Comforting Chickpea Stew

My favorite recipes are ones that are simple, quick to make and full of flavor.

While I love spending time in the kitchen and making elaborate dishes, most of the time I don’t have the time, but that doesn’t mean I want to skimp on taste or food quality.

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of stews. They are easy to make and customize with what I’ve got in the fridge and pantry, and also are very comforting in the cool weather we’ve had in the Bahamas in the evenings for the past few months, which is rare.

A few days ago I whipped up a chickpea stew that reminded me of my recent trip to Costa Rica, which I will blog about soon. The recipe came about as a result of me needing to use up some items left over in my fridge from before my trip and also me craving a layer of flavors.

Vegan chickpea stew

The end result was very satisfying and tasty, so I hope you try it out and let me know what you think!

Comforting chickpea stew (makes four servings)

One small onion, diced

1 ¼ cup of diced white mushrooms

1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used cherry)

1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup of frozen corn kernels

1 ½ tsp ground sage

1 tsp cumin

¼ tsp chipotle powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of red pepper flakes (for garnish)

Chopped cilantro (for garnish)  

1 1//4 cup of veggie broth

1 tbsp of tapioca starch or cornstarch

Oil for sautéing

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until transluscent, about two to three minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes, stirring occassionally and cook for about two minutes more.

Add tapioca starch to veggie broth and stir to combine, ensuring there are no clumps. Add broth/tapioca mix to pot and stir. Add chickpeas and spices except red pepper flakes and cilantro. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Then add frozen corn and cook for another five minutes uncovered.

Garnish with red pepper flakes and cilantro and serve with rice.

What I ate today (vegan)

So it’s hot as Hades’ undercarriage and I’m legit melting. I mean I love summer and all (July baby) but this heat wave is making it hard to live. All I want to do is stay inside with the air-conditioner cranked on high all day. But the unit in my tiny apartment can’t keep up with these demon rays Satan is sending up from hell. Normally I don’t even like a/c and can make do with a stand fan or a ceiling fan, but not this year. Fuck you climate change.

I guess the one benefit of this sweltering heat is it has me craving simple raw foods. I’m not a raw vegan though one day I aspire to live a mostly raw vegan lifestyle. But right now, me and cooked food are like Donald Trump and Twitter, can’t function without it but we definitely need less of it.

For the past few days I have incorporated more raw meals in my life. Smoothies for breakfast and lush salads with homemade dressing and avocado for lunch. Fruit and nuts for snacks. Those were fine in the daytime but after a brutal workday, I wanted rice, potatoes, cooked veggies, maybe some mock meat. Simple things really. I think I ate rawtil4 style for about four days this week including today, which is a real accomplishment. I work in a pretty cold office and I’m there for about ten hours a day sometimes, so the temptation to eat warm foods and sugary coffee is high.

But today, I’m hot, tired and fighting a cold, so I want to eat whatever takes the least amount of time to prepare.

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Breakfast was a kale smoothie with frozen banana and pineapple chunks, Ripple non-dairy milk and a teaspoon of my Vita Mineral super greens powder. I always buy lots of bananas, wait until they get black and speckled then store them in a glass Pyrex dish in the freezer. I was lucky to score a ripe pineapple yesterday, ate half of it and cut the rest into chunks then froze them. Cheaper than buying the frozen fruit from the store and you really can’t have a smoothie without frozen fruit. (Fight me if you don’t agree.)

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Lunch was two mangoes I picked up from the farmer’s market today. They were super sweet, the kind that leaves fiber stuck in your teeth and tasted like heaven. Nothing beats a Bahamian mango, let me tell you. The imported ones in the store can’t compare. The best way to eat a mango is to tear into the skin with your teeth and devour the flesh, letting the juice run down your face and hands. It may not be Instagram pretty, but it’s so satisfying.

I also had a coffee with sugar and non-dairy creamer after waking up from a nap with a headache. For some reason the coffee helped. I’m a coffee addict who normally drinks about three cups during the workweek and one or two on weekends. This week, I think I’ve only had three or four cups of coffee in total. Progress!

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My plating skills are horrible!

Dinner was a vegetable roll and a sweet potato roll from this Japanese restaurant that’s down the street from me. Added a few slices of avocado. I also ate some of my boyfriend’s side of rice with some more avocado (not pictured). Here’s a tip to jazz up vegan sushi, I sprinkle Bragg’s Sea Kelp seasoning to my soy sauce to give it a “fishy” taste. I love the stuff.

I had intentions of cooking for dinner, but as the day wore on, my head cold got worse. Plus, who can say no to sushi? This is no indication of how I eat everyday, trust me I eat more than this but today I’m feeling sick and wanted what was quick and easiest. I’m hoping to go to bed early and wake up early for some yoga. I’ve slacked on my exercise the last few weeks, again, the heat has had me tuckered out and not in the mood for high intensity exercise. But yoga feeds my soul.

How are you coping in this heat?

Peace and light xox

 

One-Pot Vegan Jambalaya

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Louisiana flavors with a plant-based twist.

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. I’ve been careless with a delicate domain. And it’s a sad, sad world, when a girl neglects a blog just because she can.

Okay, I’ll stop! I’m showing my age with my Fiona Apple reference. But on the real, I’ve neglected this blog for so many reasons because life, laziness and general procrastination got in the way. But I’m back and determined to start anew. And I’ve got a delicious, one-pot, simple summer recipe to share with you.

Yes, it’s officially summer. And it’s HOT out. I live in the Bahamas, where it’s hot 98 percent of the year, but in the summer it is brutal let me tell you. I can barely walk my dogs without breaking into a sweat after a few minutes and craving the comfort of shade and air-conditioning! Summer is the time when we don’t want to spend hours slaving in the kitchen and sweating in front of an oven. And while we crave light meals around this time of the year, that doesn’t mean we will subsist on salad and soup!

Enter this jambalaya.

I love one-pot dishes. It makes kitchen cleanup that much easier (I detest doing dishes and usually leave them in a pile in the sink until my boyfriend can’t take it anymore and caves in!) I also love recipes that come together quickly and use what most of us have on hand.

According to Wikipedia, jambalaya is a Louisiana dish of French and Spanish influence. It’s usually rice, veggies, seafood and meat. But it can be easily veganised and you won’t miss the meat, I swear.

The result was tasty, savory, filling and oh so delicious. This is fine on its own, or you can serve it with vegan sausage on the side, some hearty mushrooms or whatever your heart desires.

Enjoy!


Vegan Jambalaya (serves four to six)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I used orange and green)
  • One cup of fresh or frozen okra chunks
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • One can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • One cup of long grain rice

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions, garlic and peppers and cook on medium heat for about five to six minutes until almost soft.

Add okra chunks and cook for another five minutes, stirring frequently to avoid veggies sticking to the pot. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper, Old Bay and Cajun seasoning and stir, cooking for about one to two minutes more.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, rice and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Adapted from delish.com

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Super simple vegan split pea soup recipe.

When I’m craving something filling and comforting, but also simple to make and healthy, my go to is soup. Even though it’s March, the weather here in Nassau has been crazy the past few weeks, hot in the day but breezy and cool at night. I’m an island girl and I like my days hot and my nights balmy.

The colder weather means I don’t always want to eat a salad and I’m craving more carbs than usual – cue me gorging on rice, pasta, pizza, you name it. So after a few weeks of me eating more for convenience than health, I’ve decided to reset this week.

Enter this soup recipe. Split pea and ham soup was a staple for me growing up. It’s a common dish here in the Bahamas, where we like our soups thick and chunky, usually filled with meat and dumplings and lots and lots of salt. I wanted to recreate something that reminded me of the soup from my childhood, but without the cruelty, and was also super simple to make.

You can double up on this recipe if you want more leftovers or if you are cooking for a family. I’m usually just cooking for me and my bf, also I don’t like old food, so I tend to only make two to four portions of food at a time.

I hope you enjoy and this can be tweaked to add other seasonings to your taste and vegetables like celery or carrots. I just used what I had in the fridge and pantry and also what took the least amount of time to go from fridge to stove. Yeah, I’m lazy like that!

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Vegan split pea soup – serves two to three people

  • 1 cup split peas, rinsed and sorted
  • 1/4 of a purple onion, diced
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups of hot veggie broth
  • 1 cup of hot water (can use broth instead but I ran out)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and saute until translucent on medium low heat for about four minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for two to four more minutes, until mushrooms look wilted. Add broth and water to the pot, followed by split peas. Add seasonings except for salt and pepper. Stir ingredients then simmer mixture with lid tilted on the pot for about 30-35 minutes.

Once peas are soft, transfer about 3/4 of the mixture to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, however a few chunks are okay. (I like it chunky.) Return blended soup back to pot and stir with reserved broth. (I like to leave a little of the broth in the pot, so that when I put the blended mixture back in, it’s not too thick.) If it is too thick, you can always thin it out with a little broth or water (adding a little at a time to get desired consistency). Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir and serve.


So I love, love this soup. It is super filling on its own, or would go great with some fresh bread or salad. I find this tastes better the next day once the flavors have time to meld. It’s definitely one to keep in your dinner rotation.

Let me know what you think,

xo