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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Bowl Full of Mush

We read Goodnight Moon to Elliot every night, and anyone familiar with it will recognize the term “bowl full if mush”. When I first read it, I thought it sounded weird and gross but the more I thought about it the more I realized how many delicious foods are basically just a bowl full of mush: grits, oatmeal, refried beans and rice, rice pudding, polenta, etc This isn’t really a recipe but it’s my favorite new convenience food and every time I eat it I think of Goodnight Moon. I thought I’d post it because it didn’t jump out at me that I could use this food this way but I’m finding it to be a very good option that I keep going back to.

After making this Polenta Lasagna I had a tube of the pre made polenta left over. It sat in my pantry for weeks until I was desperate for something quick and easy.

I had never really used this product before because polenta is so easy to make, why buy it pre made? But that lasagna lends its self to the stiff texture of the pre made stuff. And now I’m addicted to the convenience of it; especially not having to dirty a pot and wisk!

So here’s the gist of it. Just open up a tube of pre made polenta (it even comes in pre flavored varieties) and chop it up as small as you can (I do this directly in the bowl) add some non dairy milk, nuke it, mash with a potato masher, and season it however you like. My favorite combos are:

  • balsamic, Braggs, Vegan Parmesan
  • peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, cilantro, basil, mint, soy sauce, Siracha
  • honey, cardamom, vanilla

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts

I made this for both family Thanksgiving dinners and it was very well received. It’s high fat, but hey, it’s the holidays and I’m serving it to meat eaters so I wanted to make something impressive.

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts


Makes: 6 servings | Difficulty: Medium


  • 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice or wild rice mix
  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1/4 c walnut butter
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 T Sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Pepper to taste


1 onion, quarter ring slice 2 slices whole grain Bread, chopped 2-4 T Balsamic vinegar Directions:

Heat large pot over medium heat, add onions, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 50 minutes.

Caramelize onion for topping. Add bread cubes and balsamic. Stir until bread is evenly coated with balsamic. Use enough balsamic to coat bread but not make it soggy.

To make walnut butter just chop walnuts in a food processor or spice grinder until it turns into a paste.

Toast walnuts until almost burnt.

When rice is done, stir in cranberries, herbs, bread crumbs, walnut butter and walnuts. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste.

Put in 9×13 baking dish. Add topping and bake at 375 until topping is crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. You can broil for the last few minutes, just watch it closely. I usually end up burning it but the burnt pieces are people’s favorite part!


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Savory Tangy Quinoa

Savory Tangy Quinoa

Notes: If you don’t have saki you can use white wine, just use more. The measurements are pretty forgiving, just play around with it. The toddler loves this! I add mashed avocado to his. I’ll also add about a 1/4 cup of red lentils when I add the quinoa. This makes it thicker and easier for him to grab and shove into his mouth.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Makes: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


1/4 c balsamic vinegar

1-2 T Bragg’s liquid aminos

2 T dry saki Japanese rice wine

1 clove garlic, pressed Enough water to equal

2 cups of total liquid

1 cup quinoa (or any grain, brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, etc)

Directions: Use the liquid to cook the grain like you would with just water. For quinoa the ratio is 2 to 1 and takes 20-30 minutes.

Source: My Collection

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