Somehow, my Fridays have been turning out really great lately. First of all, it was warm outside. Close to fifty. And today, it is going to be close to sixty. Spring is in the air, my friends, and so is loss of daylight savings times this weekend, but I will accept losing an hour of sleep for better weather. In addition, I got an excellent package in the mail: Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential – for this month’s Cook the Books event (I started reading it already, and I could barely put it down), Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh, and Tropical Vegan Kitchen. These were my birthday presents to myself :P. Or really what happened was that I wanted to order the Anthony Bourdain book so that I could participate in Cook the Books, and then Amazon would only give me free shipping if I spent over $25 and and so I added on the Bon Appetit cookbook. Then, unbeknownst to me, I had already put Tropical Vegan Kitchen in my wish list and so that automatically got added to purchase list, and I just decided to leave it. You can’t have too many vegan cookbooks in my opinions. Even if you are an omnivore. Although I realized I’m more of a flexitarian, meaning that I do eat meat but eat veggie meals more often. Thus I am a flexible vegetarian.

So then, affected as I was with my good mood, I embarked on a day of baby-sitting, went out for a great meal at Redline in Cambridge with my roomie, where I ordered the vegetarian paella (avocado and broccoli rabe in ONE dish…I couldn’t have been in more heaven), and then went back home to watch the two hours of 24 that we missed this week. And THEN (yes it gets better) I checked my email and found that I had won a Tyler Florence cookbook this month for being a part of Tyler Florence Fridays! Thanks to Megan, Deb, and Natashya for this! I am so excited and plan to be Tyler-ing it up for a good while.

As for today, I have a 6.6 mile run planned in accordance with my half marathon training program. This program is entirely self-invented, by the way. The half is in August and so I have ample time to slowly build my way up to 13 miles. I plan on adding a few miles every week while I’m still in Boston by adding another bridge to my Charles River loop. Today I will go from the Western Ave bridge to Longfellow. Wish me luck! I will post my times and such sometime this weekend in case anyone is interested, and also as a way to record it for myself.
Anyway, onto the food. I saw a recipe for cajun chickpea cakes on Happy Herbivore a week or so ago, and knew that I wanted to try them. I LOVE veggie burgers (the homemade kind, not the salt-laden store bought ones) and thought that this one would go great with the overabundance of sweet potatoes that I have (since they were on sale last week). As such, I decided to make her mashed sweet potatoes recipe as well. The chickpea cakes were great. The only changes that I made were that I made them on the George Foreman grill instead of baking them and I mixed up the spices a bit based on what I had available. The sweet potatoes were okay. I think they needed a bit more kick somewhere, so I will think about what I should add to them to make them better. After seeing the recipe, if you have any suggestions, let me know! As a side note, as the chickpea cakes were smelling up my room while they were cooking, my roommate said, “Maybe I’ll just become a vegetarian and eat chickpeas and sweet potatoes and pancakes for the rest of my life.” But then I reminded her about the pulled pork from earlier this week. And she rescinded her statement.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 2, adapted from Happy Herbivore
1 lb sweet potatoes
1/8 cup almond milk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Heat up a pot of boiling water. Dice the sweet potatoes and then add them to the water until soft. Drain the sweet potatoes. Using a hand masher, add in the pumpkin pie spice and almond milk to taste.
Cajun Chickpea Cakes
Serves 2, adapted from Happy Herbivore
1 can chickpeas
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp tabasco
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup flour
Place all ingredients except the flour in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the flour. Roll into two burger-like patties. Cook on the George Foreman grill for 10-15 minutes.
I served these on Trader Joe’s Soy Pitas. I will also be submitting these to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans, as they are alternatively called (Deb of Kahakai Kitchen can commiserate on this alternative naming phenomenon that is particular to beans) are a great source of lean protein. They used to be ground and used as an alternative coffee source in Europe during WWI. They are also a great source of zinc, folate, and calcium, so eat up!
I am now off to enjoy the beautiful weather. Wish me luck on my run!
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12 Responses to Warming Up – Cajun Chickpea Cakes with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  1. Kevin says:

    The chickpea cakes sound good. I like the spice combo!

  2. laurajane says:

    Sounds really good. I’ve never heard of chickpea cakes. I will have to give it a try when I’m in the mood to experiment a little.

  3. Juliette says:

    They sound lovely, I’ve saved the recipe to try.

  4. Natashya says:

    I have Fast, Easy, Fresh too, great book – and a good value – it’s huge!
    We are omnivores too, but I love to have lots of good vegetarian and vegan dishes in the repertoire. I think it is good to be well rounded.
    What a great week you are having – you deserve it!
    Your dinner sounds fab, my daughter would love this one.

  5. Elra says:

    Oh, have I ever mentioned to you that I love sweet potatoes?
    Chickpeas cake sounds really intriguing, my husband just mentioned about this healthy and delicious beans. I think it was a hint for me that I must try to make something with it. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds delicious.

  6. Joanne says:

    Kevin – They were VERY spicy, eat with caution!

    Laura Jane – They are kind of like a baked, unconventional version of a falafel…a new-age veggie burger? Haha, let me know if you ever give them a try!

    Juliette – Thanks! I hope you like them.

    Natashya – Fast easy fresh looks like its going to be my new bible! I like to think as an omnivore I get to have the best of both worlds…why eliminate any one food from my repertoire.

    Elra – Sweet potatoes are THE best. I could eat them every day. At every meal. Indefinitely. You shold definitely give them a try, they are SO easy and really good.

  7. Kalyn says:

    They both look tasty, but I’m really intrigued by the chickpea cakes. I even have a George Foreman grill, although I rarely use it!

  8. Joanne says:

    Kalyn – Thanks for the comment! The George Foreman is my personal savior. It keeps any meat extremely moist and cooks everything so quickly. I had intended to bake the patties but both of the ovens in my dorm were being used, so I went with the flow and they turned out great.

  9. jdeq says:

    These look delicious – a greta way to add a new dimensions to one’s cooking. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Joanne says:

    Thanks for the comment! I love experimenting with new ideas, life is short so why not try everything once.

  11. […] years ago…Cajun Chickpea Cakes with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes, Fettuccine with Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey […]

  12. stephanie says:

    Your pic shows aluminum foil. So… im guessing you used foil over the grill. This kindof saves delicate foods that’d otherwise fall apart on the grill– have you tried it straight on the grill? Do you use nonstick on the foil pack, and if not, does it stick badly? Do you flip it? Are you cooking it wf the grill closed for the 10-15 min youve listed?

    Is your grill the adjustable-heat-level-knob type, or just has heat settings of “on” and “off”?

    These are p low fat and veggies burgers can fall apart, so just curious. Im just beginning to experiment w/ them so have questions. Im not picky if it’s healthy and foodsafe, but if i serve less-desirable stuff to fam a few times they start getting nervous at my cooking

    Most veg burger recipes only list skillet and/or baking, and i live in texas so i dont run the oven in summer, and really love my mini-grill

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