Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meal Planning: Chickpeas & Dumplings

Lately, dinner time has meant either one of two things: we need to go to a restaurant/get some takeout or I need to find out what I have in the freezer or fridge that I can somehow magically turn into a meal as quickly as possible. Being the proud owner of quite a few vegan and vegetarian cookbooks (see Exhibit A below), I decided to take charge of this problem by making a meal plan for the week. So this Sunday I planned out my meals, went shopping for ingredients specifically for the meals. This plan will also help us save money by 1) not eating out during the week and 2) only buying things at the grocery store that are actually needed for meals (NO impulse buys allowed!).

So, here's Exhibit A, my collection of vegan & vegetarian cookbooks:

And here's my meal plan for the week:

I'm incorporating some new recipes from The Happy Herbivore cookbook By: Lindsay Nixon and one recipe from Vegan Comfort Foods from Around the World By: Veronica Grace a.k.a. Low Fat Vegan Chef.

Both of these cookbooks happen to be written by authors who believe in the whole foods, plant-based, no oil, no added sugar healthy mindset, which is an excellent way to continue the second week of my recently refocused weight loss journey. (I lost 3 lbs. last week!)

Monday night, I made the first recipe on my plan: Chickpeas & Dumplings.  I followed the directions to the best of my abilities, but I may have added a little too much of the spices. I didn't feel like mixing together HH's Poultry Seasoning Mix because then I would have some leftover. So instead I added a teaspoon of each spice from the Poultry Seasoning Mix. Now there are only 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon, which I didn't think about at the time, and the recipe only called for one tablespoon of the Poultry Seasoning Mix. Since there were 5 spices in the mix, that means I added two extra teaspoons of spices. It smelled very fragrant, but I will definitely use less spices next time I make it. I also added peas because for some reason, there were peas and carrots in the picture in the book, but there were none in the recipe or ingredients list.

Here's a picture from during the cooking process:

I've never had Chicken & Dumplings before, so I was a little off-put by the taste and texture of the dumplings. Maybe it's because of weird dumpling-taste or the extra spices, but this recipe was not a big hit at my house. My husband is also not a fan of chickpeas, and he told me there were "too many chickpeas".  I also wasn't entirely loving it because for some reason I was expecting the dumplings to taste more like cooked biscuits than chunks of unbaked dough. My final product turned out nothing like the picture in the book. Mine's a little goopy and brown and Happy Herbivore's picture had a whitish broth (plus the previously mentioned chunks of carrots).

I have liked every other Happy Herbivore recipe I've made before, so I will definitely be giving this recipe another try sometime in the future (with less spices) and maybe separate the mixture in half before I add the chickpeas (to appease the husband).


  1. Crap, I wrote a comment and it deleted it! Boo. Let's see if I can remember what I said...

    Dumplings can be a bit of a texture-shock if you're not prepared for it, they really do taste like little balls of uncooked dough! I don't know if i'm sold on the chickpea/dumpling combo, that sounds a bit strange - my Grandma used to make them all the time, usually with a big baked dinner, which gave you a lot of variety in texture. I'd think because chickpeas and dumplings can both be a bit flour-y/powdery it might end up tasting like a big bowl of mush?

    Congrats on your weight loss! That's so fantastic! And your meal plan looks awesome - that's something I really want to do (because i'm a terrible snacker), and i've been trying to get it happening since I moved, but my sister keeps cooking tasty vegan things and throwing me off my game ;)

    I nominated you for a Liebster award over on my blog ('' -sorry, couldn't work out how to add a link in!), but don't feel obligated to do it if you don't want to, I just love those kinds of things :)

  2. Aww, thanks for the Liebster Award nomination! I'll definitely be posting my answers to your questions tonight! And I'll post about how the rest of the recipes turned out sometime this weekend. Preview: Yum!

    Your sister sounds awesome! My family is SO the opposite of vegan, and whenever I go to visit, I have to cook my own separate meals because they wouldn't know where to start without some sort of meat or fish as the main dish.

  3. You're welcome! Thanks so much for doing it, I really loved reading your answers :) I can't wait to hear how the other recipes went - i'm really going to try hard to do a meal plan this week, but my sister arrived back on Saturday, and she's already spent two solid days cooking! We have slices and biscuits and muffins and i'm trying very hard to drink lots of tea and concentrate on my renovating and not snack my way into oblivion ;)

    My parents were pretty pissed when I went vegetarian originally, but since going vegan they've been (mostly) supportive about it, and generally make one or two vegan meals a week (or at least some interesting salads). My sister decided to go vegan-ish (she doesn't eat meat, but she very occasionally cheats with dairy for the sake of simplicity-in-cooking and $$) a few months ago, which is pretty great because of all the baking (although also not-so-great because i've gone up a dress size!)


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