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Mmmmm looks like perfect comfort food.

Thank goodness no one was hurt in the fire!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I wonder if I could steam them (or the sausages) without the tin foil. I really don't feel confident cooking with tin foil, I have this feeling that it is not healthy...

Sorry to hear about the fire! good thing nothing happened!

Binx said...


You probably can if you have a steamer, but I don't. I just simmer 1/2 in. of water in a covered pot. Hmm, I wonder if tin fol is unhealthy? No idea!

Happy Herbivore! said...

this looks amazing... and i still cant wait to try your "fried" chicken