Monday Musings… Jerk Chickpeas… no kidding

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I have always enjoyed looking at recipes. Recipe books with pictures are the bomb! One of my favorite recipe books is my Mom’s old Betty Crocker book. It has seen better days, but it has stains on pages where favorite dishes have been made over and over. There are funny “retro” graphics, pages falling out, but there is a lot of love that has been made out of that book! I write in my books, making notes of the recipes I try, changes I make, maybe someday my nieces or nephews might “find the love” in my vegan cookbooks! lol 🙂

Recently I bought the book “Let them eat Vegan” by Dreena Burton http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/ I had been checking out her recipes on facebook and her web page, it was time to buy one of her books. What I like about her recipes, and well her, is that she makes things adaptable for you. She adds such a variety of spices, at first look of the recipe list I think “oh no” I can’t do this, but let me tell you she has a way of combining flavors in dishes that take on a whole level of flavor that at least for me, I never thought I could achieve. A dishes success is built on the spices, and variety of flavors you bring to the party. While there are not that many pics in this book, the recipes are fun to read, full of instruction, freedom and flavor. If you are wanting to add a vegan cookbook to your shelf, consider this one. This woman has kids and she knows how to sneak in the veggies to please their palates too!

On to the Jerk Chickpeas this recipe caught my eye, probably because I like spice, I like chickpeas and I had never had Jerk Chicken… I know, but I have been a veg head for a long time! Also nutrition wise, it has chickpeas so of course I have my portion of some protein and fiber. For some reason this weekend I was most content to spend hours in the kitchen, chopping, mixing, experimenting and just plain having fun, I know I am a little crazy. Sunday I decided to whip up these chickpeas for a quick meal and have the leftovers to pack for lunch… as if I ever have that many leftovers ;). I had just cooked up a big pot of chickpeas and had the other ingredients thanks to my CSA goodies, so I slipped into my apron, pulled out the list of spices and I think my stomach starting flipping as I mixed up them all up. The aromas from the blend of spices made my mouth water as I was mixing them up, and don’t be concerned that there isn’t enough liquid to coat the chickpea, there is!

I usually make up either rice or quinoa on Sunday so I have it on hand for the week, so that was already going when I started the chickpeas. Oh my! I decided to put a little bit of my salad greens on top of an Ezekiel tortilla, little brown rice, the chickpeas and some avocado with an extra little squeeze of lime! Oh YEA!! I did use the red pepper as suggested and yes it kicks up the heat in this, but combining the rice and the cool creaminess of the avocado had my taste buds doing the happy jerk dance! This was so satisfying both for the taste buds and filling me up, but not making me feel stuffed! I am not finding the right words to describe how complex the flavors where, but so easy to make and just YUMMO, this dish is! Really, I can’t wait till lunch time tomorrow to have this again!

I couldn't wait to taste these jerk peas wrapped up!
I couldn’t wait to taste these jerk peas wrapped up!

As I stated, Dreena is really good about giving you options on the recipes so if you are missing an ingredient she gives you an option. My cilantro is not growing in my garden as great as my parsley, but instead of rushing out to get cilantro I just used a combo of what I had. My other change of course is not using the oil, but again she gives you that option. I will mention that the cilantro would give another depth of coolness to this spicy party,  but this was still sooo good with the parsely/cilantro garnish! Also as she suggest I saved the red peppers and onion to add halfway through the cooking process.

Thanks again Dreena, for being an inspiration for healthy eating and living it out!

Serve this up with a good green salad and fresh mango salsa as a salad topper and you have dinner!

Jerk Chickpeas

  • 3 – 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (see directions)
  • 2 tbsp tamari (can use coconut aminos for soy-free option)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional, can omit for oil-free version)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • Few pinches red chili flakes (between 1/8 – ¼ tsp, or more if desired, I find 1/8 tsp is just right for me, but go for more if you want!)
  • 2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ¾ – 1 cup chopped or sliced red bell pepper (see note)
  • 3/4 cup green onions, sliced (white and green portions, see note)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (for finishing, optional, see note)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a baking dish (I use an 8 by 12-inch), combine all the ingredients (starting with 3 tablespoons of the lime juice) except the chickpeas, red bell peppers (see note), green onions, and cilantro. Stir until well mixed. Then add the chickpeas, red peppers, and green onions and stir again.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, stir, and bake uncovered for another 5 to 8 minutes, stirring again about halfway through, until the marinade has partially absorbed into the chickpeas.
  • Taste; if you’d like more tang, add another 1⁄2 to 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and stir well, along with any reserved green onions and fresh cilantro. Serve over rice, or in pita breads or tortillas with sliced avocados and with extra squeezes of lime juice, if desired.
  • Serves 4, with brown rice and/or other accompaniments.
  • If This Apron Could Talk: If you’d like to keep the texture and color of the red pepper a little firmer and vibrant, add after about the first 10 to 15 minutes of baking, and stir in. Ditto for the green onions.
  • Ingredients 411: If you reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons of the greenish portion of the green onions, chop them finely and use to sprinkle over the finished dish. Or you can use 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro or parsley to add a perk of color and freshness.
oh yea... it's a party
oh yea… it’s a party

Peace,

Debbie

“Beloved I pray that all is well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”

3 john 2


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