Tag Archives: bell pepper

Chickpea Taco Calzones

20 Sep

Oh hey I’m back again!  Really, I am so bad at this blogging thing.  I make food, I take pictures, I plan on writing a blog post.  Then I’m unhappy with the pictures and I decide not to write anything.

But hey, I’ve been making some delicious food.

I was at an antique shop with the boy and I came across a big bookcase full of cookbooks.  Most of them were vegetarian or vegan!  I decided to pick up The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas.  Flipping through the book on the drive back home, I realized I wanted to cook every single thing in there.  So, I’m starting from the beginning!

I made my first recipe from it  yesterday, but I’m going to back up a bit because I made some delicious food the other weekend and I want to tell you about it.

Lately I’ve become a fan of Healthy Food For Living and last weekend I came upon the post for Taco Calzones with Avocado Cream.  I showed it to the boy and we were both making our hungry noises, so I decided they should be made.  But without meat!  So I proposed we make them with my favorite taco filling: chickpeas.

Since I changed this recipe around a little bit, I figured I would share it!

Chickpea Taco Calzones

makes 4 calzones

1 lb. prepared pizza dough (I bought Wegmans whole wheat pizza dough, which is surprisingly delicious for a pre-made dough!)

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 can drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

taco seasoning to taste (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle Salsa)

2oz. reduced fat cheddar or monterey jack, shredded (I used Organic Valley Reduced Fat Monterey Jack)

1) Preheat oven to 450F, place a pizza stone on the middle rack.

2) Divide your dough into four equal portions, and roll them out into circles about 1/4″ thick.  Set them aside while you prepare the filling.

3) Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, add the  onion and cook until translucent.  Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through.  Mash the chickpea and onion mixture coarsely, leaving some big chunks of chickpea.  Add in the green pepper, garlic, and taco seasoning.  Continue to cook and stir until mixed thoroughly.  If the mixture is sticking to your frying pan, deglaze with a little bit of water.

4) Stir in the salsa, remove from heat.

5) Divide the chickpea mixture among each dough circle, placing it on one half of the dough and leaving a 1/2″ border to close the calzone.  Top the mixture with some shredded cheese.

6)  Fold the other half of the dough over to close the calzone, and pinch them shut.  Pierce the tops of the calzones with a fork to allow steam to escape.

7) Place the calzones onto the preheated pizza stone with a spatula or peel.  Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the calzones are browned on top and puffy.

Thanks so much to Healthy Food For Living for the great recipe and inspiration!  Please do check out the original post, it contains directions for freezing and reheating (which I didn’t try as it didn’t take us long to feast through these babies).

We ate it with the avocado cream (also included in the original post linked above!) and additional Trader Joe’s salsa.

I’ll be back soon with the results of my first recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 adventure.  Also, I’ll introduce you to the boy that’s been eating all this food with me!

– Ellen

Habanero and TVP Chili

3 May

It’s food Friday! (By the time you read this, though, it’ll probably be Saturday because I don’t want to post twice in one day). Food Friday is growing like an alien life form a small child has hidden under his bed and is feeding leftovers until one day those leftovers are not enough and it eats his parents and then the military is dispatched. Because it’s been chilly for the last week, we made chili to warm our bones.

Man. I just love cooking for people and having them eat it and like it. I volunteered to be one of three people making a pot of chili, even though I’ve only made chili a couple of times. But here’s a secret – chili is easy to make. At least I think so. So I just looked at some recipes and brainstormed some ingredients and this is what I ended up with.

I made it last night, but had a dilemma of how to keep it warm when I bring it in. So I brought it in to work in a slow-cooker. But I didn’t have anywhere to plug it in, so I just put it underneath my desk. That’s the slow-cooker hiding behind the cardboard box. I hid it so that I wouldn’t get yelled at for, like, a fire hazard or something.

One of the guys I work with just came up and asked me for the recipe. He has some nieces who are veggie and he said it’s hard to find “robust” vegetarian chili. He said he had three helpings and it’s a nice pleasant burn. I’m so happy!

Oh hey this is what it looks like.

Ingredients!

2 tablespoons vegetable oil of your preference

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 habanero peppers, diced (use gloves if you’ve never cooked with habaneros before)

2 28 oz. cans of tomatoes – I use one can crushed and one can whole but you could do whatever

2 15 oz. cans of appropriate chili beans – if you like beans a lot throw in another can

1 cup TVP (this measure could be off because I just dumped a bunch in by eyeball – it might have been closer to 2)

1/2 a small bottle of Dos Equis

cumin!

Directions!

Like I said, this is chili. It’s easy. Put the oil in the bottom of a big kettle. Saute the bell pepper and onion until it’s nice and soft. Now just dump in everything else. Yeah! Dump it!

So, I dump the beans in water and all but some people think that’s a bad idea. If you agree, rinse the beans off and and add, like, two cups of water.

Add cumin to taste! Then let it cook for a long time. Like, until the TVP gets soft, but since this is chili if you just put it in a slow cooker and leave it alone it’ll be good.

It turned out a tiny bit watery. I think more beans and more TVP could easily be added if you like a thicker chili, but I like a little bit of “broth” in mine. The three habaneros gave it a nice heat that wasn’t brutal. This is definitely a recipe I’ll make again in the future, and I’m super-proud I came up with it pretty much on my own.

-Bret

Banana Chickpea Curry

14 Apr

So for our first post I thought I would write about a recipe we made together and I think we talked about making a food blog while we were doing that. So yeah this is totally appropriate as a first post. I really wanted to cook something with bananas and so we searched the internet.

You know what there’s a lot of? Banana desserts. Know what there’s not a lot of? Banana entrees.

So we thought real hard and decided that bananas would be awesome in a curry. Other people thought that was a good idea too but their recipes were all too complicated. We came up with some ingredients to use and away we went. It was good!

Banana Chickpea Curry!

Ingredients!

2 tablespoons canola oil or some other oil for sauteing

3 shallots, chopped or diced or something

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 stalk lemon grass, chopped

2 bananas, unripened and sliced

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas

1 however-many oz. can of coconut milk

2 tablespoons curry paste (we used red but that’s because it’s all we had – green might be better)

Directions!

This is how Ellen did it. I watched. And waited…

So heat the oil in a big pan or skillet. Let it heat up good and then drop in your shallots, bell pepper, and lemon grass. Let it sizzle and smell good until it turns soft and your shallots are translucentish.

Now you should add in the chickpeas and the bananas. Let them heat up and brown up. I don’t know if our bananas actually browned, but they should have. Okay, forget the browning.

Now dump in the coconut milk and the curry paste. Stir it up until it changes into a color. Let it bubble for awhile. Make sure your vegetables are soft. Poke them!

Okay, I think it’s done. You should serve it over rice or maybe some noodles. Eat! Not bad for people who have no idea how to make curry, right?

Bret’s Notes!

So here’s what I would do differently if I was doing it again: I would have put the chickpeas in at the very beginning so they would have browned. I also would have put in the whole stalk of lemon grass and maybe I would have put it in with the coconut milk. Maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like the flavor of the lemon grass would saturate the curry better that way.

Two additions I would make are some Thai basil. It was super-good, but it lacked something. I think that something was Thai basil. Ellen thinks I’m wrong. I think her butt is wrong. Ooh. I would also add a Thai chili pepper or two because I like spicy things. If you don’t like spicy things don’t do that. Eat something safe instead like bread. Or porridge.

Also: I like cooking with Ellen!

Ellen’s Notes!

I did some lemongrass research.  To bring the flavor out more, I think we should have sliced it and then mooshed it in a food processor for a couple of seconds.  And then it could be added to the coconut milk!  Something about bruising the stalks brings out more of the lemony flavor, or so’s the word on the streets.  There’s a stalk and a half of lemongrass left.  I will try it and report back!

Bret might not be wrong about the Thai basil.  I do, however, dig on cilantro quite a bit and it would probably be quite tasty either added at the last minute or used as a garnish.  I am right there with him on the Thai chili peppers.  The cayenne added enough heat, but the peppers would add heat and tastiness.

I am fairly sure that Bret and I are awesome.  For only having a vague idea of what makes a curry, the result was curry-ish enough to fool me into thinking we knew what we were doing.

I like cooking with Bret too!