vegan comfort cooking

one of the things that i'm striving for in life is to actually use all of the cookbooks that evan and i own. currently they sit in a cabinet and generally only see the light of day about 2 or 3 times a year. terrible, i know! i would love to be the kind of person that plans out meals for the week (or at least for that day) and isn't rummaging through the cabinets at 8pm wondering what evan and i should eat for dinner. i really love cooking, so this shouldn't be such a big task. it's just that i'm not that much of a planner. i'm kinda a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal.
anywho, for the past few days i've been going through our cookbooks and post-it noting everything that i wanted to try sooner rather then later. i made a list, went shopping, and got it all checked off. kudos to me! so without further adieu, i give you, last nights dinner!
chickpea broccoli casserole

jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

admittedly it's not the prettiest of things, but it was so super delicious and yummy! the chickpeas take on a creamy mashed potato effect and it's like the ultimate comfort food!
and on the side we had...
garlicky kale with tahini dressing
-also from the VWAV cookbook-

jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

these were knock my socks off gooooood! i've been craving kale lately, and i also have a love for tahini that just can't be described, so this really hit the spot for me!
i definitely recommend giving this meal a go. it did take a good deal of prep time, but it was absolutely worth it! i've also got enough casserole left over for another 2 dinners! gotta love that :)
here's the casserole...

3 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots grated, about 3 cups
1 head of broccoli chopped, about 4 cups
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 a cup of bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup veggie broth
1 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350

first, mash up the chickpeas using either a potato masher or a large fork. this takes a few minutes, but not every single chickpea needs to be broken down. think chunky mashed potatoes! next add the onion, carrot, broccoli, and chives and mix it up. then add bread crumbs, mix. add oil, and mix again. last add broth and salt and give it one last stir up. i also added a few splashes of braggs liquid aminos at this point just to give it a little extra nums! dump it all into a 9" x 13" casserole dish and press firmly. cover with foil and bake for 45 mins. remove foil and bake for another 15 mins. at this point it's all set to eat. i however put it on broil for just a few more mins to really get a good crisp on top. apparently a lot of people say that this is somewhat bland, but it can certainly be dressed up anyway you like. i thought it was absolutely perfect though, just the way it is! (evan added salt, but that's to be expected)

and now the garlicky kale...

2 or 3 cloves of garlic (they suggest 5 or 6, but i thought less was just fine)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped (remove stems from below the leaf and also if they're more then 1/4" thick)

saute garlic in olive oil for a few mins until it's golden brown. add kale and a splash of water. toss it around and get it all coated in the delicious goodness. i also added another splash of braggs here. i just love it! cook about 5 mins and serve with tahini dressing...

the dressing...

8 tsps olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 a cup of tahini
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
1/2 a tsp of salt
juice of one lemon
a bit of black pepper
1/2 tsp of paprika (which i was out of and it was just fine anyway)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup cold water

heat garlic in 6 tsps of the olive oil just until it starts smelling yummy. place the garlic, and everything else except the parsley, in a blender and blend until smooth. add parsley and pulse a few more times. stick it in the fridge for at least half and hour before eating. a little bit more water can be added if it's too thick.
enjoy!!!