Posts tagged with chickpeas


Meaty Fusion Chili












Chili rules when you’ve gotta feed a crowd. This past weekend, we had a bunch of buds over prior to a charity wine tasting; I whipped this up because it’s  smart to lay down a good food foundation before the vino starting flowing! It ended up being one of many yummy dishes on the docket, because I’ve got some pals that are mega-talented in the kitchen, especially Miz Kathy of Eat Halifax. Girl brought over a squash risotto that had everyone going for seconds, and thirds!

I’m just realizing now, this post is the first of me coming out of the closet, officially. The carnivore closet, that is. I’m back on the meat, folks. After three years of vege/pescetarianism, I’ve decided to bring some sustainably raised beef, pork and fowl back into the mix! Honestly? I’m loving it. I still find my meals at home revolving around fish, tofu, or legumes; the biggest change has been that I’m no longer that dinner guest who’s constantly reassuring the host that greens and spuds will hit the spot. Don’t get me wrong, as a P-E-Islander I love me some potatoes. However, many a time I’d feel bad that the host would feel bad about me just eating potatoes, y’know? So that’s over with. Sometime soon I’ll put a little post up showcasing some of the farmers who raise some damn fine animals in an ethical, sustainable way in my neck of the woods. For now, we’re going back to this chili.

I posted a recipe a while back to Sweet with Heat Veggie Chili. It is super tasty and easy as pie to whip up. This one, however, really is sweeter, and hotter, and contains a shameless quantity of meat. And not one types of meat, but two. Pig and cow. There’s also beans thrown in there too, lots of ‘em, because I do love the creaminess of beans in a chili.













This recipe is based loosely on one from, I’ve buggered around with it so much I think it’s safe to say it’s pretty close to my own. It got loads of compliments from my guests on Saturday night and is enough to feed a crowd of about 12. We buddied it up with some tasty little cornbread muffins and it was a straight up, house-party, tex-mex good time. Enjoy!

Meaty Fusion Chili


  • 2 lbs hot sausage, casings removed
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine OR dark beer
  • 2 large cans (29 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup wershersher sauce (aka worchestershire)
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce (like Tobasco)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup molasses (honey would be okay too)
  • 1 large can kidney beans
  • 2 large cans chickpeas

Place sausage and ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove meat from pan, and set aside. In a large pot, Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of the meat drippings over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onions are soft and translucent. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in tomato paste, and allow to caramelize. Pour in wine (or beer) to deglaze the pot, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom.

Stir in cooked meat, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Season with cumin. Bring to a boil, then stir in molasses. Carefully mix in kidney beans and chickpeas without breaking them. Cover, and simmer for 3 hours. Stir and scrape the bottom every hour or so.

This will keep in the fridge really well for 3 or so days. Makes great leftovers!


Ever have those days when going to the grocery store sounds about as enticing as a root canal? They’re few and far between for me, but it happens. This Sunday I was feeling super sluggish and spend most of the day being at one with my sectional, where I spent a shameful amount of time watching the Kardashian sisters carry on like a herd of feral donkeys, while simultaneously Pinterest-ing. Please don’t judge me.

The grocery store was just not happening, but I know that during the week, I do a million times better in the healthy-eating-on-the-run department when I have some quick lunches prepped. I dug around in my pantry a bit and realized that I had some tomato paste, and a can of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, corn….hmmmmmm. I don’t know that I had made chili at all this winter. Badda bing, badda boom, crisis averted; it was chili time.

I usually use kidney beans in my chilies, but the only prepared legumes I had were chickpeas. They worked wonderfully. That’s the great thing about chili, as long as you know the general proportions of liquid to veggies to spice, it’s pretty much always guaranteed to be a good time. For the first time ever I added some molasses to the pot, which really brought the whole thing together. I love the slight sweet, caramel touch it gave, with a nice tingle left behind by the chili flakes. I have two bags of red spice in my cupboard and no idea which one is chili powder and which one is cayenne, so I didn’t touch either of them.

I was impressed with myself on this one, not gonna lie. So the moral of this story is, that sometimes being an unproductive POS on a Sunday afternoon can result in delicious, healthy lunches for the whole week. Huzzah!


Sweet with Heat Veggie Chili

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 handfuls sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 can (2 cups) cooked chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup sliced roasted red peppers
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (one big can)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes (for a mild-medium chili, add more if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat in a large pot until fragrant, add onion and cumin, sautee until a little soft. Add in chopped mushrooms, corn, roasted red peppers, mix thoroughly, then add rest of ingredients. Let it all simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or so. Serve with sliced avocado, or store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freezes well, too!


It’s coming up on three years since I decided to give meat the boot from my diet, and aside from that one drunken encounter with chicken fingers, I’ve been meat free since the spring of 2009. Top three questions I hear all the time:

Q. Why did you stop eating meat?

A. At first I did it just to try, I had just come back from a few months of backpacking in Europe and wanted to lose a few pints of Guinness off my backside. I found right away that contrary to popular belief, cooking and eating out vegetarian is usually mega-flavourful.

Q. How do you get your protein? Aren’t you hungry all the time?

A. I get a ton of protein in my daily diet. I have 3 egg whites with breakfast every morning, greek yogurt and nuts to snack on throughout the day, and my  lunch and suppers always revolve around a protein source like beans, quinoa, whole eggs, tofu, tempeh, and sometimes a nice fresh piece of Nova Scotian seafood (I know, this technically makes me a pescetarian, but that’s a huge pain in the ass to explain to people!). I eat a lot, and I eat often. But that’s because I’m active, not because I don’t eat critters.

Q. So, what do you eat when you go out to restaurants, salad?

A. No, I am not a big salad person. Often restaurants salads don’t have a protein source so they don’t fill ma belleh. I’ll get fish if they don’t have a great veggie option. Lucky for me, there are lots of restaurants in Halifax that have vegetarian dishes that make my omnivorous dinner mates jealous!

For the above reason, I didn’t want to slap the ‘salad’ name on this dish. It’s super flavourful, fresh, and filling! The chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre, and the sweet of the mango and salty of the feta will make your tongue do a happy dance.

This makes a super lunch, it takes no time to whip up and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. It’s actually best made and let to sit in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavours meld together. I just had a brainstorm…this would be an awesome potluck dish too! Just up the proportions and be everyone’s favourite. FTW.

Chickpea Mango Lunch Bowl

Yield: 2


  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (cilantro would be yummy, too)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tbsp light oil (I used extra virgin olive)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients except for oil, lime juice, and s&p to a mixing bowl. Combine until all mixed together. In a small bowl, whisk oil and lime juice, and pour over chickpea mango mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste!

This tastes best if left to hang out in the fridge for a couple hours, but really is fantastic right away, too.



I spent last Tuesday evening cozied up at Two If By Sea cafe in Dartmouth, just after it had turned off its fancy-schmancy coffee machines and welcomed some local foodie guests in for a Feisty Chef cooking class.

The Feisty Chef, aka Renée Lavallée, is a local chef, blogger, mom, and self-proclaimed cheese-junkie who hosts cooking series for home chef-wannabes of all experience levels. I was stoked to hear that she was planning a class focusing on meat-free meals as part of a January cleanse that she, and many others (based on the class’ fantastic attendance) are doing to get the holiday gunk out.

The food and company was great – Renée whipped up some awesome eats, including a soba noodle and veg dish with a decadent peanut sauce, a lovely lentil soup, and a crazy delicious warm salad using pretty humble ingredients (potato and cauliflower!) dressed with a tahini sauce — it was anything but traditional. All three dishes were awesome! And got me to thinking…

My last few batches of soup have been good; none of them I’ve been crazy enough about to post though. I always puree my soups, thinking that I like them better that way. But I was definitely inspired by Renée’s lentil sweet potato soup to mix things up a bit,  and get my chunky soup on.

I came across this recipe on Naturally Ella, and knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I tinkered around with it a bit, and the resulting dish was awesome! If you’re someone who hasn’t delved into using quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) yet, what are you waiting for? Thankfully, it’s slowly starting to lose its reputation as a trendy/novelty/hippie food, and is a staple on my grocery list. It’s majorly good for you, and is just as easy (if not more so) to whip up as rice on the stove.

The true testament to this dish’s mega-tastiness –> carnivorous BF loved it and went back for seconds. No ‘his’ and ‘hers’ meals from now on when this is on the menu!

Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew with Quinoa

4 Servings

Adapted from: Naturally Ella

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 29 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk* (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas
  • Salt, to taste
*Use 1 cup of broth if you don’t have milk or would prefer a non-creamy stew.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan on the stove. Add quinoa, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender and fluffy. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium. Add in onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in the garlic and spices, cooking for another minute or two. Next, stir in the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable broth, milk (if using) and chickpeas. If you are using canned, be sure to drain and rinse the beans. Let stew cook down for 20 minutes.

Finally, roughly chop spinach and stir into the stew. Continue to cook until spinach has slightly wilted, about another 1-2 minutes.

Serve in bowls with stew over the quinoa. Keep any extra sealed up in the fridge. Great leftovers!