Easy Chickpea Patties

Remember how I was saying that most of my recipes have some kind of story behind them? Well, the story behind this particular recipe is my vain. Not something to brag about really, but it is what it is. How can vain be responsible for my dinner, you ask? Well, it's my shoes... Obviously!

A few days before making this dinner I wore my really comfortable shoes to work. I then changed into more appropriate and less comfortable heels in the office and forgot to switch my footwear when I went home. Follow me so far? Then the next day I went back to work with intention of getting my comfy shoes back. I remembered to make the switch before the end of the workday and happily was on my way home when I happened to glance at myself in the elevator. And this is where my vain comes into play. These really comfortable wedges really (and I mean really) did not go with the dress I was wearing. I could not (I repeat, could not) go to my local supermarket looking like this. But I had nothing substantial in my fridge, so I spent the next half an hour on the subway thinking of what I could cook for dinner that would be satisfying and, most importantly, easy.

I could do pasta, that's always something that we have on hand, but I just finished the last piece of cheese and I love cheese with pasta. I could do simple eggs, which I love, but I had no meat or potatoes to go with them. I could do my Sweet and Spicy French Toast, but I somehow wasn't really into breakfast for dinner. And this is when my mind wondered about what I had in my pantry and I remembered about a whole case of cans of chickpeas that I bought from Costco.

So, I came home and quickly made these little patties. They took only a few minutes to mix together using my trusty food processor. I didn't go crazy adding various flavours, I just wanted something quick and easy. I had them with plain greek yogurt and some avocado and lemon juice. It was light and satisfying. My husband had them with salsa and we both liked these morsels. 

Easy Chickpea Patties can be a great snack, appetizer or a fast and healthy dinner

Easy Chickpea Patties

makes about 12-15 depending on their size

Canned chickpeas - 1 can (540 ml)
Parsley - 4 or 5 sprigs (or more)
Egg - 1 large
Mrs Dash No Salt Original Blend - 1 teaspoon (or any other seasoning of your choice)
Cayenne pepper - 1/2 teaspoon (optional
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Drain the chickpeas really well.
  • Place drained chickpeas and all other ingredients into a food processor and process until uniform in texture.
  • Shape patties and place on a baking sheet catered with parchment paper.
  • Bake for about 30 min or until patties are firm.
  • You may want to broil for 2-3 minutes to give the patties a tiny bit of colour.
  • Sprinkle with some lemon juice and serve with yogurt.
Posted on June 29, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Ricardo Cuisine , however all opinions are my own.

I have a lot of cookbooks. My love affair with cookbooks started over a decade ago when I was just beginning to learn how to cook. I could spend hours at a book store just browsing through pages upon pages of delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Once I finished university and started working I began buying various cookbooks. I still have them, but I mostly keep them for sentimental reasons. In fact, I have not bought any cookbooks in quite some time. There are way too many amazing blogs and sites online where I can find anything with just a few clicks of my keyboard.

Although I was previously addicted to cookbooks, I was never much into cooking magazines. With one exception: Ricardo! I remember when I got my first issue for free at a Food and Wine show back in 2008 (or was it even 2007?). It took me a few months to warm up to the magazine and then I was hooked. I kept buying it and then finally decided to subscribe only to learn that the magazine would no longer be available in Ontario.

So, when last year I saw an ad that Ricardo Cuisine was back, I subscribed immediately! I love waiting for the colourful issues and then leafing through them imagining dinner parties I would throw and compliments I'd get.

Lemon Paprika Oil for delicious and easy roast chicken

Now, Ricardo brand has evolved and includes a website to accompany all the delicious magazine recipes. Last Friday I was looking for something easy to make. I had a big package of chicken thighs that I got at Costco and I was browsing Ricardo Cuisine chicken recipes when I saw this little gem . It was perfect! Exactly the kind of recipe that I like to make: fast, easy, delicious and with minimal ingredients.

Just as I expected, the result was delicious. The aroma of smoked paprika and lemon made my mouth water and I couldn't wait for the dish to be ready. I served the chicken with rice and poured some delicious lemony juices over it.

One trick that I'd like to share is about fat and juices that come from roasting chicken. Sometimes I put wire racks inside roasting pans in order to make crispy chicken and let all the fat collect at the bottom. Sometimes I just put the chicken directly in the pan. But regardless of any of those methods, I do not pour the fat out. I put the pan in the fridge overnight and let everything harden. The next day I scrape the white fat and store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. It'll last quite some time. I then use it instead of oil or butter when I cook. It's delicious for breakfast when frying eggs or making hash browns. It's great with fried rice also.

Lemon Paprika Chicken is easy and fast recipe perfect for weeknight, but also fancy enough for a weekend dinner

Underneath the fat there will be jellyfied chicken juice. I scrape it into another bowl and also keep in the fridge. It will not last as long as the chicken fat, but it'll last a week or so. It's delicious flavour that I don't like going to waste, so I add it to rice, quinoa or buckwheat.

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice - half a lemon
Lemon zest - half a lemon
Smoked, spicy paprika - 1 teaspoon
Garlic, finely minced - 1 clove
Dijon mustrard - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Chicken thighs - 6 large
Lemon, cut into 8 pieces - 1 lemon
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except chicken and lemon. Mix well. Note: I used mortar and pestle to blend it all together including garlic which I only smashed, but didn't mince. Worked like a charm!
  • Loosen skin on chicken thighs and spread lemon paprika oil under the chicken skin as well as on top of the skin. 
  • Place chicken thighs on a pan, arrange lemon pieces all around chicken.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Broil for about 3-5 minutes to crisp up the skin. Note: do not forget chicken under the broiler like I did as you can clearly see from the picture!
Lemon Paprika Chicken is easy and fast recipe perfect for weeknight, but also fancy enough for a weekend dinner
Posted on June 24, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Housekeeping and life

Hi there! So, yes, this happened! I promised myself when I started blogging again that I would do it consistently, but it's been a week without any posts. I have a real excuse this time - I was busy. I know, I know... It used to be my excuse before, but it is actually true. Last week was really busy, I had to work really late on Wednesday and I was celebrating the end of the project on Thursday. By Friday I was beat and I just couldn't get the energy to post anything. Weekend was spent cooking and entertaining my family. And now it's suddenly Monday and I don't have a recipe to post.

My photos on big stands in front of the Sweet Flour cafe

So, I decided to do just a random post about site and a few things about me. I used to have a Russian blog a few years ago. It was a mix of recipes, travel photos, restaurants and my life. Those life posts were always the most popular. Up until right now, this site had no posts like this.

Although last week was really busy, it ended on a high note. I got emails about a couple of fun projects. One for the site and another a photography opportunity that I am pretty excited about. I'm not going to name names here just so that I won't jinx it, but if it happens I'll tell all about it. Also, one of my long-term clients sent me a text with a picture of my photographs on big stands in front of her store. It's not the first time I've seen my photos on big posters, but it's always exciting.

As for the site housekeeping, I have added a Recipes page to the navigation. It has a list of all of the recipes. I went through every blog post from 2008 (wow, I've had this site for 7 years now!) and there are quite a few neat recipes that I totally forgot about. 

I also updated About page with some information about me! That took a while to write. I almost wrote a novel there, but then deleted most and left only a few paragraphs. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer here in the comment!

And this concludes my first housekeeping-non-recipe-personal-ish-blog-post. Cheers!

Posted on June 22, 2015 and filed under Personal.