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!


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