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monday: chickpea sloppy joes and baked onion rings

Tonight was one of those nights of epic proportions in victory. It was glorious. Magnificent. Confidence-building.

It was one of those days where i looked at gluten-free/vegan cooking straight in the face and said, “I SO can do this!!! I will not only master you, but straight up ruin you!”

Okay, okay. maybe I am getting a bit carried away? it’s hard not to when that is the kind of week I have been having. I however know not to get too puffed up over here. That is the tricky thing about cooking like this. the rules are…well, good luck, not sure if there are rules and if so, they change by a minute-to-minute basis. hTis calls for thinking on one’s toes and even that cannot always save you from kitchen disasters.

It’s lurking around the corner. Always.

But I am learning the trick is to never let those moments deter you or define you. You know those moments: When you thought that loaf of bread was going to taste good but turns out to be the heaviest piece of log that could do serious damage to someone if you threw it at them.

Bread turned biscotti.

Or when you make these gorgeous muffins that look and smell soooo good. But then you go to pick it up to enjoy your hardwork..and it disintegrates like sand in your hands.

It had no chance of survival.

Those moments.

They are like fuel for me now. instead of defeat, I scream back, “I will conquer you, so help me god!!!!” with fists raised towards the heavens. and as my voice reverberates throughout the walls, everyone in the house, no matter where they are, immediately stops what they were doing and instantly knows it was one of those moments.

so tonight i wanted to bring back an old classic. something that i haven’t eaten in YEARS. sloppy joes. And onion rings would pair nicely with this summer friendly menu so i put my thinking cap on to find a way to make these delicious little circles edible for my gut. They did not disappoint, that is for sure.

These recipes will make you will feel like a kid again. You might even do a cartwheel or two.

 Chickpea Sloppy Joes Recipe

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 can chickpeas
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, pureed (or 1 can tomato sauce)
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce (if vegan is your thing, make sure it has no anchovies in the ingredients)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for a spicy kick)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • 4 gluten-free buns OR you can use cabbage/lettuce leafs as a substitution

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drain 1 can of chickpeas. Put into a bowl and mash with a fork (don’t worry if it is not all mashed–pictured above).
  2. Drain the 2nd can of chickpeas and stir into the mashed mixture. Set aside.
  3. Puree the can of tomatoes in a food processor (or just open the can of tomato sauce–i didn’t have sauce so i got creative with what i had and it turned out fabulous).
  4. In a large skillet, heat up 1-2 Tbs oil at medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. When they have tenderized, add the chickpeas. Let it warm up for 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomato sauce/puree, sugar, spices and red pepper. Stirring often, let it heat up for a good 10-15 minutes

Place on bun or leaf and serve. Brings you back to your “Smurfs” cartoon-watching days, doesn’t it?

this is definitely going on the menu rotation–what a hit!

Baked Onion Rings

Serves 4 (depending on how many you eat before you serve them)

INGREDIENTS

1 onion, sliced into 1/4-1/2″ rings

Batter Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 c. GF all-purpose flour mix (here is what i used, feel free to use your own if you like)
  • 1/2 c. soda water (or gluten-free beer if you have some on hand! lucky…)
  • 1 1/2 c. gluten free bread crumbs OR homemade crumbs (see recipe below)
  • 2 Tb oil
  • 2 shallow dishes
  • 2 forks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In 1 shallow dish, combine the flour and soda water together and whisk until it makes almost like pancake batter. You can add more soda water 1 Tb at a time to ensure you get the right consistency if it looks too thick.
  3. Place the bread crumbs and oil in the other dish and mix together. The oil should give the crumbs a texture like wet sand.

  

THE ASSEMBLY LINE:

  1. Dip the onions, batches at a time, into the wet mixture. With a fork, raise one ring at a time, so all the excess mix drips off, then place into crumb mixture.
  2. With the dry fork, fluff the crumb mixture so it fully coats the rings. This will get easier and quicker the more you do.
  3. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or coated with cooking spray) until all rings have been assembled.

  • Bake for 10 minutes and then flip them over to bake the other side. (Yes, you heard me correctly. Welcome the heat bath!)
  • Bake another 10 minutes or until beautifully golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with salt once out of the oven and while still piping hot.
  • Resist the temptation to not eat ALL of them. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

**Homemade Bread Crumbs Recipe** (aka: Making it work, like Tim Gunn says, with all that you got in the house because you are too lazy to go to the store so you rely on your creativity and cross your fingers that it works and wouldn’t you know it, Tim was right–not only did you try it but you actually made it work!)  ← world’s longest run-on sentence known to man.

  • 2 gluten-free (already made and frozen) waffles, heated in toaster oven to a brown crisp (not burnt though)
  • 1 pinch dried basil **(optional)
  • 1 pinch dried thyme **(optional)
  • 1 pinch dried oregano **(optional)
  • 1 pinch salt

(Yes “pinch” is a technical term. I learned it on The Cooking Channel…)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Break waffles into bit size pieces and place inside blender/food processor. Blend until you pulverize those suckers into crumbs (I had to do it in batches).
  2. Place crumbs in bowl.  Stir in salt and herbs.
  3. Wa-la! Bread crumbs!!!

you can thank me later for this…

***currently accepting gifts of lavish nature and checks written out to c-a-r-a…***

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kaley Urban #

    i love both chickpeas and greenpeas, although chickpeas has that distinctive nutty taste that i like.;

    Our very own online site
    <img src="http://www.melatoninfaq.com/using-melatonin-for-sleep-problems/ “>

    January 10, 2013
  2. I love your attitude about making gluten-free things! Why be told it’s not possible? Isn’t that what they told all the great inventors? I’m just beginning to mess around with g.f. things and I haven’t been overly impressed. The hardest thing? Trying to make things “whole grain” so that they aren’t just starches and white floury kinds of things. I just keep trying to make them work. You have inspired me to keep trying! Thanks.

    May 21, 2012
    • That is a very difficult undertaking at first, but I think you will find it easier and easier to attain the whole grain taste! Have you checked out Gluten Free Girl’s blog? She has some real wonderful resources for gf grains and mixes that are low in the starch/white flours. Definitely keep trying! It is the ony way, like you said, that we learn 🙂 Much love, Pixie! xo

      May 21, 2012
      • I haven’t checked out her website, although I did pick up her cookbook at the library this week. I haven’t gotten passed their love story at the beginning! 😀

        Thanks for the encouragement.

        May 22, 2012
  3. I have made your baked onion rings recipe & they tasted fabulously & amazing! 🙂 xxx

    May 8, 2012
    • Aren’t they SO good? Those are seriously one of my favorite things to make…okay, eat 🙂 I am so happy that you like them!

      May 8, 2012
  4. the sister #

    are you kidding me with this blog???? u r a freaking genius! and i seriously cannot wait to try those onion rings!!

    August 18, 2011
    • sherry–haha. thank you!!! i guess i didn’t do too bad after all with the genetic pool from which we were given 🙂

      August 18, 2011

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