Meat. And lots of it.
Now, as an unabashed carnivore, this is just in my nature. But I've been asked by some loyal readers to branch out and try making something a little more vegetarian friendly.
However, I am a firm believer that every proper meal should contain complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein, the latter of which is hard to find in vegetarian cuisine. Essentially, I needed a meat substitute. Tofu wasn't going to cut it. My solution?
Chick Peas (AKA Garbonzo Beans - that's some good re-branding) are a protein- and fibre- rich legume used in foods across the planet, especially in predominantly vegetarian cultures. I discovered their goodness when I first tasted hummus, the versatile dip/spread made from chick peas and ground sesame paste. Now seems like a good time to try them a new way.
Plus, they're cheap as dirt, which is nice.
So instead of my normal pasta sauce, which is normally about 50% ground beef, I swapped in some chick peas. I hoped their mushy texture would make a a thick, hummus-y sauce. Full disclosure: I was inspired a bit by this recipe, but I also diverted from it a lot. Mine turned out better, anyways.
- 1 Can of Chick Peas
- A handful of spinach
- 1 Onion, chopped
- Tomatoes (1-2 fresh ones if you have them, but I only had canned.)
- Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic to suit your tastes.
After doing a little research, I found most people suggested cooking chick peas using a pressure cooker. I do not own a pressure cooker. However, I didn't let that stop me. Knowing that pressure is simply the amount of force per unit of area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of said area, I concluded that a pan with a lid was probably pretty damn close.
Cook the strained and rinsed chick peas, in about 2 cups of water, for 30 minutes on medium.
|First sighting of anything green on Bachelor Chow.|
Add the onions and spinach (and any other veggies you want), put the lid back on and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes. Add water if needed - I had to.
|Damn, that's a sexy thumb.|
When the chick peas are easily smushed with the back of a spoon, they are ready. Turn down the heat to a simmer and mash the beans thoroughly, until they form a paste. Add salt, pepper and any other seasoning.
Add your tomato. I used about 1 cup of the canned, crushed tomatoes, but 2 fresh Roma tomatoes would've been ideal. Stir enthusiastically. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
Cook your favourite pasta (these are whole wheat bowties) throw a couple scoops of this stuff on, serve and enjoy. I garnished with a little feta cheese (sorry, vegans.)
The final result was delicious; a rich, savoury sauce that emulated the texture of bolognese while being just as satisfying to the stomach. I will definitely try this again.
Hope you enjoy. Please leave any comments or any meal suggestions you have below!