Chickpea, oh chickpea, how do I love thee……..let me count the ways……..
I eat chickpeas everyday, and no, I am not exaggerating. At the High School in my School District, we have a very large ala carte line with lots of great food items. We also have a rocking salad bar, on which we have chickpeas….a.k.a. garbanzo beans. I have a salad daily and I load on the chickpeas.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein (good for vegetarians), loaded with fiber, contains vitamins and minerals and significantly boosts your intake of manganese and folate. So kinda the Superman of Beans !!
Making a salad with them seemed like the natural thing to do. I made a kinda tuna salad from them. Mashed up the chickpeas, added shallots, celery, dill, and for extra crunch and yummy flavor, some crisp apples, and toasted pecans. Just add lemon juice and a touch of relish and you have a chickpeas salad that will rival a tuna salad any day of the week!
I wrapped mine in lettuce leaves, but it would be awesome on toasted whole grain bread, or stuffed inside a pita.
So, next time you want a light, refreshing, and crunchy salad……try making Chickpeas Salad with Apple and Pecans. Perfect for you vegetarians or if you want to try a meatless Monday!!
This salad was totally for me……..and it was damn good!!!!
Truth be told Tim is not a quinoa lover. I adore it….I would eat it all the time. I have found it frozen at my local grocery store, which I should give a heads up to Kroger…What the “Forks” for Dinner’s, go to grocer. The frozen quinoa comes in a steam-able bag and is perfect for dishes that call for quinoa….pop it in the wave and a couple of minutes later…ta da…..recipe ready.
I have been eating a lot of chickpeas …aka garbanzo beans lately. Theyhave a kinda nutty taste and a texture thats buttery, but starchy too. Plus they have a ton of fiber and protein that makes them perfect for a meatless dish. Not this dish…..it has bacon….yum!!! The dish has bacon because it has cabbage, and you need bacon with cabbage…..just saying!
The other ingredients, were things I had left over from other dishes. Thats the tough part of buying groceries for two, you have stuff left! So, in my effort to be thrifty, I wanted to use up, some carrots,red pepper, and snow peas. They melded really well with the quinoa, bacon, and cabbage.
A little lemon zest and juice for a bright tartness, and dill for that springtime touch…..Toasted Quinoa Salad. You can serve this either warm or cold…..perfect springtime salad for lunch or a light dinner!
2 slices applewood smoke bacon cut into small pieces
1/2 head cabbage thinly sliced
1/4 cup red pepper
1/4 cup carrots
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup snow peas
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. (I buy mine frozen in a steam-able bag at my local grocery store.)
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove, reserving the bacon fat. Add cabbage, red pepper, and carrots cooking until cabbage is limp.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Add quinoa, and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is toasted and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chickpeas, snow peas, bacon,lemon zest and juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in dill.
First it was Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years, Super Bowl Sunday, and Valentines Day……whewwww…………can you say food coma.
I am ready to give my body a break. Working as a Food Service Director for a school district, my focus daily is on nutritious, healthy meals…….at school I have that down pat! At home, I do not practice what I preach, but I am going to give it a whirl. I will never be a vegetarian, or even a total health nut. I enjoy food to much to never have a brownie or a deep fried…….well a deep fried anything again………but I do want to try to make better choices on a regular basis. Biggest problem with that……TASTE. I will not eat sticks and grass….or things that taste like it in the name of healthy eating.
But, give me something tasty that’s good for you ……I’m there! At work I receive tons of recipes from all sources and it gives me inspiration for many of my recipes. Tim is a huge bean fan, me not so much, but I am willing to try new things. So when I saw a bean burger recipe I thought……. maybe????
So, I have always liked a pasta with white beans, rosemary, and tomatoes. Throw in some basil and parmesan cheese, add some garlic bread…….it’s dinner time. So, how to healthy it up? How about a bean burger, they make them from black beans all the time, so why not white beans, a little rosemary, a toasty ciabatta bun (whole grain), just a touch of mayo (lite), and a tasty topping of bruschetta ( one of my personal favorite things). While I confess it is not the same as the pasta, it was really good. I feel like I have made progress………..
In a food processor, combine both beans, garlic, rosemary, and panko crumbs. Pulse until smooth. Add egg and pulse until combined. (If you do not have a food processor you can mash the beans with a potato masher or forks and add remaining ingredients.) Shape into 4 burgers.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook burgers until they are heated through, about 4 minutes per side until golden brown. They should reach an internal temperature of 145*.
To assemble burgers, spread bottom of each bun with 2 teaspoons of the basil mayo. Place the burger on top of the mayo, add lettuce and onion slice, top with the bruschetta mixture and top of bun.