Vegan Life Changing Masala with Beef & Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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So – flipping around the internet, I came across a recipe from a blog I love.  The blog is Pinch of Yum.  I love the blog because the photographs are mercilessly lush & gorgeous.  About a year ago, she posted her “life-changing 30 minute masala sauceand the photos are so great – I just could not get the recipe out of my mind – so – I made it!  She offers the recipe for a masala paste & then how to make a sauce from the paste.  She served the sauce over her “30-minute vegetarian meatballs.”  I did not have the ingredients for the meatballs so I decided to serve my sauce over Gardein beefless tips & chickpeas.

The paste is SUPER easy.  You just whip it up in a food processor.  The sauce is super easy, too, and she is right!  It is delicious!  You could serve the sauce over any meat or meatless meat or veggie or even rice or pasta you desire.  The paste makes a lot so maybe freeze some.

I did not have onions so I used shallots & scallions.  I used two tomatoes & some tomato paste in place of her suggested 1½ cups tomato puree + ½ cup water or broth – just because that was all I had.  Worked out great!  I recommend you make this sauce & follow her blog.  It is really wonderful!

Vegan Life Changing Masala with Beef & Chickpeas

Serves 4 with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan beef (or other vegan meat)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas – drained
for the masala paste
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, crushed
3 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
a small pile of of cilantro stems
a fistful of almonds
juice of one lemon
for the masala sauce
1½ cups tomato puree + ½ cup water or broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt (taste and adjust)
GARNISH – cooked rice & cilantro
DIRECTIONS
Pulse all the ingredients for the Masala Paste in a food processor until smooth.  Put it into a container for storage in the fridge or freezer – reserving only 1/4 cup of the paste for this recipe.  The rest is extra!
Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet. Add 1/4 cup masala paste to the skillet and with a little bit of oil and stir around in the pan until fragrant (3-5 minutes).  Add the tomato puree and water and simmer until t’s a rusty-deep-red color – about 5-10 minutes.  Add the beef & chickpeas.  Add the coconut milk; simmer for 10 minutes or so until thick and creamy.  Longer simmer = thicker and better flavor.
Serve over warm rice & garnish with chopped cilantro.

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 Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

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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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Did you perhaps make my Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker – seen above?  Do you have boat loads left over – like I do?  Why not try this Indian take on a burrito?    The Mint & Cilantro chutney is genuinely spicy & insanely delicious & takes this curry to new heights.   The pickled onions add a little snap & they are SO EASY to make.  You could add paneer or feta or cotija or some cheese to this – if you eat cheese – but it really doesn’t need it.

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The recipe for that mint & cilantro chutney above is HERE.

The recipe for the pickled red onions above is HERE.

The recipe for the Butter Chicken & Chickpeas above is HERE.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

INGREDIENTS

Mint & cilantro chutney is HERE

Pickled red onions are HERE

Butter Chicken & Chickpeas is HERE

Cooked rice

Large tortillas

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DIRECTIONS

Warm the curry.  Assemble the burrito.  Grill on a dry grill pan until it looks good to you.  Dip it in extra chutney & shove it into your motherfuckin’ pie hole.  Mmmmmmm!

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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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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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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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One-Pot Vegan Sausage and Broccoflower Pasta with 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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One pot dishes are so satisfying.  Almost as satisfying as crock pot recipes.  This one could be done a variety of ways.  I chose to cook the onion & sausage together first & then put them aside & cook pasta.   If the texture (al dente or whatever) of your pasta is critical to you – cook the pasta first, drain it & then add it to the pan after you cook the sausage up.

You could use real sausage but I don’t eat that shit – so – I used these guys.

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They are labeled vegetarian but their website refers to them as vegan.  Are they as powerfully flavorful as a pork version would be?  No.  But when you consider that – when you buy vegan sausage – nobody who started life looking like this – (photo snagged from Google)

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was then forced into brutally inhumane living conditions & tortured their entire life & savagely slaughtered – well then maybe you might find the flavor concession a small price to pay to be able to eat “sausage” and still look this little guy in the face guiltlessly.  That was a confusing run-on sentence but I think you get my meaning.  The other advantage is that these are far less greasy & lower in calories.

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I used broccoflower because I had it but broccoli or cauliflower would work, too.  I love chickpeas & they are very good for you – so I added them – but they are not critical.  I just like to load my pasta dishes with a lot of filling & healthy extras so that I end up eating less actual pasta.  This is just a personal preference – and – I am trying to drop a few pounds before I go off to shoot a film in Mississippi next month – so – broccoflower was a perfect addition here.

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One-Pot Vegan Sausage and Broccoflower Pasta with Chickpeas

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dry pasta

1/2 onion – diced

2 (or more) large vegan sausages

1 head broccoflower (or substitute of your choice) – cut into bite-sized florets

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained

4 garlic cloves – minced

Olive oil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (I used three – but I love spice!)

3 cups vegetable stock (or water & bouillon)

1 TBS lemon just & 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

1/2 cup shredded basil – as garnish (parsley would work, too)

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

OK – so – as I said – this can be done by either cooking & draining the pasta & broccoflower first & adding it later or, as I did, cooking the sausage & onion first.  Cooking the pasta first allows you to better control how well it is cooked but doing it second infuses the pasta with veggie stock – so – your call.  I am gonna list the directions as I did it.

In a large pot, heat 1-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat & saute the onion, sausage & crushed red pepper until the onion is soft & the sausage begins to brown.  Not a science – just eyeball it – and when you think it is done – add the garlic & stir it in for about a minute – then set it aside.

In that same pot, add the vegetable stock, chickpeas, pasta & the lemon juice & zest.  Bring to a boil & cook it according to the instructions on your pasta label – BUT – 3 minutes before the pasta is supposed to be done – add the broccoflower & cover.   You MIGHT have to add a bit of water to keep things from drying out – though I did not.  Cook the remaining time left of the pasta.  Check it now – by testing the doneness of both the pasta & vegetable.  I like my veggies with some crunch – so – this timed perfectly for me.  If you feel it needs more time – keep cooking it & even add more water – if you think it needs it.  If it is too wet, cook it down.  When it seems ready – add the sausage & onion & stir to incorporate it.  Serve with basil or parsley & shove it in your pie hole with no regard for decency.  Look up pictures of cutie piglets & feel superior.  You earned it.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Roasted Beet and Chickpea Salad with Dill and Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

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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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I love beets!  I love lemon!  I love arugula!  I LOVE THIS SALAD!  If you are vegan – either just lose the feta cheese or add a vegan alternative.  There is enough flavor here that the cheese is just a layer of flavor but the salad doesn’t depend on it.

I roasted the beets days ahead & just used them yesterday.  You can do this, too, or roast them as needed.  I like having them in the fridge – ready & waiting for me to be inspired to use them.  I made this dressing fresh but most any tart dressing would work.

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Lemon Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup olive oil

juice of one lemon

1 1/2 tsp Dijon

1 garlic clove – minced

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the ingredients & then add more lemon or oil or S&P – to suit your taste.

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Roasted Beet and Chickpea Salad with Dill and Arugula

INGREDIENTS

The ratio here is really up to you but here are my suggestions:

2 large beets

1/2 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained & rinsed

A few cups of arugula

1/2 cucumber – sliced thin

1 cup feta – crumbled

Fresh dill

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DIRECTIONS

Wash the beets & wrap them in foil with a little olive oil drizzled on them.   Roast, wrapped in foil, at 400 degrees for about an hour.  Allow to cool & peel.  Cut into bite-sized chunks & set aside.

Make the vinaigrette.

Now just layer your ingredients as you like & drizzle with dressing.  Lots of freshly cracked pepper adds a nice touch.  Eat it up & sit back & think about the fact that your pee will likely be pink tomorrow.  🙂

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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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