Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eat This.

One of my goals is to cook more. While I'm pretty proficient in the kitchen, I haven't had a whole lot of experience in meal planning, and so this year I'm trying to get better at cooking meals, instead of just foods. :)

To help myself with this goal - and, ok, because I love it so much and got an AMAZING deal on a subscription - I got a subscription to
Everyday with Rachael Ray. Every month when my issue comes, I dog-ear recipes and ideas that I want to try. When I saw the recipe for Groovy Garbanzo Burgers in the latest issue, I knew I HAD to try it (we all know about my love affair with garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas). :)

If you want to make them too, the recipe is
right here: the changes I made were to substitute cilantro for parsley, a flaxseed egg for the egg (for my allergy peeps), a little water (about 1/2-3/4 of a cup) during the pureeing stage,, and in the way I served them (no hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato, and mayo here lol!). (For the record, the following pictures and amounts show a doubled recipe, as there are eight people to feed at my table).

Don't they look yummy?

I started with four cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed them, and then *ahem*shelledthem*ahem*... This isn't really necessary, but having their skins on bugs me somehow.

I had an idea of how I wanted to serve them... with a fire-roasted pepper salsa of sorts, and a zesty pesto.

First thing to do was to blacken my peppers - one red, one orange, one green, and one yellow (had to use two burners). This is the easiest thing to do - just throw them on a gas burner and let them roast. It's pretty impossible to burn them - trust me, they'll be fine - you want them BLACK!

When they're COMPLETELY black...

... throw them in a plastic bag and let them get good and steamy. (Maggie claims you can save the plastic bag and just throw a towel over them, but Maggie is magic and I am moral and I stick with the plastic bag, to be safe).

After they've sat in there for awhile, the blackened skins will slip right off. :) Pull out the seeds, flatten them out, and scrape away any white bits of remaining seeds, and you're done! I gave everything a good chopping, along with some tomatoes I oven-roasted a bit, and the result was a lovely charred salsa.

I also whipped up the easiest-ever mock pesto (Maggie's recipe): 2 cups (I think I used a bit more) cilantro, and 1 cup walnuts in the food processor; pulse til chopped, add 2 TBS lime juice, then turn the processor on and slowly drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil in a steady stream. When it's smooth, you're done!

The burgers shaped up sooo nicely and held together amazingly well during the cooking process. They browned up and smelled so. amazing.

When they came off the stove, I placed each burger on a pita bread sliced in half, and topped it with my roasted salsa and a dollop of pesto and served them with balsamic vinegar on the side.

Verdict: Even my family, who isn't really in love with chickpeas the same way I am, loved this! Happy people all around, and this goes into my "definitely make again" file. As we were eating, we were also thinking of different ways to serve them - with cucumbers, a little feta, and a bit of sour cream, the way the recipes says with hamburger rolls, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, etc. I'm looking forward to making them again soon!

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