Thursday, July 21, 2011

These Burgers Ooze Deliciousness... Literally!

     Mom and Dad were having a dish I couldn't eat tonight, with pasta and ground chicken, so I used similar ingredients to make my own dinner.
     I settled on a Mozzarella filled Italian Chicken Burger with GF macaroni and cheese. A bit of a twist on a simple feel good meal.

     The cheese inside the burger kept the meat moist all the way through, giving it more of a meatball texture. The  firm but tender texture combined with the Italian herbs and the gooey cheese melting from the center came together beautifully. I added some marinara, but if I was serving it to other others I think I would use a few slices of Roma tomato. (I'm not really a fan of raw tomatoes). I recently saw a GF focaccia bread recipe, and I'm thinking this burger would be awesome nestled into a freshly bakes focaccia roll.

     For those of you interested, the mac 'n' cheese is Annie's Homegrown GF Rice Pasta & Cheddar.
Besides my area health food stores, the local Super Target sells these at a reasonable price. I've tried other GF Mac 'n' cheese options, but this one is the best in terms of texture and flavor.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chickpeas in cake?

Photo from recipe site, not my results
Chickpea Chocolate Cake
(Recipe courtesy of Northern Pulse Growers Association)

  • 1-1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (minor substitutions here can make this CF as well as GF)
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas aka garbanzo beans (or equal amount rehydrated dried chickpeas)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 inch round cake pan 
  2. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, stirring occasionally until chocolate is smooth
  3. Combine chickpeas and eggs in food processor or blender and process until smooth; add sugar and baking powder, blend
  4. Pour in melted chocolate and blend until smooth
  5. Transfer to prepared cake pan and bake for 40 min or until tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean
  6. Cool on wire rack
Makes 9 servings

I know it sounds weird to put beans in a cake, but it's much healthier than packing it with oil, and it removes the flour, making the recipe instantly gluten free. The same little bean that makes the main component of one of my favorite snacks, hummus, makes for a new and different cake. Grandma saw this recipe on The Saturday Evening Post's website and passed it on to me. I had enough chickpeas, so I decided to double the recipe, which gave me a LOT of batter.

To use all the batter, I tried it out in a mini-muffin pan, regular muffin pan, and springform pan. Unfortunately, I didn't spray the pans, so the muffins wouldn't come out neatly, but that's where new ideas come from. I decided it would be great as a "worms and dirt" dessert since it crumbled, or make a great brownie blend in ice cream. The tops of the regular sized muffins came off neatly, so I filled them with marshmallow creme to make whoopie pies.

The spring form cake, made from the remaining batter, is only about 1/8-1/4 in thick, perfect for a crust. I frosted it with a buttercream with just a hint of cream cheese, add sliced strawberries and drizzled of caramel and chocolate syrup to make a brownie pizza. I left 1/4 of it strawberry free for a picky eater in the family, but in my opinion, the strawberries made it SO much better.