Gobbling Garbanzos

Man, I just friggin’ love chickpeas. Their texture is pretty much perfect, the flavor is tame enough to be dressed up with just about anything, and they are super-healthy. My only problem with chickpeas is that I eat too many of them, which is not the best thing for me to do when I’m watching my weight, because they are pretty calorically dense.

But I digress. Two of my favorite ways to cook chickpeas are either Indian-style (in my own, very loose adaptation of chana masala) or in the Quinoa-Chickpea Pilaf from Veganomicon.  Observe:

Indian-style: this is one of my impromptu “masala” chickpea dishes.  Basically I sautee some onions and garlic, then add a buttload of veggies (carrots, broccoli, some potatoes, and in this one I used fresh tomatoes, though I often use canned).  Then I add a liquid, either broth or one of those delicious simmer sauces in a jar that you can buy at the store.  I usually use broth (mostly because I can’t take the salt in the jars, but they are delicious, and handy when you want something super-quick).  Then add the chickpeas (I almost always used canned these days because I’m lazy).  If using broth, you then need to add lots of good spices.  Curry powder, obviously, and some cumin, chili powder, a little garam masala, and black pepper.  I just do it to taste.  It’s so tasty and lasts for days.
(Sorry for the weird picture…for some reason, no matter how I format it, it still looks odd. Oh well. It was tasty.)

PILAF!!!  From Veganomicon, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and I have made a rule that I cannot eat any of it until 20 minutes after it’s done cooking…for some reason when it’s piping hot I cannot resist throwing back bowl after bowl of it, so I have to wait for it to cool and then slow my roll and enjoy it.  LOVE the taste of the ground coriander in this.

Oh, and I have the nutrition facts for it! Well, sort of. The following numbers are based off of my observation that the recipe yields roughly 6 cups, and then from that I derived the following numbers for a serving of 1 cup (or 1/6 of the recipe):
224 calories, 38g carbs, 5g fat, 8g protein, 6g fiber, 518 mg sodium, 14% DV iron, 26% DV Vitamin B6, 5% DV calcium, 5% DV Vitamin E. Woo!

Another fun way I like to make chickpeas in order to eat them as a snack or as a salad topping is to roast them (like Dreena’s Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas…I think from ED&BV).  And I am dying to try this recipe from Fitness Magazine for Indian-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas, for obvious reasons (namely, that I am obsessed with both chickpeas and Indian food).

Happy gobbling!

Summer Bummer

It is June 11th, and my one-year blog anniversary was June 2nd, which I somehow missed, and that is sad.  😦  Also, I managed to lose another digital camera to a bad fall last weekend, which doesn’t really help me in the blogging department, and is depressing because now that school has ended I’ve been doing alot of cooking and baking.  Tomorrow a big group of my friends is going down to Cape Cod to spend the weekend there, and I have this whole long summery menu of things to cook up for them while we’re there, which I’m really excited about because I love cooking in the summertime!  Of course, it is currently 56 degrees in Boston so maybe not so much.

Alright, enough bad humor.  Until my camera is fixed (or I bite the bullet and buy my third one in the last 13 months) I have a few pictures in my Photobucket that I can post for the sake of keeping up the blog…

First up is a series of photos of Dad and me making Happy Herbivore’s Chickpea Piccata

Here we have the patties, getting ready to go into the oven.

And there is the sauce, simmering away.

Some steamed spinach for a side dish.

The finished chickpea patties.

The finished sauce.

Overall, I enjoyed this recipe but we had to modify it a little.  The chickpea mixture that forms the patties was very dry (maybe because we used dried beans that had been soaked and cooked rather than canned?), and we had such a hard time keeping the mixture together that we ended up using an ice cream scoop to form the patties (as seen above), as well as putting lots (probably too much) of flour on them so they didn’t stick to our hands or the scoop. We did not flatten them before baking (as the recipe directs) for fear they would fall apart.  We also added a significant amount of olive oil (not HH’s style, certainly) to try to moisten the mixture and keep it together.  Also, I thought the sauce was pretty good but Dad thought it was slightly too acidic (with the bulk of the liquid being white wine and the lemon juice), and so next time we decided we’d use a little more water (in addition to that used for the cornstarch) and maybe even a dash of soymilk to even out the pH a little (while avoiding making it too creamy). 

This second pic is an old one, from last fall I believe, and it is Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tofu

Served up with brown rice and a plate of pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus

I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this tofu recipe.  If anyone has seen it before, can you please leave a comment or email me so I can give the author proper credit?  Thanks!  I usually wouldn’t post something if I didn’t know where it came from (since that is kind of the point of this blog) but they’re really pretty pictures and I’m kinda short on material at the moment. Overall this was a pretty yummy spread, nothing exceptional though.  Looking at the picture now, of course, I’m chiding myself on serving too much rice and no actual vegetables!

To wrap up, I just want to say that now that the semester has ended, I feel like a real person again, and not only am I thrilled to be back into the kitchen and back into my healthy eating and exercise habits, but I am thrilled to once again have the time to catch up on all of your wonderful blogs, from which I have been long absent. I’ll be back to commenting soon!!

Groovy Gravy

I got this recipe some time ago from the How to Feed a Vegan blog and as a rabid fan of Indian food, I knew I had to try it out!

Chick & Split Pea Curried Gravy

Here it is in my little container ready to take to school–better than the cafeteria any day!

I loved this recipe.  It is incredibly simple and quick, and so delicious and filling.  The recipe doesn’t call for any salt, so I needed to add a significant amount of that (maybe because the split pea soup I used was low sodium), and as per my usual, I also dumped a ton of hot sauce on top.  I served it alongside Basmati rice that I cooked up with a tablespoon of Smart Balance, two whole cloves, and about 1/2-1 tsp. of curry powder.  It was utterly delightful.

Also, I think last time I promised a dessert in this post.  It was an Oreo cake (well, actually a Newman O cake), but alas, when I tried to take it out of the pan, it slid off the plate and into the sink, which was a) gross, and b) unfortunate, because it broke into pieces, and the pieces that I tried (that didn’t touch the sink) were delish.  Oh well, another time.

Ooh! And in other news, I finally ordered myself an immersion blender today, and will have it by Friday (thank you, Amazon Prime)!!!  Now I can more easily make my soups, plus find out what all the fuss about blended grains (a la CCV) is all about!

SouperBowl Sunday

Who am I kidding, I’m not watching the Superbowl…just tuning in every so often to check out the commercials. What I am doing is posting about one of my favorite soups that I’ve ever made, Lemon Chickpea Lentil soup from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.

Pre-puree (complete with steam!)

Finished product

A perfect little dinner…soup and sauteed kale

This soup was SO. GOOD.  Thick and flavorful and filling.  I actually added more cumin than the recipe called for because I was loving the earthy Middle Eastern taste of the soup.  I would definitely make this again.  It was simple and it is perfect winter fare.  Anyone who has ED&BV–make this recipe!

Give Me Spiciness or Give Me Death

In case I have never made this clear, I love me some spicy food.  I don’t know if it’s the cold weather or what, but I have days and weeks at a time where I crave only spicy food, and when I eat out at any kind of Mexican, Thai, or Indian restaurant, I actually get a little annoyed if my food is not satisfactorily spicy.  Anyway the point is that I’ve been craving hot food (especially Indian!) and so this post is about a couple little Indian dishes that I have made for myself.  It works out better anyway because it’s cheap and I can control the spice level!

Last week I made a Madras curry using an organic store-bought simmer sauce that I thought looked yummy.  Here it is:

For the curry, I sauteed thinly-sliced onion in olive oil, then added strips of fresh red pepper, fresh broccoli, chopped mushrooms, and defrosted pressed tofu, then added the simmer sauce and simmered for 10 minutes as directed.  Here it is before I added the simmer sauce:

And here’s the finished product, steaming hot!

I ate the curry over basmati rice that I cooked up with Earth Balance, cloves, and a bay leaf.  Even though the simmer sauce jar says “a red hot curry sauce”, it wasn’t all that spicy, so I added a generous amount of red pepper flakes while cooking, as well as a nice helping of hot sauce before eating.   Still could have been spicier though!  Nonetheless, it was a true delight and it literally lasted me about 4-5 meals.  Not bad for a made-up recipe! 

I also dug up some pictures of a “chana masala” that I made based on a web recipe a couple of months ago.  


First of all, I have no idea where I got the recipe…sorry.  It had chickpeas, spinach, lemon juice, onion, cumin, garam masala, etc.  Second, it’s not chana masala, it’s definitely chana saag because of the spinach and lack of tomato-y goodness.  But I made it work for me!   It was a fairly simple recipe and one that could be recreated easily by anyone looking for a quick, easy, tasty, Indian-inspired dinner.  Of course, if you want it spicy, you’re going to need to add a boat-load of pepper and hot sauce, but it’s worth it!

I actually found out that there is an Indian grocery store not too far from me, and I want to get over there sometime this week to buy some good quality hot peppers and have some more fun in the kitchen!