Chickpeas Rice and Gravy

When we were growing up, we would take these excruciatingly long road trips from Houston to south Louisiana to see my Mom’s family. As a reward for enduring my brother’s proud farts the whole way there, my Mawmaw and Pawpaw would cook each of our favorite meals. Mine was always Chicken Rice and Gravy which was my simplistic name for Chicken Stew. It’s a roux and cajun trinity based stew with dark meat chicken (skin on!). I would also request this meal for most birthdays. My brother, who has mastered many of the family’s cajun specialities (despite his atmospheric assaults), will make it for me as my Christmas present. And it’s a fact-based family joke that whenever my mom makes it, I sneak into an empty room to have some alone time with my Chicken Rice and Gravy.
This weekend, I woke up with a craving for biscuits and gravy but didn’t want it bad enough to go out for a cheat, so we made the Happy Herbivore version. While the biscuits need a lot of research and development, the gravy was awesome! We found ourselves making mashed potatoes that night just so we could eat more gravy. It reminded me of chicken stew so much that it spawned an idea – Chicken-pea Stew. I adapted the gravy recipe to work with a trinity, thinned it out, and added chickpeas.
As I right this, the Cheatgans are texting me to say how good it is (even my Dad!).
This recipe makes a ton. I suggest cutting it by at least half if it’s only for a couple people.


Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins | Makes: 15 | Difficulty: Medium


  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1.5 c nutritional yeast
  • 10 c vegetable stock
  • 3/4 c soy sauce
  • 6 cups total of equal parts onion, green bell pepper, and celery (our HEB sells a pre-chopped mix of cajun seasonings that we use)
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c minced parsley
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • Liberal amount of black pepper
  • Cooked brown rice


Get the onions, bell pepper, and celery going in a pot over medium heat until they are soft. Keeping it covered with help prevent burning.

While that’s happening, gather the rest of the ingredients and measure them out. You’ll need it ready because you won’t be able to do much else for a while.

Add the flour and nutritional yeast to a big pot. Put it on medium low heat and stir almost constantly until it’s a light peanut butter color (it will burn very easily). This seems to take forever but it’s probably about 20-25 minutes, depending on how high the heat is. I like to use a whisk for this part.

Add all the other ingredients, bring to a simmer, turn it down and cook about 20 minutes.

Serve over brown rice.

Source: My Brain

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This dish was inspired by my parent’s love of the Amy’s frozen black bean enchiladas dinner.

It’s kinda of a complicated recipe so make it for a special occasion. I’ve also come up with an easy version of this that I’ll post after a little more research and development.

The trick to this recipe is the sauce. You can make your own but then it would really get involved and dirty a lot of dishes. I was able to find an oil free sauce at Central Market and we ordered a case of it from Amazon.


Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 25 minute(s) | Makes: Number of servings:4


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 ounces patty pan, zucchini, or yellow summer squash, diced (about 2 medium squash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or mild chili powder)
  • 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Amy’s Refried Beans
  • Happy Herbivore Nacho Cheese sauce
  • Casa Corona Red Enchilada Sauce (or 10 ounces homemade sauce)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • chopped green onions, for serving


1. Saute the onion in a medium-sized saucepan until it begins to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bell pepper and squash and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until squash is just beginning to become tender. Add the cumin, chile powders, black beans, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray one large rectangular baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes with olive oil. Place a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each dish, reserving most of it to go on top. Microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to soften them. Place a tortilla in front of you coat with refried beans and arrange about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and drizzle with nacho cheese sauce.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and cilantro to serve.

Nutritional Info:

Yield: 8 enchiladas

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This was so freaking good! Plus it was easy and uses ingredients I usually have. It’s basically a bean and corn tortilla casserole topped with pickled onions and toasted walnuts. Next time, I’m making two and freezing one. This would also be great to bring to a pot luck because it travels well and can be eaten at room temperature. Keep in mind, you’ll have plenty of beans left over for dipping, mixing with rice, making tostadas, or just licking off your finger!



Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1lb dried black beans (pinto beans would probably be great too)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 jar (about 2 cups?) favorite salsa or picante sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/4-1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • Cilantro
  • 1/2 c red wine Vinegar
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 t Sugar


Pick through and rinse beans. Chop one onion. Add beans, onion, and salsa to pot. Cover with at least one and a half inches of water. Bring to boil and simmer covered for about 90 minutes or until done.

Mix vinegar, salt and sugar. Slice onion into thin quarter rings and put in zip lock bag. Pour vinegar over onions, mix well, remove air and let sit while beans are cooking.

When beans are done, scoop out as much liquid as possible and use immersion blender until smooth, adding back liquid as needed to blend. Final consistency should be thinner than refried beans but thicker than soup. Taste for seasoning, maybe add some cumin or chili powder.

Add layer of beans to 9×13 baking dish. Dip both sides of corn tortillas into beans and fold into quarters (this is messy, use tongs). Place folded tortillas in dish as one layer or overlapping a little. Add a little more beans (you’ll have a lot of beans left over).

Top with nuts and some of the onions (you’ll have a lot of onions left over). Broil in oven until nuts are toasted. About 3-7 minutes, keep an eye on it. Serve topped with chopped cilantro. Or take it over the top with a drizzle of Green Goddess dressing.


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Moroccan Chickpeas

Moroccan Chickpeas

Notes: These are fantastic. I think I have made them every week for a month. The kiddo REALLY loves them. This makes a lot of food. If you get sick of eating it, try a squeeze of fresh lemon to change up the flavor.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 4 hrs 30 mins | Makes: Serves 10 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients: 2 small onions, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb dried chickpeas Handful raisins Handful dried apricots 1 T ground turmeric 2 t ground cinnamon 1 T ground cumin .5 t cayenne pepper .5 t smoked sweet paprika honey to taste Salt to taste

Directions: Add everything to a slow cooker, cover with water, cook on high for 4 hours or until beans are done. Salt to taste. Serve with or without a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


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Dad’s Ranch Pinto Beans

Dad’s Ranch Pinto Beans

Notes: This is Dad’s recipe for the beans he always makes when he’s at the ranch. We made them this week and they taste just as good in the big city 😉

★★★★★ Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs | Makes: 10? Servings | Difficulty: Easy

1lb pinto beans
5-6 small onions (can’t have too many onions), diced
1 jar Pace picante sauce
4-5 gloves garlic, rough chop (optional)
Liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Before going out to hunt in the morning, put everything in a big pot with a ton of water (we like them soupy), bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let em cook. A couple hours later, they’re done. Add a little liquid smoke if desired. Season to taste. Serve alone or with rice and avocado.

Source: Dad

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Christy’s Lentils and Greens

Christy’s Lentils and Greens ★★★★★ Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Makes: 3 | Difficulty: Easy


1 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic

1.5 t fennel seeds

1.5 t yellow mustard seeds

1 cup red lentils

2 cups water

1 bunch greens (Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, etc)

Directions: Soften onion and garlic. Add spices and heat for a minute. Add rinsed lentils and water. Boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes. Add greens to the top of the lentil when there’s about 10 minutes left. Don’t stir them in yet just let them steam on top. When lentils are done, stir in greens and salt to taste.

Notes: This is very similar to my lentil soup.

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Banana Black Beans

Notes: This sounds weird but it tastes great and is very fast. And it uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. It’s my favorite way to eat beans and rice!

Bannana Black Beans ★★★★★ Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Makes: 2-4 servings | Difficulty: Easy


1 small onion

2 cups cooked black beans (if using canned, rinse well)

1/2 cup coconut milk (light can be used)

1/4 cup plain nondairy milk (I use almond)

2 stalks green onion, diced

2 heaping teaspoons chili powder

1 large banana, chopped into

1/2″ half moon pieces Avocado (optional)

Salsa (optional)

Directions: Cook onion until soft. Add cooked black beans, coconut milk and nondairy milk and heat on medium-low for about 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add chopped green onion and chili powder, and allow the liquid to reduce and become bubbly, still stirring occasionally. Add chopped banana, stir, and allow to heat through. (banana shouldn’t be added too early or else the pieces lose their shape and become mushy). Add more milk(s), if needed. Served on a bed of brown rice and top with avocado and salsa.


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Balsamic Beans

Balsamic Beans ★★★★ Prep Time: 0 hr 0 min | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 1 serving | Difficulty: Easy


1 lb dry beans soaked over night

2 ribs Celery diced small

3 green onions halved and sliced

2 T Tomato paste

1 T dried marjoram

1.5 T yellow mustard seeds

1 head plus 2 cloves Garlic

1 15 oz diced Canned san Marzano tomatoes

.5 c Dried shitaki mushrooms

1 c red Wine

1/3 c balsamic vinegar

3 bay leaves

Directions: I used the ingredients I had on hand so feel free to change it up. For instance a traditional mirepoix would probably work better.

Roast garlic in oven in foil for about 45 mins at 425 degrees.

Sauté celery, 2 cloves chopped garlic and green onion with tomato paste and herbs. Add beans, water, tomato, balsamic, wine, roasted garlic, bay leaves and mushrooms. Boil and simmer until beans are done (depends on type of bean).

Tip: when adding the roasted garlic whisk it in a bowl with some cooking liquid until most of it is dissolved then pour into the pot. Season to taste. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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E2 Meatloaf

E2 Meatloaf ★★★★★ Prep Time: 20 m | Cook Time: 60 m | Makes: 4


2 stalks celery or kale stems, chopped

½ onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup walnuts, finely ground or 1/4 c vegan Parmesan

1.5 c cooked brown lentils

1¼ cups quick-cooking oats

10-12 oz firm silken tofu

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup (additional for topping)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons dried parsley

½ teaspoon each thyme, sage, and rosemary

Ketchup to taste

Balsamic Vingar to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a loaf pan.

Saute the celery, onion, and garlic on high heat in a sprayed skillet for 5 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and cool.

Mash the tofu in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked mixture and remaining ingredients, and just combine. Spoon the mixture into a loaf pan or form into meatballs. Top with a layer of ketchup and balsamic vinegar mixed together.

Bake for 55-60 minutes (about 25 mins for meatballs), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Number of Servings: 4

Notes: Don’t overwork the mixture or it will become gummy. Mix it as little as possible.