Thursday, December 31, 2009

Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas (and smoked paprika sauce)


These are a wonderful protein source for vegans and yet, it can be very difficult to decide what to do with them. Certainly you can sprinkle them over a green salad, or make them into hummus. You can create the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. But wouldn't it be nice to enjoy them as the centerpiece of a meal in something close to their original state?

I am happy to share one of my favorite chickpea recipes. I discovered this inadvertently last time I made my spinach-and-chickpea pie. This is easy, forgiving and healthy!

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas


1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (I use Eden because they have no salt added, but whatever kind is fine)

2 ribs of celery

1/2 of a small onion

a little vegetable broth or olive oil

balsamic vinegar (about 4 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons agave nectar or a little sugar


Add the broth or oil to a large frying pan and saute the celery and onions until they are just browned, about 3-5 minutes or so.

Drain the chickpeas, rinse and shake off all the extra water. Add them to the pan and mix them up with the celery and onions. Saute them all together for a couple minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and agave nectar or sugar, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 6-10 minutes, until the liquid begins to reduce. If you are a vinegar lover, you can add more.

The chickpeas should start to look brown and glazey, like this:

Salt & Pepper to taste.

You can serve these with the green veggie of your choice - I like them with steamed spinach or mustard greens. Tonight I'm having them with broccolini.

As you may have noticed in the photo above, I didn't use any celery and I included red peppers instead. I'm out of celery - but it really is good in this recipe - it adds a little crunch. However, you can add whatever crispy veg you like. This is also very good with finely chopped leeks instead of onions. Like I said, very forgiving.

Also, I usually whip up a little of this sauce for the greens:

Smoked Paprika Sauce

1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Whisk all ingredients together. Drizzle over your greens (and the chickpeas, too, if you like), and there you have it - one easy, totally healthy dinner with chickpeas. Did I mention that it is also delicious? It is!

If you have 5 hours or so to spare...

Like all other vegan food blogs, I link pretty frequently to Lauren Ulm's VeganYumYum blog. And I'm going to do it again. Her vegan cinnamon rolls are AWE. SOME. I have made them twice now and they have been smashing both times. So if you have several hours and are trying to come up with a good idea for a delicious treat, you should go here and make these right now.