Middle Eastern Chickpea Cakes

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As I’m writing this post we are waiting for the results of our next President. Tension and anxiety is certainly high right now, what with the fate of our country, the Corona virus and the coming of winter. A lot to feel fearful about. We need comfort. During the most stressful times, I make sure to get mindful with my food. I know the potential to turn to too much sugar or wine is high for many and I always take these times to get straight into my kitchen. I love comfort food, and if it can be healthy to boot, then all the better. Tonight I made these cozy Middle Eastern Chickpea Cakes. They are made with only good for you ingredients – chickpeas, colorful quinoa, yogurt – and a plethora of the healing spices that make this recipe have a middle eastern slant. I used my Middle Eastern spice blend in this recipe. I love making up a number spicy blends to make my cooking easy and so flavorful. (Grab my Spice Blend Guide!)

Chickpea cakes need something special to make them extra delicious, so I paired them with not one, but two different drizzles – a Lemony Tahini Yogurt Sauce and a Minty Pea Dip. Can you say yum? Drizzles and dollops are what make this world go round.

After all the cooking, I tucked those cakes into a whole wheat pita with the last of my fresh tomatoes and some green spinach, drizzled away and in turn, felt comforted and safe. No matter what the election results, I know that making nourishing healthy food is the best way to go. For the rest of the Chickpea Cakes? Those got wrapped up and sent to the freezer for another meal. A win-win!

Middle Eastern Chickpea Cakes

Makes about 12 cakes (4 servings)

Ingredients

1 cup dry quinoa
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup whole plain yogurt
1/2 tablespoon Middle Eastern Spice Blend (grab that recipe here)
1 cup cilantro, chopped coarse (you can use parsley too)
1 teaspoon coarse coarse salt
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or almond flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Let sit for about 30 minutes to cool.

2. In a food processor, mix together the chickpeas, yogurt, spices, cilantro and salt in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add in the egg, quinoa and flour. Mix together well. The mixture should be dry enough to roll together into balls.

3. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup measure out equal portions of the mixture. Roll into balls, lay on a baking sheet and press slightly to make cakes. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.

4. Using a large sauté pan heat half the oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add as many cakes as you can without crowding them. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side to brown them. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cakes on it while you cook the rest of them in the pan.

5. When you are finished browning the cakes, place them in the oven to finish cooking, about 8 minutes. Serve in whole wheat pita or other flatbread with a drizzle of Tahini Yogurt Sauce and/or Minty Pea Dip.

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