With summer on the wane and fall around the corner, thoughts turn to hearty rib sticking foods that remind us of northern winter days when the snow swirls and the crisp cold air leaves its mark on the rosy cheeks of children and adults alike. But before we get to the time when we must buy all of our fruits and veggies in the cold, over wrapped packages and industrialized aisles of the supermarket, we have an opportunity to gather up the dwindling plant food offerings in our gardens and to visit farmers markets for the last baskets of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash and the like.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive a beauty-full bag of cherry tomatoes of various colors, shapes and sizes from my friends, Jimmy and Melanie who are veganic farmers. They were red, orange, yellow, sometimes stripe-y round and grape shaped morsels, some teeny tiny, some small and some quite large – a veritable cornucopia in a paper bag. As hard as we tried, we could not get them all eaten and I was worried about not being able to enjoy all of them in a timely fashion.
And, since it is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and since I am thinking about fall foods, I hit upon the idea of marrying the last of a summer crop with some year round food staples. And since I like to fool around in the kitchen, without being too worried about what must go with what in terms of flavor, consistency, feel and look, I came up with this rather fun and uncomplicated recipe that I think will appeal to all ages.
As I was testing it out, it occurred to me that it might be fun to share some fun factoids about some of the ingredients.
- Veggie Broth: If you are buying the tetra pack version for convenience, which is what I do, please remember that some versions contain a lot of sugar and salt, both of which we know are flavor enhancers, not health enhancers. Rowing your own boat in terms of adding in flavors as desired is, in my opinion, the way to go.
- Garlic: I love fresh garlic and always have some on hand. You can smash it, chop it, dice it, press it and it will always add bite and depth to whatever you are making. But one thing you can’t do is fry it at a high temp. It will burn, turn black and taste bitter in very short order. Make sure the heat is turned to medium low and continue stirring for no more than a minute to release that unique aroma.
- Olive Oil: There are conflicting views out there about whether or not olive oil is actually a heart healthy product, whether or not it is carcinogenic when cooked at a high heat and whether or not it (and other oils) become rancid when stored at room temp. So, I like to err on the side of caution in purchasing organic, cold pressed, unrefined olive oil. I add it if I so choose to dishes after they are cooked and store it in the fridge. Because olive oil contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, it remains liquid at room temp. Depending on the composition, it may become solid in the fridge. If I am not having a senior moment (LOL!), I take it out of the fridge to warm up and if I don’t remember in time,I put the bottle in a bowl of warm water.
- Pasta: There are lots of kinds, shapes and types of pasta out there from which to choose. If I am being honest, I will say that I like white wheat pasta the best. But since I try to stay away from too much white flour, I always use the whole wheat pasta unless a box of white sneaks its way into my cupboard via he who often does the groceries. For people who eat gluten free, I have tried corn and brown rice pasta, my favorite being the former.
- Basil: I have made the mistake of putting fresh basil in the fridge, which it does not like at all. It gets kinda wilt-y and slimy and does the same thing if I wash it before using. Truth be told I don’t wash fresh basil. I kinda blow on it and hope for the best. We are all still alive. LOL!
- 1 medium onion chopped/diced
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic peeled, smashed and chopped
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes chopped or left whole if quite small
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 tbsps olive oil optional
- to taste salt and pepper
- 2 cups chickpeas 540 ml/19 oz can or one cup of dried chickeas cooked
- 1.5 cups uncooked brown or other rice
- 3 cups veggie broth or water
- 375 grams dried pasta of your choice 375 grams equals 3/4 of a pound.
- Add onion and 1/2 cup vegetable broth to a large wok or skillet.
- Cook over medium heat for five to ten minutes, stirring often until the onions are translucent.
- Add veggie broth or water as needed to prevent onions from sticking.
- Add chopped garlic, stirring for one minute or so to prevent burning.
- Add cherry tomatoes and stirring often, cook over medium to low heat for 20-25 minutes until most of the tomatoes are cooked down and the liquid is absorbed.
- Add water or veggie broth if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add chopped basil and stir to incorporate.
- Drain and rinse beans if using canned.
- Add beans to vegetable base and stir to combine.
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil if desired and stir to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add mixture to cooked grain or pasta and adjust seasonings.
- Measure and place 1.5 cups rice in a fine mesh sieve.
- Rinse under the tap for one minute.
- Place rice in a medium saucepan.
- Add vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes without stirring.
- When all the liquid is absorbed, let sit covered for ten minutes and then fluff with a fork.
- Cook according to directions on package, choosing the al dente cooking time.
- Drain, but do not rinse.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
Pick simple recipes that do not have a lot of steps and ingredients.
There might be some flops and goodness knows I have had a few, but that, as they say, is life.
Ya’ win some, ya’ lose some, but you can never go wrong with honest to goodness, whole food plant based cuisine.
Compassionate consumption is always a win – for the animals, for the planet, for human health.
May all beings be happy and free.
|4 -6 servings||15 -20 minutes|
|30 -35 minutes|
Gotta love one pot meals and sides! This light tasting and delightful plant based dish marries the bountiful veggies and herbs of summer with the hearty staples of winter, making it a year round favorite.
If you cannot find cherry tomatoes, you may substitute with Roma or other tomatoes, being sure to dice first. If you use canned tomatoes, be sure to drain before using.
Change up the beans if you wish or perhaps use plant based sausage or both.
Fresh Basil gives the best flavor to this dish, but in a pinch, you can use dried. Start with one tbsp dried and adjust up as needed.
I freeze a lot of my dishes, but not sure if this one would work. Best to enjoy fresh. Reheating is a good option if making ahead of time.
Oils, salt and pepper are always optional.
Sprinkle with hemp seeds and parsley if desired.
2 thoughts on “Compassionate Consumption: Cherry Tomato and Chickpea Stir-fry”
I really enjoyed reading this article. As a fairly new vegan (April this year), I am always on the lookout for new recipes and this looks and sounds delicious. I am in the same boat as you with lots of cherry tomatoes that all seem to have ripened at once. Your friends Jimmy and Melanie Videle, the veganic farmers sound like good friends and I am sure they will always have plenty to share with you. I also grow organic veganic fruit and vegetables on an allotment I rent. I always have plenty to share with everyone, including the local wildlife!!
This recipe is perfect for me as it is quite easy and you don’t need a lot of ingredients. I have a few vegan cookbooks but the recipes are quite complicated and I find that I end up buying ingredients for them that are quite expensive that I will only use once, then I find them in the kitchen cupboard at a later date and they are past their sell by date. Very often there is no need for all these expensive ingredients, in my view. As you say some fresh garlic and basil, salt and pepper usually suffice. The only limit to our creations are our imaginations. Like you Anne I like to play around with different ingredients and quantities too and this to me is half the fun of cooking.
I will print this recipe off and keep it in a safe place. I plan to cook this one night this week with the big pile of tomatoes I have. It’s just what I needed to use them all up. I will post a pic for you on face book when I have made it.
I also think its a really good idea having printable recipes on your website. They are easier to find then, rather than searching through your website for something I remember seeing but can’t always immediately find. I love baking too and find this a challenge at the moment. I have egg replacer but it is quite expensive and I prefer your method of 1 tablespoon of flaxseed to 3 of water. I read this in one of your articles and find this just as effective!
Thanks Anne! for another great article
Beans and rice and some fresh veggies are wonderful and inexpensive staples to have on hand for vegans and non alike. These ingredients certainly can contribute to a quick and nutritious meal for people who do not have a lot of time to cook.
I look forward to seeing a pic of your dish and hope you enjoy the taste.
Glad that you enjoyed the article.