Dumpling stew with chickpeas and fennel

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I’m seeing a bunch of beautiful things for the “something blue” prompt today! Me, I’ve got a recipe for days when you’re the one feeling blue. It’s nothing special, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s the kind of meal I like when I’m ill, or sad, or cold, or just craving chickpeas and dumplings. I first discovered dumplings like these in the Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk zine, so that’s what my recipe is based on as well.

Dumpling stew

Ingredients
Serves two (with leftovers, which taste even better)

For the stew:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
3 medium-sized leeks, halved and thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, halved and thinly sliced
3 medium-sized carrots, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chickpeas
1 litre (about 4 cups) salted vegetable stock
a few sprigs of fresh parsley, minced
freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings:
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
120 ml (1/2 cup) plain unsweetened soya yoghurt

Preparation

1. Add the 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil to a pot or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fry them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fennel and carrots as you chop them.

2. Stir the minced garlic into the vegetables and cook for a minute or so, then add the chickpeas, stock, parsley, and black pepper. Turn the heat up to high and cover the pan with a lid while the stock comes to the boil.

3. Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flours, the baking powder, the salt, and the dried basil. Pour over the oil and soya yoghurt and stir to form a relatively firm dough — but try not to overwork it.

4. Turn the heat down once the stock has come to the boil. Take tablespoon-sized pieces of the dumpling dough, roll them into balls, and place them on top of the stew. I got 13 dumplings out of this recipe. Cover the pan with a lid again and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the dumplings are firm to the touch.

5. Garnish with more fresh parsley and fennel fronds if you like (or if you’re taking a picture). Serve hot.

Links of the day

I know my post for this prompt is a little late, but there are so many other blogs to read! Here are some of my favourite blue things from today/yesterday:
Vegan gorgonzola (available in Barcelona — so no, not a recipe, but still really cool to see!) posted by Caitlin from The Vegan Word
Homemade blue food colouring made with red cabbage and baking soda by Kuri the Vegan
Blue cookbooks (with quick reviews) by Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil

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.

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
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.

Beans

One of my main cheap eating strategies is to always keep the freezer full. If I can quickly heat up a bowl of soup or grab a loaf of seitan to make a meal, I’m much less likely to go for more expensive foods at the supermarket. That’s why I decided to start this month by cooking up a few pots of the staple of budget cuisine: beans!
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Cooking dried beans requires a little planning, but it’s not a lot of work. I always soak them overnight, rinse them, then boil them for 1-2 hours in fresh salted water the next day. I do sometimes get a little impatient while waiting for the beans to soften, so this time I decided to try out a new chickpea cooking method from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Between the soaking and boiling steps, they coat the chickpeas in baking soda and sauté them in a saucepan to break down the skins and to increase the alkalinity of the cooking water. This extra step definitely sped up the cooking process: when I checked on the chickpeas after 20 minutes of simmering, they had already gone completely soft.
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I wanted to see whether these tender chickpeas would yield a super smooth hummus, but I only had dark roasted tahini and no food processor so I had to adjust the recipe on Food 52 a bit. Still, the chickpeas were so soft that my immersion blender pulverised them within seconds, and the resulting hummus was one of the silkiest I’ve had.

I also boiled pots of white beans, pinto beans, and black-eyed peas, and they filled almost an entire drawer of my freezer! I think I’m all set for the rest of the month. :)