This one is a keeper. Oh, yes.
We are a steak and potato family. We do love our meat, but in my effort to cook frugally, I’ve been trying to serve more meatless meals – at least once or twice a week. And while I love me some beans and cornbread, I can only get by with cooking it every so often before my crew begins to grumble. So, I’ve been trying to add some meatless recipes to my repertoire that my kids (and meat-loving husband) will eat without balking. Last week, I was REALLY trying to spend as little as possible on groceries and did my best to use staples from the pantry we already had. I actually ended up cooking meals all week without using meat – and shockingly, I didn’t get a single complaint.
This trial taco recipe was well received by my family. I think the homemade pita bread helped because it was oh-so-tasty. I used THIS recipe to make the pita bread, which turned out quite nice. There were no leftovers.
I had found a recipe online for chickpea patties, but like most hummus recipes, it called for tahini, and we have a sesame seed allergy in our home. Plus, I wanted to put my own spin on it with the spices. So, here’s what I ended up with:
Spicy Chickpea-Ranch Tacos
10 Pitas (Homemade is best!)
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3 Tbs. flour
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Ground Mustard
1 tsp. Chili Powder (I used chipotle powder – it had a nice smokey flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of ground black pepper
Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the chickpeas in the food processor. I drained mine, but ended up putting a little liquid back into the mix because it was too dry, so maybe drain one can and only half the juice from the second. Next add the flour and spices and blend to get a thick mixture. Form small patties out of the chickpea mixture – mine were about 2-3 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
To assemble the tacos, cut one patty in half, placing the wide side down into the middle of the taco. Top with ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes and sprinkle with feta cheese. Oh. So. Yummy. My kids even had seconds, which for a new recipe is always a good sign. The chipotle chili powder I used did have a good little kick, so this was a bit spicy. If you or someone you cook for doesn’t like spice, you could reduce the amount of chili powder.
And for any of you interested, the cost for this meal was minimal. I had all ingredients on hand to make the pita bread. 1 had one can of chickpeas in the pantry, so I ended up buying a second for about $2. The container of feta cheese was on sale for $2.50 (I only used a little, and used the rest in a pasta recipe later in the week). The garlic and seasonings I already had, and the tomato came from my garden. The lettuce was another $1.50 (don’t remember exactly). So, for $6 I fed 5 people, which is about $1.20 per serving. Not too shabby.