I love making foods from scratch. It gives me great satisfaction! Let’s start with the chickpeas…..
Yes, you can buy them in a can. But you have to try cooking them in a crockpot at least once, just so you’ll know how fresh and tasty they are when you cook them this way. And freezing them is easy. After they’re cooked and they come to room temperature, throw those suckers in a freezer ziplock bag, lay them on a flat surface in your freezer and you’re good to go. And they defrost really fast, either in the microwave or by leaving them at room temperature for awhile.
1 lb. dried chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and picked over to remove dirt or debris
6 cups water (can use stock)
Place the chickpeas and water in the insert of your crockpot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender when cut or mashed. Add salt and pepper as and/or if desired. Most of the time, I wait to add the salt and pepper until I’m using the chickpeas.
Can you even believe how easy that is? Try it. You’ll surprise yourself.
For the last year or so, I’ve been experimenting with Scrambled Tofu – and loving it! But I’m always yearning for something else to eat with it. I’m guessing it stems from the days when I routinely ate bacon with my eggs. This tempeh sausage is perfect as a sidekick to the Scrambled Tofu. I adapted it from Beverly Lynn Bennet’s veganchef website. If you haven’t visited it, please do so. It is a wonderful resource!
Italian Tempeh Sausage
adapted from www.veganchef.com
1 8 oz. package of tempeh, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup chickpea flour (I’m guessing you could use any gluten free flour)
1/4 cup wheat-free tamari (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
1/8 cup olive oil
safflower oil for sauteing
Place the cupes of tempeh in a steamer basket and steam for 15 minutes. Set aside. When cool, place tempeh in food processor and whir until the cubes have mushed together (oy, if I ever want to write a cookbook, I’m going to have to think of a more eloquent way to say that!). Add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, fennel seeds, thyme, pepper flakes, black pepper, chickpea flour, tamari and olive oil to the tempeh and whir until combined and paste-like. Remove mixture from food processor bowl and form into sausage shapes. I make them into long snakes – this recipe makes about 11 snakes that are about 5 inches long (give or take). You could also make them into patties. Place on tray and chill for one hour (or in freezer for 1/2 hour). Lightly grease a non-stick skillet with a little safflower oil. Cook the tempeh until well-browned on all sides. Add more oil as needed to the pan when sauteing.
These freeze beautifully. Simply reheat in oven, microwave, or in saute pan.
If you make either the chickpeas or the sausage, please come back and let me know how you fared!