Beet and Chickpea Cakes with Tzatziki
In my experience with clean eating, I have found that certain foods that may not necessarily be Whole 30 compliant do not cause me to have any issues. So once in a while I allow myself to eat something that may not fit the rules, but can definitely fall into the category of clean eating. A fellow blogger (check her out over at Om and Ink, she combines writing and yoga, and is one of the calmest people I have ever met) and I decided to make dinner together and this is what we made. Chickpeas are a wonderful source of protein, and beets are full of potassium. The beets and chickpeas together, topped with freshly made tzatziki sauce was absolutely wonderful. Fresh herbs made for a very fragrant meal. This was such a fulfilling meal, I did not miss having meat in this dish at all.
BEET & CHICKPEA CAKES:
Two 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium red onions, finely diced
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large Middle Eastern cucumber, or 1 regular cucumer, peeled and seeds removed
1 1/2 cups of full fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly brush with olive oil. Place the drained chickpeas into a bowl and crush with a fork or a potato masher. You want the mixture to be chunky, not smooth.
Grate the beets with a box grater. In a large non-stick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions for 5 minutes; add the garlic and salt and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in the grated beets, and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat. Add the mashed chickpeas and dill and combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the tzatziki sauce, peel the cucumber and grate on the largest hole of the box grater. Place in a strainer and use your hands to squeeze out as much of the juice with your hands. In a large bowl, add the cucumber, yogurt, dill, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Taste to see if you need to adjust the salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to keep cool.
Using a 1/3 measuring cup that has been brushed with olive oil, shape the beet and chickpea into cakes. Place the cakes on the oiled parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the tray and continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until the cakes are browning on the bottom. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
To serve, place the cake on a plate and top with the tzatziki sauce, or eat it on the side.
MEG'S AFTERTHOUGHTS: This meal was a ton of fun to cook and kept really well in the fridge all week. I ate two at a time for lunch and topped each cake generously with the homemade tzatziki sauce. Clean eating is all about trying new flavors, and if you want to eat something meatless but full of protein, this meal is perfect.