Up here in the Dirty Jerz, people seem to be all about the red sauce. Which I get — it’s very versatile. You can have it plain, with meatballs, with sausage, whatever you want. But growing up, we always had meat sauce, and I vastly prefer its richer flavor. Plus, it eliminates a step from things like lasagna and pizza…I don’t have to make meat for those, because it’s already in the sauce!
There are many, many variations on meat sauce. This one is mine.
(*or just regular stuffing, if you prefer)
Every year the company I work for does a big potluck Thanksgiving lunch on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. A couple of years ago, we had an employee who was very strictly vegan, and he was really concerned that there would be nothing for him to eat. I was planning on bringing my (super delish, if I say so myself) cornbread-sausage dressing, but I thought “How hard can it be to throw together a vegan dressing?” I know enough about vegan rules to avoid the trickier things like honey and gelatin, so I started combing Pinterest. I didn’t find a “vegan” recipe that I liked, but I did find a very simple recipe that was super easy to veganize. It was a huge hit, even with the non-veggies in the crowd.
This year, for my derby team’s annual holiday gathering, I decided to use the same recipe to make little appetizer portions by baking the stuffing in muffin cups. Once again, huge hit. My friend Artichoke Hold asked for the recipe, so here it is!
Holy cow, it’s already Thursday?!?! Obviously this was supposed to go up/out on Tuesday…I’m still trying to get back in the hang of blogging and sharing and stuff and time just got away from me this week. I promise this is just as tasty today as it would have been two days ago.
When I was a kid, salad bars were rife with foods I wasn’t otherwise exposed to: olives, teeny little orange slices, stinky cheeses, cucumbers, and my favorite: garbanzo beans. “Garbanzo beans” was/is fun to say, especially if you stretch it out into garbaaaaaaaanzo, and they had a texture that was different from anything else I ate. If the salad bar had them, I always loaded up on them.
I didn’t realize until I was an adult and discovered that garbanzo beans are just another name for chickpea that I could actually buy some for my very own at home. So for years now I’ve bought the odd can here and there when I’m in a salad-making mood. And I’ve tried the other famous chickpea food, hummus. Weirdly, I hate hummus. Ick.
But then I came across a recipe on Pinterest, as one does, for a salad actually made from chickpeas. Oh. Myyyyy. The original recipe was tasty, but I tweaked it quite a bit to make it exactly what I wanted (lost the garlic so I can eat it at work, added tomatoes for a little extra flavor and vitamin C). This salad both fills and refreshes, and is perfect to throw together for a quick summer lunch or dinner, especially on a super hot day (no cooking! Yay!). I typically eat this as a full meal, but it would make a great side, too.
Sidenote: I just found out that chickpeas are super high in iron! Bonus!
Also, lime juice really is the best citrus flavor for this. Orange is too sweet, and lemon and grapefruit are too sour. That said, if you don’t have lime on hand, use lemon or grapefruit and cut the amount by half(ish).