So, I finally succumbed to the hype, and made The Post Punk Kitchen’s Chickpea Cutlets. (I actually made the Doublebatch of Chickpea Cutlets, even though it was my first attempt, because the hype was so positive.)
Upon reading the recipe on The PPK, my hope was that these would taste something like the Morningstar Farms Chik Patties or the Boca Chik’n Patties. I had long had an embarrassing obsession with these (I think I liked the Morningstar ones more, but I could never really remember, so I always just bought whatever was on sale.) Since going vegan and working to eliminate chemicals and preservatives from my eating habits, I haven’t bought these “vegetarian junk food” items, as my roommate and I used to refer to them. In my pre-vegan days I would cook up one of those chick’n patties and top it with tomato sauce and cheese and have a lovely little veggie chick’n parmesan. Or, I would put on some salsa, jalapeños, and cheese, slice it up, put it in a tortilla, and serve it up Mexican style. Or, I’d mix together some honey and mustard, and serve it with a honey mustard sauce. Or, I’d put on catsup and mustard and eat it on a pita like a chick’n sandwich.
In the past, I’ve sort of had possibly unhealthy streaks of chick’n patty overdose.
Now, though, I was ready to move on and be a healthier person. I was ready to try the famed Chickpea Cutlets. They’re originally from Veganomican, but I used the recipe off the website (see above). Of the 167 comments posted about the recipe, nearly all of them are positively glowing. Much like when I made the heavenly delicious Mac and ‘Shews recipe a few months ago, I didn’t believe that the hype could be true. But, much like 234 commenters couldn’t be wrong about the Mac and ‘Shews, those commenters erecting monuments in honor of the Chickpea Cutlets are pretty much right. The Chickpea Cutlets are a winning food all around (unless you can’t eat gluten, sorry.)
These delicious patties are made mostly of chickpeas, vital wheat gluten, veggie broth, and spices. That’s it. So quick, so easy, so perfect.
I do have to admit that I had a bit of trouble, though. The recipe says to mash the chickpeas, which I tried to do, but I don’t think I mashed them enough. When it came time to mix everything together, the chickpeas had a really hard time incorporating into the rest of the dough. This was such a problem, that I ended up loosing a good deal of them in the process – I just could not get the chickpeas to mix in with the rest. When I divided up the dough to make into patties, I ended up with about 1/2 cup (maybe more) of chickpeas sitting sad and alone at the bottom of my mixing bowl. Next time I make these (and there WILL be a next time, probably really, really soon), I will make sure to smoosh the chickpeas even more. Hopefully that will help them to incorporate into the dough more fully.
Also, instead of pan frying the patties, I baked them in the oven. They came out absolutely lovely and delicious. (I sprayed the baking sheet with olive oil, then sprayed the top of the patties with olive oil, too. I flipped the patties after about 20 minutes, and let them cook ten more minutes after that.) I should add, though, that when I say “lovely,” I simply mean that they weren’t burned and they tasted good. They weren’t quite round, or oval, or any recognizable shape. But they tasted like I wanted them to, and that’s what mattered.
As luck would have it, I think I have finally found my homemade substitute for those preservative-laden store-bought chick’n patties.
I didn’t get any pictures of the chickpea cutlets alone, but that’s okay. They are pretty boring looking. Here, though, is a close-up of a chickpea cutlet covered in tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. So yummy!
I usually don’t eat much pasta, but I made an exception here. I felt that a chickpea cutlet just begged to be eaten beside some whole wheat pasta, with everything drowned in nutritional yeast. (And really, who am I to deny the chickpea cutlet what it wants?) It was good!
Perhaps I became a vegetarian all those years ago because I just didn’t like having to cut meat. One of the selling points of the chickpea cutlet for many people is that you need to eat it with a steak knife. Well, I don’t want to eat it with a steak knife. I’d rather eat it with a fork and nothing else. So, I tore a chickpea cutlet into bite-sized pieces and mixed it in with some pasta and sauce (and a good dousing of nutritional yeast). This method worked wonderfully. No knife, no fuss!
The next day for lunch I had my last serving of Mac and ‘Shews that I made months ago and froze in individual containers. I though, ‘why not tear up a chickpea cutlet and add it to the Mac and ‘Shews?!’ So I did, and it was perfect.
I also ate a chickpea cutlet with catsup and mustard in a pita bread. Delicious.
I had half of a leftover sweet potato sandwich that I was going to eat. I wondered what would happen if I added a chickpea cutlet to the sandwich. So, I tried it and it was great!
I would like to officially become a member of Chickpea Cutlet fan club. I plan to make them many more times, and devise many more ways to eat them.