Showing posts with label chickpeas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chickpeas. Show all posts


Chickpea Cutlets with Ginger Beer Carrots

Do you guys cook when you're busy? I don't. I tend to consume whatever is lying around in increasingly gross combinations until someone or something forces me to do otherwise. Since my husband is doing his fieldwork at the moment in Sweden, there is no one around to witness my descent into depravity (at least, cooking depravity.) Let's just say, there are a lot of nooch sandwiches being consumed. (Though strangely, I always have the money to purchase wine.)

This weekend, however, S. came home for a heartbreakingly brief visit and we had a small dinner party to celebrate with some of his friends. Eschewing my normal impulse to make cheap Megadarra, we actually spent a little cash and got some nice veg and chicken for the meat eaters, for the vegetarians we had an amazing throwback: V'Con's CHICKPEA CUTLETS!!! This is not the first time I've made them, but frying them in a cast iron skillet brings them to a whole new level of toothy, crunchy goodness. The other vegetarians, clearly expecting to just eat sides as usual, were terribly impressed. I myself had forgotten how good they are, and they are also excellent broke food as they consist of pretty basic pantry staples (at least, by vegan standards- not sure everyone considers wheat gluten flour to be a pantry staple but I always have some on hand.)

The other exciting side, other than solid wingman mashed potatoes, was a new carrot trick I picked up from watching reruns of Good Eats (don't ask me how I access Food Network reruns from Europe, I don't want to get arrested.) I love carrots with ginger and garlic, but this recipe is quick and easy and an excellent use for the leftover can of ginger beer from your Dark & Stormy party. Hell, next time I might throw some rum into the mix too, just to see what happens.

Ginger Beer Carrots, a la Good Eats

-1 bag (~2 lb.) carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1/2'' rounds
-1 bottle high quality ginger beer (not ginger ale)
-2 Tbsp. non-dairy margarine
-pinches each of salt, pepper, cumin
-parsley (optional)

1. Place carrots in large pan with ginger beer, cumin and margarine over medium heat. Simmer 5-8 minutes, or until liquid is mostly cooked off.
2. Turn heat all the way up to high, salt and pepper liberally, and cook while stirring until carrots are getting browned and pierce easily (with some resistance). Serve sprinkled with parsley.


Chickpea Cutlets, at last

Chickpea Cutlets w/ savory Apple Sauce

When I first moved to Brussels, I left most of my cooking stuff and cookbooks at home. I figured I was going to live simply and cheaply, and most recipes I use all the time I have memorized. There wouldn't be much point in having all my fanciest recipes, because I would often be poor and by myself, and therefore not eating very fancily. But oh, I was wrong.

Not about the poor, by myself, or not-eating-fancy part, but in thinking that I could even go a month without trying a new recipe, or flipping through my beloved cookbooks over breakfast for the zillionth time. Reading human rights textbooks is just simply not as much fun. Thankfully, my little brother brought a few more cookbooks with him when he came, including my beloved Veganomicon. And while I don't have the resources to make my favorite potato-kale enchiladas, there's a whole other host of recipes I have never tried before that are well adapted to my pantry here. For example, the charming low-fat banana bread is a lovely thing to do with bananas in the off-chance that you aren't making banana pancakes. (Which, by the way, may just be the most popular thing I make in Berlin other than bagels- these people simply do not have access to world class pancakes here.)

I also finally made the lentil soup, which was decent the first day, but as noted in the book, phenomenal later. I enjoyed it with some leftover matzoh and some tabasco. (Weird? Who cares.) Very healthy and yummy recipe for when its springtime but still chilly outside.

But by far the most exciting thing I've tried in my rediscovered treasure is the Chickpea Cutlets! These are like, the most famous thing in the vegan blogosphere, and I've long wanted to try them, but never had all the ingredients at the same time. Oh man, what on earth was I waiting for? Simple to prepare, chewy and crunchy and juicy, they were perfect alongside some mushroom-laced pasta sauce over spaghetti. S. and I enjoyed this ravishing dinner alongside an episode of Mad Men, our new obsession. (Sexism! Smoking indoors! Skinny Ties!)

Then today I had the leftover cutlet baked and topped with a quick savory apple sauce- thinly sliced apples and shallots sauteed in oil and margarine, with white balsamic vingegar and a splash of apple juice. (Pictured at top.) Reminded me of a meat dish my mother used to make for dinner parties as a kid, and it was so fast and good! I'm considering making another batch of these versatile cutlets to eat for the next few days while I work on these dreadful final papers...

Veganomicon, what a classic.


Hungarian Chickpea Paprikash and Spaetzle

There are two things that I am completely obsessed with right now: cooking, and sunshine. The cooking is a possibility since I have a little cash and a ton of cheap recipes (thank you awesome new cookbooks) but the sunshine is a bit more of a problem, this being Brussels and all. So when there is a day like this saturday, when I get to cook for people AND the sun is out, I'm pretty much ecstatic.

I decided to walk down to Place Flagey to check out their market and take a few photos. I saw this little girl defending her self-made snowman from the sun's rays. Noting a few hungarian wax peppers on sale, I realized that I probably had all of the ingredients to make the Chickpea paprikash from The Urban Vegan cookbook, and to serve it up over some homemade spaetzle.

I love Budapest more than almost all other cities in Europe, and was so impressed by the dramatic city-scape, the warm people, and the tongue-twisting language. However, I was never too in love with the food, mostly because it seemed to consist of nothing more than various types of meat simmered in cream sauces. (And don't get me started on the vegetarian food: cherry soup, with frozen cherries floating in yogurt?) But I figured I would give Chickpea paprikash a try, out of respect, and also because I've been wanting to try spaetzle to impress my German boyfriend.

Paprikash is usually a dish where meat is simmered in a paprika-spiked sauce, then gets a creamy kick from sour cream and is served over rich noodles or anything else. Spaetzle are basically really simple noodles that are very soft and comfort food-esque- almost like dumplings. You have to make a simple dough and then drop little pieces into boiling water, a bit like gnocchi. Well, although I was skeptical about how both items would come out (especially since I have no spaetzle-press) they were both AMAZING. My friends came over and gobbled up the lot of it, leaving me with no leftovers, and a promise to buy me a spaetzle-press so I can make them all the time.

I was really excited by how good everything came out, because not only is Urban Vegan's version rich, warming and delicious, but its also extremely cheap. The most expensive thing on the menu is probably the soy yogurt or sour cream used at the end. And spaetzle is practically free, granted you have flour around. I will definitely be making this again. And the spaetzle has a million different topping ideas, though I'm captivated by the thought of a apple-cabbage cream sauce....

Another food-related development this weekend was a new topping for pancakes that I created on the fly when my friends were over: Maple ginger apples!

Its very simple and delicious: slice 1/2 or 1 apple thinly and place in a pan over medium heat with a good dollop of earth balance. Then grate some ginger (to taste, I used a 1/2" piece) directly over the pan using a microplane grater. Cook until lightly browned, then drizzle over a tablespoon or so of maple syrup. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, then serve over oatmeal pancakes! Soo amazing.

Song of the Day: ELO- MR. Blue Sky

More on Budapest: Budapest Inspired Strudel
More from Urban Vegan: Bangin' Havana Beans and Rice


Hungry and Poor

Holy Frying Pan, I have been SOOOO HUNGRY lately! Seemingly since the second I got back from Budapest I've been eating non-stop... and every second I'm not eating I'm plotting my next meal. Its like that scene in Rosemary's Baby where she's possessed by the urge to eat raw meat... except it would be, like, raw beets. (And also, I'm not carrying the child of Satan.)

Usually this surge in appetite would be a minor inconvenience, but at the moment I have exactly $.88 in my account since I'm still waiting for my loan check to come in, so its becoming sort of an issue... After the yummy tortilla stacks and vegan hot dogs I've been living on ran out, I started fantasizing about all sorts of concoctions with the remaining groceries and canned goods I have around. Which, truthfully, should be what I always do, not just when I'm broke.

Part of this, I submit, is related to my newly intensified work-out schedule. After a few weeks of practically nothing (unless you count walking up the Buda hill, pictured at right, which, come to think of it, was quite strenuous) I came back to a whole new schedule of classes, not to mention weather that permits (and compels!) bike riding. My (gorgeous and perfect) roomie M and I take Step class a few times a week, which is sort of a dancey cardio workout, plus a weight-training class and whatever we do on our own. This week we're also going to take a couple Bhangra dance classes, which I'm beyond stoked about. But it should make me even hungrier...

Anyways, one dish I dreamed about the other day was the Tamarind Chickpeas from The Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld. Its such a cheap and delicious dinner, and I decided my friend Karen and I should make it for a girls cooking night we had. Basically, its canned chickpeas, canned diced tomatoes, ground toasted cumin and a ton of ginger and garlic. On a given night I usually have all those ingredients! (I sub ginger for the tamarind, since its easier to find and I like it better.) And OH MAN. SO good with mango chutney and rice. Karen thought so too, and she is mega-picky so its saying sumthin. :) But alas, no pictures. However, if we start to cook weekly, like Karen says, then hopefully there will be pics to come.

Later, in a fit of hunger with very little actual food remaining save for some old potatoes, I also felt compelled to recreate a childhood classic, potatoes aux gratin. My Mom used to make this to accompany some meaty dinner, and its basically an ultra creamy potato dish that can be as fancy or homey as you like it. It has a ton of milk and usually a ton of cheese, but I think it actually can be quite marvelously veganized! I adopted the Joy of Cooking Recipe, but I think it needs some work to make it truly delectable so I'll wait until I've improved upon it a bit.
Not that this wasn't fabulous, but I felt it was a little too sweet (too much nutmeg?) and needed something other than nooch on top to get brown and crispy. Next time I'll try it with a mixture of teese and breadcrumbs I think. And did I mention this dish reheats really well? That works for one of my resolutions.

So until the loan check comes in I think I'm reduced to more hot dogs and oatmeal, which, to be fair, is not a fate worse than death. Let's just hope I go back to my normal, non-crazed appetite sometime soon.

Song of the Day: Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts- Wolf Parade


Spicy Gingered Chickpeas and Unidentified Pakistani Spices

I have to tell you, I really haven't been in the mood to cook lately.

Well, that's not it exactly. Its more like I haven't wanted to go to the grocery store. Although I have a very nicely stocked pantry, between work, school, and sleep I just haven't had a lot of time to head to the store for those fresh essentials: onions, garlic, bananas, soy cream cheese... I've just been too busy to stop in for even a few minutes.

And sadly, when I do get a chance to pick up a few things, its the solo person's nightmare- throwing them away a week later when they go bad. Such a waste. But I decided to conservatively take a step away from living on cashew butter and jam sandwiches and make a meal that is 75% pantry essentials and just a few things from the store. That way, there's no chance of throwing a bunch of vegetables away when I neglect the kitchen for a busy week. Thankfully, the recipe turned out great! (I was really surprised, actually!) Just spicy enough and very filling. Perfect with some ginger beer. Give it a shot the next time you're too busy to shop.
Spicy Gingered Chickpeas
-2 Tbs Coconut Oil
-1 small onion diced
-2 cloves garlic, diced
-2 tbs ginger, grated and chopped
-1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/8 tsp. cumin
-1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
-1/2 can diced tomatoes with peppers
-1 T brown sugar
-pinch of salt

-Naan and mango chutney to dress it up (if you like)

1. In a small pot heat the coconut oil on med-low. Add the onions and cook until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger and a little salt and let cook for a few more minutes. (At this point you could also add more chili powder or cayenne pepper to up the heat level.)
3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and a cup of water. Raise the heat to medium until it reaches a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Stir in brown sugar and cook a few minutes more. Season to taste and serve with naan and a dollop of chutney.

Note: This was enough for me and leftovers. Doubling the recipe would probably serve 4.

Now, as much as I love using ginger and the like, I've been trying to branch out in terms or what spices I use. Luckily, my Dad brought me back some new things to try from Pakistan. Unfortch, he didn't bother to buy things with labels or anything useful like that. So now I have all these spices, and have no idea what they are.
I'm pretty sure a few of these are some kind of fennel variation. Any idea about the rest? I'm particularly intrigued about the last one- little charcoal-black hard pieces of something. No idea. Maybe I will just start cooking with them and hope for the best!


B.'s Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine

Ok, so I know I've been talking about cooking something 'merican lately to make up for all my international experiments. But Troopers, (as my trust and estates prof would say) I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not when the stars aligned to let me make this awesome Tagine. You see, I've been begging my ex-roomate B. to send me some of her recipes ever since I moved out. Other than her proclivity to scoop cottage cheese or plain yogurt on everything, B. is an awesome cook and is particularly adept with two things: vegan chili over mashed potatoes (*drool*) and Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine. So I finally got her to send me the latter recipe, and coincidentally, this month'sBon Appetit had a set of Morroccan recipes as well!

So what is a Tagine? Its a North African dish that is slow cooked and often contains dried fruit, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and peppers. The word also refers to the awesome cooking vessel that rich people register for when they get married. :) Basically, the dish is cooked in such a way that the meat (or whatever) has a chance to braise in the spices and slow cook into a stew. Sounds good, right?

Well this recipe is a slight twist- I used the method from B.'s dish and the spices from the Bon Appetit recipe. I served the whole thing over 5-minute pine-nut couscous and with a side of mint tea- oh man was this a satisfying meal. And as usual, my reliably picky family gobbled it up.

This isn't really a labor intensive meal despite the large amount of ingredients- the only ish I had with the this recipe was that the potatoes weren't fully cooked when I finished. I'm not totally sure how to remedy this, I guess put them in earlier and cook them for longer before deglazing w/ the tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine

-1 Large Eggplant
-2 zucchinis (or one large one)
-3 shallots (or 1 yellow onion) diced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 T. grated peeled ginger
-4-5 small boiling potatoes (or sweet potatoes) diced
-1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
-1/2 T. cumin
-1 can tomato sauce
-1 T. tomato paste
-2 T blood-orange preserves or bitter-orange marmalade
-1 1/2 cans chickpeas, drained
-1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped
-1 T. chili sauce or powder
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 thyme sprig

1. Slice up the eggplant and zucchinis and salt them liberally in a collander. Let them hang out there while you cut up the potatoes and onions.
2. Rinse off the eggplant and zucch and toss in some EVOO. Broil on a baking sheet, tossing once, for about 20 minutes or until browned.
3. In a large (I mean, huge) pot, heat 2 T EVOO over medium and add in the shallots (or onions), garlic and ginger. Cook until translucent, then add in the mushrooms. Cook for a few more minutes, then add in the potatoes. Now, add in the turmeric, paprika and cumin.
4. Once the potatoes are softened, add in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and 2/3 c. water. Bring to a boil and partially cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat back to medium. Add in the eggplant and zucch, chickpeas, and the rest of the ingredients.
5. Simmer for 15-20 more minutes, stirring. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6, w/ leftover. Serve w/ instant couscous and mint tea. Also excellent for leftovers with pita or tortilla chips.

Thanks B! Now, send me your chili recipe!