Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the Love of Falafel

Oh deary me, this is probably my favourite meal in existence, and has been a LONG time since we have made it. It is not exactly a winter friendly ingredient list, and I hate out of season tomatoes. But the warm weather we have been enjoying lately sent me into a craving induced craze, so I broke down and bought some. And oh boy, it was so worth it. I give you Falafel:

This is a homemade pita bread (recipe found here), homemade tzatziki, and homemade falafel patties. This meal is a bit labour intensive, but it is so incredibly delicious, and worth every minute. Here are the recipes:


1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 1/4 cups plain greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped mint leaves
salt and pepper

Peel, seed, and finely dice cucumber. Squeeze out all of the excess liquid with your hands, and then put the cucumber in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Taste, and adjust seasonings.


** Original Recipe from the  Rebar Cookbook**

1/4 cup bulghur
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
1 cup bread crumbs
3 cups canned or cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp. tahini (or almond/peanut butter)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

Roast bulghur on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for about 5 minutes. Cool, and grind up in a spice grinder, or in a mortar and pestle. Heat olive oil in a pan, and fry onion until soft. Add garlic and spices and saute for a few minutes. 

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until they form a ball. You can also do this part with your hands and/or a potato masher, it will just take longer. You can now refrigerate the dough, or just make the falafels. 

To make the falafels, shape them into little patties, or basically to whatever size you prefer. You can then either bake them, or pan fry them. To bake them, just put them onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes, until golden and crispy. To pan fry them (which is what we usually do), heat up some olive oil in a pan, and fry the falafels until they are crispy and hot throughout. Serve them with slices of tomato, cucumber, and lettuce, and, (of course), lots of tzatziki. 

Seriously, you need to make this. Don't be turned off by the chile flakes or the cayenne, they are not spicy at all. But if you are really nervous of them, just leave them out. The dough keeps in the fridge for up to a week, and can make a nice quick lunch or dinner during the week. This recipe serves the two of us for one big dinner, and at least 2 or 3 lunches. You can easily double the recipe if you have a big family. They are very filling and incredibly satisfying, with lots of protein, fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. Can't beat that! Now all we need are some garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and we are set! 

Happy Falafel!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Green Breakfast...Literally

I am fairly boring when it comes to my breakfast choices. I eat pretty much one of two breakfasts all week long, perhaps changing it up for a couple of my days off. My two staples consist of plain yogurt with our home canned fruit on top, and a green smoothie.

Now I have recently discovered green smoothies, and have fallen hard for them. Before this revelation, I was making a lot of regular smoothies, sans anything green, which were great. But since the addition of the greens to my smoothies, they have taken on a life of their own. After drinking one of these, I am full for at least 3 hours, and I have a lot of energy. Green smoothies are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and good fats. And they taste delicious! I cannot taste the greens in my smoothies, although I have heard that some people can. But if you incorporate a lot of fruit in them as well, the fruit flavor will definitely overpower the greens. I highly recommend trying one. Here is my version, which changes with my mood and my fruit supply:

Green Smoothie

2-3 large stalks of kale, or basically half of the blender capacity. You can also use spinach, chard, or anything that is green.
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 frozen banana
2 tsp. flax oil
splash of fruit juice
enough liquid to cover the greens- I usually use water or soy milk, depending on how creamy I want it that day. Adding only water will dilute the flavor and it won't be super creamy, but your smoothie will be extra hydrating.
I also add a dollop of yogurt sometimes.

I always like to use frozen fruit because it makes the smoothie creamy and icy, which I enjoy. During the summer, I do use a lot of fresh fruit in them, but I always use the frozen banana, as it acts as an emulsifier, bringing the whole thing together.

Blend this all together, adjust to your tastes (more fruit juice for sweetness, etc.), and enjoy! These are especially delicious on a warmer day, as they are incredibly refreshing. Trust me, you won't be able to tell there are greens in it!

They don't always look this green. If you add blueberries or raspberries, you may get a brownish or red colour, but it will taste all the same! Spinach adds a vibrant green colour.

Hope you are all having a great start to your week!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

Please make sure to participate in Earth Hour 2011, by turning off your power tonight from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Just this one hour can make a huge difference in the fight for a healthy planet!

Tonight, turn off the television and lights, unplug the microwave, and enjoy the silence. Play cards or games with family, read by candlelight, and just enjoy spending time with those you love. We rely much too heavily on electricity, and tonight should be a gentle reminder as to how much of it we really do waste on unnecessary usage. Our dear Mother Earth keeps crying out as we destroy her, and tonight I will stand with her in the fight for her life. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

Dreaming of the Farmer's Market...

So yesterday was gorgeous and warm outside, so we felt inspired to make this delicious summer salad, which has been a standby for hot summer nights in our home for a couple years now.  It was delicious, despite the fact that it did not contain any super fresh produce from our local farmer's market, and that it was by no means a hot summer night. But a girl can dream, right?


Here is the recipe:

Original recipe found in the June 2008 Vegetarian Times Magazine, online link found here.

Chilled Noodle Salad with Mango

**Vegan and Gluten Free!


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, diced


8 oz rice stick noodles
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups sliced lettuce
1/2 cup chopped basil (we left this out last night, and it was still great)
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 green onion, sliced
1 large mango, sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

Make dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and heating through until sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool. Next, soak the noodles in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Cook the carrot in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, and then put in the noodles. Cook them for 5 minutes. Rinse both the carrot and the noodles under cold water once cooked. Put them into a large bowl, and chill while you cut up the rest of the vegetables. Toss the noodle mixture with lettuce, basil, mint, cilantro, cucumber, bean sprouts, green onion, and mango. Toss it all in the dressing, mixing well. When you are ready to serve it, garnish it with the peanuts.

This salad is wonderfully refreshing and light, but filling at the same time. We had it with homemade quinoa burgers on the buns I posted about earlier. It was delicious!



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

I am so excited for this post, because it is about something that I have never done before, and it is taking us one more step towards a more frugal lifestyle! Over my weekend, I made yogurt, and it was successful! I wasn't very confident that it would work, but it did, and it was so easy! Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade Yogurt

4 cups (1 quart/litre) milk- I used organic whole milk
2 tbsp. plain yogurt (store bought to start off with)

That's it! Begin with putting the milk into a heavy pot, and bring it to a boil. Once it begins to bubble up, take it off the heat, and cool it down to 110 degrees F. I did this quickly by putting the pot into my sink that I had plugged with cold water.

Bringing the milk to a boil

As the milk is cooling down, whisk the 2 tbsp. of yogurt in a large ceramic bowl, until it is smooth. When the milk has cooled down, very slowly stir it into the yogurt. The recipe then called to cover it in plastic wrap, which I did for my first attempt, but next time I am just going to use a tea towel. 

Cooled milk and yogurt mixture, covered and ready to ferment

After covering it, it you then must keep it in a warm place (85-110 degrees F) for 7-10 hours, until it is thickened. I did a bit of research, and decided to try and use my electric blanket set on medium as my warm spot. 

After the first 5 or 6 hours, I found that my blanket wasn't really keeping the bowl warm enough for my liking, so I moved the bowl into my oven on the lowest possible setting (roughly 100 degrees F), and kept the light on. After 10 hours had passed, the mixture was still quite runny, but it smelt like yogurt, and I had read that refrigeration overnight usually thickens up the yogurt significantly. So I poured it into some containers, and went to bed with a wish.

The next morning, the yogurt had thickened beautifully! I was so excited! And it is delicious! Not too sour, and a nice creamy flavour. It isn't quite as thick as my usual store brand, but it was great anyways. I eat a lot of yogurt, usually going through a tub per week. This recipe made one tab, plus another third of a tub. My usual yogurt is plain organic, and the cheapest I can get one tub for is $3.50, and the regular price is $5.29. The milk I bought for this recipe cost $3.99 for 2 litres, which makes 2 recipes, making each recipe cost $2, and I got more than a full tub. So it really is very cheap. If I bought a 4 litre of milk, then it would go down even more. And, I love that I made it myself, with my own two hands. For the next recipe, I can use 2 tbsp. of my current homemade yogurt, therefore continuing the cycle, and preventing me from having to buy it from the store again. 

Here is the finished product:

So thick and creamy

Hope you are having a lovely week thus far!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Alternatives: Plastic Bags

Green Alternatives is a series that shows you the green alternatives to normally wasteful/toxic products. I use all of the featured products in my own home. I am not being paid to endorse any of the products in this series, I just really like them! In my opinion, a green alternative falls into at least 2 of these categories:
     1. They contain no toxic chemicals/fragrances/etc
2. They are reusable and/or eliminate/reduce the amount of waste normally produced with their           counterpart
     3. They contain less or no plastic
     4. They are produced by ethical companies who care about my health and the environment

So, it has been a while since I have done green alternatives post, so here we go! The most popular way of "going green" these days seems to be the use of reusable cloth bags for grocery shopping. I love these, and I do see a fair amount of people who are using them whenever I go shopping. However, we are still in the minority. I'm not sure if the lack of use is because people always forget their bags, or that they are just ignorant to the woes of plastic bag use, but it really bothers me to see people loading up their carts with plastic bags. But the thing that bothers me the most is seeing people who absolutely do not need a bag, and accepting them. Why do you need a huge plastic bag to carry your jar of peanut butter, or 3 bananas to the car? Why do you think we have hands? I really think that if hands and arms were as useless as people make them out to be, then we would have evolved past them by now...

Plastic bags are not recyclable in many cities, and are one of the biggest cloggers of landfills. They are strewn through our oceans, found inside of animals, and are seen billowing through the streets like disgusting, man made tumbleweeds. They are designed for single use, and are completely wasteful. But they are not alone. No, we also seem to require plastic bags to put all of our produce in, our bulk items in, and are even available to put already packaged items in, where you then take them to the cashier, and they are then wrapped in a second layer of plastic! Argh!!

 I went to the local Costco in town about a month ago, and to my disgust, they had giant plastic bags on rolls next to a chip display. The point of this? Well, there was a sale if you bought two of the bags of chips. But heaven forbid people should actually have to pick two bags of chips and then just place them in their carts, or (eek!!) carry them! No, you could "conveniently" place both bags into a third plastic bag, and then put them in your cart. There was even a big sign with pictures and instructions on how to bag your chips. I kid you not. How is that necessary? And the sad thing is I saw several people bagging their chips. Sigh. 

My whole point to this rant is that there are reusable alternatives to these plastic nightmares. There is the quintessential cloth bag for holding all of your purchases, which are great, and I never enter a store without at least two (because you always end up buying more than you think you will, or at least I do). But there are also some great mesh bags out there for produce and bulk items. I always have at least three of these on hand, and they are great. I am not afraid of putting loose fruit directly into my basket, but I do like to put my broccoli and lettuce in bags, so I use these. If I forget my bags, all produce goes directly into the basket/cart, and I make myself come back another time for bulk items. Forgetting soon becomes a thing of the past when you know that there is no other way you can get your things. Also, if I forget my cloth bags, I make myself carry everything out in my arms, or put it directly into the cart and wheel it out to my car. 

Most of my produce bags are a very fine mesh material, so I can put anything bulk in them, from oat bran to dried beans. I then write the bin number on my shopping list (to avoid having to use twist ties). The bags have drawstrings on top, and I simply pull them closed, and put them in my basket. Yes, I get looks from the cashiers like I am from Mars sometimes, but I also get a lot of comments on what a great idea they are, and they always appreciate that I have recorded the bin number for them. 

You could make your own produce bags easily with a washable stretchy fabric, and give them a drawstring or zipper closure. Just make sure the material is thin enough that it won't weigh too much, which ends up costing you more money for your items. I bought my bags from a local health food store well over a year ago. It was a great deal, at about $3 for several bags. I also have one that was hand made by a co-worker's mom. I just run them through the wash if they get dirty, and then toss them into one of my cloth bags. 

The biggest thing is remembering to bring your bags with you ALWAYS, and not letting yourself get into the habit of letting yourself use plastic if you forgot. If you absolutely need a bag, a lot of stores will provide you with a paper bag, you just have to ask. But if there is always an easy way out, then you will never force yourself to remember. I also have a couple bags that fit into my purse, and I always have them in case of a "bag emergency". Next time you go to accept a bag, think to yourself "do I REALLY need this? Could I carry this without a bag?". It is an automatic habit of mine now as well to refuse a bag before my items are even being scanned, as a lot of places just automatically start bagging things.  I even had a cashier throw out the bag that had held one of my items for less than 5 seconds. No lie. I was devastated. 

Don't beat yourself up for forgetting, just try and make it a habit. It apparently takes the human mind 3 weeks to learn a new behavior. I say, make the refusal of all plastic bags your newest behavior! Dear Mother Earth will thank you from the bottom of her heart.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Homemade Vegetable Stock

I have recently started making all of our stock at home, and I really cannot figure out why it took me so long. This is the easiest way to have a constant supply of stock, and it pretty much costs nothing to make.

We used to buy organic stock in the little tetra packs, and it was expensive! The cheapest we could get it (on sale) was about $3 for a one litre container. And we would regularly go through at least two per soup recipe, so it was getting a bit ridiculous. Plus, the amount of sodium in the store bought broths is disgusting!  Once we started reducing the amount of salt in our diet, we really started to taste how salty the broth we bought was, and that was the turning point.

I have many recipes in my many cook books for vegetable stock, but what bothered me was that they all called for the use of fresh vegetables that you would have to discard afterwards. I think it is kind of silly to use beautiful, fresh produce to boil down into a broth. I mean, when you make chicken stock, you use the carcass of the chicken, in order to use up every last bit of the flavor. So why can't I use my vegetable "carcasses"? Now what is a vegetable carcass? It is the part of the vegetable you were just going to throw away and not eat. So I began saving all of the pieces that I was just going to discard anyways, and put them in a large freezer bag in the freezer. When it got full, I made stock. Here is my latest bag:

The ingredients? A lot of broccoli stalks, some wilty celery and cilantro (not going bad, but too wilty to cook with), onion tops, some shriveled ginger, garlic ends, carrot peels, shitake mushroom stems, and a special twist that I think made this batch of stock especially rich.  The juice from canned tomatoes. I had a recipe that called for whole tomatoes, drained and chopped. Well, instead of chucking out the juice, I decided to pour it into the bag, to add a nice tomatoey flavour. 

It takes a couple months to fill the bag, but the full bag also makes enough stock to last a couple months. I think that the size of your family will be relative to how many vegetables you save, and the amount of stock you use.  

So how do you make it? Well, it really couldn't be easier. You start by dumping all of your vegetables into your biggest pot, and covering them with water. Now my pot is not that big, so I ended up diluting my stock at the end, just to make it go a little further, and because it was quite rich. Keep in mind that the bigger your pot, the longer boiling time you will probably need, but you will get more stock. 

Vegetables covered in cold tap water

Next, you put the pot on the stove, cover it, and bring it to a boil. You then let it simmer/boil for about 2-4 hours, depending on how much time you have, and the size of your pot. I had to keep topping up my pot as some of the water absorbed, so just keep an eye on yours. You always want all of the vegetables covered in water. I let mine boil for about two and a half hours. I do not add any salt to my stock, as we like to salt our meals as we cook them, and I don't want to have to count the salt that is already in the stock, but you can do as you like. If you add salt, don't add a lot, and put it in at the beginning of the boiling process. 

Once your stock has boiled for a sufficient amount of time, remove it from the heat, and strain it. I get my biggest bowl out, put it in the sink, and put a big colander on top of it. I then dump the hot mixture into the colander, and let it strain. My bowl wasn't quite big enough to fit everything comfortably, so I ended up using a second big bowl to get the rest of the stock out. I also used a big wooden spoon to squash the vegetables a bit, to squeeze out any water they may have been retaining.  You may end up with tiny little bits of vegetable in your stock if you use a bigger colander, like I did. If that doesn't appeal to you, then simply use a fine sieve to strain your vegetables. 

Next, let your stock cool for a few hours, then ladle it into your freezing containers. I use old yogurt containers, and fill each one within an inch of the top. I find this amount is perfect for our recipe sizes. 

Please ignore the weird yellowish circle on the bottom left container, it is a trick of the light caught by 
my low quality camera.

Label your containers, and freeze them, and there you have it! Homemade stock, made entirely from scrap you were just going to throw away! Now go and get yourself a large freezer bag and start saving your vegetables!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Day in the Kitchen

I am just finishing my weekend, and today the kitchen was calling my name. Here is what I made:

The top is homemade pita bread, recipe found here. I have made this recipe several times, and it is delicious every time. It is also incredibly easy, and only takes just over 2 hours from start to finish! We use pitas for quesadillas, falafels, mini pizzas, and just to eat with some eggs. They last for a good 5-6 days on the counter (if you can restrain yourself from eating them all hot from the oven), and are super cheap to make. 

The bottom is Whole Orange Cake, recipe found over at Rhonda's. This is the first time I have made this cake, and it is delicious. But, I have a confession to make. I forgot to put the eggs in. How, you ask? Well, I have no idea. Apparently the thought of blending up an entire orange in my food processor was a little too exciting, and I just completely forgot! Surprisingly, it is still delicious, just a little dense! I used one and a half oranges because mine were a little small. I love citrus season! We got three 3 lb bags of organic oranges (1 navel and 2 Cara Cara) for under $10 the other day, and organic lemons are 3 for 99 cents! Cannot beat that! If you have not tried Cara Cara oranges, I highly recommend them. They are sweet and juicy, and have a lovely pink flesh. I used navels in the cake recipe, in order to leave the Cara Caras for eating fresh. I will have to remake the cake properly, eggs included, next week when we are finished with this one. 

I also made some homemade vegetable stock, but that will be a separate post sometime next week.

Happy Cooking!


Sunday, March 6, 2011


Last night, in the midst of one of the biggest snow storms of the year, was our second power outage in a week. It went off at about 10 p.m, and came back on in the middle of the night sometime. Earlier in the week, it was off from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have had roughly 6 or 7 outages since moving into this place 3 years ago, and it is always a bit of a mystery why it goes off. We live in a fairly large city, and our power grid seems to always be the one affected by these outages. We have family in town, and they have had maybe 2 or 3 outages in the past 3 years. So what's my point, you ask? Well, whenever it goes off, I am suddenly reminded how completely dependent we are on it, and it awakens me into the feeling of how lucky we really are, and how much we really do live in luxury. But it also makes me wonder. It makes me wonder what we would do if there was some sort of disaster (touch wood), and the power was out for several days. We would have no way to cook or heat food, our freezers would all defrost, spoiling all of the food we have in them, and we would have no way to heat our home. The closest thing we have to a fireplace is a gas insert in the living room, but it would hardly work, because the fan in it would not be powered. Simply put, it would be very hard on us. That kind of makes me sad. It is sad that we are so dependent, that our lives would have to drastically change if we were no longer able to rely on the government to provide us with power. It would also force us to simplify an incredible amount, making things a lot easier, but a lot more difficult at the same time.

A snow storm earlier this winter

I grew up in what can only be called the middle of nowhere. Seriously. We lived over an hour drive from the closest town, in a log house, surrounded by trees and lakes. We had two year round neighbours, and the rest of the cabins on our street were only filled during the summer months. It was amazing. I could not have asked for a better childhood. But it was also incredibly hard on my parents. Our house was a huge 3 floor log home that was heated solely by a wood stove in the basement, and later on, a pellet stove on the second floor. My dad spent a lot of his time just trying to keep the house warm. He cut down his own trees and stacked enough wood for the winter every year. I can still smell the garage where he kept the wood, and can still see the cast iron kettle sitting on top of the stove, a steady wisp of steam moistening the bone dry air. Our house was up in the mountains, so we had enormous amounts of snow every year, and the winter lasted a good 6 or 7 months each year. My mom canned, and made everything from scratch, because there was no other option. We did not have a lot of money, and I never knew that. I never felt deprived or lacking in any way. This upbringing has made me the person I am today. I really believe that all of the things I do today in life are because of what I was taught growing up.

What does this have to do with our recent power outages? Well, growing up in the boonies has made me accustomed to power outages. Once per year, every year as a kid, the power would go out for at least a week. My parents had to bury the frozen food in a cooler in the backyard, and we would eat meals that had been cooked on top of the wood stove by candlelight. And I don't ever really remember it being that different than regular life. I realize that this is a childhood memory, and I was probably very much unaware of how hard it was, but we made it through every year. I could not do that, nor could most people, in a modern day home.

Power outages make me realize how much we are programmed into our homes. I don't know how many times I automatically went to switch on the light last night. And it made me realize that our street lights completely overpower the natural light that the sky has at night. Looking up and seeing the huge flakes of snow falling silently from a pinkish night sky made me nostalgic for my childhood. Looking down our street, which was completely silent, made me realize how many beautiful trees we have surrounding us. Funny how a little darkness can make you see a whole new world. As we fell asleep in our silent world last night, we commented on how weird it was to not hear any humming of any appliances or any kind of background noise. Weird in a good way.

Have a lovely day,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From My Kitchen To Yours...

I offer you this delightful recipe, that I am enamoured with! These days I am craving light and bright spring meals (think quinoa salad, veggie burgers, falafels, and fresh fresh vegetables). However, considering I live in the Great White North (aka Canada), that won't be happening for another couple months. So instead, I made this. And it is so good. Although some people I know do not like curries so much (judge!), this is very good, despite the fact that it contains what some would call "curry spices". So those of you afraid of said spices, I encourage you to try it! The original recipe is found here, but I tweaked it to fit our tastes. So here is my rendition:

Moroccan Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 zucchini, sliced (unpeeled)
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup cooked chickpeas (recipe to follow)
1 cup diced tomatoes (canned)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. peanut butter

Chickpea Crust

1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup unsalted butter (or vegan shortening would be fine)
3 tbsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 cups flour (I used white, but whole wheat or spelt would be fine)
1 tbsp. milk (soy, almond, cows)

In a large pot fry onion and carrots in olive oil until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and spices, and cook for another minute or two. Add zucchini, broccoli, and chickpeas. Cook until tender. Add tomatoes and lemon juice. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in peas, cilantro, and peanut butter.

Meanwhile, make the crust. Pulse butter, flour, chickpeas, salt, and spices together in a food processor. Pulse in butter until it is the size of peas. Slowly add water until a crumbly dough is formed. Dump out onto your counter and knead for about 2 minutes. Cut in half and roll out into two ten inch circles (it takes a bit to get it this big and it will be very thin. Don't stress out, it will be fine!). Fit into a greased 9 inch pie plate. Fill with vegetable mixture. Brush edge with milk, then top with remaining pastry. Make it look pretty (if that's your thing), and cut a couple vents on the top. Bake in a 400 F oven (thats 200 C) for 40 minutes. Serve warm!

After Baking...yum

Now, the best tasting and cheapest way to include chickpeas in this dish is by cooking them from dried! It is incredibly easy, and only requires a bit of planning ahead. So the night before you make this, measure out one cup of dried chickpeas (this will make 2 cups cooked, enough for the filling and crust). Put them into a large bowl and cover them with about 3 times their volume in cold water:

Leave them to soak overnight. The next morning/afternoon, drain them and rinse them, discarding any that floated to the top of the water. Then put them in a big pot and cover then with the same amount of water again. Bring to a boil, and cover them. Simmer them for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and voila! Delicious chickpeas cooked from dried! And they taste SO much better, I swear! 

Happy Cooking!