It’s easy to add to pasta sauces and casseroles, and it’s very frugal. I can make about 4 cups / 1 liter of Veggie Ground for under $2 (Canadian). That’s enough for taco filling for 5, plus a few meals worth of spaghetti sauce.
It’s low in fat and high in fiber and iron, giving you a good bang for your nutritional buck.
Chickpeas and rice form the base of the mixture. They are cooked with onions, garlic and a blend of soy sauce, molasses, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. (It sounds awful, but it works!)
Everything is whizzed briefly in the food processor then spread in a pan and baked for about half an hour.
After cooling, you just crumble up the Veggie Ground and you’re ready to go – a batch of this in the fridge or freezer makes a good starting point for quick and easy meatless meals.
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups / 375 ml)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tablespoons / 22.5 ml soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml molasses (see note)
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml apple cider vinegar (you can use red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml ground pepper
- 2 cups / 500 ml cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup / 250 ml cooked brown rice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.
- Brush a 9x13-inch / 24x 32 cm baking pan with oil. Set this aside while you prepare the mixture.
- Heat a frypan over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften - about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Do not let the onions and garlic brown. If they start to brown, turn down the heat.
- Add the soy sauce, molasses, vinegar, mustard and ground pepper to pan. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly, and simmer for about 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken slightly.
- Put chickpeas and rice in bowl of food processor. Pulse until they have begun to break up and look a bit crumbly. (If you don't have a food processor, you can mash the peas and rice with a gricer, or chop them with a knife.)
- Add the onion mixture and pulse until well mixed. Stir by hand to complete and ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread to smooth evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the veggie ground mix has started to brown lightly.
- Let the mixture cool completely, then break up the cooled mix to form rough pieces resembling cooked ground beef.