Stuffed grape leaves and roasted chickpeas (A Feast for Crows)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

[W]hen the door finally opened it proved to be only the servants with her midday meal. “When might I see my father?” she asked, but none of them would answer. The [chickpeas] had been roasted with lemon and [spices]. With [them] were grape leaves stuffed with a mélange of raisins, onions, mushrooms, and fiery dragon peppers. “I am not hungry,” Arianne said. … “Take this away and bring me Prince Doran.” But they left the food, and her father did not come. After a while, hunger weakened her resolve, so she sat and ate.

– George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

Roasted chickpeas and stuffed grape leaves

OK, so the original quote didn’t say chickpeas, but it’s the Vegan Month of Food, and I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s appetite. :) I made a few meals inspired by Game of Thrones last year, and I’m glad today’s prompt is giving me an excuse to try more. The main character in this chapter got left out of the TV series completely, so I highly recommend reading the books if you’d like to know more about her and other characters from Dorne (and not just because their food sounds so good).

I’d never stuffed grape leaves before. I looked at a few recipes for a plain rice-stuffed version and adapted them by mixing raisins, onions, mushrooms, chillies, and herbs into the rice. The bottoms got a little crisped and burnt because I didn’t add enough water while steaming (whoops), but thankfully they softened up and were all right after a night in the fridge.

The chickpeas were much easier: I coated them in a mixture of oil, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, syrup, lemon pepper, and salt, and roasted them at 180-200 °C (350-400 °F) until they were nice and crunchy — just keep checking on them and stirring them up so they don’t burn.

Links of the day

– Lacey from Avocados and Ales posted this blue ice cream with galaxy macarons inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy. Look at the colours on those macarons! I couldn’t stop saying “wow!”, “WOOOW” as I was scrolling through her post.
– More blue food: Tracy from Stairway to Vegan made blue leek and potato soup inspired by Bridget Jones’s Diary.
– Mike and Sarra from Fake Meat & True Love recreated Todd Ingram’s chicken parmesan and gelato from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. You’d better try their versions if you want to hold on to your vegan powers.

Lemon cakes and half a strawberry pie (A game of thrones)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Lemon cakes Half a strawberry pie

Jeyne yawned. “Are there any lemon cakes?”
Sansa did not like being interrupted, but she had to admit, lemon cakes sounded more interesting than most of what had gone on in the throne room. “Let’s see,” she said.
The kitchen yielded no lemon cakes, but they did find half of a cold strawberry pie, and that was almost as good. They ate it on the tower steps, giggling and gossiping and sharing secrets, and Sansa went to bed that night feeling almost as wicked as Arya.

– George R.R. Martin, A game of thrones

This is my third post inspired by Game of Thrones and probably the last one for this month. There are still many foods from the series I’d like to try, though, so maybe I’ll return to this theme after VeganMoFo!

Lemon cakes are probably one of the first things you’ll encounter if you look for recipes from Game of Thrones. Mine were mostly based on these cakes shown in the TV series. They looked smaller than regular cupcakes, so I made a flat cake and used a scone cutter to cut out little rounds. This method allows you to sneak bites of both the batter and the cake and I like to think Sansa would approve of that. The cake recipe was more or less the Lemony French Cake from Have Cake Will Travel, one of my favourites that I think everyone should try. The topping is a glaze with cashews and lemons but in hindsight I think lemon curd would’ve been better (can anyone recommend a vegan recipe?).

For the pie, I adapted the recipe for Strawberry Hand Pies from Vegan Pie in the Sky using whole wheat flour instead of plain and oil instead of margarine. Delicious! Almost as good as lemon cakes.

Dornish chickpea scramble with red chillies

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Yesterday I posted about a specific meal from the world of Game of Thrones. The dish below isn’t mentioned in the books, but this is what I imagine a vegan breakfast in Dorne would look like. Fiery dragon peppers are a typically Dornish ingredient and they’re mentioned a few times in the description of egg dishes. I think they’d work just as well with chickpeas. This dish is supposed to be very spicy, so choose the hottest pepper you can handle! (In my case, that was still a pretty mild one.)

The recipe is really a combination of the tofu scramble from Isa’s Vegan Brunch and the chickpea scramble from Isa Does It. I love the flavours from the former, but I can see how tofu would be hard to come by in Dorne, so chickpeas seemed like a better choice. (Although I also don’t know where in Westeros you’d find nutritional yeast, but shh.)

Dornish chickpea scramble

Dornish scrambled chickpeas with red chillies

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red chilli (or pepper of your choice) seeded or not seeded (depending on your preference) and thinly sliced
1 cup chickpeas
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½-1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Stir in the red chilli.

2. Meanwhile, mash the chickpeas with a fork until they are mostly broken up but with a few larger pieces here and there (you can also mash them once you’ve added them to the pan). Add the chickpeas, garlic, and salt to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the chickpeas start to brown; stir occasionally.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and cumin and stir them into the chickpeas. Heat everything through, adding a spoonful of water if it looks too dry.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. Garnish with fresh coriander, if you like, and serve with flatbread for a Dornish breakfast.

Purple olives with flatbread, cheese, and chickpea paste (A Feast for Crows)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I’ve been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (the books that inspired Game of Thrones), and I love reading about the regional cuisines of Westeros. Food scenes often makes me want to get into the kitchen to recreate the foods as an extra way to experience the story, so when I found this blog and cookbook packed with ASoIaF-inspired recipes, I really wanted to try and veganise some of them. Some Westerosi meals seem to be close to vegan already (mostly soups, breads, and salads), others would need adapting (maybe a Winterfell meal with lots of root vegetables, gravy, and a seitan roast?), and there are some that even the writers of the GoT cookbook haven’t attempted to make (Joffrey’s wedding pie with a hundred live doves baked in comes to mind).

From what I’ve read so far, it seems that Dornish cuisine would be the easiest to navigate as a vegan. In any case, they grow pomegranates, olives, and citrus fruits, their wines are prized throughout the Seven Kingdoms — and they have chickpeas! I think I could subsist on Dornish meals quite happily.

The scene that inspired the meal in the photo below is also set in Dorne:

A Dornish meal

When the sun set the air grew cool and the children went inside in search of supper, still the prince remained beneath his orange trees, looking out over the still pools and the sea beyond. A serving man brought him a bowl of purple olives, with flatbread, cheese, and chickpea paste.

   – George R.R. Martin, A Feast For Crows

The cheese in this case is the Vegetarian Times almond feta, the chickpea paste is a very basic hummus, and the flatbread is made from flour, salt, yeast, and water rolled out and cooked in a frying pan.

Serve with red wine.