I did it. I made motherfucking dumplings. This is something I never even aspired to! And it was fucking easy!
My friend and coworker surprised me with a cookbook the other day. She was perusing vegan cookbooks when she came across Thug Kitchen, and said it was just screaming my name. Goddamn right it was. Have you guys read this shit? It’s so fucking funny. My favorite line in this recipe was, “…add the dumplings a couple at a time so they don’t get all stuck together in a clusterfuck of dough and dying dreams.” That kills me. Also, I love the word clusterfuck. I’m going to start adding that to my everyday vocab. WordPress insists it’s not a word, but they’re wrong.
So yesterday I had all this shit planned… but I ended up watching Aladdin while making this stew instead. Shit just didn’t work out. No one came to my yoga class in the morning, which is fine because I was then able to have a full on photoshoot for future Instagram posts all by myself. I also kind of love having the studio to myself. Feels a little like magic. But I really did want to teach! I even smudged the place, lit all the candles, swept the floor, and set an intention for class. Sometimes shit just doesn’t work out. That’s okay. A couple other things fell through as well, but whatthefuckever. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time cooking. I always enjoy that. I should do it more often, actually. Besides, it just means I get to spend more time not wearing any fucking pants. That’s a day well spent in my opinion. Fuck pants.
I’m still Tinder-ing, but I’m trying to be more mindful about how I swipe. And, obviously, no more drunken swiping. Do not drink and Tinder. I finally cleaned up that mess, and just started over. You should also not go on Tinder after being disappointed by a romantic interest. All it does is lead to frantic swiping and frantic emotions. It’s much better to process that disappointment first, then start swiping. I have a date on Friday with someone that may or may not be kind of fucking weird (not in the fun way). It’s hard to tell for sure without meeting, though. Sigh. I just want someone to be excited about. First dates are almost never exciting. They incite feelings of dread and exhaustion. Blah. I’ll get there.
In the meantime, there are motherfucking dumplings! I’m so proud of these little fuckers. They’re delicious and soothing and perfect for a cold afternoon spent inside watching Aladdin, singing your heart out to “A Whole New World,” without any pants on. Fuck. That’s the dream right there. I’m living the fucking dream.
Also, if you haven’t read Thug Kitchen yet, Google that shit right now. You’ll be so happy you did.
Chickpea and Dumpling Stew
For the dumplings:
1/4 cup chives, chopped
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup milk (the recipe calls for almond milk, but I only had regular milk)
For the stew:
3ish cups spinach (the recipe calls for kale, but I only had spinach… also didn’t measure it, just a few handfuls)
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (the recipe called for broccoli… but I didn’t fucking have any)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika (recipe called for cayenne… again, didn’t have any)
7 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine (or broth)
2 – 15oz cans chickpeas
10 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups peas (I hate peas, so I omitted this)
1/4 cup chives, chopped, plus more for serving
For the dumplings:
Add all the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk together. Then add 1/2 cup milk slowly, mixing well. Drizzle in more milk as needed, until the dough forms into a rough ball. On a floured surface, knead in the chives. Then roll dough out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Cut into smallish squares/rectangles (about 1″ by 1.5″). Stack them on a floured plate and stick them in the fridge, uncovered.
For the stew:
Heat 2 teaspoons (or tablespoons, which is what I really did) of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions plus some salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook for another 3ish minutes before adding the garlic. Stir well, and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Dump the cooked veggies into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the soup pot, or grab another one if you have 2 (I don’t). In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne (or paprika), and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pot and warm over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. It’ll be thick as fuck, and really hard to whisk if you have an unnecessarily gigantic pot (like I do). Do the best you can – it’ll all work out. Stir that thick goo around and continue to cook over medium heat, until it smells nutty and looks a little toasted, or about 2 minutes. Toss in the spices and keep stirring for another 30ish seconds. Add 1/2 cup white wine (or veggie broth!) and stir well. Then add 2 cups of broth, continuing to whisk. Once fully incorporated (no flour chunks), whisk in the rest of the broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes, whisking every minute or so (I didn’t really do it that often). It should start to thicken.
Add the dumplings a few at a time, continuing to stir. Let them simmer for about 3 minutes before adding the sauteed veggies and chickpeas. Simmer everything together for about 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the dumplings no longer taste raw. Once the dumplings are done, add the spinach and green onions. Cook for another 2 minutes. Taste test and add more seasonings if needed. At this point, I added a shit-ton of salt. Of course, that was also because I ran out of broth and had to use 2 cups of water. Fucking disaster.
Serve this with some freshly chopped chives on top, and buttered toast on the side.
Yes, I realize the butter makes it not vegan anymore. Thing is, I don’t give a fuck. I also used real milk in the dumplings.