Well, it has been adventure time at house on Hiscock (that’s right, that’s my street name, I’ll give you time to titter amongst yourselves). I’ve tasked myself with making some vegan meals this week, for a few reasons.
- My friend Lindsey is coming to visit me this weekend, and we’re going to make one hell of a Fancy Dinner (which I’m sure we’ll document for this very blog), so might as well healthy myself up as a “pre-gaming” method
- It’s a challenge
- I always hear how great you feel when not eating animal products
- I’ve never (purposefully) attempted to restrict my animal product intake before
- I’ve been eating really unhealthily lately (or so I feel)
I’ve (obviously) not gone strictly vegan. Just for these meals. I haven’t, however, eaten any meat all week, which is the first in quite some time (side note: the last time I went an extended period without meat was after witnessing a butchering course for the restaurant group I was working for, at 9 in the morning. It grossed me out so much I didn’t eat meat for almost a month. Not even eggs! (side note within a side note: I feel like eggs are just as much meat as a slab of pork. Also, fish is meat! If you’re a pescetarian, say that, don’t say you’re a vegetarian! Just because they don’t have feet doesn’t mean they’re not animals) But then I triumphantly returned to meat and never looked back…until this week, that is). I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up eggs. One of my favorite things about weekends is making big fancy scrambles/tortas/egg-situations. I also love cheese because…you know what, I don’t need to justify that. Everyone loves cheese. Every. One. I also don’t like the idea of those fake veggie cheeses and meats. If you’re not going to eat meat, don’t break up with it, and then sneak around with it’s inbred and creepy cousin that needs a lot of condiments to cover up the taste. Most vegan patties = a vessel for sauce.
But back on topic. Vegan: how do we start? With the internet, of course. After a quick trip on my trusted food blogging sites, I found a few recipes that made the cut. The first:
Andalucian Chickpea and Spinach Stew – Big Girls Small Kitchen
I’ve actually had my eye on this before, and never ended up making it, so when I found out it was vegan it worked out perfectly. And this recipe couldn’t be easier! Take beautiful and nutritious veggies (spinach, onions, tomatoes, garlic) and sauté them in stages until most of their nutrients are gone (waah-waah) with some tasty spices (smoked spanish paprika, cumin).
Add some water and vegetable stock, simmer more. Pop in the oven.
Now, here’s the issue I ran into. It says put in the oven for about 20 minutes at 250 and you should be right as rain. I did not have that fortune. I ended up keeping it in for about 25 extra minutes, and turning it up to 400 in order to absorb the liquid and soften the chickpeas. This was the 2 minute countdown for the initial 20 minutes. You can imagine my impatience when I realized I had to keep it in longer.
But all the waiting paid off. The stew, coupled with a “take and bake” whole grain french baguette made quite the meal (a few times over). I didn’t even miss the animal product (animal product. what a gross term)
Another great thing about this dish: it’s cheap!