When we first started eating plant-based, we heard a lot about chickpeas.
I do mean a lot.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and are associated with a variety of health benefits such as lowering blood glucose levels while containing iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K…..and let’s not forget chickpeas are good for the heart due to their high levels of fiber.
I saw them in quite a few recipes that looked interesting, but I still didn’t try them other than in stews.
When I tried them in salads and other dishes in restaurants, they were good, but I was hesitant to try cooking with them myself.
I found a recipe for chickpea cookie dough – a future blog post – then tried chickpea blondies – and was surprised when we both liked them! Then on to chickpea “tuna” salad, and we are converts. The bean juice that I drain off can even be turned into a meringue and used in other recipes!
A very versatile little bean!
Now don’t get me wrong… I like beans. I even snack on plain black beans and kidney beans…II add them to salads for an extra protein kick. chickpeas have been a tough sell for me. I collected recipes and filed them away in the “later” file…..
Well, last week, “later” arrived.
I wanted comfort food. I wasn’t craving meat, but I wanted something different…… so I combined recipes, made edits according to allergies….and the Chick Loaf was born (named by our daughter Erin who lives in Chicago.)
NOTE: This tastes great the second day. In fact, the loaf firms up over night after cooling, so you might want to make and bake earlier in the day then reheat for your main meal.
- 2 14-oz cans of cooked chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 T maple syrup
- 2 T BBQ sauce
- 2 T ground flax seeds
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Maple-tomato glaze ingredients:
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 T maple syrup
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T liquid smoke
- 1 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. We cook oil-free, so I use a silicon loaf pan for this, but if you don’t mind oil, then lightly oil a 9 inch loaf pan and set aside.
Now comes the fun!
If you have a food processor, then add all chick loaf ingredients to a food processor pulse until the chickpeas have broken apart. Make sure the ingredients have mixed well, feeling free to stop and scrape the processor bowl as needed. Avoid overblending. (We like crunch, so I would stir the celery in later…after the processing….
I have a vitamix, a blender, and a small chopper…but not a food processor. so, I tried adding the chickpeas to the blender – too dry….. same for the vitamix…. I ended up moving to my small chopper where I simply chopped this up in batches and threw it all in a large bowl where I added the chopped celery later and mixed it all by hand.
(After all, isn’t that how we made a meat loaf? Throwing everything in one bowl, then squeeze and mix?)
After the chick loaf ingredients are thoroughly mixed, press the mixture into your loaf pan .
Bake for 30 minutes…It will smell awesome while baking!
While the loaf is baking, prepare your maple tomato glaze. Simply stir together all ingredients in a small bowl or medium sized measuring cup.
After 30 minutes, remove the chick loaf from the oven and spoon on the glaze. (If you thought the loaf smelled good before, then wait until this next part!) Let it bake another 20 minutes….and drool!
After this last round of baking is finished, remove the loaf from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes. The longer it sits, the more firm it gets.
Then serve with a salad or a variety of veggies!
The picture shown above is from Day 2, when we decided to pan-sear several leftover pieces in our cast iron skillet, then serve with potato pancakes and snow peas. So yummy and filling!