Gobbling Garbanzos

Man, I just friggin’ love chickpeas. Their texture is pretty much perfect, the flavor is tame enough to be dressed up with just about anything, and they are super-healthy. My only problem with chickpeas is that I eat too many of them, which is not the best thing for me to do when I’m watching my weight, because they are pretty calorically dense.

But I digress. Two of my favorite ways to cook chickpeas are either Indian-style (in my own, very loose adaptation of chana masala) or in the Quinoa-Chickpea Pilaf from Veganomicon.  Observe:

Indian-style: this is one of my impromptu “masala” chickpea dishes.  Basically I sautee some onions and garlic, then add a buttload of veggies (carrots, broccoli, some potatoes, and in this one I used fresh tomatoes, though I often use canned).  Then I add a liquid, either broth or one of those delicious simmer sauces in a jar that you can buy at the store.  I usually use broth (mostly because I can’t take the salt in the jars, but they are delicious, and handy when you want something super-quick).  Then add the chickpeas (I almost always used canned these days because I’m lazy).  If using broth, you then need to add lots of good spices.  Curry powder, obviously, and some cumin, chili powder, a little garam masala, and black pepper.  I just do it to taste.  It’s so tasty and lasts for days.
(Sorry for the weird picture…for some reason, no matter how I format it, it still looks odd. Oh well. It was tasty.)


PILAF!!!  From Veganomicon, this is one of my favorite recipes ever and I have made a rule that I cannot eat any of it until 20 minutes after it’s done cooking…for some reason when it’s piping hot I cannot resist throwing back bowl after bowl of it, so I have to wait for it to cool and then slow my roll and enjoy it.  LOVE the taste of the ground coriander in this.

Oh, and I have the nutrition facts for it! Well, sort of. The following numbers are based off of my observation that the recipe yields roughly 6 cups, and then from that I derived the following numbers for a serving of 1 cup (or 1/6 of the recipe):
224 calories, 38g carbs, 5g fat, 8g protein, 6g fiber, 518 mg sodium, 14% DV iron, 26% DV Vitamin B6, 5% DV calcium, 5% DV Vitamin E. Woo!

Another fun way I like to make chickpeas in order to eat them as a snack or as a salad topping is to roast them (like Dreena’s Tamari-Roasted Chickpeas…I think from ED&BV).  And I am dying to try this recipe from Fitness Magazine for Indian-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas, for obvious reasons (namely, that I am obsessed with both chickpeas and Indian food).

Happy gobbling!

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Rainbows

One of the best pieces of healthy-eating advice I was ever given was to incorporate a rainbow of colors into my daily diet. Doing so provides the body with a wide and diverse variety of essential nutrients. Plus, it looks beautiful! I especially love going to salad bars and piling my plate with all the different colors. I also love putting meals together that incorporate a rainbow, and presenting them in a way that showcases their beauty. Below, some photos of rainbow meals or dishes that I’ve prepared and enjoyed. Thinking about them makes me happy on these cold winter days…


A mango and tomato salsa that Dad and I made last summer, tossed with lime juice, finely chopped onion, and cilantro–SO fresh and delicious!


I bought these absolutely gorgeous groceries and just had to arrange them nicely in a bowl…here we have avocados, lime, lemon, tomato, mango, fresh basil on the left, and fresh cilantro on the right. Pretty sure I was making guacamole that afternoon!


A typical snack for A.Cook…delicious sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and grape tomatoes. YUM.

And finally…

My rainbow of roasted potatoes! Despite the dark picture, I’m sure you can see that this dish contained red, yellow, and purple potatoes! I had never had purple potatoes before this, and though I found them a little starchier and less enjoyable than the others, it won’t stop me from eating them in the future, because really, how can you not love a naturally purple food??