Tag Archives: chickpeas

Tunaless Melt!

This could have made an amazing sandwich but it made an awesome wrap. I’ve been missing tuna melts, not for the fishy tinned tuna but for the melty goodness and crunchy celery. To make the filling I combined the following:

1 32oz tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp vegan mayo

1 cup of chopped celery

1/2 chopped onion

a generous pinch each of tarragon and thyme

1 tbsp marmite or vegemite

salt and flake red pepper to taste

I started by adding the celery and onion and microwaving it until the onion was soft.

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I actually used a fork to mush the chickpeas. I liked the texture it provided since it reminded me more of real tuna that way. Once it was all mixed together, I microwaved it until it was hot and then adjusted the seasoning.

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We combined this on a wrap with some Daiya cheddar which we melted by microwaving and then topped with some spinach and tomato. It hit the spot, EXACTLY!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Spinach Pesto!

Brent and I have been pretty lazy lately and that’s mostly burrito kick since we found gluten-free wraps made from teff. This wasn’t one of those nights.

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All you need is the following in your blender.

1 cube of veggie bouillon

juice from a lemon

1/4 cup of hemp hearts (pine nuts work too but hemp is cheaper and more sustainable)

5-6 cloves of garlic (more if you like it spicy)

1 large bunch of spinach (frozen is fine)

1 tsp flake red pepper

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 block of silken tofu (use a cup of dry cashews, soaked overnight if you’ve got a soy allergy)

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BLEND! We served ours with pasta that we tossed with chickpeas, sun dried tomato and porcini mushrooms.

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It was definitely a worth while experiment because it was tasty and loaded with nutrients.

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This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Tempeh Cacciatore

Not long ago I got a request for cacciatore from fellow blogger, VeganMonologue. How can I resist!? I took a slab of tempeh and cut it in half. I did it at an angle to satisfy my love of the rhombus. Add that to the list of things nobody needs to know about me. You’ll need the following:

1 package of tempeh
1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
olive oil
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine or 1 cup of dry white wine
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup veggie bouillon
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

I added it to a pan with some rosemary infused olive oil (regular olive oil is fine) and a pinch each of salt and cracked black pepper. I sauteed until it was lightly browned on each side. I transferred the tempeh to a plate with some fabulous wooden tongs that my sister got me.

Then I added a chopped onion, 1/4 of a chopped green bell pepper and 1/4 of a chopped red bell pepper. I sprinkled in some chopped parsley and slivers of garlic and sauteed until the onion became translucent.

I added the white wine (I used a pinot gris and kind of wished I’d used a merlot. If you try that let me know how it goes.), 1/2 tsp of dried oregano leaves, 1/2 tsp of cumin and a pinch of nutmeg and simmered until the wine was reduced by half.

Then I added a half cup of vegetable bouillon, a tin of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of capers and a pinch of cracked black pepper. I stirred it a few times to mix and then added the tempeh back to the pan, covered it with tomatoes and allowed it to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Brent made some guinoa while we waited because it was what we had but I think this would be better with pasta or mashed potatoes.

After 20 minutes, the tempeh should have taken on some of the characteristics of the broth. Put the tempeh on your quinoa, potatoes, pasta, whatever and spoon generous helpings of the remaining deglazing/reduction. I sprinkled mine with some fresh basil leaves. This is a hearty meal, full of savory and herbal flavors all brought out by the acid and sweetness of the tomatoes. This would also work with chickpeas or seitan instead of tempeh for those with a soy allergy. It’s a surprisingly healthy crowd pleaser.

A note for the health conscious: don’t be afraid of soy. There’s a lot of propaganda out there that says soy isn’t good for you for one reason or another. A word from your vegan scientist: the data suggest that soy is better for you than meat, dairy and eggs by a long shot, particularly if you’re worried about cancer (particularly colon cancer) or cardiovascular disease.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Tahini-Soy Chickpea Salad

Life is thus that I am basically a Lazy Vegan 24/7 and haven’t had a chance to sit and plan and be creative with my cooking. I really want to turn things around, so I decided to make a different sort of chickpea salad to eat with my Boca Chik’n Patty sandwich.

Tahini-Soy Chickpea Salad

1 15 oz canned chickpeas (I would have used dry beans if I had planned ahead)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of one lemon

I drained the chickpeas and set them aside. I then mixed all the other ingredients together in a bowl.

I mixed the beans with the dressing. Note: I only used about half of the dressing.

To make things a little more interesting, I added some grated carrot, sesame seeds, ground coriander, and dried parsley flakes. I’m sadly lacking fresh herbs at the moment and certainly would have added fresh cilantro or parsley instead.

I added some crushed red pepper after plating the salad. This ended up being a delightful and hearty meal! –Melissa

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Lazy Vegan: Bachelorette Chow!

A while back, Brent posted about what he calls bachelor chow. It turns out I have a lady version of this dish. Mine is fairly straightforward and has a nutritional profile that my needs and just happens to compliment Brent’s version well. Before I was vegan this included tilapia but that was quickly and easily replaced with less expensive, cholesterol-free chickpeas. That’s most of what you’ll need:
1 tin of chickpeas, drained OR 1 cup of chickpeas, soaked and pressure cooked
1 10 ounce or 1 lb. bag of frozen vegetables (I prefer mixes with broccoli, carrots and peas or beans)
whatever combination of hot sauce, tamari or soy sauce and teryaki sauce or mushroom sauce does it for you
1 tsp olive oil

I put the chickpeas into a pan with the olive oil and often some flake red pepper or cayenne and fry the chickpeas until they get all steamy! I add the frozen veggies and stir-fry until they’re hot and then add sauces to taste. This is a versatile budget friendly meal that’s pretty family friendly. When I make this for me and Brent, I’ll use 2 10 ounce bags of vegetables or a 1 pound bag. It usually comes out to less than $5 for dinner for 2, less if you start with dried chickpeas. Fresh, frozen or dried black-eyed peas (sometimes called cow peas), lima beans, edamame or green peas are great for when you want a change.

What’s your super quick and easy meal for days when you don’t really want to cook?

This is Christie, signing off!

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Lighter Thai Yellow Curry

Brent and I are still trying to find lighter versions of our favorites and yellow curry is on that list. We recently became acquainted with PB2 thanks to co-author Melissa and have found it to be everything it’s advertised to be: a low-fat full-flavor version of the comfort food I know and love. This made this dish possible along with 2 bags of generic frozen vegetables. As a biochemist I’ve learned that the best ways to preserve labile (that’s how biochemists say ‘unstable’) compounds is by storing them frozen or dried and preferably both. Dried and frozen veggies, nuts and fruits are something I often choose over canned or ‘fresh’ (i.e. not from our farmers’ market). While tinned and fresh produce is often useful and tasty, you never know how long it’s been sitting on a shelf or in the back of a refrigerated truck while the nutrients have been breaking down due to natural processes that can be slowed or stopped by freezing or drying. There is still a lot we don’t know about how our bodies work and scientists discover new compounds that are important to health and nutrition more often than you might think. Variety and well preserved or fresh foods are the best ways to make the most of compounds we don’t know about just yet, as far as I’m concerned.  I digress… lets talk curry. We used the following

1 lb. bag of generic frozen seasoning mix (pepper, onion, celery)

1 lb. bag of generic frozen mixed vegetables (zucchini. carrot, lima beans, cauliflower)

1 13.5 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained OR 1 cup of dried garbanzos, soaked overnight and parboiled

2 generous pinches of cumin seeds

2 tbsp minced ginger

3 Thai chilis, sliced

1 pinch of cayenne (optional)

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp PB2 dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar (more if you like sweeter curry)

salt to taste

We combined the cumin seeds with minced ginger in a deep skillet with the olive oil. We stirred it over medium high heat until it was fragrant. We started the rice at this point because we used brown rice with took about 45 minutes. The curry was ready about 15 minutes before the rice.

To this we added the seasoning mix of vegetables, peppers, cinnamon, PB2 in water and chickpeas. I stirred it until the vegetables were thawed and heated thoroughly.

Then we added the rest of the veggies and sugar and stirred until the vegetables were hot and tender.

This was a lighter curry and tasted divine. Thanks to PB2 we had something light and nutritious and good enough to share though I’ll probably make some tweaks in the future. Let me know if you get to try this and what you’d do to improve on it.

This is Christie, signing off!

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The Good Bean!

I love discovering vegan snacks! They are usually products that I would have never taken a second look at before going vegan. I found this particular product while I was in Toronto:

The Good Bean is based in Berkeley, CA, so it’s funny that I discovered them in another country. (There is only one store near me that sells their products and it’s a store that I have never been to.) The packaging tells you everything you need to know about their snacks: lots of protein, high in fiber, gluten free, and non-GMO.

I tried the sweet cinnamon flavor. It has a very subtle cinnamon flavor that is well balanced with vanilla as well as a nice hint of salt. The beans themselves are as hearty as you would think, which means that you’re not likely to eat the whole bag in one sitting. Yum!

Check these out if you get a chance. They’re simply a fun and healthy snack! –Melissa

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Channa Masala

Brent and I love Indian food so we’re trying to reproduce favorites like tofu and peas makhani and veggie pakora. This post is about my personal favorite, chickpeas masala. I’ve been working on this for a while and it’s still not quite right but it’s definitely good enough to share.
You’ll need the following.
2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked OR 1 28 ounce tin of chickpeas, drained
 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped into long thin strips
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or other vegetables; mushrooms, kale, etc. We’re adding broccoli and mushrooms.)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup tamarind or equal volume of reconstituted soup base (juice from a lime and the zest also works but I recommend tamarind)
1 tbsp chopped hot pepper (more if you want, we used jalapeño)
1 heaping tablespoon cumin powder
2 heaping tablespoons coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of crushed fennel seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 pinch fenugreek seeds ( optional)
corn or safflower oil
salt, pepper
In a very large pot, add 2 or 3 teaspoons of corn or safflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the seeds and stir lightly for half a minute, until they begin to sputter. Add the onion and stir until they’re lightly browned, add ginger, garlic and pepper.
Mix well and add the tomato, tamarind and paste. Stir over heat until the oil starts to separate from the mixture and form a sheen of bubbles on he surface. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Blend until the larger chunks have been broken down. This step isn’t necessary but I like my channa sauce smooth. Then add the spices and stir them into the sauce, adjusting as necessary. If you don’t feel like adding all those spices individually, you can use your favorite curry powder and salt to taste but I can’t guarantee you it’ll taste like you might expect.
Once the sauce tastes like you want it to, stir in the chickpeas. Depending on your vegetables, stir them in so they’ll be tender but not overcooked when you serve them. Alternatively, you can steam or saute them and stir them into the chickpeas and sauce before serving.
Fresh mint and/or cilantro make a great garnish. We served this over quinoa but jasmine rice also makes a great starch to eat all this deliciousness with. It’s also awesome stuffed into a pita and will make a mess all over your face. This recipe is getting closer to what I expect from an Indian restaurant but it’s not quite there yet. I suspect it might be mint and lemon zest. If you figure out what we’re missing, let me know!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
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SunDried Tomato Mac & Cheese

This is a similar dish to the nacho mac and cheese that Brent and I concocted not long ago. This is sundried tomato mac. You’ll need the following:
1 14.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained or 1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked
1 lemon
1 pinch chili powder
1/4 cup sundried tomato, minced
olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup chopped basil (optional)
8 ounces of vegan cheese (we used Ste. Martaen colby)

I started by sauteing the chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice and chili powder. When the chickpeas started to steam and soften I added the onion, and dry herbs and stirred until the onions became translucent.

Add the cheese and tomato, then stir until it’s melty. When the pasta is ready, stir in the sauce and basil. It’s an incredibly simple meal and delicious.

The tomato gives this dish a richer color than it would have otherwise and it’s flavor is made to match. We love easy, quick decadent dishes like this one after an intense exercise session.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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Fantastic Falafel

I talk to myself when I’m driving. Here’s what I said to myself on my drive home from work: What will I have for dinner? Hmm. There’s eggplant in the fridge. And there’s tahini. I can make baba ghanouj. But then I have to pick up pita bread. Oooh! Falafel! I’ll make falafel!

And so I did.

I tried making falafel once before, and I was also recently very intrigued by Christie and Brent’s Pakora. I really wanted something simple and fried — been craving fried stuff lately — so I decided to try improving on the recipe I used before, which was straight from the good folks at Bob’s Red Mill.

Melissa’s Fantastic Falafel (that’s not too braggy, right?)

1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I added a hefty 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh cilantro, minced
2  garlic cloves, minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup hot water
oil for frying

I put all my dry and fresh ingredients into a bowl.

I added the water, mixed it all together, and this lovely ball of dough formed. After my traumatizing baking experience over the weekend, I was cautious with adding the water, and found that 1/3 cup was the perfect amount I needed (probably due to how I measured the flour).

I wanted the dough to sit for awhile so the flavors could meld together, so while it was chillin’ like a villain, I made my baba ghanouj.

Melissa’s Baba Ghanouj for People Who Live Alone

1 eggplant, roasted and skinned, but keep the skins on if you want
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tahini
1tsp lemon juice
fresh parsely leaves from 3 sprigs or so

Stick all that stuff in a food processor. Tip – you might want to mince the garlic. I didn’t. You may also want to cut down on the garlic. Let me just say that I have kickass breath right now. Hhhaaahhhhh. See?! That, along with the fact that this only serves one, is why I named the recipe the way I did.

Going back to my falafel dough, I formed some falafel balls, rolled them in some sesame seeds, and then fried them until they were golden brown — about 2 -3 minutes on each side turning 3 times for luck. These look fine but were kind of a fail: my intention was to make falafel ‘bites’ so I should have formed smaller balls. *pause for laughter* Tip: You can bake instead of fry if you wish.

Oh hi! It’s my face! If you had been here after I took this first bite, you would have heard me exclaim a bunch of “OH MY GOD”s. Finally: falafel that I can be proud of! It is 300% better than my last attempt. If my favorite falafel place ever closes, I won’t cry because I know I can make some that are just as tasty.

Happy happy happy! –Melissa

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