Vegan with a Vengeance–Chickpea Broccoli Casserole

You know those cookbooks on your shelf that are smudged with flour and oil and tomato sauce? The ones that open to one over-cooked recipe, a new permanent binding crease? Maybe those cookbooks are the ones you inherited, maybe they’re the ones your family loves the most. For me, though, that cookbook is the first vegan cookbook I ever bought–Vegan with a Vengeance.

Published in late 2005, about a year and a half before I became a vegan, Vegan with a Vengeance is one of the most-loved and revered vegan cookbooks. It marked Isa Moskowitz’s rise to vegan diva-hood and brought about the mainstreaming of vegan cuisine. Some recipes in it that I love? Baking Powder Biscuits, Scrambled Tofu, Brooklyn Pad Thai, the basic Pancakes recipe. It was my introduction to cooking as a whole–before veganism, my repertoire was pasta, peas, sauce, and sausage. Over and over. For a girl from a family of cooks, I somehow managed to never learn how to cook. Thank god for this book. All of a sudden the very basics of American classics were available–how to make an egg alternative that an omni would eat, how to throw together a quick stir-fry on the fly.

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t actually cooked from most of the book. For the worn, stained pages, only a few recipes make it into my routine. The rest, from Maple Walnut Cookies to Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing (featured on Crack the Plates yesterday!), I haven’t touched. A total shame.

In the spirit of trying something new, though, I went with a recipe whose ingredients I had on hand–Chickpea Broccoli Casserole. Sounds promising, right? I’m afraid to say that it’s the first recipe from the book that I haven’t loved. Or even liked. Bummer. Chickpeas, broccoli, and carrots are three vegetables I dearly love, but in this casserole there just wasn’t enough flavor (of anything). Bland with only salt and pepper (and a dash of chives) for seasoning, it lacked the innovative punch I’m used to from Isa’s recipes. I’m chalking this one up to it being one of her first, but, if you’re wanting to start with something epic from VWAV, I wouldn’t recommend this casserole. Adding a few more spices–some hot paprika, cumin or basil, would have really helped amp up the hearty casserole. As is, though, not the greatest.

Oh well.  You win some, lose some, right?

Chickpea Broccoli Casserole

From Vegan with a Vengeance

3 16 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
2 tbsp thinly sliced chives
1/2 c bread crumbs (I used panko)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 c vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas well, using a potato masher or a firm fork (I used a pastry cutter). It takes about 2 minutes to get the right consistency.

Add the onion, carrots, broccoli, and chives and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and oil and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth, salt, and some fresh black pepper, and mix one last time.

Transfer all ingredients to a 9×13 casserole dish. Press the mixture firmly. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.

Serves 6


On This Day in MoFos Past:
2008: Vegan Etsy
2010: Southern Style Chorizo Soup

Comments
18 Responses to “Vegan with a Vengeance–Chickpea Broccoli Casserole”
  1. Caitlin says:

    aw man, that’s a shame! i would have thought to make this as well! who could go wrong with chickpeas and broccoli? i probably would have “sprinkled” 1/2 a cup of nutritional yeast on top. nooch makes everything better, right? ;)

  2. That’s too bad. Hot sauce! Bring me some hot sauce and I’ll eat it! :P

  3. Courtney says:

    This looks so good, bummer that it didnt turn out that great, boo!

  4. Renae says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried that recipe either. Once you’ve sufficiently inspired me to open that cookbook, I’ll look for a different one. :)

  5. kittee says:

    My go to recipe in VWAV is the gigantoid peanut butter oatmeal cookies. They are heaven!
    xo
    kittee

    • celine says:

      I second that cookie motion.
      I remember making the casserole a long time ago and actually liking it for its simplicity that welcomes little tweaks, to personal taste.

  6. Rachel says:

    I really like that recipe, but I mod the hell out of it. It’s a great base once you figure out how to tweak it to your liking.

  7. lazysmurf says:

    I’m sad this one was a bust! I’ve tried a very similar recipe in AFR and I really like it because it takes about 5 seconds to put together. I think what might make that one better is that the garlic roasts along with the other stuff and there is nothing better than roasted garlic.

  8. Mel says:

    Oh, what a shame that you didn’t love it! I would have done what River suggested and added some hot sauce on top, my fellows would have smothered it with ketchup or BBQ sauce. That’s how we deal with uninspiring casseroles!

  9. I haven’t cooked from VWAV very much either. All the newer books just look much more appealing and I only bought this a few years ago. It’s a shame this casserole wasn’t great because I love chickpeas and brocc!

  10. Barbara says:

    I have a few precious cookbooks, too, that are marked with wear, Jes. The ingredients in this casserole sound delicious, but as you said, some spice would amp it up. I always find a squirt of Tamari or Braggs helps bring out the flavor in something bland.

  11. cookeasyvegan says:

    If you feel bad about not cooking much from VWAV, think how I feel — I’ve never even looked inside. It was published during a time period when I had sworn off buying cookbooks. I don’t have Veganomicon, either. I do have the more recent cupcakes take over the world and Vegan Brunch and appetite for reduction and Terry’s viva vegan. One of these days I’ll have to add the missing volumes to my collection.

  12. ameyfm says:

    i agree, i think this is one of the few duds in VWAV. I made it once and I don’t even know if we finished eating it. But, all in all, VWAV is still one of my favorites!

  13. andrea devon says:

    I did not love this recipe either- though I had made the version from Appetite for Reduction- it looks basically the same, with the addition of a million cloves of garlic. The Pomegranate Molasses BBQ is my favorite recipe from that book! ps: I LOVE your site, so beautiful and clean. Thanks for finding me! aloha, andrea

  14. Add some garlic and onion powder to the recipe and it turns out really good.for a Thanksgiving side.

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