I’ll confess that this chickpeas, chickin & parsnip casserole is based on a traditional style meat recipe I found on the web. I veganised it and embellished it to make it more tasty, nutritious, fulsome & racy.
I’m toying with changing chikin chunks to tempeh. But I kind of like the idea of taking a typical “meathead” recipe and veganising it. So for now, I’ll just include the tempeh as an option. Loads of recipes, others of mine included, feature copious amounts of peppers, courgettes and auberines. So it’s nice to leave them out for once.
As always, it’s all about the balance of flavours, contrasts, textures & juxtapositions: this recipe is full of that. The chestnuts & olives really chime well with the carrots & parsnips, & there’s not a potato or red pepper in sight.
I often use ready mixed spices, and it’s nice on occasion not to do that. This just uses some basic herbs & spices and a bit of chipotle sauce, and olive tapenade. The only trouble with olive tapenade is that if you only use a little, & then leave it in the fridge it goes off. A useful tip is to make a conscious effort to use it up with crackers, & vegan cheese, or mushroom pate.
This dish goes well with brown long grain rice, wholemeal couscous, and of course sides of hummus or garlic bread. Although I’ve started making red pepper hummus, I think this is best with the plain original variety.
Don’t skimp on the spices, and feel free to bump up the quantities, though I think they are right for most tastes. A big dish like this Chickpeas, “Chickin” & Parsnip Casserole is great for a get together or dinner party, or just use half & keep the rest for later in the week.
chickpeas, "chickin" & parsnip casserole
- 1 large mediteranean casserole or sauteuse
- 400 g red onion can use standard yellow
- 40 g garlic
- 500 g parsnips
- 250 g carrots
- 1 cube unami stock Kallo are best
- 1 cube onion stock Kallo are best
- 1 teasp garlic powder rounded
- 1 teasp onion powder rounded
- 250 g frozen or tinned chick peas
- 400 g can of chopped plum tomatoes
- 3 teasps olive tapenade good sized rounded spoons
- 2 teasps chipotle paste
- 300 g chesnut mushrooms
- 120 g pitted olives kalamat are best, but black will do
- 250 g chickin pieces vbites or can use tempeh
- 180 g cooked shelled chestnuts Merchant Gourmet are good
- 150 g pack of cheatin' bacon or similar Vbites cheatin bacon is good too
- 1 tbsp herbes de provence heaped
- 1 teasp yeast extract natex low salt version is good
- 1 teasp veg stock powder Marigold is good
- 700 g boiling water weigh into the kettle
- 50 g olive oil just use enough....... though
- Peel onions & cut into slender crescents or slices lengthways.
- begin sauteeing in a generous amount of olive oil on a low heat in a large oven proof casserole. I like the Le Creuset stainless steel sauteuse, but any will do.
- Peel & slice the garlic & add to the pan and let them soften along with the onions.
- Meanwhile cook a whole packet of “cheatin bacon” or similar on a griddle – 2mins on side one, and 1 min on side 2 between on medium heat. Set aside to cool.
- Cut up the parsnip into smallish (2cm) pieces and add to mix in the pan.
- Cut up the carrot into smallish (2cm) pieces and add to the pan.
- Wash and roughly slice the mushrooms and after 5 minutes or so add them – then continue to sauté on low for about 15 mins.
- Add a heaped tablespoon of herbs de Provence.
- Keep stirring the onions and other veg etc until the onions are soft and sweet and parsnip is starting to brown.
- Set the oven at 160C - so it will be ready when needed.
- Cut the now cooled “plant bacon” into short pieces and set aside.
- Add the can of tomatoes, chickpeas and various stock items and water to the pan and bring to a simmer.
- Then add the bacon and put in oven for 45 mins total.
- add in the kalamat (or other) black olives
- After 30 mins or so add the Quorn/Vbites/tempeh and continue cooking until the end. The vegan Quorn goes mushy if you overcook it – hence putting it in later. Another option is Granose mock duck.
- The main thing is to get the liquid content right so that it’s thick, but not too thick. It’s a delicate balance. Easier to have it too thick and then add a bit of liquid, than have it too thin.
- Great with polenta, baked potato, wholemeal cous cous, or long grain brown rice