Chickpea Taco Meat

Chickpea Taco Meat // The Pancake Princess

I’ve made this taco “meat” business several times, but I finally photographed it several weeks ago so I could post the recipe. That is, several weeks before business school started.

Chickpea Taco Meat // The Pancake Princess Chickpea Taco Meat // The Pancake Princess
I just have to laugh when I think about life pre- and post-start of business school. I really did have an astonishing amount of free time to experiment in the kitchen/go to hot yoga/grocery shop/read books for fun…whereas now it feels like a gift if I take 10 minutes to go make a healthy single-serving cookie (from this cookbook!).

Luckily, I have a handful of recipes that I’ve been holding on to that will be showing up shortly as I figure out how learning happens again.

Chickpea Taco Meat // The Pancake Princess

The idea for this taco meat first came about when I botched a batch of chickpea fries and my roommate was like, “this kinda tastes like tacos.”

So I made tacos.

This recipe essentially calls for cooking chickpea flour (one of my favorite ingredients), seasoning and water into a drippy polenta; the key is drizzling the mixture onto a cookie sheet. Once you let the drizzled lumps dry into a semi-firm polenta, you fry them with onions and seasoning to make incredibly tasty vegetarian taco meat! You can make a big batch and use it in tacos, sandwiches, on top of salads (think: black beans, corn, avocado, shredded lettuce, salsa). The smallest drips ( that fry up into salty, crispy little nuggets) are my favorite.

Note: I tried using green cabbage leaves for the taco “shells” here, but they were not my favorite. I prefer crunchy purple cabbage leaves or real-deal tortillas.

Chickpea Taco Meat

Ingredients

  • For the taco seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • few grinds pepper

  • For the taco meat:
  • 1 cup chickpea flour*
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

To make the taco seasoning:

Whisk all taco seasoning ingredients together.

To make the taco "meat":

Whisk 3 tablespoons of seasoning into the chickpea flour breaking up any clumps to get as smooth a consistency as possible. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and whisk in chickpea flour, again trying to eliminate most lumps--the mixture should begin to thicken immediately. If mixture starts to sputter, lower heat and continue to cook the mixture for an additional minute. Turn off heat.

Using the whisk, drizzle the chickpea mixture in small clumps over a cookie sheet, leaving space between each clump (you may need several). This creates the "meat" shape and texture. Let the mixture cool and dry for at least 20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, heat a small glug of oil over medium heat. Add onion, 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning and a big pinch of salt. Scrape the chickpea mixture off the cookie sheets with a spatula and add to the pan with another tablespoon of taco seasoning. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add additional seasoning to taste, if needed.

Serve hot with tortillas, cabbage leaves or on top of a salad!

Notes

*Chickpea flour is also called besan or gram flour. I buy large bags at my local Hispanic superstore, but you should be able to find it in the ethnic section of most grocery stores.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2014/08/24/chickpea-taco-meat/

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41 thoughts on “Chickpea Taco Meat

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  4. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    Erika! This sounds sooooo healthy and delicious. I love when inspiration comes in the most random places – way to go roommate for inspiring such a yummy looking dish!

    I wanted to let you know that we’re heading to Houston tomorrow and we’re taking you up on your recommendation. We’ll have dinner tomorrow night at Provisions! Thank you for all your helpful suggestions! xoxo.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Woowoo!!! How was it?? I hope you super enjoyed. If you have time for another bite while you’re in Houston, Common Bond is a new pastry cafe place that’s amazing!

      And glad you to hear you like the look of this taco meat! Haha yes, thank goodness for roommates!

      Reply
      1. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

        Sadly, our flight got delayed FOUR hours and we had to cancel our reservation :'(

        We ended up celebrating birthdays over lunch the next day at Americas, which we thought was actually pretty delicious. And then for lunch on Sunday we had Corkscrew BBQ (in The Woodlands), which was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. My husband’s dad had to get in line at 8am on Saturday to get some BBQ for us to eat on Sunday (it’s apparently got lots of hype and is totally worth it). HIGHLY recommend.

        Reply
        1. erika Post author

          Oh no!!!!!!!! That’s SO SAD but I’m so glad you still had a great meal at Americas (I took my bf there for his bday two years ago, so good job! I approve ;)) And happy belated birthday!!!

          Ooh my roommate’s mom lives up in the Woodlands so I’ll have to tell her to try Corkscrew! Glad you had a successful eating trip to Houston! :)

          Reply
    1. erika Post author

      That’s what I like to hear!! 😉 Not that people are getting sick of your tofu tex-mex meals (which sound DELICIOUS)…just mixing it up! :)

      Reply
  5. Monet

    Oh yes! I will always say AMEN to tacos! I love the idea of using chickpeas in replace of red meat (which Ryan and I no longer eat). Can’t wait to try!

    Reply
  6. Sophie

    This is AWESOME!! I have been experimenting with crumbled tater tots, fried eggplant planks and quinoa as taco “meats” (not all together at once…) but this sounds even more wonderful! BY A LOT! I love your skills. Can’t wait to try :) I adore tacos! I didn’t know this was a common Hispanic cooking ingredient, I should definitely be able to source some chickpea flour. Yay! So good of you to keep posting through your crazy new learnin’ schedule! You’re a rock star. I can’t wait to make this. xoxo

    Reply
  7. Pang

    It’s amazing how you still have time to post this cute taco on the blog and prepare for business school. If you are not a wonder woman, please reveal your real identity now :)

    Good luck with everything my dear blogger friend :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Ahaha Pang, you are hilarious!!! So glad we found each other on the blogosphere :) Thanks for the encouragement and your awesome comment, as always!

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Aww I’m flatteredd :))) And also, I miss your posts. It was always so much fun getting little snapshots of your life along with delicious, healthy recipes! Hope school + work + work + school is all going well for ya!

      Reply
  8. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    This is such a great idea, Erika! I make chickpea fries from time to time and have even used the mixture to make panisse burgers. But this! Totally new! I love this idea and will definitely be bookmarking it for our next taco night. I bet you could make a bunch of the dribbles and freeze them and then pull them out and fry from frozen so you’ve got chickpea tacos on the ready whenever you want. And don’t worry, you’re adjusting just fine to being back at school. You’ll settle into a rhythm that works soon enough. How long is your program? Me, I’m settling into ‘holy crap I’m NOT in school’ mode right now and trying to learn to be as productive with my time now as I was then.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Ooh what are panisse burgers?! I did a cursory google search but didn’t quite find a solid answer. Freezing them is brilliant! I love it. The way people freeze chicken breasts or whatever, we can freeze vegetarian taco dribbles (so appetizing)!!

      My program is 2 years–I’m sure it will fly by! Wait, what’s going on with you now? I thought your program lasted for at least a few more years…but are you one of the working drones now??

      Reply
      1. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

        What, 9 years isn’t enough for you?! 😉

        No, girl, I’m done like dinner!

        Panisse is a Mediterranean chickpea cake thing. Like, you could call your chickpea fries panisse fries if you wanted to be fancy. Sometimes I bake it in thick slabs and use it in place of a burger patty to shake things up.

        Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Karen! Ahhhh as soon as I have more free time, I’m going to go catch up on ALL of your posts. You are the funniest and I could use some laughs. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been cooking up!!

      Reply
  9. carol in nyc

    Yummm! Looks good. Can’t wait to try it. (Fortunately chickpea flour is also found in Indian grocery stores around here.) I hope you’ll soon recover from the whiplash of starting B school!

    Reply
  10. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Hot damn, girl, this looks freaking delicious. Where can I get my hands on chickpea flour?! Must.find.immediately. I’m sure you’re going to get into a comfortable routine after a few weeks of school. And if you find yourself too busy studying and partying with all of your school friends, don’t sweat the blog. We’ll always be here waiting with baited breath for your next post! Have you already started school?

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh Nancy, you always soothe my fears and make me feel like everything is going to be great! You’re sweet :) And today is my first official day of school, but we’ve just finished two weeks of immersion/orientation!

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Of course!! I’ve made two of your cookies so far…can’t wait to make the rest! I’m waiting until it gets less hot to turn on the oven, but I LOVE the no-bake options. And thanks!! :))

      Reply
  11. janet @ the taste space

    Love it! What a great way to use chickpea flour.
    I am sure you will settle back into some semblance of normalcy once you settle into a rhythm. Hopefully? If not, I look forward to your quick and easy recipes. :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Janet! Yes, I hope so. That’s what people seem to be saying will happen, so fingers crossed! But also, quick and easy recipes will definitely have to be a staple. I’m thinking about trying to cook only vegan stuff for the near future, so I’m going to be hopping over to your blog a lot for inspiration!!

      Reply

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