Today I dragged my Christmas tree out leaving a trail of pine needles across the house. I was feeling motivated perhaps because I took a nap with the 16 month old. She has determined the only way she will nap is if someone naps with her so for the sake of our sanity I napped.
While I cooked dinner my husband vacuumed up the tree droppings. The princess "helped" by riding the vacuum.
Chickpea & Tilapia Patties with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
1 can chickpeas ($1.29)
8 oz of tilapia (I used frozen filets- our grocer does a buy one @ 7.99 get one free regularly so the cost of 2 filets comes out to $2 for this meal. They're nice to have on hand in the freezer for last minute use.)
2 oz container tomato paste (.39 cents store brand)
1/4 of a 1 lb container Hunt's Tomato Sauce (full container .99= .25 for this recipe)
drizzle of Italian Dressing or substitute italian spices
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS vegetable oil (I'll throw in .35 for the spices & vegetable oil)
1/4-1/2 cup red wine (I keep a giant cheap $5 bottle on hand for cooking. .50 for this recipe)
1. Take filets out of freezer. Put them into pan of warm water to soften.
2. Dump can of rinsed chickpeas into food processor. Add fish as well. Process until everything looks uniformly chopped.
3. Add in 2 TBS tomato paste, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika and a squeeze of Italian dressing (or Italian spices) and mix. Tilapia and chickpea can be plain flavors so you want to season aggressively.
4. Heat 2 TBS vegetable oil in a frying pan. Drop rounded tablespoons of the paste from the food processor. Press down with the back of the tablespoon to flatten them a bit. Cook on low for about 5 minutes.
5. While the patties are cooking, put 1/4 -1/2 cup red wine into a saucepan and heat on low. Add in the rest of the tomato paste and the garlic powder. Stir gently to melt. Add in 1/4 of a 1 lb jar traditional tomato sauce (roughly 6 oz). I save the rest of the jar in the fridge for other dinners, you could of course use a smaller jar. Heat gently throughout.
6. Flip the patties.
Serve patties with tomato sauce on top.
This serves 4 people if you are serving something else like a salad or pasta with it. The cost for the recipe is $4.78. We usually do a chopped head of lettuce (1.50) and italian dressing with it which makes the total cost of this dinner $6.28, obviously pasta is the cheaper option. This recipe can also easily be made into burgers with the addition of an egg and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.