Cajun Cakes & Dijon Broccoli Rice

Oh, Happy Herbivore. Just when I thought you couldn’t get more awesome, you decided to invent chickpea cakes. Well, maybe not invent, but certainly publish and share them.

These. were. sensational. Sort of like eating fried chicken, in that they were spicy and crunchy, but mostly like eating a really great falafel. I can imagine that the next time I make these, I’ll make them nugget-size and there will be BBQ sauce dunking. Oh, the dunking! I think I’ll actually try the chickpea tenders recipe, too, for a less spicy taste.

The dijon rice and broccoli was really good. I found the mustard flavor to be a little behind the scenes, so next time I’ll probably punch that up a bit. Or use some really great sweet and hot mustard I have, that I almost never get to use on anything.

Totally awesome (and really simple) dinner, provided by the Everyday Happy Herbivore.

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Even More E2: 3 Bean Chili, Two Ways

I realize as I type this that I still need to make the E2 meatloaf. I just get side tracked! And this week I was put off my meal planning by the GIANT ENORMOUS POT OF CHILI that I made from this recipe. It says that it feeds 6 to 8. 6 to 8 what? Obviously not humans. Maybe professional wrestlers. Or Hulks. But this made easily 8+ servings for us, plus 2 quart-size freezer bags of leftover chili. I’m pretty sure that my grandchildren will be eating that chili someday.

As you can plainly see, this chili is not sexy (which begs the question: can chili be sexy?). But it is packed with basically every form of protein they could think of, with three different beans and a whole pound of tofu. As for taste? It has a lot of ground coriander, but no cumin, so it doesn’t exactly taste like traditional chili. It’s sweet from the addition of carrots, apple (see? What isn’t in this chili!), and molasses. It’s not something I would necessarily make again–probably because if you’ve made it once, you have enough leftovers to never need to make  a second batch!

To use up even more of this chili, I decided to make chili dogs for dinner this week as well. Because the texture of the original version is so…chunky…I ran it through the blender a bit to get it the right texture for hot dog chili. Behold!

The daiya really made the difference, giving it an authentic chili dog flavor. And I made the buns myself, using the same recipe for rolls from Thanksgiving. I’ve made that bread twice since we had it on November 24th, so you know I love it. Or I just love carbs. Whatever.

Recipe from the Engine 2 Diet.

Chickpea Tacos!

Oooh, pretty! I actually made these chickpeas into tacos (instead of taco salad, like last time). This October has been so summery feeling here in Kansas that I’m still craving summer foods. And nothing says summer like tacos! The arugula seriously complements the flavor of the roasted chickpeas, so I recommend it. I feel like I’m getting really into different kinds of lettuce–when did I become that person?

 

 

 

Hot Salad Niçoise

 

Does anyone in the world eat more Salad Niçoise than I do? Probably the French, I’m guessing, but I have to come in a close second.

I compiled this dish from the basic ingredients for a Niçoise: Potatoes, onions, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Then I went a little crazy and threw in some summer squash. And roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour. I topped it with some sauteed spinach, and the chickpea mixture and green goddess dressing from Appetite for Reduction.

I’m not going to say that this turned out great. It turned out okay. I will probably make it again in the winter, when I’m craving this salad but can’t bear to eat lettuce when it’s -17 degrees outside. But it was really missing something, I’m just not sure what. And the summer squash was not good. NOT GOOD.

 

Chickpeas & Dumplings

I really wish I could take credit for this idea. But Happy Herbivore beat me to it. It appears you can just replace chicken in almost any dish with chickpeas, and have awesome results. I need to make buffalo chickpeas asap! Seriously. I will get on that.

Anyway, my version didn’t look a THING like the picture in the cookbook. Probably because I really piled on the veggies, and didn’t have the same texture of sauce. And because I used just straight veggie broth instead of making her broth powder mixture. I don’t have time to mess with making my own broth powder. Especially when I have access to great low-sodium organic veggie broth. How can you go wrong with that?

So that’s probably what accounts for the darker color. Also, I opted to just throw in the spices she lists as her “poultry blend” since I keep them on hand. And I finally got to use the rosemary that’s been growing out back for ages! Why don’t vegans use rosemary more? I have TONS.

The only issue I had with this meal (which was fantastic, by the way) was the texture of the dumplings. I’m wondering if it’s a regional thing, because I’m used to the ones that are more like biscuits. You either set them on the top and boil them, or shove the whole thing in the oven and bake it a little like a pot pie. This was more like spätzle, and dumplings were kinda firm and a tad rubbery. Did I over mix them? Who knows. I’ll try it again, but I’m not sure quite how to fix that.

Chickpea Taco Salad

I literally cannot stop making taco salad. It’s just so good! Everything I love about both tacos and salads, thrown together in a bowl. Also, it’s a perfect excuse to buy corn chips, which I love with a burning and undying passion.

So, this is just basic homemade salsa (with homegrown tomatoes–thanks country friends!), baked chickpeas and edamole from the Happy Herbivore. I did buy one of those huge Florida avocados, but it went bad before I could make dinner. I think it was probably bad when I got it. But…crazy avocado! How could I resist?

What I’m saying is, make taco salad. Make as much taco salad as you can possibly eat before the summer is over, because when fall comes, you will not want to eat that sh*t. You will want squashes and casseroles and noodles up to your eyeballs. But right now, summer is king, and tacos are where it’s at.

 

Teriyaki Chickpeas

Upon opening the Happy Herbivore cookbook, this is the first recipe I saw. Was it fate that brought us together, magical food? Because this dish was truly…a delight. I’m channeling James Lipton with that. Well, channeling Will Ferrell’s impression of James Lipton.

Anywho, have you ever had Puka Dogs? They are, quite simply, the best hot dogs in the entire world. I happen to love Hawaii, and the crazy fusion that is Hawaiian food. And, to be honest, I sorta thought I’d never get to eat anything like that again. One, I don’t know what kind of secret magic Hawaiians put into that food. And two, I thought maybe it only tasted that good because I was in a tropical paradise.

Guess what? THIS TOTALLY TASTES LIKE HAWAIIAN FOOD! I have to stop using caps. My husband actually rated this dinner a “pop-pop!” on his vegan scale. I am, however, 99% sure he said that just so I’d mention him in my write up. But this dinner was unbelievable. I know I use hyperbole TONS but I can’t stress enough how completely easy and tasty this dinner was. Perfection? Possibly. And amazing for a warm summer night.