These chickpea nuggets work well for picky eaters and for eaters who prefer a broader variety of foods. Well, picky eaters are all different, so what works for my picky eater may not work for your picky eater. Mine likes foods that are beige, bland, and have no obvious vegetables, so this recipe works for him. I like more flavors and variety, so I top my croquettes with dollops of sauce and — voila! — it’s a meal that I enjoy too. Bonus: It’s full of healthy, not-so-visible veggies. Yum!
This is my adaptation of Vegan Richa’s Chickpea Croquettes recipe. I’ve doubled the recipe, changed the veggies, changed the nut butter, and added instructions for making your own gluten-free breadcrumbs.
These gluten-free vegan nuggets are great for picky eaters *and* for creative eaters -- and they are very healthy and full of hidden veggies! Picky eaters may prefer them plain, while others may top them with a dollop of sauce.
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 2 cans chickpeas (approximately 30 ounces)
- 3-4 cups veggies I like 3 cups of broccoli and a red bell pepper cut into chunks, or you could use cauliflower and a yellow bell pepper, or another mixture
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley, or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sunbutter, tahini, or other nutbutter
- 2 tablespoons oil, or some water - I use organic canola oil
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs - or blenderize 2.5 cups of breakfast cereal (I like Love Grown Power O's gluten-free cereal for this - it's unsweetened) blended with 2 teaspoons each of dried herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and some salt
- optional: one or more sauces for serving - see notes for suggestions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and run cold water through it to rinse it. This step is very important for cooking quinoa, because while it sits in the package, quinoa forms bitter-tasting saponins on its surface. Rinsing it removes them and makes it taste much better.
- Once the water has drained out of the quinoa in the strainer, put the quinoa in a small pot with 1 1/3 cups of water. Heat to boiling. Lower the heat to a simmer, and let the quinoa cook until the water is absorbed. You can tilt the pot a little to see if there is still liquid water at the bottom. I usually turn off the heat when the water is almost all absorbed and let it finish cooking on its own.
- While the quinoa cooks, put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl. Get out two nonstick baking sheets or two baking sheets with silicone mats on top.
- While the quinoa cooks, put all of the other ingredients except for the breadcrumbs and sauce into a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- When the quinoa is cooked, let it cool a bit, so that it won't melt your food processor. Then add it to the mixture in the food processor and blend again. You may need to add a little more oil or water to get everything to blend, but try not to make the dough too wet, because you'll be forming it into patties.
- Scoop up a blob of dough that is about three tablespoons. (A large cookie scoop works well for this.) Gently plop the blob of dough into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Scatter some breadcrumbs on top of the blob. Then use your fingers to carefully scoop up the fragile blob, supporting it from underneath, and plop it onto a cookie sheet. Pat to flatten it into a patty about 2-3 inches wide. Repeat with all the dough, for about 31 nuggets. There should be enough breadcrumbs, but if you run out, it's okay to bake some uncoated nuggets.
- I'm usually not a fan of spraying oil on things, but you can optionally spray the tops of the patties with oil to make them look prettier. I sometimes do this and other times skip it.
- Bake the patties for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let them cool for a few minutes, flip them upside down (because the bottoms are often prettier), and serve 5-6 nuggets to each person.My picky eater likes his patties plain. I like them with a sauce on top. See the notes, below, for links to some sauces that are especially good on these patties -- or be creative! Lots of other sauces would be good here too!
Some sauces that I like to top these nuggets with are:
- Avocado Goddess Dressing
- My all-purpose dairy-replacer sauce
- Tahini-dill sauce
- I haven't tried it, but I think they would be good with ketchup!
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