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
- 1/2 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.
Use fancy molasses, not blackstrap molasses, for this recipe. Fancy molasses has a less strong taste, and is the best type for cooking and baking.