Thanks to the Happy Herbivore!

It should be obvious by now that for right now I’m not posting regularly at all. My apologies for being a slacker. I’m trying new recipes all the time. I just never seem to sit down to write about them.

Lately, my obsession with new recipes to try has been the copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S Nixon that my husband bought me as a gift. Lindsay cooks vegan meals that are low or no fat, which is our current dietary standard in this house. After seeing Forks over Knives and Vegucated, not to mention Food Matters, Food, Inc, and a number of other documentaries, we just couldn’t in good conscience keep eating animal products. I feel healthier this way, very rarely have migraine pain, and will hopefully lose some weight, especially if I start exercising regularly too.

Anyway, I’ve been trying lots of recipes from Lindsay’s books (I got all three for Christmas.). Everyday Happy Herbivore is still my favorite. Not all her recipes are winners, especially if your taste buds haven’t adjusted to a low fat low salt low sugar vegan palate yet. But some of her recipes are just fantastic, and have been added to our regular rotation now. I tried one yesterday that was so good I just had to share it. So here goes:

Cajun Chickpea Cakes (from Everyday Happy Herbivore by Linsday S. Nixon)

  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Mayo*
  • 1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning**
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp tamari [Use gluten free if that’s an issue for you.]
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • Smoky Cajun Mayo, optional ***
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Place chickpeas in a food processor and pulse about 10 times, until they are coarsely chopped but not pureed (you can also try this with a fork).
  4. Transfer chickpeas and all remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Roll 8 balls, then spray lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Place balls 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet and flatten gently with the palm of your hand.
  7. Lightly respray the cakes and sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until thoroughly warm and a bit crispy.
  9. Serve with Smoky Cajun Mayo or another condiment or sauce.

*Vegan Mayo

  • 1 12.3 oz pkg Mori-Nu tofu
  • 2-3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • agave nectar, to taste
  1. In a blender or small food processor, blend tofu with Dijon and vinegar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of agave nectar and blend again.
  3. Taste and add more lemon, agave nectar, or Dijon as needed or desired. Chill until you’re ready to use.

**Poultry Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp rubbed sage (not powdered)
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley or basil
  1. Grind herbs together in a mortar and pestle until coarse like the consistency of sea salt, but not powdered.
  2. Store in an airtight container.

***Smoky Cajun Mayo

  • 1/4 cup Vegan Mayo
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning****
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients together and taste, adding more Cajun seasoning or liquid smoke as desired.

****Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or mace (optional)
  1. Combine all spices and herbs thoroughly.
  2. Store in an airtight container.

This might seem like a really long chain of ingredients. It was a bit of a pain this first time I made them. However, now I’ve got extra “mayo” and poultry seasoning waiting for the next time I make them–which will be soon, according to my husband’s pleas. The cakes were filling and delicious, with a texture we hadn’t had in quite awhile. My husband said it reminded him of scrapple, but I’m not sure about that. I just know that they were dense and flavorful and satisfying. We ate them with a side of mixed veggies and some of the plain “mayo” drizzled over them, but I think they might be enjoyable as a sandwich filling too. The mayo is a different taste. It does not have either the taste or texture of conventional mayo–I wouldn’t call it mayo at all. I’d just call it a tasty and healthy lowfat spread and sauce. Which it was. Kind of pretty, too–a light golden speckled color.

As usual, I didn’t follow the recipe completely.  I didn’t use a food processor on the chickpeas, as I don’t have a working one. Mashing them with a fork worked just fine. And I used bottled lime juice instead of fresh. And I used Vegenaise for the cakes, and only served them with the “mayo” on top as a dressing.  For the poultry seasoning, I used marjoram and basil. The patties are VERY sticky and messy to handle, but they baked up fine on a non stick cookie sheet without oil or parchment paper, without sticking or leaving a mess on the cookie sheet.

I’ve been inspired by this recipe. I want to make it again very soon, and I want to try some variations on the theme, other ethnic flavors blended into the base. I’m thinking Italian herbs with marinara as sauce, taco seasoning with salsa and/or guacamole on top, and possibly jerk, Indian, and Thai flavored versions as well. I can’t wait! I hope you enjoy them too!

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About crystalsea24

Jane Eyre meets Lisa Simpson meets Belle from Beauty and the Beast meets Velma from Scooby Doo. I read a lot of books.
This entry was posted in Allergy Friendly, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten free, Low Sugar, Meat Free, Vegan. Bookmark the permalink.

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