Tag Archives: chickpeas

Flavor EXPLOSION Chickpea Salad!!

5 Oct

Laughter is brightest where food is best.
~Irish Proverb

Recipe Source: The Kitchn

Some people might worry that cooking vegan means sacrificing flavor, and to them I say, this salad will blow that theory right out of the water! It’s bursting with rich, exotic flavor from cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes, then cooled with parsley and mint, and given a tangy boost from lemon juice and zest. It’s an amazing marriage of flavors that satisfies even picky, ADD palates like mine. That’s why I’ve decided to rename the recipe from the original Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin & Garlic – boring! I’m sorry Kitchn, but that title did not give it justice.

chickpea salad

This salad keeps fine for a few days, over the course of which the flavors will continue to mingle. This is one of my all-time favorite lunches. Another nice thing about it is it’s low in sodium. The original recipe calls for flaky sea salt to taste, but I don’t find it necessary. For ovo-lacto vegetarians and omnivores, a handful of feta cheese is a nice complement and adds a bit of salty flavor, but it’s beautiful even without.

One word on ingredients – you really want to use cumin seeds here, rather than cumin powder. They are distinctly different in flavor as well as texture, and toasting them gives a richness that manages to not be overwhelming like cumin powder can sometimes be.

cumin seed & red pepper

Finally, a note on safety – be careful when pouring the chickpeas into the pan, as any residual liquid from draining them will sizzle in the pan and can burn you. I’m speaking from experience here!

I hope you love this salad as much as I do. 🙂

recipe

  Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin & Garlic
Serves 2

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, leaves only
4-6 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 English cucumber
1/4 cup feta cheese, optional

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron is nice) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about one minute or until the seeds are toasted. The cumin will turn slightly darker in color, and smell toasty.

Turn the heat to medium low and add the garlic. Cook, stirringly frequently, for about three minutes or until the garlic is turning golden. Do not let it scorch or turn brown.

Add the drained chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chickpeas are warmed through and are shiny with oil. Turn off the heat.

Strip any remaining stems away from the Italian parsley. Finely mince the parsley and the mint and toss this with the chickpeas. Stir the lemon juice and zest into the chickpeas.

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out (and discard) the seeds with the tip of a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon. Dice the cucumber into small, 1/2-inch square cubes. Toss the cucumber with the chickpeas. Stir in feta cheese, if using, and taste.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before eating. This salad is best after it has had a chance to sit overnight in the fridge, letting its spices and juices soak together into more than the sum of its parts. Serve slightly warm or room temperature. Really good at any temperature, actually.

Advertisements

VegWeek Day 2, Vegetarian Chicken Salad

26 Sep

VegWeek_2011 Welcome to Day 2 of VegWeek!

Before you consider embarking on a vegetarian diet, you might be tempted to ask the basic question, what is a vegetarian? There are several different variations on the vegetarian diet, ranging from modest omissions of animal products to strictly plant-based diets.

Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian. A person who eats dairy products, eggs, fruits, vegetables, greens, legumes, grains, soy products, nuts, and honey. This is the most common type and what is commonly meant by “vegetarian.”

Lacto Vegetarian. A person who eats dairy products, but not eggs.

Ovo Vegetarian. A person who eats eggs, but not dairy products.

Pesco-Vegetarian (pescatarian). A person who eats fish.

Vegan. A person who does not eat anything from animals, including honey. Vegans also minimize the use of any product made with animal byproducts. Their main goal is to lessen animal cruelty and exploitation.

Low Fat Vegetarian. This diet is primarily used to treat diseases and lower the fat content of your diet. The diet consists of less than 10% of its calories from fat.

Raw Vegetarian / Vegan. A person who does not eat anything that has been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fruitarian. A raw vegetarian who only eats fruit, greens, and some nuts and seeds.

Flexitarian. A person who consciously reduces his / her intake of animal products. Movements such as “Meatless Mondays” promote this type of diet.

Lisa Simpson, vegetarian

Why be a vegetarian?

I can think of four major reasons people choose to limit their intake of animal products, and for most people, it’s usually a combination of these. The reasons most important to you will likely change throughout your life.

Concern for animals. Farming as it is practiced today is extremely cruel to animals. They are crowded and caged to the extent that it’s impossible to move, beaten and tortured, housed in unsanitary conditions where disease is rampant, and force-fed bizarre items that would never exist in their natural diet, such as plastic pellets, the remains of other animals, and a bevy of vitamins and antibiotics.

Concern for the environment. Large-scale factory farming uses an enormous amount of resources and is one of the largest contributors to our current environmental crisis. Animal farming has contributed to air, land and water pollution, scarcity of water, deforestation, and the erosion of topsoil.

Concern for health. Meat and dairy consumption has been linked to a number of physical ailments, especially heart disease and cancer. The antibiotics routinely fed to livestock have resulted in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that threaten public health.

Preference. Some people simply dislike meat, and have an aversion to its taste and texture. It can also be difficult to digest, with dairy allergies being especially prevalent.

Hug a Vegetarian

Want to learn more about adopting a veggie diet? Check out this article: Six Simple Steps to a Healthy Vegetarian Diet.

Vegetarian Chicken Salad

Recipe Source: Wheat Free, Meat Free

I know the title of this recipe is Vegetarian Chicken Salad, but I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for a good tuna sandwich. Tuna salad is one of those easy staple recipes I grew up with, and it holds a certain kind of comfort for me. But the fishing industry is damaging the delicate balance of our oceans. Animals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises are often caught accidentally, and over-fishing has left other species in danger of extinction.

Fish are FriendsFish are friends, not food!

This might not be the most gourmet of recipes, but it makes for a fast lunch to prepare at night during the hectic work week. It’s basically smashed chickpeas mixed with vegan mayo and whatever else is tasty in a tuna or chicken salad.

smashed chickpeas

The most important part of this recipe is smashing up the chickpeas. It’s nice to have some mashed, and some intact. Then, you can add in any number of veggies: pickles, carrots, celery, cucumber, etc. – along with some vegan mayo, lemon juice, and maybe a spice or two… black pepper, smoked paprika? The only limit is your imagination!

veg chicken salad

RECIPE – Vegetarian Chicken Salad

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (~3 cups), drained and rinsed
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4-1/3 cup mayo, miracle whip, or veganaise*
1 heaping tablespoon dill relish
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
freshly cracked black pepper

*For vegan mayo, you can also try this homemade marcona almond mayo recipe!

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and lightly mash. (Some chickpeas whole and some pretty smashed.)

Stir in the celery and onion.

Then add the mayo, relish, mustard and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve.

(Makes about 4 cups)

veg chicken salad sandwich

Spicy Chickpea Stew with Roasted Cauliflower

17 Aug

Recipe Source: Herbivoracious via The Kitchn

I love coincidences. In general, I tend to shy away from hippy-dippy assumptions about the cosmos being on my side, or the universe having conscious thoughts about my life. But when I notice little connections – wherever they may come from, whatever they might mean – I can’t help but smile.

This recipe brought about such a smile. I found it while I was pissing away time on facebook, posted by The Kitchn. As I skimmed through it, I thought, “mmm, yes, I am making this soon!” And then I got to the ingredients list and saw preserved lemons – an exciting discovery, because I had a jar of them hanging out in my fridge at that very moment, unsure of what their destiny would be.

I’d first learned about preserved lemons a few months earlier, via my favorite little Moroccan restaurant, Kous Kous. For fun, I’d decided to make them, then do nothing with them. I was thrilled to give them a purpose with this recipe!

preserved lemonsDon’t they look scientific?

Despite the dauntingly long list of ingredients, this recipe came together pretty easily. And while it’s not a fast thing to make, it makes enough to feed an army! (Seriously… the recipe says it serves 4, but I got 10-12 servings out of it. I’d like to know what these 4 people look like.)

roasted cauliflower

First, you start by roasting a whole cauliflower until the florets are tender and beginning to caramelize. I don’t think I left these in the oven long enough because I was afraid of them burning.

spice mixture

Next you’ll sautee onions and add the spices. I’m categorizing this recipe as a curry, but it doesn’t contain any curry powder. Instead, it uses a palate-awakening mixture of cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cayenne, salt, and pepper. The cinnamon and fennel seed were my favorites – so complex, so lovely!

chickpea & roasted cauliflower stew

The chickpeas and cauliflower are added next, along with the preserved lemon.

preserved lemon

I found that the lemon flavor intensified quite a bit as my leftover stew comingled in the fridge the next few days – to the point where it became unbalanced. If you plan to eat this all right away, preserved lemons are a nice way to go. But really, I don’t think it would be bad to use fresh lemons, and it might be better.

chickpea & roasted cauliflower stew

To serve, you can pour this stew over rice, couscous, quinoa, or any other base you might use in a curry or stir-fry. A fresh cilantro garnish adds yet another layer of complexity.

 Spicy Chickpea Stew with Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 10-12 as a main course over couscous (or 4 Texans)

4 cups cooked chickpeas – drained and rinsed, or soak 2 cups dry overnight and boil until tender
2 heads cauliflower
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
Anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons cayenne depending on your heat preference
1 preserved lemon, minced (or juice from 2 fresh lemons and zest from 1)
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley or cilantro to garnish
Optional: dry harissa, zatar or other spice power to garnish

Cut the cauliflower into moderate sized florets, and cube the stalks. Toss with 1/4 c. olive oil and a little salt, and roast at 400 F (using convection if available) until quite tender and starting to caramelize.

In a large pot, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium high flame. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and cayenne and stir rapidly. When the spices are fragrant (maybe 30 seconds), add the chickpeas and some water and turn down to a simmer.

When the cauliflower is done, add it to the pot, along with the lemon.

Start with 1 T. kosher salt, and keep adding until it tastes right. Add more water if needed to achieve a stew-like consistency. Simmer awhile longer so that some of the chickpeas dissolve a little. Be sure not to let them scorch!

At the end, add the black pepper and do a final check on the salt, spices, and acid. Serve over couscous, garnished with the parsley or cilantro. Dust the plate with the dry harissa or zatar if using. Pass a yogurt based sauce (with cucumber or mint or dill) and a hot sauce (preferably wet harissa).