Monday 25 August 2014

Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous

Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free
I really can't believe I haven't thought of this before - combining my two most favourite foods, pesto and houmous, into one! I was inspired by this Bean and Pesto Mash on BBC Good Food which was just a can of beans mashed with some store bought pesto and a little olive oil. For my version here I've used my pesto recipe and added some of my homemade vegan parmesan
Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free
Further I wanted a really super smooth and creamy spread as opposed to a chunky mash so I threw everything into my Froothie Optimum 9400 blender which did an amazing job! It's absolutely silky smooth and I didn't even have to make the pesto first, just threw all the ingredients in and blended :-)
Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free
We've been loving this as a late night snack with some vegan butter grilled french bread slices but it would also make an excellent sandwich spread, filling for wraps with some roasted veggies or as a dip with crudites. 

Note that I would recommend omitting the water if you will be using this primarily as a sandwich spread so that it is thicker.
Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free

Pesto and Cannellini Bean Houmous

1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 215g drained weight)
50g/ 2 cups packed fresh basil, washed (remove thicker stems)
2 cloves garlic
25g/2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
60 ml/ ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt 
about 9 grinds freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup/ 4 Tbsp vegan parmesan* recipe below
1 Tbsp water to thin if needed 

Add everything to your blender in the order given. For my Froothie Optimum 9400 I used the tamper tool to mix as it blended. Start on low and turn up to medium-high speed. Blend until super smooth and bright green. 

Vegan Parmesan: (makes the 1/4 cup you need)

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, finely ground in either a blender or a mortar and pestle
2 Tbsp ground almonds (almond meal)
¼ tsp salt

Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free

Butter Grilled French Bread:

Slice a baguette in diagonal slices. Spread with vegan butter on both sides and fry in a grill pan until golden both sides.

Pesto Cannellini Bean Houmous - vegan, gluten-free and soy-free

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links, if you purchase a Froothie blender through my link here I receive a little commission which helps fund my blog. Thanks!

Nutritional Information: per 100g

Calories: 245
Protein: 6.6g
Fibre: 4.8g
Carbs: 11g
Sugar: 2.0g
Fat: 20.8g
Sat Fat: 2.6g
Sodium: 410mg

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Monday 18 August 2014

Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes

Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes - vegan

Now I know I just said on my side bar there that I am on summer holidays until September and that is still technically true but I've been wanting to get this recipe up for a couple months now so thought I would squeeze it in amongst my crazy busy summer :-)

These are so good and easy to throw together. Chickpeas are processed with garlic, chilli, ginger, spring onions, lime, soy sauce and crunchy peanut butter. I've thrown in some breadcrumbs to help bind then they are coated in sesame seeds before frying, baking OR grilling - nice and versatile!
Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes - vegan
I was initially making these as a burger but they honestly just aren't as nice in a bun. I much prefer these on their own with a good drizzle of lemon-tahini sauce. I'm thinking they would also be nice with some sort of miso gravy but I haven't gotten around to trying that yet :-)
Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes - vegan
As mentioned above you can fry these in some peanut oil until nice and crispy (ideal) but they can also be baked with no oil at all - they don't get as golden and crispy that way but still taste great. Furthermore they can be grilled without oil.

Whichever way you make them they are perfect over a bed of brown basmati rice, some veg on the side - asparagus and green beans a good choice as I did here, and a drizzle of the lemon-tahini sauce for a great meal :-)
Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes - vegan

Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes:

(Makes 5-6 good size cakes)

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed (240g drained weight)
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
grated zest 1 lime
75g fresh white breadcrumbs or panko (1 cup)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter 
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
peanut oil, for frying - optional

Tip the chickpeas into a food processor and processor until flaky looking. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all just comes together, it should have the texture of thick peanut butter. To shape the patties I press the mixture into either a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measure then scoop it out and shape with lightly greased hands. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. You will get 5 larger patties with 1/3 cup measure and 6 smaller ones with 1/4 cup measure. 

Spread the sesame seeds onto a plate and place a patty on pressing the seeds in lightly, repeat on the other side.  

Heat a little peanut oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for 3-4 mins each side until golden and heated through. You will lose some sesame seeds but as you can see from the pictures enough stay on!

Note: can be baked for 10 minutes a side at 200C/400F or grilled until golden and crispy both sides - keep an eye on them if grilling, sesame seeds can burn fast! 

Lemon-Tahini Sauce:
• 2 Tbsp tahini
• 2 scant Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 small clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1-2 Tbsp hot water

Whisk everything together except the hot water until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp of the hot water and whisk again until smooth, add the other Tbsp if needed.

Source: Heidi Swanson's Lemon-Tahini Sauce
Crispy Sesame Chickpea Cakes - vegan

Nutritional Information: based on 1 cake out of 6 (prior to frying).
Calories: 115
Protein: 5.9g
Fat: 4.4g
Sat Fat: 0.7g
Fibre: 2.8g
Carbs: 13.4g
Sugar: 1.3g
Sodium: 351mg

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