Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is:
2. Recreate a meal from your childhood.
At first I thought it would be really easy to write a post about this and share an awesome veganised recipe. Step 1: think of a non-vegan meal I loved as a child. Step 2: make it vegan. Step 3: blog about it. Easy, right?
But, I got stuck at the first step. Once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t actually remember what I ate as a kid. I consulted my sister, and we both remembered eating 2-minute noodles, cans of spaghetti and baked beans, and McDonalds. I asked my mum, and she replied with things like porcupines (which were like meatballs…I had no recollection of eating those!), chicken stirfry, and other meaty things that I just didn’t remember eating (or maybe, I didn’t want to remember…).
In case you didn’t know, here’s a brief rundown of when I become vego: my mum went vegetarian when I was around 6, which must have planted the seed in my head, as I stopped eating meat when I was about 7 or 8. I then became vegan when I was 13.
However, after much thought, there was one homecooked meal I remembered fondly: apricot chicken. Maybe it was the sweetness that I loved so much…it was definitely tastier than a plate of mashed potato, peas and carrots, something else that I remember being served (and refusing to eat, haha). Or maybe it was the combination of the sweet/salty tastes. Either way, this was definitely one of my childhood favourites.
My mother’s recipe for apricot chicken:
Brown the chicken in a frying pan.
Add 1 large can of apricot nectar and 1/2 pack of French onion soup.
Reduce heat and let cook for 20 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice.
My idea to recreate apricot chicken was to replace the chicken with chickpeas (the obvious choice!). I also wanted to make the French onion soup part from scratch because
I like making life difficult I don’t like using pre-packaged convenience foods. Would you like some MSG soup? Errrr, no thanks.
So here it is: my vegan version of apricot “chicken”. It wasn’t exactly how I remembered it; the original recipe never had silverbeet, or spiced coconut rice. But this version still has that same apricot-onion flavour. Tangy, sweet, yet savoury…perfection.
- 1½ cups brown rice
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups homemade French onion soup
- 700g canned apricots, drained (or use 2 cups fresh apricots)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 4 large silverbeet leaves, chopped
- Combine all rice ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer on low for 25-30 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, blend the soup and apricots in a high speed blender.
- Add to a frying pan and simmer for 20 minutes, until the liquid reduces and the mixture thickens.
- Add the chickpeas and silverbeet and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve over rice.
- What was your favourite meal as a child?
- Were you an omnivorous child, or herbivorous child?