My vegan peasant feast…
- Rustic sundried tomato bread with spelt flour
- Roasted veggies with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas
- Herbed polenta
- Steamed greens (kale and red chard)
I don’t know if this meal is actually what peasants eat, did eat or would eat but it felt like they might. It was very rustic and homey feeling. Just as my son’s play date arrived, I started preparing the meal, about 2 pm. Bread dough was first up, while it was rising I started roasting the veggies and chickpeas. Then when the bread was ready to bake, shortly after I started the polenta. Just before the bread and polenta were ready I slide the veggies and chickpeas back into the oven to warm. By the time we had our fill and I washed up the dishes it was 6:08 pm. I’d say that was time well spent. If I hadn’t made the bread it would’ve been about an hour, actually less because I would roast the veggies for less time.
Roasted Vegetables with balsamic vinegar and chickpeas
I have a love affair with roasted chickpeas so when I stumbled upon the Roasted vegetables with chickpeas recipe in a new vegan cookbook my husband gave me called Easy Vegan, it was a no brainer. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit my own taste. This is my version.
1 onion, peeled and cut through the core into wedges
8-10 large cremini mushrooms, quartered
12 cherry/grape tomatoes
1 head of garlic, separated and not peeled
1 red/yellow/orange pepper sliced (use 1 or 1 of each)
1 carrot, not peeled and sliced thickly
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
For balsamic glaze:
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (depending how many veggies you use)
1-2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
1 tbsp fresh italian parsley
Just so you know, I didn’t actually measure the balsamic ingredients, I just poured them on. Now that I got that out of the way here’s what I did. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a large cookie sheet with oil or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all veggies (not the chickpeas, yet). Pour on the balsamic ingredients and toss gently, let marinade 30 mins-2hrs or overnight if you have the foresight. FYI, I didn’t marinade mine at all. Spread the veggies and all the marinade (should be a little puddle) on the prepared cookie sheet and put on the middle rack in the oven for 30 mins. Take the veggies out, add the chickpeas and toss with the veggies, turn the oven up to 400 F and put back in the oven for 30 mins, turning at least twice during cooking time.
Polenta is such a quick and easy grain dish to prepare. For me, it never seems to take as long as they say it does in the cookbooks. Mine is usually done in about 15 mins, unless I’m going to cool it and cut it into pieces and re-heat it.
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups water or vegetable broth (1/2 cup more if needed)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp thyme (optional)
In a large saucepan bring the water or broth to a boil, add herbs, salt and olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in the cornmeal, adding gradually and stirring constantly, so you don’t get lumps (also builds nice arm muscles, be sure to switch hands to even the arms out lol). Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring frequently until thickened, approx. 15 mins or 30-40 mins according to other chefs. You can serve the polenta at this point or spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled 8 or 10 in baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Refridgerate until cooled and firm, approx 30 mins. Slice the polenta into rectangles or triangles and heat in the oven or on stove top.