My latest post on One Green Planet is a recipe for Smoky Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Mango and Avocado. I strongly urge you to click on the link for the salad recipe. You’ll be glad you did and, I can tell you that although you may go for the salad — you’ll stay for those smoky chickpeas. They’re that good. So good, in fact, that I just had to tell you more about them.
As I mention on OGP, I’ve had a thing for roasted chickpeas since my grandmother introduced me to them when I was a kid. I couldn’t help but think that roasted chickpeas might be an ideal vehicle for the smoky flavors contained in the marinade I use to make vegan bacon. I thought about calling them “chickpea bacon balls” but decided “smoky chickpeas” was the better choice.
The inspiration for the smoky chickpeas came as I was thinking about the best spinach salad I ever had at a restaurant in my hometown. It was garnished with crumbled bacon and topped with a creamy dijon dressing. For my own part, I tend to make mustard dressing only when I have an almost empty mustard jar (so I don’t waste any), which happened to coincide with my spinach salad memory and my acquiring some lovely watercress which I wanted to pair with mango and avocado.
Suddenly the stars were aligning as I imagined how wonderful a smoky bacon flavor and a creamy mustard dressing would complement the watercress, mango, and avocado. I’ve been making vegan bacon out of everything but the kitchen sink these days, from the usual tempeh and tofu, to kale, and sliced mushrooms. Why not chickpeas? After all, I add chickpeas to virtually all my salads anyway, but giving them a smoky-bacony flavor would really take them over the top.
Instead of a regular creamy mustard dressing I wanted to play up the flavors of the mango as well as the smoky chickpeas, so I added a bit of liquid smoke to the dressing along with some mango. Oh yeah.
I predict that I will be making smoky chickpeas often. They’d be great tossed with cooked grains and greens, or even on their own as a snack. And I know for sure, they’re going to grace my salads from now on!
Are you going to try them? (If you do, let me know what you think of them!)
…or, more correctly, the apple of my “not-pie” — this is one of the luscious baked apples we’ve been enjoying. Northern Virginia is apple country and there are so many varieties to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to bring home from the various farmstands and orchards in the area. This week we tried York and Cortland. I’m sure they’d be wonderful in an actual pie, but I chose to use them in a more virtuous way by baking several of them in my slow cooker. The flavor is as indulgent as apple pie — without the indulgence. I’ll be making them again soon. Next time, I think I’ll stuff them with a little granola to make them reminiscent of apple crisp. Yum.
Three’s the Charm: I have lots of good news to share today, I hardly know where to begin. Let’s start with the amazing honor of having one of my recipes chosen as 1 of 4 “Recipes of the Year” on Vegan.com. My Singapore-Style Rice Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables was named “Quick Recipe of the Year.” This recipe happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Try it yourself and let me know what you think!
Also today, I found out that my Roasted Cauliflower Picatta recipe from my post on One Green Planet was chosen to appear on the Huffington Post! A huge thank you to all who voted for this recipe on One Green Planet.
Exciting stuff! Not bad for a Thursday, huh?
It’s been awhile since I posted a new recipe, but there’s a great one coming soon, I promise! Besides, I’ve been so busy working on the manuscript for the new slow cooker book.
In the meantime, I wanted to share a few photos of the amazing produce that has been gracing my kitchen of late. The red tomatoes and day-glo yellow zucchini (yes, they’re zucchini, not the (pale) yellow summer squash) were part of the bounty we brought home with us from a trip to Lancaster County, Pa, home of some of the best-tasting vegetables I’ve had in awhile. The cute little yellow pear-shaped tomatoes were a gift from our neighbor’s prolific garden — apparently WE got the tomato caterpillars, and THEY got all the tomatoes! 😉
We’ve been enjoying the various cherry tomatoes in salads and as a sweet snack, but I transformed many of the larger tomatoes into this fabulous baked sauce.
We had it over some long fusilli and I’m sure you could hear our moans of ecstasy for miles.
I adore virtually all vegetables, but artichokes are up near the top. Whenever I find fresh artichokes at a reasonable price, I buy several and we eat them in one sitting. Speaking of artichokes….
Help my recipe for Walnut-Crusted Artichokes make it to the Huffington Post. — Just “Like” it via the Facebook Like button on this page on One Green Planet. The recipe getting the highest # of Likes will be displayed on The Huffington Post! And while you’re at it, make some of these fabulous artichokes hearts (the recipe is on OneGreenPlanet).