janet @ the taste space

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl & More Quick-Fix Vegan Review + Giveaway

In Book Review, Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on May 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl

I have another great cookbook to share with you.

Quick, healthy, vegan meals. What’s not to like?

Like The Oh She Glows Cookbook, I have been madly cooking out of Robin Robertson’s latest cookbook: More Quick-Fix Vegan.

She promises simple, delicious meals in under 30 minutes. Provided you have cooked brown rice (which takes 45 minutes to cook), she’s right!  Delicious vegan cuisine need not be elaborate nor time consuming.

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl

Take this exotic-sounding vegetable bowl: Manchurian chickpea bowl.

Manchurian cuisine is a subtype of Chinese cooking that heralds from the North-East region of China. While I am not sure how authentic it is, Gobi Manchurian may be a well-known dish. A spicy tomato sauce infused with ginger and garlic typically smother deep-fried cauliflower. In this inspired dish, cauliflower (roasted, not fried, in my case) is joined by potatoes, peas and chickpeas. I was worried the chickpeas would seem out-of-place, but they were actually very good. It seems more Indo-Chinese (or Hakka-inspired) rather than Manchurian. In any case, I can whole heartedly recommend it. Delicious. Even without choice leftovers (hello leftover roasted cauliflower), this could be pulled together within a half-hour.

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl

I have been slowly cooking my way through the cookbook and again, had the same difficult: which recipe to share. My full reviews can be seen here, but I also highly recommend the uncanningly simple “Roasted brussels sprouts and chickpeas” which reminds me of my Easy Cheezy Chickpeas and Kale. The cookbook includes many one-dish meals including soups/stews. bowls, stir-fries, pasta, sandwiches, pantry-friendly, oven-cooked meals and even quickie desserts. I appreciate that most meals are based on whole foods and not vegan substitutes (mostly. dessert section exempted). Robin does supply recipes for some of the convenience foods including a cashew-based vegan cream cheese and tofu-based vegan mayonnaise. Having these staples pre-made expedite getting dinner to the table.  Of note, Robin calls for ketchup a few times (like in this recipe), although I substituted my own convenience food: mild Turkish red pepper paste. Booyah!

Manchurian Chickpea Bowl

Recipes from More Quick Fix Vegan shared elsewhere:

Chipotle-Sweet Potato Bisque
Chickpeas Nicoise
Kale and Black-Eyed Peas With Smoky Grits
Three-Bean Pantry Chili
Sweet Potato Barbecue Bowls
Veracruz Tacos

Banh Mi Inspired Noodles
Banh Mi Bowls
Avocado Mousse with Raspberries
Date-Pecan Bars
Mango Fried Rice Pudding
Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream
Blueberry Chocolate Trail Mix Bark

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to share the recipe and giveaway the cookbook to a reader living anywhere in the world (YAYAYA!). To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me about your quickest and/or easiest vegan meal. The winner will be selected at random on May 16, 2014. Good luck!

Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher.  I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

PS. I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Sowmya.

PPS. Do you like my purple slippers in the last photo?  They were so colourful I had to keep them in. Can you tell I just blindly lift my camera to take shots from overhead? Sometimes I am way off-target. 😉

Manchurian Chickpea Bowls
Reprinted with permission from More Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 

Robin says: The flavor of Manchurian cauliflower is so intoxicatingly delicious that I decided to spread it around. It turns out that potatoes and chickpeas are perfect vehicles for the wondrous sauce that’s made with ginger, garlic, tomato, and fragrant spices. Best of all, it’s a meal in a bowl!

3 cups small cauliflower florets (I used leftover roasted cauliflower)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (I used 4 small white potatoes, chopped, around 1/2 lb)
1.5 cups home-cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15.5-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil or 2 tablespoons water
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup (I used 1/4 cup red pepper paste)
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (I used 1 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos)
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used 1.5 tsp sriracha, and this was not that spicy)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Steam the cauliflower and potato over boiling water until just tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and green peas and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, tamari, hot sauce, and sesame oil. Slowly stir in the water and simmer until the sauce is thickened and well blended, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

3. Add the chickpeas and vegetables to the skillet, stirring gently to coat with the sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. To serve, divide the mixture among serving bowls and sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro.

Serves 4

  1. Yum!! This sounds great, Janet! And gobi manchurian is a well known Hakka dish! A lot of Hakka dishes are described as ‘manchurian’ for whatever reason.

    Xxoo S


  2. Ever since I tried gobi manchurian at a restaurant I have been trying to resist frying up a batch for myself =P so good. Love the chickpeas spin on it.

  3. I make a southwestern bean casserole or bean burritos.

  4. Put shredded vegan cheese and 2T of salsa in a pita and heat it in the microwave for two minutes. Delicious and quick.

  5. Vegetable soup with lentil

  6. Ohhh miammm !!! This sounds delicious !!! I’ll definitely “pin it” for later 🙂
    Thanks again for that wonderful giveaway 🙂
    My favorite easiest and quickest vegan meal ? A big salad full of spinach, kale, cucumber, kalamata olives, tomatos, artichokes and sometime I add chickpea or if I have some marinated and grilled tofu or tempeh already in the refrigerator, I’ll add it. Simple, hey ?!…but so delicious. I use the brine of the olive for dressing or sometime even raw sauerkraut.

  7. Quickest vegan meal? Leftover fried rice or noodle with leftover veggies!

  8. I would love to see a better photo of these purple slippers! I love comfy home slippers 😉

  9. My go-to fast food is whatever I have cooked & raw in my fridge. That usually means at least one kind of beans, sweet potatoes, steamed carrots, plus all sorts of salad fixings. Big bowl + big pile of food, topped with salsa & lemon juice, and I’m a happy camper.

  10. lol at the purple slippers…I like them in the photo! They’re mysteriously enigmatic. 😉
    That Manchurian bowl looks so dig-in delicious…thanks for sharing the recipe! My favorite quick easy meal is a hummus wrap in a tortilla (or giant leaf of greenery) with whatever veggies are in the fridge or olives or salsa added in. Cheers!

  11. I do a one skillet meal with gnocchi, white beans and greens, adapted from an Eating Well recipe. It’s quick, easy, tasty and healthy.

  12. soup, salad with grains/beans or greens with grains/beans/tofu

  13. Thanks for the intro to Manchurian cuisine! I’m familiar with Gobi Manchurian but that’s the extent of my Manchurian knowledge…This dish looks right up my street, like most of Robin’s recipes do. I don’t know why I don’t have any of her cookbooks?!
    This last month while I’ve been away I’ve been exclusively very simple meals. A lot of bowls- quinoa, chickpeas, broccoli & tahini sauce is one I never tire of.
    P.S. How on earth do you manage to have leftover roasted cauliflower?
    P.P.S. I was thinking how much I liked that last picture before I realized they were slippers on the left! Very cute 🙂

  14. As long as I keep fresh veggies in the fridge and cooked brown rice in my freezer, I’ve got a quick meal. Takes just a few minutes to steam broccoli, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, greens, whatever, and put that over rice.

  15. Wow this looks great. I like a quick laksa with lots of vegetables and tofu. Simple but delicious.

  16. Moroccan Chickpea Soup from Amber at Fettle Vegan is my favourite quick and easy vegan meal. Uncomplicated, fast and oh so delicious. We always make sure we make extra to take to work the next day!

  17. I always keep peanut butter and fresh bread as a backup because sometimes I get way too busy to do much else.

  18. I like to make a taco salad!

  19. I find sandwiches to be quick and easy. =)

  20. Easiest meal for me is stir-fry. Not sure it’s the quickest though, with all the veggie chopping required 🙂

  21. You are sharing some gorgeous cookbooks, and associated recipes, lately! This looks lovely and I like the sound of the spice combination. As for my quickest vegan meal…microwaves sweet potato filled with greens and legumes is always a fall back 🙂

  22. my fave quick vegan meal is tofu & black bean burritos

  23. This manchurian chickpea bowl sounds really good! It’ll be a great way to give a fresh new twist to basic ingredients that are old favourites!
    One of our go-to quick and easy recipes is a simple red lentil dahl. I also often turn to socca when I don’t have much time and still want to put something delicious on the table.

  24. This book looks great and my sort of cooking. My easiest meal – mashed chickpeas and avocado on toasted granary bread yum x

  25. Pile a large plate with kale, collards or spring greens. Use up to a can of beans, and a cup of salsa on top. You can heat the kale, collards , beans and salsa if you want. It is really good, fast and easy.

  26. This looks like such a warm and comforting dish. I have Robin’s Vegan Planet- actually it was my first vegan cookbook- and love it so would love to get my hands on another! My quickest meal would have to be a tin of chickpeas and kale with nutritional yeast, lemon and olive oil- yum!

  27. I live in the Netherlands, where the vegan community is much múch smaller than in the USA, and we are finding our way over here. Vegan for 1,5 year now. There are just a few vegan cookbooks in Dutch, so a lot of us buy the American ones, or dream of buying them. I would love to have Robin’s book and since you’re shipping all over the world….. 🙂 My quickest vegan meal? Tomatoes, avocado’s and onions on a plate with some olives and mexican spices…. Hope you noticed I really need some inspiration…. Have a great day over there, from the Netherlands with love! Pauline Briesum

  28. My Quick Easy Meal is Curried Lentil Soup w/Spinach and Veggies.

  29. Bean burrito—while the pan is heating for the burrito shell, I make a quick fresh salsa of tomato, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and jalapeno pepper. Then I heat FF refried beans from a can and chop a little bit of avocado, and I’m good to go! Preparing the fresh salsa always feels quick because I have to wait for the pan to heat up anyway…

  30. This looks delicious! My quickest vegan meal is a veggie pizza on whole wheat crust. I usually keep balls of homemade pizza dough in the freezer so, I can just roll it out and toss sauce + veggies on it whenever we’re in the mood for pizza 🙂

  31. Usually the easiest is just a salad but I would love to be able to make quick and easy meals since I just started a new job and my cooking time is going to be severely curtailed. Thanks so much for the chance to win and for the recipe!

  32. Most of the time a chickpea salad kind of dish is the fastest but I would like to be able to make meals that are hot and tasty. Thank you.

  33. My go-to quick vegan meal is a tofu and rice noodles soup. i marinate tofu quickly in tamari, ginger, garlic and a little maple syrup. In the meantime, I heat veggie stock, throw the tofu and marinade in it, add whatever veggies I have and wide rice noodles, then serve it with scallions. cilantro and sriracha.

  34. Tofu scramble is a favorite quick meal. I usually have veggies chopped up and ready to go in the fridge to make it extra-easy!

  35. A big salad with raw vegetables and leftover steamed vegetables, leftover cooked grains, some nuts/seeds, and I throw in some canned beans or tofu. It turns out different every time and is always delicious.

  36. My quick vegan fix is a miso soup full of fresh vegetables and herbs, tofu and rice vermicelli, yummy!

  37. My all-time favorite quickest, easiest, most flavorful vegan delight is Spicy Mustard Chickpeas on Spinach & Basmati Brown Rice from page 44 of Happy Herbivore abroad by Lindsay Shay Nixon … also LOVE most of Robin’s creations too … SO MANY GREAT VEGAN COOKBOOKS OUT THERE FOR ALL OF US (vegans & non-vegans) to Savor & Enjoy ! ! !

  38. Quick, easy, vegan describes this mornings’ brekkie: 1/3 lb organic sprouted tofu and homemade kim chee fork-mashed with vegan mayo & sweet chili sauce, spread on sprouted cinnamon raisin toast.

  39. I usually have curried chickpeas and/or veggie/tofu, etc. in the ‘fridge. Throw a chapatti in the flat pan, while heating the filling, then prepare a hot and tasty burrito! Or steamed broccoli, dressed with flax oil and lemon, over a bowl of quinoa. Quick, nutritious and filling.

  40. Easy, don’t-feel-like-cooking (much): quinoa, roasted veggies and misoavocadomayo to dress, ready in 20 minutes 🙂

  41. My favorite quick meal is a taco salad: shredded lettuce with whatever veggies I can find, warmed organic refried vegan black beans, salsa, nutritional yeast and hot sauce. So easy and delicious!

  42. My fastest meal: a drained can of white beans microwaved with Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and Cajun seasoning.

  43. Cooked mexican rice that i almost always have in my fridge with soy sauce red kidney beans! Yum

  44. I have been vegan for almost 2 years, but only have one little vegan cookbook! That surely needs to be changed.
    My quick and easy meal would be brown rice + steamed spinach with garlic and sea salt + an avocado!

  45. I turn to my “Indian pantry” for a quick meal….chana masala or dal with basmati rice…and I know the leftovers will be even better!

  46. YAYAYAY I need a cookbook like this! I have so little time to cook and get so bored of my steamed veggies, beans and rice with hot sauce haha. Not that it’s not good, but I need variety! My favourite quick meal is avocado toast, straight up. I didn’t say it was creative 😉

  47. Quickest recipe would be the chickpea scramble from Isa Does It. I make it frequently for breakfast and often mix up the type of beans and spices. For example, use white beans, fresh basil, and a squirt of lemon instead of chickpeas and dill. It’s so, so good.

  48. I always go back to the simple salad when I’m pressed for time – or a smoothie. Not exciting, but they get the job done 🙂 I’ve also seemingly perfected the art of hummus making, so that gets whipped up on the fly quite a bit around here 😀

  49. Love gobi manchurian—even better with potatoes, chickpeas, and peas. We are fortunate to have a great Indo-Chinese place close by.

    And yes, the purple slippers are fabulous!

  50. Thank you so much for including the link to my post!

  51. […] More Quick-Fix Vegan at The Taste Space – Open to Everyone – Giveaway ends May 6 […]

  52. Oh my gosh!!!!!! So there is this Indian place that does manchurian cauliflower that I LOVE!!! It’s called Madras Pavilion right on Kirby…so good. It’s fried, so not the healthiest…but omg. This looks like a GREAT way to get my fix without the frying! Definitely want to try this.

    And my favorite quick vegan dish…probably a simple salad of lentils and roasted veggies with a lemony dressing. I ❤ lentils.

    • The Gobi Manchurian at the Dosa Factory is fabulous, too! I am curious to try something new, though. We go to the Dosa Factory all the time. 😉

      • Ugh I’ve never been! Must go! Before you go, can you please give a list of your fav restaurants in Houston? I feel like you know all the good vegan ones! And you’ve found so many that I’ve never been to!

    • Whups, I forgot to write back about my favourite vegan restaurants (no order):
      1. Greens Cuisine – vegan comfort food. Rob loves the burgers
      2. Dosa Factory (this is actually my go-to resto)
      3. Hugo’s – I like it because my omni friends have fantastic food and they have a wide variety of veg-friendly meals (way cheaper) and when you say you are vegan they even remove the milk from the hot chocolate, etc.
      4. Pondicheri’s – Most dishes are too spicy for me, but they have a lovely beat+barley salad and the uttapam
      5. Khun Kay Thai Cafe – actually my FAVOURITE resto right now! And I just keep eating the same thing each time. 😉

      Let me know if you want to hit any of them up 🙂

  53. My go-to quick vegan meal is usually a potato with salsa on it if I’m just cooking for myself, or spaghetti if it’s for the family.

  54. I roast golden beets, oyster mushrooms, spinach, garlic, leeks and tofu with various seasonings.

  55. I heat some precooked quinoa, black beans, and tofu cubes in the microwave and add chili powder, black pepper, and vegetable oil. Flavorful enough not to be boring.

  56. I like quick and easy meals. I like to roast many veggies.

  57. My quick and easy go-to vegan meal is coconut red lentil soup. I have my own secret recipe that is killer and ready in under 30 minutes! I would love more recipes though!

  58. I just love Robin’s cookbooks! My favorite quick meal is probably pasta with red sauce & salad.

  59. oatmeal of course!

  60. Reblogged this on alleysofmymind and commented:
    looks amazing

  61. Yum this looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

  62. Pasta with whatever veggies I have in the fridge 🙂

  63. This looks fantastic! Definitely adding it to the list. As for quick and easy meals…I’m a big fan of tofu scramble (any time of day!).

  64. Quick comforting meal to me is a lovely plate of wholewheat fusilli with spicy tomato sauce 🙂 THANKS for opening the giveaway to everyone!

  65. Adore the seasoning used in this dish. Some of my favorites for sure. Once the beans are cooked, chana masala is always a quick and easy favorite.

  66. I just made this for dinner tonight. All four members of my family, including me, gave it the thumbs up. This was not typical and pretty exciting. I think that the sauce was rich but also Asian so there was sort of a comfort food cross over. The comfort food types: wife and son, had middle ground with more adventuresome types, daughter and me. It was very tasty and satisfying. I have already gotten requests for it again.

  67. Chinese Vegan examples sound so good.

    My quickest meal is Refried Bean Taquitos from Happy Herbivore Abroad.

  68. […] I am loving ALL your ideas for quickie meals – both your suggestions for your easiest cooked and raw […]

  69. My current fav vegan quickie is a tortilla with smooshed sweet potato or squash topped with smashed chickpeas, a sprinkle of cayenne, drizzle of maple syrup & daiya cheese on top, ala Kathy Patalsky. Fold in half & fry in non-stickpan until daiya melts…….Yum!

  70. My fave quick dinner is a bowl with quinoa or brown rice (cooked beforehand), stir-fried tofu and veggies with a miso-tahini sauce. Yum!! Thanks for doing the giveaway! 🙂

  71. I love your purple slippers! Last month my boyfriend gave me a pair of very cute pig slippers; they make me smile every time I look at them!
    For quick-fix meals I love turning to ‘Quick Fix Vegan’ – the recipes in there are so versatile and appeal to both myself and my omnivore boyfriend. I also like throwing together a chickpea and zucchini korma over rice topped with plenty of coriander or I make up a huge pot of ‘spaghetti bolognese’ using TVP and the pasta sauce from ‘Isa Does It’ as a base. Top the pasta with plenty of homemade vegan parmesan and serve with a salad on the side and you have a very satisfying meal!

  72. a nice salad with some roasted veggies, mushrooms and beans

  73. Cauliflower anything gets my vote but all of the spices in this one really pique my interest even more. Partly reminiscent of my totally inauthentic take on Aloo Gobi.
    My favourite quick meals are all kinds of soups and stews packed with vegetables and legumes. Chopping, sautéing, boiling – done.

  74. […] at the taste space (saveur on vegansprout) made the Manchurian Chickpea Bowls (you can see a photo and the recipe on her blog), Mediterranean Tofu Scram Bowl, and the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and […]

  75. delicious and wholesome… thanks for sending it to MLLA..

  76. I made this and it was pretty good. It was even better the next day after the spices mixed into the sauce more. The kids were fine with it. My wife and I liked it a lot. The recipe states to taste and season as appropriate. I would recommend going a little heavier on the spices. They create a rich, interesting dish. It reminded me of a rich Turkish tomato sauce I had once that was on eggplant. I will make this one again.

  77. I happened to live in the area formerly known as Manchuria for two years, but never encountered a dish exactly like this. I am wondering if it migrated south and was preserved that way. In any case, it looks very delicious!

  78. […] 2. Manchurian Chickpea Bowl (Vegan) by the Taste Space […]

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