I’m not one for a bandwagon.
Especially a food one. That said, anything that makes new ideas and ingredients easier to come by is alright by me. Like the current trend for all things vegetarian and vegan, which it would seem, are this seasons new colours.
I’ve long liked vegetarian food. It’s chance to feel a bit healthier, spend a bit less and most excitingly, it’s chance to be more creative in the kitchen. I’ve always enjoyed having non meat eaters over for dinner and have grabbed the opportunity to push the boat out, setting sail far away from the land of the ubiquitous mushroom risotto.
There are veggie food ideas aplenty to get lost in right now, so stock up on a couple of interesting titles I have. Like the Thug Kitchen book and the Anna Jones book. Both full of interesting recipes and even more food for creative thought. Well worth a butchers (snarf) if you’re in the market for some veggie and vegan inspiration.
This recipe is inspired by the recipe for the carrot vinaigrette in the Thug Kitchen book. Which is one of those wonderful ones that lit a fuse in my head and went on to spark ideas for meals galore, including this little lunch of creamy carrots and spiced chickpeas on toast. Add a runny poached egg and ramp up the protein. Omit the goats yogurt and swap it for the coconut stuff and you’ve got yourself a vegan dish. Either way, it’s a style that’s sure to suit, whatever the season.
For the creamy carrot purée
- 3 large carrots, peeled and top and tailed
- A glug of olive oil for cooking
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- A scrunch of sea salt
- A generous grind of black pepper
- 40ml cider vinegar
- 60ml cold water
- Juice of half an orange or lemon
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the chickpeas
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried between some paper towels
- A couple of tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- A scrunch of sea salt
- Bread for toasting
- Goats yogurt
- Baby spinach
- Extra virgin
- A squeeze of fresh lemon
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Roughly chop the carrots in to large chunks and drizzle with oil, bake for about 35 to 45 minutes until softened and the outsides are colouring up. In the last 15 minutes of cooking scatter over the salt and cumin seeds and continue to bake. Remove from the oven.
- While that’s cooling for 5 minutes, place the chick peas on a lightly oiled baking sheet and scatter with the seasonings and roll around so they’re all covered, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, giving them a shake once during cooking.
- While they’re cooking, put the carrots into a food processor or even better, something like a Nutribullet. Add all the other ingredients and blend until super smooth, this may take a couple of minutes as the mixture will be quite thick. Set aside with a lid on.
- When the chick peas are coming up to being ready, get your toasts cooking, then top them with a couple of big dollops of the carrot puree, followed by the fresh spinach, hot chick peas and finally the goats yogurt. Drizzle the whole lot with a little extra virgin and a squeeze of lemon and you’re good to go.