Your favorite takeout Kung Pao dish, gone vegan!! Hearty, satisfying, and deliciously spicy… you’ll be amazed at the fantastic flavor of this dish!
Just because you are eating vegan, that doesn’t mean your meals have to be boring… these Kung Pao chickpeas will amaze you with their bold, delicious flavor!
Do you ever have one of those meals that you make, but you don’t have high hopes for actually being really tasty? It sounds good, and different, so you give it a shot, but you’ve also got the pizza coupons out on the counter, just in case you need to call in a delivery. This was one of those meals for me…
Don’t let that lead in fool you… this. meal. was. awesome!! I’m definitely an omnivore and eat probably more than my share of chicken, but in an effort to lighten up our meals here at home, I’ve started incorporating vegetarian and even vegan meals. Guess what you guys… they’re delicious!
I didn’t even miss the chicken in this recipe. Seriously. Even J, my “meat and potatoes” husband, loved this meal 🙂
One of the things I love about this meal is the affordability. Think about the cost of chicken compared to the cost of 1 can of chickpeas… cha-ching! That’s more money in your pocket 🙂
This Kung Pao meal also comes together really quickly. Aside from the marinating time, you can cook this meal in about 10 minutes. For real!
I tossed my chickpeas in the marinade and cooked my rice while they were marinating, that way I had the whole meal together in about 40 minutes, including marinating time!
Once you’ve marinated the chickpeas, add some oil to a large skillet (or wok if you have one), then toss in your chickpeas, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and stir. Pour in your Kung Pao sauce and saute for about 6-10 minutes, until they get as caramelized as you’d like. Serve over rice if you want.
As far as garnishes go, it’s up to you! The night we ate this, I kept it simple and did sesame seeds, green onions, and some extra peanuts.
For leftovers the next day (which are equally amazing, by the way), I went with some sliced red Thai peppers, cilantro, sesame seeds and shredded red cabbage 🙂 Interesting story about those Thai peppers…. they’re super cute, small, and colorful (they’re the red, green and orange peppers in the photo above). They’re also insanely hot. Like SPICY!!! Granted, I’m a self proclaimed wuss about heat, but still… whew!
I don’t advise you trying to be all cool and show off to your husband by saying, “I’ll try one, I’m not scared” and eating a slice…. you might end up sipping on milk and feeling like your mouth is literally burning for the next 30 minutes. Don’t ask how I know this… don’t ask 😉
If you like it hot, go for it!! I’m sure they’re super tasty to those that can handle it 🙂
The spicy, sticky sauce is just amazing. You will hardly even notice you’re eating chickpeas!
If this is what eating vegan tastes like… I’m so pleasantly surprised 😀
I found this recipe via Brandi on SheKnows.
I hope you all try this one, it’s such a great twist on a classic dish! I highly recommend serving this with some sticky coconut rice 🙂
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Serves: 4 servings
- 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 Tbsp agave or honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (1 inch) section of fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1 cup bottled kung pao sauce
- Green onions, thinly sliced
- Thai chili peppers, sliced
- Red cabbage
- Sesame seeds
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Add the chickpeas to the marinade, and stir. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add the coconut oil, the marinated chickpeas and the remaining stir fry ingredients.
- Sauté for about 6 to 10 minutes, until the chickpeas have caramelized to your liking.
- Serve over rice and garnish as desired.
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