Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rookie Cooking: That Vegan Chickpea Dish

I'm a total rookie cook. That is, when it comes to cooking I have no idea what I'm doing. Sometimes I will be talking with a friend about what they like to make and I'll gasp inwardly: "You can DO that?"
Assistant Chef

So, as my fledgling family makes a start in this world, I am forcing myself to learn to cook. And then I'm going to blog about it. Even the mistakes. Hopefully there won't be too many mistakes... anymore. You are more than welcome to join me on my cooking journey! And of course, share your experiences and improvements on any recipe.

Right now I am personally gluten-sensitive which means that everything will be entirely gluten-free. I won't be using wheat or wheat flour, rye, barley, malt, or any of the other plethora of items with secret gluten, and I'll note which gluten-free brands I'm using. I'm also completely egg, peanut, and dairy free while I'm breastfeeding my son because he has shown to be sensitive.

My first meal was a success! I've made this recipe several times before but this was the most delicious version. Something we like to call

That Chickpea Dish (you know, the vegan one?)
I used:
  • olive oil
  • veggies:
    • 6-7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    •  a hunk of ginger the size of your thumb, finely finely chopped
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 cups sugar snap peas with tips cut off
    • 2 medium-large carrots sliced
    • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into small pieces
    • 2-3 leaves of kale
  • spices (each to taste):
    • cumin
    • coriander
    • oregano
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • mrs. dash (yeah, that's right, I'm admitting it)
  • One can organic chickpeas (organic is highly recommended, but whatever)
 What I did:
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and drop in the ginger, half the garlic, and onions. You can use less garlic than I did, but why would you want to? I immediately sprinkle cumin to cover the onions and garlic and add a dash of coriander. I let it be until the onions start looking like they might want to start getting soft.

Add the carrots, red pepper, snap peas. Stir it up so everything gets all glossy with olive oil. This is when I added the majority of spice - more cumin (I probably used about a tablespoon of cumin all together), a tiny bit more coriander, the ground pepper, the oregano, and the mrs. dash. I then added the cauliflower, kale, and the rest of the garlic. Adding more garlic later in cooking gives the dish a stronger garlic taste. Again, stir and mix until there is a light coating of olive oil on everything.

Mmm. Vegetables.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas (sometimes called Garbanzo beans), I usually rinse and drain twice and leave about 1/4 of the can in liquid **I only  recommend this if you are using organic chickpeas because that juice at the bottom? It's just chickpea juice and salt. But if you are using otherwise... well, I would rinse a lot more. Dump in the chickpeas and the extra water - just enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan - and add in little torn up pieces of kale. The kale and the chickpeas need barely any time to cook, so stir everything and watch closely. Once the kale is dark green and soft, remove the frying pan from heat and serve.

There you have it. A gluten-free, vegan meal that is delicious enough to stand on its own. I  have served this with rice, but honestly I love it best as-is. And my first meal on this journey towards super mega chefdom! Or something like that, hopefully.


  1. Good luck! I love, love, love cooking & I find that the kitchen is so peaceful. I'm currently vegan for Lent, so it's been interesting.

  2. Cooking and baking are ways I relieve stress and it can even be a form of Meditation for me(like kneading dough, or stirring risotto, or whipping stuff with the hand mixer).
    I wish you much success in your cooking adventures!
    That dish looks really yummy! I'd eat it in a heartbeat.

  3. yum! i love the new banner and this sounds very tasty!

    i love to cook too...but it definitely took me awhile to get good at it...i started teaching myself when derek and i got married and i think i'm a pretty fucking good cook now, 7.5 years later :P i am excited to see you evolve as a cook and try out your tasty recipes! i think haye might be gluten sensitive so this could come in really handy :)

  4. Good luck, mama! I love to cook. I only started being good at it like... a year ago, maybe? I'm looking forward to reading about your successes!

  5. Farren, I love the idea about blogging about your kitchen adventures. I love cooking and find that I feel better when I eat healthy and am always my most relaxed in the kitchen (when dishes work out of course). Hopefully this inspires me to make time to get back in the kitchen . . . after I clean it of course!