Kung Pao Chickpeas & Rice – 79¢ Per Serving

Say hello to my vegan friend. I am the furthest from a vegan you could imagine. I love me some meat. But in honor of Meatless Monday (and my vegan friend who makes ridiculously cute dog collars), I cooked up a super hearty, simple, inexpensive dish for you that truly won’t have you jonesing for more meat.

Before I start explaining how I made this, I want to pause and explain the sauce I’m using. If you’re not familiar with Asian cooking, often times the sauces are complex, containing at least 6 or 7 different ingredients, such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, corn starch, brown sugar, etc. Personally, I love this aspect of cooking Asian dishes, but it can be intimidating and overwhelming for some. 

If you’re one of those people and want to buy one single bottle of sauce, here are a few teriyaki sauces that are very tasty and easy to find: Kona Cost Island Teriyaki that you can find at Walmart and other grocery stores, and Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki you can find at Target and other grocery stores. I’ll explain my combination below, but really, feel free to use a variety of sauces that I used or just one. 

Start with getting your rice cooking. Most rice is made by 1 part rice to 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, bring down the heat to low, stir it, put a lid on it, and walk away. Don’t check on it for at least 8-10 minutes for a serving of 1-2. If you peek in and see water, quickly put the lid back on. When it’s done, gently fluff it with a fork. 

Now, chop about 1/2 onion and a carrot. I completely forgot to use my red pepper! Definitely use one if you’ve got it. 

Drop it into a super hot, oiled nonstick pan. If you have coconut oil, this is a perfect dish to use it with. Otherwise, any oil should do. But wait to add your sesame oil till later as a finishing oil.

Continue cooking till you’ve got some nice color on the onions and carrots.  

 Drop in a can of chickpeas, a chopped clove or two of garlic, and a teaspoon or so of minced ginger. 

Continue tossing on high heat until you start to see a little color on the chickpeas. Add your sauce now. 

If you’d like to keep it simple, toss in about 1/2 cup or more of teriyaki sauce. If you’d like to try my way, add a few teaspoons of rice vinegar, a few tablespoons chili sauce, a few tablespoons teriyaki sauce, a few teaspoons soy sauce, a few tablespoons of either honey or real maple syrup, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a few drops of liquid smoke, and a teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce.

Continue cooking on medium heat until the sauce deglazes your pan and reduces until it’s nice and thick.  

While that’s reducing, start prepping your toppings. I chopped up a handful of peanuts, cilantro, red onion, and green onion.  

Now just layer your ingredients, top with a squeeze of lime, and you’re done! So, so good. 


 4 Servings: 

  • 1 Can Chickpeas – 89¢
  • 1/2 Onion – 55¢
  • 1 Carrot: 14¢
  • Sauce: Since this varies greatly on what sauce you use and how much, I’m going to round it UP to 50¢. Probably cost me half of that!
  • Peanuts, etc. on Top: This price is insignificant but I’ll round it UP to 25¢
  • 4 Servings of Rice: 80¢
  • 4 Servings = $3.13
  • 1 Serving= 79¢



About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She's also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She's the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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Categories: Asian, Carrots, Chickpeas, Cilantro, Featured, Ginger, Green Onions, Herbs, Herbs, Liquids, etc., Lime, Main Dishes, Onion, Recipes, Recipes by Ingredient, Recipes by Meal, Recipes by Theme, Starches, Sweet Chili Sauce, Veggies

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