[Post #35 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
We have had a fairly cool May here in Texas, but that still means high 70s and 80s. But this weekend, the heat and humidity decided it was time to ratchet everything up. So, despite Memorial Day being more than a week away, it is safe to say that it is officially summer here in the Lone Star state.
So I made my first tabbouleh of the season.
And then I made it into pucks.
Everyone has their touchstone dishes that symbolize changes in the season, and for me, it has long been tabbouleh. My mother had several versions of her own, but tabbouleh was something I didn’t start started making on my own until I was living on my own in graduate school. Part of the reason was cost: I could buy bulgur from the local Co-op, and then load up on seasonal herbs and tomatoes at the farmers market for a song. It would last for days, and seemed to become even more delicious as the days passed (or, perhaps it was the joy of not having to cook in the heat that made it taste so darn good).
For the past few years, I’ve eschewed bulgur in favor of gluten-free ancient grains, such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, or sorghum. And given my success in making some scrumptious brown rice pucks, I decided to throw caution to the wind and see if a tabbouleh puck would work. Grains salads are portable, true, but why not by-pass cleaning up containers? Wouldn;t it be wonderful–for picnics, lunches and snacks–to have a handheld version?
Sorry, this is how my brain works.
I stuck with essential ingredients–tomatoes, parsley (lots!), mint (also, lots!),and cooked grains (I opted for sorghum). A chickpea flour binding made perfect sense since chickpeas are so fundamental to Middle Eastern cooking.
I chopped, I mixed, I baked.
And these beauties are the result:
Wow. And wow again. Tabbouleh pucks are ridiculously good. The chickpea flour binding (rich with plenty of essential tabbouleh elements, namely lemon juice and zest, olive oil, cumin) adds depth of flavor without taking away from the fundamental qualities of a great tabbouleh. At only 104 calories per puck, these are one of the most satisfying savory snacks I’ve made to date. Of course, they are loaded with empowering nutrition, too.
- ⅓ cup chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons whole psyllium husk
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups cooked gluten-free grains (e.g., sorghum (what I used), quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, millet)
- ¾ cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes (dice them small)
- ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
- ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or spray 8 cups of a standard muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, psyllium, cumin, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the water until blended and smooth, then whisk in the zest, olive oil and lemon juice. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken, hen stir in the grain, tomatoes, mint, and parsley.
- Divide mixture equally between prepared cups.
- Bake in preheat oven for 22 to 25 minutes until golden brown and set at center. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cup and remove pucks. Cool to room temperature. Serve room temp or chilled.