Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne Recipe

I made something healthy, hurrah! Okay, so I served it with a most definitely unhealthy homemade vegan garlic bread but the thought was there. This vegan aubergine and chickpea penne is a dish I’ve made before but I’m going to post it again because it’s Veganuary and, as you might have noticed, I’m posting each – or at least almost each – day to show you what I’ve eaten and if I don’t post what I ate last night, all you’ll have to look at is this photo of the kiwi, frozen summer fruit, cashews and dates Nutriblast I had at lunchtime.

Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates nutriblast
Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates

Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne 

Vegan aubergine and chickpea penne

This aubergine and chickpea penne recipe was another from the Vegan – 100 Everyday Recipes cookbook that I’ve been getting a bit of use out of so far during Veganuary. This is the third dish I’ve made from it – the others being Vegan Smoky Mushroom Burgers and Vegan Thai Red Curry (as I’m typing this, I’m flicking through the book and have seen a recipe for a sparkling wine sorbet. Oh my).

The original aubergine and chickpea penne recipe calls for cinnamon and coriander, both of which I left out of my version.

Vegan Aubergine and Chickpea Penne Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • large pinch of saffron threads
  • 450ml vegan stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 350g aubergine, diced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 300g dried penne
  • salt and pepper
  1. Toast the saffron threads in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 20-30 seconds. Place in a small bowl/ramekin and crumble with your fingers. Add 2 tbsp of the stock and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and fry for another 20-30 seconds, then add the aubergine, yellow or red pepper, chopped tomatoes, saffron liquid and the remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta.

And now it’s Friday again, which means I get another excuse to make my tofush to go with my chippy chips. Yay.

pasta please linky

I’m adding this post to the Pasta Please linky, hosted by Thinly Spread and Tinned Tomatoes.


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Recipe: Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry

Vegan sweet potato, chickpea and coconut curry

I mentioned last week my energy levels had slumped, so I googled to see which foods were good for energy. Among those mentioned were:

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin D and, as we all know, at this time of year when summer’s coming to an end and there’s a lack of sunlight, our energy levels can crash, along with our mood. The Vitamin D in sweet potatoes will boost your energy, along with the natural sugars it contains which are released slowly into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels balanced.


Chickpeas are a source of manganese which is important in energy production. So if you ever needed an excuse to eat more hummus, here it is. You’re welcome.

Coconut milk 

Although coconut milk has a high level of saturated fats, those saturated fats are mainly short and medium chain fatty acids which are not stored by the body as fats but provide instant energy to the body.


Tomatoes have a high content of biotin which is also known as Vitamin H which is, confusingly, part of the B complex group of vitamins. But, you don’t need to worry about that (unless you’re doing some kind of medical degree which requires you to know about these things) – all you need to know is that B vitamins help the body produce energy.

So, I had a list of healthy ingredients and, faced with these ingredients, there was only one thing to make – a curry. And not just any old curry but a creamy vegan curry that raised my energy levels and gave me a natural boost.

Maybe I should have called it Sunshine Curry.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1" chunks
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Salt to season
  1. In a large saucepan (or Tefal wok, like I use), heat the vegetable oil and fry the onion for a few minutes, until softened
  2. Add the garlic, chili, and ginger to the onions, along with the dried spices and fry for another couple of minutes
  3. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk and the sweet potato and bring to the boil
  4. Turn the heat down, season with salt, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Remove the cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes
  6. Serve with Basmati rice



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Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Cutlets

Veganomicon chickpea cutletsEver since I picked up a copy of Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Googled to see what other people made from it, these chickpea cutlets came up time and time again. I’m not sure why I haven’t made them before now – the only reason I can think of is because they contain vital wheat gluten and, when I first got the book, I didn’t have a clue where to get vital wheat gluten from; I thought it was some strange substance only to be found in America.

UK suppliers soon caught up though and now, although I’ve never seen any in any shops, vital wheat gluten (sometimes just called wheat gluten) is easy enough and cheap enough to buy online from a number of places.

Vegan chickpea cutlets

The other day, I fancied making some seitan and had a look in Veganomicon for a recipe and saw the famous recipe for chickpea cutlets and decided to give them a go.

At the risk of sounding like a letter on Points of View (ask your parents, kids), why oh why oh why did I leave it so long to make them? They’re a lot simpler than seitan and ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

If you want Isa’s original recipe, it’s here on the PPK website but, as usual, I omitted ingredients I didn’t have; using other ingredients instead and, instead of baking or frying, I put the chickpea cutlets in my George Foreman, which worked wonderfully.

I suggest making a double batch and freezing the leftover uncooked cutlets to have another day. As you can see from the photos, I’ve had the cutlets in pitta bread with salad and vegan mayo but I can confirm they go just as well with potatoes and green veg.

Veganomicon chickpea cutlets

Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Cutlets
Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskovitz
Recipe type: Vegan
Serves: 8
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 cup golden breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  1. In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with the oil with a potato masher or fork until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for a few minutes until strings of gluten have formed.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into patties.
  3. Fry in a little olive oil for 6 to 7 minutes each side, bake in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes, or grill in a George Foreman for about 10 minutes.


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Recipe: Curried Kidney Bean and Chickpea Spread

Curried kidney bean and chickpea pate

I’ve been experimenting again with dips and spreads. I had half a tin of kidney beans and half a tin of chickpeas in the freezer so I blitzed them up with some Greek yoghurt and curry powder and the result was this gorgeous spread that’s perfect to have on oatcakes or in a wrap with some salad.

What a great way to use up any leftover beans!

Curried kidney bean and chickpea spread

Curried kidney bean and chickpea spread 

Half a can of kidney beans
Half a can of chickpeas
2-3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp curry powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the kidney beans and chickpeas in a food processor and blitz until they’re mashed up.
  2. Add the Greek yoghurt and carry on blitzing until you get the consistency you require.
  3. Add the curry powder to give as much or as little heat as you like.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
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Review: Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 3

Bodychef golden veg and bean stew

Like yesterday, I skipped breakfast but not for long, as I had the granola (196 cals) with some soya milk after my run. If you’ve ever weighed out a 35-45g portion of cereal, you’ll know you don’t get much in a bowl for the number of calories it contains. I weighed a portion-size out for a friend many years ago and he almost fainted at the amount, as he said he usually filled the bowl to the top.

Bodychef granola
I keep forgetting I like granola

I enjoyed the granola but then again, I always enjoy granola when I have it and I should have it more often.

After yesterday’s delicious lunch of feta and pepper spread, I had high hopes for today’s lunch of roasted aubergine and chickpea pâté (135 cals). Once again, the pot contained a generous amount and I spread it onto the tortilla wrap (135 cals) and added the beetroot (83 cals).

Bodychef aubergine and chickpea pate wrap with beetroot
I’ll use less beetroot next time

The pâté was tasty but slightly overpowered by the beetroot. I also would have liked a bit of salad to go with it.

Bodychef had supplied a small pot of blueberries (27 cals) to have at lunchtime, which I ate straight after the wrap. I also had the supplied snack of 8 dried apricots (75 cals) in the afternoon, along with a nectarine that isn’t on the diet plan but I reckoned if you’re going to fret about a nectarine, that’s probably heading towards an eating disorder (just don’t eat twenty of them in a day).

I cooked the dinner of golden veg and bean stew (270 cals) on the hob to see if this improved the taste and texture of the food, which it did. Broccoli (33 cals) and two new potatoes (70 cals) accompanied the stew. Usually, I’d have butter or relish with potatoes and veg but to keep with the diet, I just added a bit of black pepper.

Bodychef golden veg and bean stew
Just two potatoes? Waa.

I had been enjoying this meal (especially the potatoes which were a welcome change from grains) until The Meat Eater came in and showed me his thumb which he’d cut. I’m so squeamish, it doesn’t take much for me to be put off my food and so I only ate half my dinner.

My stomach settled enough by later on though to have the grapes (60 cals) that Bodychef had supplied for dessert.

Day 3 conclusion

Remember to eat more granola. Go easy on the beetroot. Food is definitely nicer when it hasn’t been microwaved. Eat my dinner in a locked room away from any flesh wounds.

Special offer for Planet Veggie readers

If you’d like to try out the Bodychef diet, readers of Planet Veggie can get 15% off any plan by using the code PLANET15.

Related posts:
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Introduction
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 1
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 2
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 4
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 5
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 6
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 7
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 8 – Final Day


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Microwave Hummus


I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve never been able to make hummus as nice as the ones in the supermarket. Until now, that is. I was browsing the Minimalist Baker website yesterday and stumbled across their microwave hummus recipe. They reckoned it was the best ever hummus so, naturally, I was sceptical but I’ve got to agree with them – this is definitely the best ever hummus and I’m never going back to shop bought. I’m no scientist but the microwaving bit must soften the chickpeas and bring out their flavour, resulting in a smooth, creamy and delicious hummus.


Microwave hummus
(adapted from the Minimalist Baker website)

1 can chickpeas, undrained
3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Microwave the chickpeas and garlic for about five minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil and blitz in a food processor, while drizzling in the olive oil, until smooth and creamy.

Leave to cool in the fridge.

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Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup

Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup


I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this week with absolutely no energy and getting out of breath just walking up a few stairs. With Juneathon approaching, this just won’t do, so today I made a batch of spicy soup – if this doesn’t sort me out, nothing will. The original recipe called for a pinch of cayenne but who wants just a pinch of spice? Not me, that’s for sure, so I also added some chilli flakes as I am a firm believer that chilli cures everything.

I feel better already.

Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup (serves 4)
(recipe adapted from No Meat, No Dairy, No Gluten – Just flavour and Goodness)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of mixed spice
Big pinch of chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 large tin chickpeas, drained
850ml vegetable stock
500g passata
50g basmati rice
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

  1. Put the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas, stock and passata and then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Add the sugar and vinegar and season with the salt and pepper.
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Vegan Chickpea Tuna Mayo Sandwich


This is another recipe I adapted from something I saw on the wonderful What Fat Vegans Eat Facebook page.

I’ve never used nori sheets before but I’ve had them once in Yo Sushi and they tasted just like fish so I was careful not to use too much. And it’s just as well I did only use a little bit because this stuff certainly is fishy.

I served it filled in a Warburton’s Seeded Sandwich Thin with sliced tomato and cucumber. The recipe below will probably make enough for four sandwiches, so just keep whatever you don’t use up in the fridge.

Vegan Tuna Chickpea Mayo 

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1 tbsp shredded nori (or to taste)
3 spring onions, chopped
salt and pepper

Blend the chickpeas until rough but not smooth, you don’t want a paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for a few more seconds until it’s all mixed together.

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Vegan Chickpea Mayo Mash Up

Because I’d made my own vegan mayonnaise a few days ago, obviously it contained no preservatives, which meant I needed to actually use the stuff and not leave it in the fridge ignoring the ‘use within six weeks’ you see on shop bought mayos.

I’d had it with some pizza and also this week I’ve had it for lunch in pitta bread with some mashed-up chickpeas.


It’s seriously simple. Just mash up some chickpeas with a fork or potato masher, add salt and pepper and anything else you fancy (in my case, chilli flakes), mix it up with mayo, and stuff it in some pitta bread with salad. You can’t really see the salad in my photo but it’s there, honest.

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Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry


I much prefer my cookbooks to be paper-based (as opposed to paperbacks which now I much prefer to be Kindle-based), but when I saw The Skinny Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipe Book on Amazon for 99p, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s great. I made this curry last night and will be making a bean, potato and cheese stew from it tonight.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry (serves 4)
(adapted from The Skinny Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipe Book)

2 400g tins chickpeas, drained
1 onion, chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
75g fresh spinach
500ml stock
pinch salt

Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the slow cooker. Cover and leave on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Add a little more stock during cooking if needed, or if it needs thickening remove the lid and leave to cook on high for a further 45 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted.

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