November 30, 2010

Curried Chickpea Cakes and Coconut Panna Cotta from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook

Running Press recently published bestselling author Kim Barnouin’s new vegan cookbook, Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook, and the publicist for the book offered to send me a couple of the recipes to test and post. You can read more about Kim on her blog,, but I'm sure you're probably already familiar with her book, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Photo courtesy of Running Press

I'm always interested in trying new recipes, so I agreed to sample and post them for you. We tried the curried chickpea cakes, and they were easy to make and delicious. I liked them so much I plan to bring them to a party this weekend. But, to be honest, I thought they tasted even better the next day, so I'm going to make them on Friday and reheat them on Saturday. We served them with broccoli, rice and veggies, and leftover cranberry sauce, but when I bring them to the party I'll probably make some sort of topping for them — maybe something with avocado as shown in the photo. (Although the recipe considers one cake a serving, I think an adult will eat at least two of these for dinner.)

Curried Chickpea Cakes

Makes 10 Servings
  • 1 (15-ounce/430 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) sliced green onions, both white and light green parts
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) breadcrumbs, plus 1/4 cup (30 g) for coating
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil or toasted sesame oil, for pan searing
  1. In a large food processor, combine the chickpeas and green onions. Pulse until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, sugar, 2/3 cup (75 g) of the breadcrumbs, curry powder, nutmeg, and cumin. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Stir in the brown rice and the salt.
  3. Mold into 10 mini patties.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chickpea cakes to the pan and sauté until there’s a nice golden sear on the bottom. Flip and sear the other side as well. Continue with the remaining cakes.
  5. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Serving Size: 123 g; Calories 170; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrates 23 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 4 g

I didn't try the second recipe, though it sounds very luscious and exotic. I'm not a big dessert person, and I think I'm still overwhelmed by all the dessert I ate for Thanksgiving — and after. I'd love for you to try it and let me know what you think.

Photo courtesy of Running Press

Coconut Panna Cotta
Kim says, "I never thought it would be possible to have such a creamy and rich vegan dessert, but here it is. A brilliant and determined chef friend of mine gave me some of her trade secrets to pull this one off. You have to refrigerate for a couple hours so it can set, it’s a good one to make on the weekend." Makes 6 Servings
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) light coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 packet of vegan gelatin mix, unsweetened and unflavored
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water (or more)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 5 fresh strawberries, minced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) toasted coconut, for garnish
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream of coconut, coconut milk, and coconut extract to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the gelatin and cold water together until the gelatin dissolves completely.
  3. Add the gelatin mixture to the coconut mixture and whisk, until well dissolved. Continue to simmer 3 more minutes.
  4. Pour the coconut mixture into six small ramekins and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to set.
  6. In a separate medium saucepan, heat the berries with the hot water over medium heat. When they are defrosted and starting to break down, add the sugar and stir until it forms a sauce. Add more hot water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. The sauce should be slightly thick.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Strain the berry sauce to extract the seeds. Drizzle a little of the berry sauce on each serving plate.
  8. Remove the panna cotta custards from the refrigerator and run a knife or toothpick along the sides of the ramekins to loosen.
  9. Carefully turn each ramekin upside down onto a plate. Remove the ramekin and garnish with strawberries and coconut.
Serving Size: 1 Ramekin 155 g; Calories 250; Fat 14 g; Saturated Fat 13 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrates 33 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 2g

The above two recipes were reprinted with permission.


No more leftover cranberry sauce

Did you know that cranberry sauce tastes great in a smoothie? Here's one made with banana, mango, mixed berries, cranberry sauce, almond butter and almond milk. So, so good. I'm sorry to see what appeared to be an endless supply of cranberry sauce finally come to an end. But it was a good end.


Here's a yarn you might find interesting
Bethany and I were out shopping again — this time for yarn, so her husband can make his mom a scarf for Christmas. (Yes, her husband knows how to crochet.) We went to three yarn shops before we finally found nice yarn without wool or silk, or believe it or not, fiber from pearls. We were getting kind of testy at the lack of selection, but finally found yarn made from banana peels or bamboo or something — can't remember which, as I'm a little dizzy from the strain of reading all those yarn labels.


Farewell mofo 2010
So this is my last mofo 2010 post, and though it was fun, I don't think I'm a post-a-day sort of blogger. I'll be taking a little rest, but will be back soon with weird noodles and other stuff. Thanks for reading!


  1. I've heard of Skinny Bitch on many blogs, and renditions of her recipes always look good, as do your chickpea cakes! I think at least two of them would be in order.

    Cool idea about the cranberry smoothie. Lovely, lovely color! Stroke of genius.

    I always wonder whether it would be difficult to find vegan yarn...I started to learn how to knit a year or so ago, and then rapidly figured out that my fingers just can't do that! I did not know about the pearl shards, but dried banana and peel and bambo sound like cool yarn ingredients. Very cool that Bethany's hubby knows how to crochet!

    Thank you, thank you Andrea for all your wonderful MoFo posts! And like you, I'm a little relieved and looking forward to a more relaxed blogging pace.

  2. I've always wanted to taste Coconut Panna Cotta - they're always featured in cooking magazines and now, I get to make it. Thanks!

  3. Those both sound like great recipes! And a cranberry sauce smoothie? Sign me right up!

  4. Cranberry sauce smoothie...I think I must have done that in the past but nothing like so splendidly as this. I wouldn't naturally have dared to add almond butter but bet it was delicious.

    The chickpea cakes do look good, and a salsa to go with them sounds just right.

    MoFo is fun but, lord, it does take up a lot of time--especially, I'd imagine, posts like yours which are almost always multi-level and multi-topic and filled with stories and other good writing. I've enjoyed your entries enormously, but it's definitely time to relax now!

  5. Rose,
    The woman at the last yarn store said they carry more non-wool yarns in the spring and summer, when people want lighter weights. I guess acrylic and nylon aren't considered "high quality" yarns. You have to go to fabric and craft stores to find them.
    Thanks for all the compliments, Rose, I appreciate your kind words.

    I'd like to hear how it turns out.

    I wish I'd thought of adding cranberry sauce to smoothies before — it tastes so berrylicious!

    I don't add a LOT of almond butter, just a spoonful, and I think it tastes yummy.

    Mofo was time consuming, yes. I can't imagine how you managed to find, learn about, and then cook all those new ingredients every day. Whew.

    Thanks so much for reading along here, and for all your wonderful comments.

  6. goodness, i've never heard of yarn made from pearl fiber. that's kind of sick. i don't usually have trouble finding average everyday yarn that's vegan, but "super chunky" yarn is a different story--the kind i like (plain and not frilly-frou-frou) always seems to have wool in it. once, for a special project, i ordered some pretty expensive yarn from (which was an all-vegan fiber supply site, but is now no longer in business, sadly.) i bought four skeins of this wonderful organic, fair-trade, handspun, vegetable-dyed cotton yarn from them. that store also carried yarn made from bamboo, banana silk, hemp, corn fiber and soy silk.

    here's a link to my post about the vegan yarn search with some more info about that organic cotton yarn:

  7. You definitely deserve a MoFo break! I enjoyed reading your posts a lot.

    Both recipes look great. I have some coconut milk leftovers and I could use it in both recipes. But since I am a dessert person, I think I know what to do...

  8. Emily,
    The pearl yarn was a new one for me, too. I looked at your post, and the defunct site; too bad it closed down. I'm not really a knitter — I've knitted a few things that came out well, but have never progressed in my skills or speed, and am too slow for my taste. I like crochet, and am thinking of taking a class to see if I can be taught anything useful beyond basics. (I may be unteachable. :D) I did see some very cool yarn at a local shop that would be perfect for making little things for Miss E. It was chunky and had bright dabs of colors. I like to touch the yarn I'm buying, so I don't like buying it online.

    Thanks, Mihl, I think a break will be nice. I'd love to see you make the panna cotta instead of me.:D You should make it and post it!

  9. Pearl fibers? Yowza.

    The food sounds delicious, especially the Curried Chickpea Cakes! Thanks for your wonderful contributions to MoFo - it's been a pleasure reading along!

  10. I've heard of skinny bitch, but never read any of her stuff. The curried chickpea cakes sound very good. I will have to try those out!

    Oh yum...that smoothie sounds delicious! I would have never thought about using cranberry sauce in a smoothie...sure sounds good though!

    That's pretty cool about Bethany's husband crocheting. My niece goes to Boston College and one of her guy freinds makes hats for everyone in the winter. They are so cool looking.

  11. Curry and chickpeas are one of my favorite food combos. I read the Skinny Bitch book, but not the cookbook. Despite what some others have said about Skinny Bitch, I enjoyed reading it.

  12. Kelly,
    Weird, huh? Thanks a lot for reading, Kelly!

    This was my first experience with her recipes, too, and I liked the chickpea dish a lot.

    I think it's cool that Bethany's husband can crochet, too. I've seen his work and it's good!

    I love chickpea patties and have made a lot of different recipes. Adding curry and coconut milk was a nice variation.

    I've never read any of the Skinny Bitch books but I know some people really like them, and some not so much. Now I'm curious about the rest of the recipes!

  13. Well, the food looks great, but I would have been more impressed if they could have sent you the whole cookbook and not just a couple of recipes. Sheesh! Happy rest period, Andrea.

  14. Well, you've got my attention with those chickpea cakes! Easy, healthy, tasty, AND I think I have all of the ingredients on hand? Sold! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  15. Blessedmama,
    They did offer to send the book, but I like that they gave me permission to share the recipes!

    You're welcome. Anything with chickpeas gets my attention. I love those little nuggets. I think to my next batch I might add some tamarind paste and corn kernels.

  16. The chickpea cakes looks awesome! Thanks for posting the recipe. And the cranberry smoothie is such a brilliant idea! Have a good rest, I really enjoyed all of your mofo posts! :-)

  17. Chow vegan,
    Thank you. I'm making the chickpea cakes again today, but the cranberry sauce is all gone.

    Yes, isn't that peculiar?

  18. Chickpea cakes! My favorite! Those look really tempting!

  19. That panna cotta! It's so beautiful! I must try to make that stuff.

  20. Mo,
    I would love to see the panna cotta recreated on your blog! Do it!!


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