Sunday, 20 January 2013

Chickpea Chowder (gluten free, vegan, dairy free, egg free)

Allergy recipes
Chickpea Chowder. I can't guarantee that your kids won't retch...
I can't stand kids who are fussy about food. It's wasteful, spoilt and I really should have more patience because I was a kid who was fussy about food.

But in my defence, my Mum did once serve me stuffed marrow. That is definitely a crime against culinary and probably a 1970's form of child abuse. She made me sit there until all the washing-up was done and I was about to follow through with my retching. Shudder. (But it's ok Mum, I've forgiven you.)

So when my children are fussy, what do I do? Wait for the retching.

My rule is; 'one retch and you're out'. (There's little joy to be had in watching a child dry heave over their plate.) And if we're at the pre-retching stage (the 'pushing the food about the plate and sighing' stage) I kindly allow them to eat the same number of spoonfuls as their age. 

Although the 13-year-old doesn't really see this as a good deal and the 7-year-old doesn't like it much either.


There is often retching and sighing in our house, because I have always served 'proper' meals cooked from scratch (ooo, get me! all virtuous and nauseating!) But amazingly, the 'do or die' strategy seems to have paid off.

Because even though this Chickpea Chowder consists of hastily thrown together ingredients with a tin of chickpeas chucked in as an afterthought, about 75% of my kids like this meal!

And on good days - if I allow some of them to slather on Worcestershire Sauce - I can get it up to a 90% positive vote. And in my book that is pretty good.

Do you have fussy kids? I definitely feel your pain.

Thank-you to everyone who gave suggestions for naming this dish. In the end I went with Chickpea Chowder suggested by Elsie B because I couldn't resist the delicious alliteration and I've always been strangely attracted to the word 'Chowder'.


Chickpea Chowder (serves 4 kids and two adults)

Remember those student days when you had no money but you did have an onion, a tin of tomatoes and some random veg? Well this is a grown-up version of student survival cooking. I fall back on it nearly every week when I haven't planned what we're going to eat and it's already 6pm.

And this is a good one for toddlers; just leave out the salt, seasoning and wine (!)

1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 courgette chopped very finely (or grated)
1 carrot (grated)
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tin of sweetcorn
1 tin of tomatoes
100 ml (ish) of red wine
1-2 tbsps tomato purée
Optional: A small carton of coconut cream (or 4-6 tbsps)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 GF stock cube
mixed herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
Rice to serve
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic and put them into a large frying pan, or non-stick saucepan. Add the olive oil and fry gently while you chop the courgette
  • Add the mixed herbs and chopped courgette to the frying pan and stir. Peel the carrot and grate it directly into the frying pan, stir again. If you are using the stock cube, crumble it into the pan and mix through
  • Add the tin of tomatoes (chop the tomatoes up), tin of sweetcorn and tin of chickpeas. Add the red wine (don't use if this is for a toddler), bring the pan to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced
  • Add the tomato purée and coconut cream (if using), stir through and season to taste
  • You might want to simmer for another 10 mins  if you think it's too runny
  • Serve with rice, or you could stuff this into pittas
  • It also freezes well, so double the quantities if you want to make a big batch and freeze it
  • If your kids retch, don't make them eat it!

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


absolutely-write said...

I think I'd like the chickpea concoction and I suspect probably 50% of my two kids would. The worst thing my 1970's mum served when I was a kid was liver. Uargh. The worst food in the world (dry-retch, heave, etc).

Pig in the Kitchen said...

absolutely-write, LIVER! I'd forgotten about liver. I remember quite liking the onions and the gravy, but the actual texture of the internal organ? Wrong. It's definitely wrong to eat body parts :-)

thanks for your comment!

Pig x

Recipe Junkie said...

I made something similar last week involving chickpeas and ketchup (things were that desperate) and got a 50% success rate. I do the number of mouthfuls for your age thing too - usually when they are pushing the food round but they want pudding. I have a 'you must try' rule, and then if they really don't want it, well fine, but there's nothing else (not even pudding). I'm probably a cow like that, but mostly they eat what I put in front of them these days with minimal retching. Tough love works, I say. Think of all the starving children in [insert country]...

abc said...

When I was small, I remember my slightly older, but decidedly more savvy, sister proposing an excellent solution to the problem of unwanted food: a chute to Africa (prerequisite for pudding).

Eleanor@eatinglikeahorse said...

I'm so glad it's not just me with "chowder" - what is it about the word?!
This looks great to me but I had the same experience with a summer pudding my mum made once... it's scarred me for life!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Recipe Junkie, tee hee, you know things are bad when ketchup seems a reasonable solution to a problem! I'm a HUGE advocate of tough love, it's how I was raised and look how well I've turned out...actually that might not be such a good selling point :-)

And re: the starving children, I make many an impassioned speech on their behalf, I sometimes reduce myself to tears!!

ABC, your sister is a genius. Should definitely be on Dragon's Den :-) Thanks for the comment!

Eleanor, aha! a fellow chowder lover. no idea why it's so it because it hides the word 'chow' which in my mind means 'pig out' and so it's like someone giving me a green light for indulgent scoffing??

And summer pudding...yes, I'm getting flashbacks, a flabby kind of texture and there's something wrong about the way it's cooked but can't quite remember. Why do our mothers do this to us??!

Pig x

freefromfairy said...

I am glad I am not alone on the harsh mother it or get down and go away! Btw, I am sure I will get chastised by asking why toddlers can't have the wine in it...all alcohol boils off doesn't? Have I missed something? My kids get the same food we have including chilli and know already that I am lazy so I can't be bothered with doing 2 different meals! Life's too short!!

Jeanette said...

I made this! hubby and eldest LOVED it, the youngest tried it, and the middle ones refused.
That's prettygood in our house!