Sunday, January 21, 2007


One day last week I made a huge pot of chickpeas--it produced about 8 cups total of cooked chickpeas. I stored it in 2-cup portions, and I have been coming up with all sorts of ways I would like to use them. I want to make the falafel from VWaV... I found about ten soups in Nava Atlas' book that sound like they make excellent use of chickpeas... But with as busy as I am right now, I needed to find some quickie ways to use them.

First: hummus. I referred to Dreena's Creamy Hummus from Vive this time as a guide, but I don't really like olive oil so much in hummus so I left that out. I also cut back on the tahini a teensy bit. The hummus was very creamy and flavorful--I think the small dab of sesame oil really gave it a lot of flavor. We had it, as you can see, with cucumber and spinach and mushrooms and toasted pita wedges. This is one of my favorite lunches.

I found a recipe in Nava's Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons that looked fairly simple and, best of all, I had most of the ingredients on hand already. It was the Chickpea and Bulgur Stew, and with the cold and rainy weather we've had, I thought a nice hearty stew would be a good answer. It was! The flavor is very soft and mellow, and the bulgur makes the stew thick so it stays warm and feels warm going down. I loved the sautéed bell peppers that served as a garnish on top--by throwing them on just before serving, they retained that lovely, vibrant green and added a nice crunch to the stew. I toasted pita bread to go along with this, and it was a lovely companion. Plenty of leftovers remain, so I suspect we will be eating off of this for the rest of the week.

Desserts? Those have been simple too. Here I have some banana ice cream, which is just puréed frozen banana chunks with just enough soy milk to bring it to a soft serve consistency. In this particular variety I added some cinnamon and agave nectar, and just a few carob chips. Mmm.

This one was really easy too. With the help of my new espresso machine, I simply brewed a double shot of espresso and poured it over some So Delicious vanilla ice cream. I love the contrast of hot and cold, and I love the creaminess of the ice cream mixing with the boldness of the espresso.

I remembered reading recently on someone's blog (who was it???) about microwaving apples with spices and having a quick, delicious breakfast. Instead of using a whole, cored apple as this person did, I cut mine up into chunks. I tossed it first with a sprinkle of lemon juice, then with just a few dots of agave nectar, some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg, and a pinch of raisins. I microwaved it for about one minute, and when it came out the apples were soft but still somewhat firm, and all the juices together had made a nice little sauce on the bottom of the bowl. This was a great, easy little breakfast.

EDIT: The inspiring blogger was bazu! Check out her apples--who wouldn't be inspired by this?

I'm trying to study for the CPA exam on top of my classes this semester, and I'm finding that it's claiming most of my free time. I'll probably be cooking plenty of things that pretty much cook themselves (soups and stews), and I'll probably be cooking in big batches that we can have several meals from. And I may only be around once or twice a week sometimes... at least until I can get through this first section of material that I'm studying, since it's one of the biggest chunks. I hope in a few more weeks, maybe a month, I will be through it and ready to move on to something else that's not so time consuming. Wishing you all the best!


Megan the Vegan said...

great stuff you've got here today! I particularly love how fluffy that hummus is and how you mixed the espresso with the ice cream!

Webly said...

What liquid did you use in the hummus? I've used water to get really fluffy hummus before but it's always difficult to judge how much to use.
It all looks so great.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Your hummus and crudites lunch sounds delicious and looks so healthy! I think I just might make some banana ice cream tonight for dinner. Great idea with the espresso and So Delicious. That sounds absolutely delightful.

Good luck with your studying and classes!

bazu said...

Oooh yum. Your veggies/hummus platter looks just like how we might eat dinner around here. And your ice cream/espresso dessert is so sophisticated looking. Must try that soon (I'm sure I'll be making room in my life for caffeine again in not too long!) The microwaved apples might have been me- I just love apples in any way shape or form! Yours look like a great breakfast!

laura jesser said...

Webly, I used a combo of lemon juice and water in my hummus. I would guess that I used about 1/4 cup lemon juice, and then I added water by the tablespoon, processing each time, until I got the right consistency. All in all, I used... maybe 1/4 cup water? Maybe not quite that much.

Bazu, it WAS you! I remembered the photo, I just couldn't remember whose blog it was. I added a link to your post--your apples really looked totally delicious!

aTxVegn said...

I just bought a bag of chickpeas to cook, so I'm glad you did this post. I'll definitely try that soup, but probably with millet to be wheatfree. And that hummus does look super creamy!

I always chop up apples and microwave them. I usually sprinkle them with cinnamon and top them with just a little granola and rice milk. I'm trying to kick my "big bowl of cereal before bed" habit!

Celine said...

dreena's hummus is the best! i made it about a week ago, and have been loving it too. that soft serve banana ice cream you made looks absolutely delish! :D

Johanna3 said...

yum, looks delicioso!

fresh_start_now said...

yum--that hummus looks really delish! Also that banana ice cream--oh yum, I'll definitely have to try that sometime when I need a healthy-alternative dessert :)

Candi said...

The hummus looks so fluffy and good! I made some tonight, but it doesn't look nearly so good! :) Your favorite lunch dish of veggies and hummus looks so good! It'd be one of my favorites too!

The ice cream desserts you've made look so yummy. I love the banana one!! If I drank espresso, I'm sure I'd love the So Delicious one (MMMM!) I like the idea of the hot and cold together like that!

Good luck studying!!

raising_kahne said...

I think the soup looks great, as does everything! I love your banana ice cream, it lookes wonderful with the carob chips. This may be a dumb question,but what exactly is a 'shot' of espresso?? I love coffee, and Im not sure if Ive ever had espresso. It sure looks so frothy on top-the best part! yay for simple eats!

laura jesser said...

Savanna, that's not a dumb question! A "shot" is one ounce of espresso. Espresso is simply made from a different process than regular coffee--hot water is forced quickly through the coffee grounds so more of the flavor, caffeine, etc. in the coffee is extracted. So you end up with an extremely concentrated amount of very strong coffee! If you've ever had a cappuccino or anything like that, it was probably made with espresso and steamed milk.