Thanks to my Vegetarian-Fish eating friend, Washington Ave, and my husband, I have a new appreciation and love for eating Vegetarian. How do you ask? Because I LOVE meat! I could eat a juicy steak, roast chicken, or seafood nearly everyday of the week; but that gets expensive, unhealthy, and boring. In the past couple of months I have begun to make myself at least one vegetarian dinner a week.
It started off with my husband suggesting we eat vegetarian at home once a week because it is healthy to take a day off of meat. I was not keen on this idea at first. I was convinced that meant I was going to get stuck eating tofu, pasta, and pizza everyday. I like pasta and pizza, but it is carb-heavy and boring at times. Well, after Washington Ave. made multiple delicious and creative vegetarian dishes for me, I started to experiment at home. After many failed, terrible dishes I had a few successes. My first big success that I loved and cannot wait to make again was a twist on a Donna Hay Recipe from the April/May 2011 issue.
Chickpea and Arugula Toast
Atop a crisp baguette topped with a homemade Chickpea and Goat Cheese patty, was Caramelized Onions and sautéed Arugula with Garlic. It was a simple recipe that created one of my favorite vegetarian meals I have ever had. If you are curious about chickpeas, or are a vegetarian, you MUST make this recipe…
Chickpea Patty: Tear about a cup and a half of stale baguette and mutilate it in a food processor until very fine. Add two cans of drained and rinsed Organic Chickpeas, a handful of fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, and 8oz of creamy Goat Cheese. The processed mixture will become thick…think Play-Doh! The mixture is then divided up into equal size patties. (I divided the mixture into four large patties. Next time I will make mini-patties to have a patty that is extra moist and cute).
Caramelized Onions and Arugula: For the garnish to the patty I caramelized shaved Red Onion and a mixture of Arugula and Garlic in two separate pans.
Using the same pan from the onions, I slightly brushed the Chickpea patties with olive oil and seared them on both sides until a light golden-brown crust has formed. Then it was time to create my masterpiece and devour it…
Beyond looking absolutely gorgeous with specks of roasted garlic, the dish was delicious. The creamy tart characteristics of the Chickpea patty with the Goat Cheese, was the perfect pairing to the crunch of the toast; while the caramelized onion, arugula, and garlic added a hint of bitter and sweet.
The dish had the perfect combination of everything you look for in a great meal. I was thrilled to have leftover patties for my lunch the following two days. You HAVE to make this dish, it just might convert you to the dark side!
What is your favorite weeknight vegetarian meal?