Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vegan Chickpea Cutlet Chimichangas Recipe

Day 25.

This looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's really not that daunting. The main reason for the long list is I did this recipe gluten free and dairy free. So it is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. If you're not dairy-free or vegan, feel free to sub in real sour cream and cheese. These cutlets look like they'd be fantastic all on they're own, but I wanted to do them for Taco Tuesday, so I'm making mine into strips and making chimichangas. Yum.

This is really super easy and the prep time is quick. You can even do it in your food processor if you don't want to use elbow grease and a potato masher. After that, plop it in the crockpot and you can serve burritos buffet style like tacos. Or, you can go the extra step and roll them up and top the "burritos" with sauce, bake them and call them baked chimichangas. (An ode to my hatred of frying, again.) You're welcome to fry yours, if you're not frying-inept like me. 
This is the texture the mixture turned out
after hitting it with the masher for a while. 

Chickpea Cutlets
Makes 4 Cutlets or 8-10 Strips
1 C cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 C vital wheat gluten (I'm subbing mashed potato flakes for a Gluten Free & in my pantry version)
1/2 C plain breadcrumbs (crumbs from GF bread if you're doing the GF version)
1/4 C vegetable broth or 1/4 C water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 garlic cloves (pressed or grated)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika (smoked paprika)
1/4 tsp. dried rubbed sage
olive oil for lining crockpot

Filling Options
Refried or whole black beans
Cheese (cheez for vegan option)
Diced green chiles
Diced onion
Diced jalapenos

Optional topping
1 C veggie broth 
House seasoning (salt, pepper and garlic powder) to taste 
2-3 Tbsp. flour 
1 C sour cream (or vegan equivalent, recipe follows)
2-3 Tbsp. Taco seasoning

Vegan Sour Cream
1 10.5 oz. package soft or silken tofu
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sweetener
1/2 tsp. salt

Process ingredients until smooth and refrigerate up to four days.

You will also need 8-10 tortillas.

Mash the chickpeas and oil together until no whole chickpeas remain.

Add remaining ingredients and knead for 3 minutes until strings of gluten have formed. Or until your patties are sticky enough to form into wads.
The original recipe pan fries, but I'm going to use crockpot365's falafel method as the basis to crockpot bake these cutlets. Mainly this is because, as I've said many times before, I HATE frying. It's not just because of the healthy thing (that's a bonus), I tend to forget or get distracted and say...set my kitchen aflame. Or, I get those splatter burns on my hands. No fun. So, here we go.

For cutlets, divide dough into four equal pieces. Flatten each piece and stretch to roughly 4x6 inches.

For strips, divide into 8-10 equal pieces (about 2x3 inches). 

Put about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert. Dip each side of your cutlets or strips into the olive oil and then place into your crockpot. Tip: If needed, place foil layers sprayed with non-stick spray between layers of cutlets/strips. This will depend on your crockpot's size. I recommend lining the bottom of the crockpot with foil, after making them. The ones just in the crockpot bottom (I made a double recipe in my 6-quart), got a little mushed up.

Cook on high for 2-5 hours. The chickpea delights are done when they turn brownish-golden. You can flip them halfway through the cooking time, but they will brown on top even without flipping. Be sure to check them every hour after 2 hours as they can easily burn. If necessary, remove lid for 15 minutes to dry out cutlets at end of cook time.

*You can also bake them. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8-10 minutes till firm and golden brown.

This chickpea cutlets are adapted from The PPK's original recipe, which I found via Veggie Burgher.

Once the strips are complete, gather your fillings and tortillas. Place cutlet or strip in tortilla, top will desired fillings. Optional topping: combine 1 C veggie broth and salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste in a saucepan. Combine 2-3 Tbsp. flour and 1 C sour cream (or vegan equivalent) until smooth. Gradually stir cream mixture into broth, boil and stir until thickened. 

Place your chimichangas in a baking dish, pour sauce over top and heat at 375 for 15-20 minutes to make it all melty and delicious.

The Results
These cutlets are so delicious to me. It's like a sort of Americanized falafel patty (the spices are totally different). I love it. And the chimichangas. Wow. So good. I even loved the vegan sour cream, which I thought might be totally weird. I tried them in both non-baked burrito-style and the complete baked chimichanga version and loved both.

The crockpot experiment was not a total success. The bottom layer strips and cutlets (I made a double recipe) were a bit burnt on the edges and the top layer was a bit soft. They all tasted great, even the burnt parts, they were just a little crunchy really. But, if you're going to try the crockpot way I suggest checking your cutlets frequently after the first 2 hours to check for burning; placing foil under each layer; and removing the lid for the final 15 minutes of baking to allow the cutlets to fully dry out and crisp up. As I was making mine for chimichangas, it worked out great and didn't matter a bit that some of the strips fell apart. But, for cutlets, it might be annoying.

This post is linked at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Works for Me WednesdayReal Food Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday?, Crockpot Wednesday, Tip Day ThursdayFrugal Food Thursday, Cooking ThursdayMake it with ... Mondays and Let's Do Brunch.


  1. I'm definitely going to have to try these!

  2. Oh I love your crock pot method!

  3. Following from MOTF - please come see me! www.adayinmotherhood.com

  4. I love chickpeas. I admire your resolution... it must be hard to adjust with a hubby who loves meat.

  5. Congratulations on being the featured blog this week on the hop! I am a new follower of yours. :-) Please follow back when you get a chance!

    Make sure you stop by both my blogs on Thursday...I have a hop on each one.

    Have a great day!

    A Mom Having Fun
    Helping Moms Work From Home

  6. following from retail therapy bloghop!

  7. This looks delicious I'll have to bookmark it!

    I'm a new follower!

    -Alyssa from She's Mommafied!

  8. Newest follower from the blog hop!

    Love the concept of your blog I'll be back to get some meatless recipes!

  9. Thanks all. And I'll go check out all your blogs. Angie—The crockpot does make everything better. I finally decided what these vaguely remind me of...chicken fried steak. Crazy, right? It's more the breading of chicken fried steak that it reminds me of, but they're delicious. These will be a great substitute for steak in certain recipes. They'd be fantastic with mashed potatoes and green beans I think.

  10. Stopping by from Debbie's Crockpot Wednesday where I posted my Crockpot Creole Chicken - stop by sometime!

  11. I love just about anything made with chickpeas, so I have to try these. I get nervous about frying too, especially deep-frying, so baking seems like a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing these with Make it with ... Mondays challenge paprika - I do hope you'll join in again.
    Sue :-)

  12. Sounds delish. I can so relate to your blog. 1 adult vegetarian, 1 adult almost vegan and gluten free, and 4 cavemen boys.

  13. Just stopping to say thanks for linking up to Tip Day Thursday last week. Sorry that I'm a bit late.

    Around My Family Table

  14. We've been talking for some time about trying to do more meatless meals... and these sound really good! We have some readers who are looking specifically for low-allergenic ideas, who come through referral by our Nutritionist, so this will be great for them also. Thanks for linking… I’ve created a separate page for this particular linky party, Star Recipes, for greater visibility for these most popular recipes! Feel free to link up again at future weekly Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday parties. :) Love your blog.