Monday, October 10, 2011

Chickpea "Turkey"

Today I was invited over to my sister's place for thanksgiving with her family. While she is vegan friendly and even flirts with vegan herself, the rest of the family is very meat and potatoes. Knowing this, I knew that I better prepare accordingly.
No, it does not look like turkey. It is not turkey, but it is gooood.
One of the things I hear a lot is that it must be so difficult for me to eat with a bunch of non vegan people. I also have been seeing the 'I pity you' face from people when they realize that I can't (won't) eat turkey for thanksgiving. I don't know about other vegans, but I really don't struggle with it. I like to cook and usually the things that I make are pretty good and non-vegan approved. It feels good to know that nothing died for me to be thankful or to celebrate. I don't find it difficult to be in a room with people eating meat. My life style choices are for me and even if I wish that everyone else would join me, I know that can't control that. So I take charge of myself and I am thankful that I can do that. I am not going to hide at home on these meat-fests. I am going to be out there making sure everyone around me knows I have good food too. Maybe even better than some traditional dishes...!!

I censored out the meaty bits. Vegan and Meat Eaters come together for a Thanksgiving feast

I decided to bring my upside-down pumpkin cake (Click here for the recipe) and also to revise Thanksgiving Tofurkey that I made last year. Everyone expects tofu when I show up with a vegan entree for dinner and I thought that I might as well trip them up. Instead of making Tofurkey, I made thanksgiving chickpeas!

I was really hopeful that I could make this yesterday so I could have entered into iron chef.. but that's OK  There was too much prep for me to have made it on time.

The idea behind this is simple. I made stuffing, then I made chickpea patties and molded into a hollow dome. Stuff the stuffing in the dome, baste and cook. I got this idea from The Kind Diet where Alicia Silverstone uses tofu to make a very similar dish. I think you could make this with any meat substitute, but you need a bunch of it, so tofu, beans, lentil would likely be the easiest to work with.

Thanksgiving Chickpeas
Makes about 4-6 servings
Takes 90 minutes if all the items are ready in advance


  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of onion
  • 1/2 an apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 pieces of whole wheat bread, diced (or you can use bread crumbs)
  • 1 cup of corn bread, diced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

See (Note: I only used half of the double recipe here for this. Feel free to make the whole thing and you can freeze off the extra!)

Basting liquid:
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
Alright, easiest way to do this if you are doing cornbread from scratch is to make that the day before. I used Color Me Vegan cornbread. I hope to alter the recipe as I found it a bit to moist and it didn't bake well for me. Here are some pictures in the mean time:
The batter is cornmeal, qunioa, flour, maple syrup, soy milk and blueberries and corn.
It was pretty easy!
While it came out looking good, it was a bit underdone in the centre.
I think  the batter was too moist

Pre-heat the over to 400F. Heat the oil in the pan and add the oil and add the celery and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the herbs, apple and the peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Now, Add the breads and the broth and cook until heated through. Lastly, toss in the pecans and combine. Take it off the heat and if you haven't yet, make the chickpea patties.
Start with the base of onion and celery, add your herbs and then the other ingredients and..

Voila! Stuffing and it was easy!

Get out a colander and line it with cheese cloth (Plastic wrap would probably work fine as well). put the chickpea mixture into the colander and mold it into the  colander and hollow out the middle. Add the stuff and push down with a spatula. Now get a cookie sheet and oil it lightly. Put the cook it sheet over the colander and invert it. Remove the cheese cloth and take about half of the basting liquid and brush it all over the top of the chickpea dome. Cover with tin foil and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. 
This is what it will look like before inverting it to get it on the pan. Fill it to the very top with stuffing and press it in there!

In the oven it goes! No all day roasting for this thankgiving treat!

After this, take the chickpea turkey out and brush the remaining liquid all over it. Put it back in the over for 20-25 minutes or until it is nice and golden brown. Remove and you are ready to serve! I served with cranberry sauce, but you could also use vegan gravy. Serve with all you favourite sides! I had it with green beans and it was good. Also had it now with collards and brussel sprouts and it was also a perfect combo!

Above: an example of a vegan Thanksgiving Dinner. Not so bad eh?

Overall Thanksgiving was a full success. The meat eaters got their meat fill, but everyone that tried my chickpea turkey loved it. All of Laura's vegan side dishes were awesome. Even though I was not a big fan of the corn bread, others liked it. My sister made vegan cookies and they were amazing. If you have not added salt to chocolate cookies, please do so immediately!

I am hoping that she will do a guest post again. She is currently trying out recipes from peas and thank you and I think there are some recipes worth writing about, but would also like to hear her reaction giving a vegan cook book a try.

Whew... Exhausted! 10 days of blogging. I am loving it, but it is not easy getting all this done. I am not working ahead. Generally what you see is what was on the menu today. I have no idea what this coming week will bring, but I am thinking... soups... and cookies? :)


  1. if I wish that everyone else would join me, I know that can't control that. So I take charge of myself and I am thankful that I can do that. I am not going to hide at home on these meat-fests. I am going to be out there making sure everyone around me knows I have good food too.
    .net training in chandigarh

  2. Wow, this looks sensational! Have made a tofu stuffed roast before but this one sounds much more interesting. :D

  3. You are a genius! This looks so crazy good!, I love how you Canadians test out all the thanksgiving recipes before our US thanksgiving, and I can mooch ideas off all the Canadian bloggers! Yum!