(Update: Those with a sweet tooth, scroll on down to bottom of post for news of a NEW dessert e-cookbook!)
Naming recipes is not something that always comes naturally to me. I often describe components in the dish, or try to convey how the dish makes me feel. A few (just a few!) of the foods that I love in this vegan life include… beans (chickpeas, white beans, and kidney beans rank high), artichokes, herbs, and olives. Not necessarily in that order, but extra points when combined in one dish. Plus avocado. I’ll get to that.
When I created this recipe for LTEV, I didn’t know whether to term it ‘roasted’ veg or a casserole, since it is a little bit of both. So, I decided to go with my feelings… everything combines into some bliss… in a dish.
Oh, I should also mention I love fennel (yep, many of you know that). So, sometimes I swap out the parboiled potatoes with some fennel. What makes this dish work for me, is not just the main ingredients, but the seasonings and the raisins. I know, seems weird, right? But, when you have many savory components together, adding just a touch of sweetness kind of perks up the flavor profile between bites. And the raisins are especially nice contrasted with the olives.
I hope you try this recipe. It isn’t hard to make, just takes a bit of veg prepping, and then everything into one big ol’ dish. When baked, it serves up nicely on quinoa or brown rice, but could also be tossed through pasta. Also, it can be eaten all on its own, as the beans and potatoes make it quite substantial.
Did I mention avocado? Of course I did! I love avocado against herbs/olives just as much as spicy dishes. So, if you have ripe avocados on hand (and really, we should at any given time) then either given them a quick chop/toss with lemon juice and salt to top your dish… or, puree into a sauce using – again, lemon juice and salt – along with water to thin as desired (I like it pretty rich). I share this recipe with you today, and hope you love it as much as I do!
Chickpeas and Artichokes “Bliss in a Dish” RECIpage to print/share
I love artichokes and I love chickpeas. I also really love Mediterranean seasonings and briny olives with a touch of sweetness thrown in. So, when I make this dish, it’s like a little bit of bliss in a dish!
2 ½ – 3 cups (about ¾ – 1 lb) red or Yukon gold potatoes, cut in small cubes (about 1” thick) (see note)
1 tsp olive oil (to wipe around baking dish, optional)
3 – 3 ½ cups chickpeas (about 2 cans, rinsed and drained; I have subbed cannellini beans for these photos, see note)
3 cups frozen artichokes (can thaw beforehand, or use from frozen)
4 medium-large cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp olive oil (optional, can omit for oil-free)
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 – ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3-4 tbsp sultana or other raisins
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 – 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup basil leaves, julienned (optional, can also use ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use 1 teaspoon of the olive oil to oil a large casserole dish (about 8 by 12 inches). If you omit the oil, some of the ingredients may get a little sticky in the pan, but no biggie! Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender (see note). When potatoes are ready, drain well and add to the prepared dish along with the other ingredients, except the vinegar and the fresh basil. Toss the mixture well, cover the dish with foil, and bake for 40 minutes (stirring about halfway through the baking process), until the potatoes are fully tender and the other vegetables have heated through and somewhat softened. Add the vinegar, toss again, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the fresh basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper as desired. Serve on its own, with bread, or over quinoa, brown rice, or pasta, topped with a quick avocado sauce or mash, or ‘Basil Lemon Pistou’ (from LTEV). Serves 4-5.
If This Apron Could Talk: If you already have the ingredients prepped and are waiting on the potatoes, go ahead and starting baking the casserole. You can add the potatoes to it once they’re ready. This makes a fairly large casserole, enough for a meal one night for 3 to 4 people, and leftovers for another night (it’s also good for a potluck)!
Savvy Subs and Adds: Another delicious variation on this dish is to omit the potatoes and use 1 to 2 fennel bulbs instead. No parboiling step involved; simply toss the fennel with all the other ingredients as directed and bake for the same amount of time. Also try subbing cannellini beans for chickpeas. They are soft and tender and make a nice variation – just try not to break up too much with mixing.
After that delicious entree, it’s time for DESSERT! A new vegan and gluten-free desserts ebook, Guilt-Free Desserts, has just released today!
One of my recipes is included in this collection – my “Nicer Krispie Squares” (pictured above, pretty in pink!) – as this book features 36 vegan, gluten-free and processed sugar-free desserts. This book also contains extensive guides to gluten-free flours, sugar and sugar substitutes! The ebook is $15, and includes guest recipes from other whole-food bloggers as well.
Do these casserole ingredients speak food bliss to you? If not, what are some of YOUR vegan bliss ingredients?