DDD #76 – Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK.  Another SUPER DUPER easy one!!!  The first time I made it, I just threw this shit into a two serving slow cooker, hiked for two hours (that recipe is HERE) – and came back to this really spicy & really yummy dish!  This recipe now is for the stove top.   While Szechuan dishes are often very greasy – this has only one TBS of sesame oil in the whole thing.  None of the ingredients are particularly exotic & if you find one in the list you don’t have because it is too exotic for your local stores – blow it off.

These dry red chilies are kind of important for flavor but I expect most big grocery stores will carry them.  If not – sub out with crushed red pepper in a quantity that suits your tolerance for heat.

Stove top – this can be ready in 10 minutes.

Click the image below to watch the video.

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas 

serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas

2 TBS hoisin sauce

2 TBS chili paste (chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek or sriracha)

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS sesame oil

5 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS ginger – minced or grated

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS Chinese rice cooking wine (not vinegar) or dry sherry

1/4 cup water

5-10 dry red chilies (halved or quartered) – THIS IS A LOT – so – use way less if you are not heat tolerant – the seeds are hot so discard if you hate spice.  I used 15 peppers in this – seeds & all – hence EXTRA spicy.  PS – you do not EAT these peppers once the dish is cooked.  Use crushed red pepper (to taste) if you cannot find these.

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1 tsp anise pepper (or Szechuan pepper – they are the same thing)

1 TBS cornstarch

PEANUTS as garnish

Scallions – sliced

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DIRECTIONS

Heat everything except the chickpeas & garnishes in deep pan.  Whick to blend.  Add the chickpeas & heat on high until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the peanuts.

Serve over rice with sliced scallions.  REMEMBER – do NOT eat those dry red peppers.  I mean you can – but it is not advised.

See?  EASY!

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Vegan Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas & Butternut Squash with Preserved Lemons for the Slow Cooker (or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – in order to make this recipe – you really will need two important ingredients – seen above – preserved lemons & ras el hanout.  The preserved lemons will give the dish its distinctive Moroccan flair and the ras el hanout will keep this stew from tasting like a curry.   You can make the ras el hanout – as it is just a blend of other spices – but buying it will be so much cheaper & easier.  See the package below – list the spices involved in that particular brand.

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I used saffron – because I had it – but saffron can be very expensive so – if you don’t have any & don’t want to shell out the funds – blow the saffron off.  Same with the harissa (a hot sauce).  The two things I really suggest you not blow off are the preserved lemons & the ras el hanout – both of which can be purchased on Amazon.

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Preserved lemons come in a jar (see above) & are simply lemons pickled in brine.  They maintain all their sharp lemon flavor but are quite salty & very soft.   The flavor they give this dish is critical – so – be patient – and get some before making this.

Other than that – this is a straight-forward slow cooker dish (which could be made by simmering on the stove, too) with ingredients that are easy to come by.  I served mine with this Trader Joe’s blend of grains but couscous is more traditional.  I like this stuff from Trader Joe’s because it is pretty & offers lots of textures.  You can serve yours with whatever grain you prefer.

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I used Beyond Meat chicken because I think it is the best on the market.  I thawed & shredded it because it breaks down in stews better that way & because – visually – it really looks like shredded chicken.   I am convinced you could slip this by meat-eaters with no complaints.

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Vegan Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas & Butternut Squash with Preserved Lemons for the Slow Cooker (or Not)

Serves 4-6 with couscous or rice

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken

1 onion – diced

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas – drained

4 cups vegetable stock

1 TBS ras el hanout

1/4 – 1 preserved lemon (depending on hpw large it is) – diced small (start with less & add more as you go – just so that this flavor doesn’t get to overpowering for you) – I used the entire 1/2 lemon using all parts

Saffron (a large pinch or more) – optional

Green and/or black olives – I used half Kalamata & half large martini olives – in a quantity to suit your taste for olives – optional

1 TBS harissa (or other hot sauce) – optional

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

3 carrots – chopped

1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded & cubed

1/2 – 1 red bell pepper – diced

1 lemon – peeled & sliced

1 handful cilantro

GARNISH – chopped cilantro or parsley, lemon wedges/slices

Cooked couscous or other grain

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

Stove top – just bring to a boil & simmer everything until the vegetables are soft – likely less than an hour.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

In both cases – add water if it gets too thick.

Serve with whatever grain you chose & garnish with cilantro or parsley & lemon wedges.

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Spicy Vegan Southern Chickpea Stew with Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I know I say a lot of my dishes are easy – but – if I say that is true.  And not just true for experienced cooks but easy for beginners & those in a hurry.  EASY.  This one is impossible to mess up – short of burning it or over-salting it.  Beyond that – really fucking easy.

Simple & easy-to-find ingredients.  You control the spice.  If I were to make this again – I would use maybe only half the can of tomatoes – but that is because I prefer the chickpeas to the tomatoes. Or – maybe I’d add a second can of chickpeas.  Whatever.  The point is – you can play with this & customize it to your tastes.   Better yet – the stew will be done before you rice is – that is how fast & easy this is.

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Spicy Vegan Southern Chickpea Stew with Rice

Serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice for 2

Olive oil

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas – drained

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

1 red (or other color) bell pepper – seeded & chopped

1-3 cloves garlic – minced

2 tsp Cajun (or Creole) seasoning

1/2-1 tsp chipotle pepper (less if you don’t tolerate heat well)

Liquid Smoke (very optional)

S&P

Parsley – chopped as garish

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice.

Meanwhile, heat a TBS or two of olive oil over high heat & cook the bell pepper & jalapeno until soft.

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Add the garlic & stir for one minute.  Add the chickpeas & tomatoes (maybe not all the can of tomatoes – if you like a less tomato-heavy stew.  These photos show an entire can) & spices.  If you are using liquid smoke – start with one or two drops & increase according to your taste for this stuff.  I find it goes from “barely noticeable” to “OmyGod – this whole dish is ruined” very quickly.  Too much liquid smoke is fucking nasty.  Trust.  So – go easy.

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Heat through & serve over rice garnished with parsley.

Told you it was fucking easy, didn’t I?

Enjoy!

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I have really become obsessed with my slow cooker.  Slow cookers – as I have many.  The one that I can set to cook for 5 hours & then just keep the food warm is the best because I can set it & go to work & come back 10 hours later to a house that smells delicious & a warm meal waiting for me.  If you don’t have a low cooker – I really encourage you to get one.  Easy doesn’t get easier than a recipe like this one.  Just throw everything in & set the timer for 5 hours & that is it.

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is, hands down, the best fake chicken on the market.  But you could use real chicken or just use chickpeas.  Your call.

I used two kinds of saffron:

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That Golchin liquid stuff is affordable (under $10) and is GENIUS.  If your store doesn’t carry it – buy it on Amazon or something.

The saffron threads are delicate & lovely but very costly.  They were part of a gourmet gift box I was given for my birthday – and not usually on my shopping list.  Either or both of these work – but I suggest trying to use one – because saffron is such a specific & lovely flavor & adds gorgeous color – but it isn’t really critical for this dish to be a success.  So – if you don’t have it, don’t like it, can’t find it – blow it off.

I used dry chickpeas because I am delighted by how cheap they are & I like that they have been processed less & have no added sodium.  But – if you want to use canned ones – go ahead!  This could be made stove-top easily with canned beans – just don’t add the 4 cups of water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a LOTTA folks – maybe 8-10 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry chickpeas (or 4 cans – but if you use canned chickpeas – eliminate the water here)

3 cups water (4 cups if you are gonna leave it for 10 hours – like I did)

9 ox vegan chicken

2 jalapenos (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS ginger – minced

8 oz tomato sauce (I used a homemade arrabbiata)

6 oz tomato paste

14 oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads (optional)

3 TBS saffron liquid (optional)

1 TBS garam masala

1 TBS curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

garnish – cilantro, scallions, yogurt (vegan or otherwise), cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & set on high for 5 hours.

If you are using canned chickpeas – do not add water.  As you see above – this recipe has lots of gravy (the upper picture is before it cooked & the other is how it looked 10 hours later).  If you want  it thicker – whisk some cornstarch (2-3 TBS) into a little water & stir it in.  It should thicken up.  If it is too thick – add water.

Serve over rice & garnish at will.

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Super Easy and Extra Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas (Slow Cooker or Stove Top)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

OK.  Another SUPER DUPER easy one!!!  I just threw this shit into a two serving slow cooker, hiked for two hours – and came back to this really spicy & really yummy dish!  While Szechuan dishes are typically very greasy – this has only one TBS of sesame oil in the whole thing.  None of the ingredients are particularly exotic & if you find one in the list you don’t have because it is too exotic for your local stores – blow it off.

These dry red chilies are kind of important for flavor but I expect most big grocery stores will carry them.  If not – sub out with crushed red pepper in a quantity that suits your tolerance for heat.

Stove top – this can be ready in 20 minutes.

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Super Easy and Extra Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas (Slow Cooker or Stove Top)

serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas

2 TBS hoisin sauce

2 TBS chili paste (chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek or sriracha)

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS sesame oil

5 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS ginger – minced or grated

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS Chinese rice cooking wine (not vinegar) or dry sherry

1/4 cup water

5-10 dry red chilies (halved or quartered) – THIS IS A LOT – so – use way less if you are not heat tolerant – the seeds are hot so discard if you hate spice.  I used 15 peppers in this – seeds & all – hence EXTRA spicy.  PS – you do not EAT these peppers once the dish is cooked.  Use crushed red pepper (to taste) if you cannot find these.

1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1 tsp anise pepper (or Szechuan pepper – they are the same thing)

1 TBS cornstarch

PEANUTS as garnish

Scallions

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything except the peanuts into a slow cooker & leave on high for two hours.  Stir in the peanuts.

OR – stove top –

Put everything (except peanuts & cornstarch) in a pan & heat through.  Whisk in cornstarch & heat until it thickens.  Stir in the peanuts.

Serve over rice with sliced scallions.  REMEMBER – do NOT eat those dry red peppers.  I mean you can – but it is not advised.

See?  EASY!

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Spicy Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Curry with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

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Well – once again – I took an extended break from the blog – because my mom was in town from Boston.  We spent the week eating & drinking in public.  See?  Here are some highlights (and a few pictures of my mom, me & my pal, David J. Wayne).  I will state where they were taken beneath the images.

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Spitz (Los Feliz)

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Robbie Mac’s

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PF Changs (Sherman Oaks Galleria)

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Silverlake Ramen House

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The Thirsty Crow

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La Poubelle

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Cheesecake Factory (The Americana)

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Sushi Stop (Hollywood)

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La Poubelle

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Oh my fucking God – the awesome TOSCANA!  Treat yourselves.  Seriously.

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La Poubelle

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Figaro Bistrot

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Chi Dynasty

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La Poubelle

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The 101.

OK – so – all that happened (and more) – but now I will move on to this delicious & easy curry!

I made this, as I so often do, from stuff I had around.  I have a freezer full of Beyond Meat’s amazing vegan chicken.  I also had a head of cauliflower & some mushrooms that were on their last legs & a can of garbanzo beans (chick peas).  If you do not have any of these or loathe one of them – 86’m.   I had this gorgeous-looking harissa stuff here (that I got at TJ Maxx – a great resource for exotic but cheap ingredients):

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and a can of lite coconut milk.  If you don’t have harissa – use sriracha or another hot sauce.  And feel free to use full-fat coconut milk, if that’s what floats your boat.

You could make this in a slow-cooker if you desired.  You could make it with real chicken.  It is a pretty forgiving recipe but it is delicious!!!!  And easy!

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Spicy Vegan Chicken and Mushroom Curry with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Makes a lot – enough for 4 easy – maybe more

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken – thawed a bit & cut into cubes

1/2 lb mushrooms – sliced

1 onion – diced

1/2 head cauliflower – broken into small florets (optional)

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained & rinsed (optional)

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk (I used lite)

2 TBS coconut oil (or olive oil)

6 oz tomato paste ( I used some leftover, homemade spicy red pasta sauce)

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp ginger – minced

2-3 TBS mango chutney (or use an apricot preserve – if chutney is not available)

1 TBS harissa sauce (or sriracha or other hot sauce)

1 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp curry powder ( I used red curry powder but any will do)

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

S&P

Cilantro as garnish

Cornstarch (only if your curry is too thin)

Cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

This is not rocket science.  You would have to try pretty hard to fuck this up.  Short of burning it – I can’t really think of what one could do to ruin it.   The order things are added is a guide but little more.

Cook up some rice.  I used brown basmati.

Heat the coconut (or olive) oil in a large saute pan over high heat.  Saute the onions & mushrooms until soft – stirring frequently.  This should take about 5 minutes.

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Add the garlic & ginger & stir for about a minute.  Try not to burn the garlic.  Then – add the coconut milk & combine.

Then – you can pretty much just add everything else.  Lower heat to medium & simmer for a while.  If you wanted to – once you added the garlic & ginger – you could just dump everything into a slow cooker & let it cook there on high for a few hours or more.

Either way – it is done when the cauliflower is tender.

If the curry seems too thin, maybe whisk in a TBS of cornstarch.  Mine got too thick & I ended up adding a good cup or two of water.  I imagine you will be doing the water addition, too, but the thickness is up to your personal taste.

Season with S&P & maybe more chutney or hot sauce – depending on your palate.

Serve over rice & garnish with cilantro.  And there you go!  Easy, right?   🙂

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Vegan Pasta with Celery, Chickpeas, Lemon & Parsley

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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If you read my blog with any regularity, you know two things.  One – that I wrote a novel that is getting great reviews on Amazon!  www.BathingBook.com

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And two – that I think both celery & parsley get short shrift.  I think they are both bursting with fresh flavor & add a great deal to dishes in which they are used – but they are typically written off as garnish.  So – this dish is my homage to the two.  Easy & clean & fresh-tasting.  An easy dish that can be whipped together very quickly.

I added the dried lemon zest seen here –

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because I had some left over from my Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest.

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It is completely unnecessary.  Regular lemon zest is terrific, quicker & more flavorful.

I used a lot of crushed red pepper because, well, that’s just what I do.  I add lots of it to nearly everything.  I have found, however, that different brands (and ages) of the stuff can have wildly different levels of heat.  So – always start slow & add it incrementally.

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Pasta with Celery, Lemon & Parsley

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta of your choice

1 cup cooked chick peas – drained

1/4 cup or more Parsley – chopped – plus more for garnish

4 stalks celery – sliced diagonally (if the celery has leafy parts – you can chop these as garnish)

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – or to taste

1-2 TBS lemon zest

1 shallot – diced

Olive oil

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta according to directions & drain.

Meanwhile, boil another pot of water deep enough to hold the sliced stalks of celery.  Add a bit of salt & blanch the celery for a minute or two then drain, rinse under cold water & set aside.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the shallots & cook until tender – a few minutes.  Add the chick peas & celery & maybe a pinch of chopped parsley & heat through.  Add the garlic & crushed red pepper & 1/4 cup or more of chopped parsley & saute another minute.

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Add the pasta & stir to combine.  Add the lemon zest & season to taste with S&P.  Serve with additional parsley and, if you have them, the chopped leafy parts of the celery.  Season with a squeeze of lemon, if you like, or maybe some additional crushed red pepper.  And don’t be shy with the SALT (another villainized (sp?) ingredient) and pepper!  Eat it up & admit that parsley & celery are unsung heroes and promise to be nicer to them forevermore!

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