Friday, January 9, 2015

Chickpea Loaf

Can you believe that I have been food blogging for one year?  It has been a beneficial journey for me.  Initially, I was fearful of taking the steps of combining food preparation with writing, and then publishing publicly.  Looking back though, I think I had storied myself into believing that I couldn't figure out how to make it all happen.  How does one set up a blog?  How does one take photos that speak to readers?  How does one figure out what to say around it all?  Perhaps my more-than-one-year's hesitation was that I knew I had so much learning to do, and I was unsure that I could pull it off.

My goal has always been to create a continuous cookbook for my family.  I was excited to share the process of making some favorite dishes (okay, cookies) within a contextual background that my adult children could have instantaneously, should they need it.  That's it.  But, I have come to find out that my friends have enjoyed the posts, and so thank you to everyone who has visited regularly (or occasionally) over the past year.  I am grateful for your feedback and looking forward to my second year.

I really wanted to post a cookie recipe today, but thought I should be more inline with the many post- holiday food articles.  Are you aware of all the Cleansing and Detoxing Diets out there?  Even Bon Appétit is onboard with The Food Lover's Cleanse: January 2-15, 2015.  Yikes!  Help me to understand why the human body needs this once-a-year ritual...really????  I should have posted a cookie recipe...

This recipe is one that I have made for decades, and (I'm going out on a limb here) my children liked it when they were kids!  Truth: I believe they still like it today!  The recipe comes from Ellen Buchman Ewald's Recipes for a Small Planet, a meatless cookbook that was a companion to Frances Moore Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet.  In our twenties, my husband and I had some foodie behaviors (might you have had some too?), and while we decided to swear off red meat for the good of the world's arable land, we also needed some help in preparing vegetarian meals that delivered protein from the complementary balance of amino acids. (This notion of complementation of proteins is still popular, but has also been debated.  See this article.)  Hence, we bought and regularly prepared meals from these two books.  (Note the heavily-used shape of my 1973 Ewald edition above and the pages from which this recipe is taken below:

Easy to assemble and modify, this loaf is a one bowl mixture of tasteful ingredients.  Though meatless, there is complementary protein from the combination of chickpeas and cheese and the whole grain bread crumbs and cheese (see head note on actual recipe above).  And yes, don't forget the added egg.

With a baked potato and salad, we have a nutritious meal... no cleanse needed :)


1.  I used one can of chickpeas (time-saver).  I processed them with about a dozen pulses so that they would still have texture.

2.  Instead of using 1 cup of pineapple juice, I had some fresh pineapple on hand that I processed into a liquid-y mash that approximated one cup.

3.  I added additional onion powder and a bit of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of each.

4.  After the loaves cooked for 40 minutes, I took them out and drizzled them with ketchup and put them back in for another 10 minutes.

5.  This is a tender loaf.  It slices, but use care.  Sometimes after slicing, I sauté slices in a bit of oil to put some crunch on the outside.

Chickpea Loaf (aka Garbanzo and Cheese Loaf)
Yield:  One standard loaf or two mini-loaves

1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten (if you remember)
1 T. miso (optional)
A few dashes of hot sauce (optional) and/or a couple pinches of cayenne
1 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 tsp. each of garlic powder and onion powder


1.  Process the chickpeas enough to retain texture.  Process pineapple, if necessary.
2.  Combine all ingredients into a big bowl, as pictured above.
3.  Mix the ingredients with a spatula or fork.

4.  Fill a greased loaf pan (or mini-loaf pans) with the mixture, pressing down to fill all spaces.

5.  Bake at 350º F for 40 minutes.  The edges should be nicely browned.
6.  Remove from oven and drizzle with ketchup.  Bake for another 10 minutes.

7.  Remove from oven again.  Let stand for 10 minutes. Pop out the loaf from pan and slice.
8.  Chilled leftovers can be treated like any meatloaf.  A couple slices on bread with a squeeze of ketchup and you're good to go!

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