:: Slice of Emma ::

September 13th, 2016
Healthy, Whole Food, Plant Based Recipes by Emma

Recipe #12 :: Turmeric Chickpea Cakes

In San Francisco I am fortunate to have access to some of the most diverse and delicious dining in the world. A city that is 7x7 featuring every culture, country, and spice you can imagine. It excites me to explore the farm to table restaurants such as Gracias Madre and The Perennial. I continue to hit the road on adventures from a week in Quebec and Montreal, Bhakti yoga festival in Joshua Tree, frequent trips back to San Diego, while balancing the travel out with hikes that surround the city. With all my travels the ingredient that I would like to see used more of creatively is turmeric.

Turmeric is a perfect balancing and anti-inflammatory spice that offers not only unsurpassed health benefits but also a unique powerful flavor.  Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time. It really does contain compounds with medicinal properties. These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. This recipe is both hearty for the chilly marine layer fog days and versatile. You can explore adding chutneys, dill creams, and vegetables along side.


  • 1 Tbspflax seed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, divided (plus more for sautéing)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • optional: 1 Tbsp hulled white sesame seeds or hemp seeds
  • 2 tspcoconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and thoroughly dried

For Coating:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and add flax mix to a food processor or high speed blender.

Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until slightly browned, stirring often - about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then add to food processor or blender with flax mix.

Next add panko bread crumbs, parsley, vegan parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (optional), coconut sugar, turmeric, cumin, a pinch each salt + pepper, and 1 tsp olive oil, and lemon juice. Pulse/blend until small bits remain, scraping down sides as needed.  Next, add rinsed/dried chickpeas and blend/pulse until a moldable “dough” is formed, scraping down sides as needed. You don’t want the chickpeas to turn into a paste, but you also don’t want any left whole.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more vegan parmesan and salt. Add more panko bread crumbs if the mixture feels too wet. You want them to be very flavorful, so season liberally.  To make the coating, mix vegan parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Set aside.  Scoop out heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and form/roll into balls - about 15 total.  Roll cakes in the vegan parmesan cheese-panko bread crumb mixture to coat.

Heat the same skillet you used earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add enough oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet, then add cakes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook them in two batches as to not crowd the pan. Add more oil as needed.

Brown cakes for 4-5 minutes total, shaking the pan to roll them around and brown all sides. Turn down heat slightly if browning too quickly.

Add sautéed cakes to a bare or foil-lined baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Once cakes are golden brown and fairly firm to the touch, remove from oven. Let cool a few minutes before serving. They will firm up the longer they cool.

Hi, I am Emma Wilkiemeyer. Welcome to Slice of Emma recipe blog featuring healthy recipes that are vegan and based on whole foods.  For the past seven years I have shared recipes with friends and family and past two years through my blogging.  I completed a certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona in Holistic Nutrition.  I take pride in that my recipes are not only delicious, but the science behind them makes for ingredients that nurture and balance the body.  My recipes are all gluten free and vegan. 

My full time career is working in the oncology bio-tech space. Working around patients who are very sick has taught me the value of living a healthy lifestyle each and every day in order to lower the risk of disease later in life.  My whole foods diet keeps me energized to work hard and fuel my fitness routine.  Slice of Emma will also feature not only my voracious appetite in the kitchen but also my travel adventures including mountain hikes sometimes shared with Jes the CCC and international travel.  Please reach out to me anytime you have a question whether it be about travel or my recipes. 

I am excited to share my passion and creativity with you.  Whether you are an experienced cook, or just getting started with a plant based diet I hope to have something that excites and helps you love healthy and compassionate cooking.

My life recipe is simple- Nourish the body with clean food and exercise, and feed the soul with life’s rich experiences whether it be through getting out in nature or positive relationships with the people in my life.


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