Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Quick and Easy Chickpea salad

As Spring weather starts to grace us before it officially starts, it makes you think about lighter fare recipes and naturally salads come to mind. You can’t go wrong with an easy salad that can be paired with the protein of your choice. This is nothing fancy but it packs in nutrients and flavor.  Protein, folate, fiber, and iron in a tasty simple salad – what’s not to love?

Feed the wellness in you!

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. In a bowl, combine chickpeas with all the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Best made in advance!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quick-and-easy-chickpea-salad/

 

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

We survived the Blizzard of 2016!  I’m always ok for welcoming one storm during the winter so hopefully this is where it ends.  Although I prepared to be snowed in a few days I grew tired of the food items I had on hand by day 4.  I needed the ‘curfew’ to be lifted so I can get to the grocery store and be creative.

I often look for recipes that inspire me and luckily I found a winner  Not only did it inspire me but I followed it pretty much word for word in creating it except for two ingredients and some minor changes in the cooking process. This is rare for me. When I say that recipes ‘inspire’ me it is just to give me an idea about creating something from scratch.  Not this time!   I saw the picture of the prepared dish and thought that it looked good, but when I went down the list of ingredients – brown rice, shredded carrots, spinach, broccoli, chickpeas and tofu – I knew it was worth a try.  The only main ingredient I changed was used shredded red cabbage instead of spinach and I’m glad I did.  Not only does it give it more color but it adds to the texture and flavor of the dish.  I think the spinach would be bland and tone the dish down too much.   For the peanut sauce the author used light soy sauce with sesame oil, chili garlic and peanut butter.  I substituted the soy sauce with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and didn’t use any sesame oil.  This sauce is delicious!  Sweet and spicy with a hint of peanut, I can see using this in various ways.

Do yourself a favor and make this REALLY soon!

Feed the wellness in you!

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2-3

Ingredients

  • Tofu Bowl
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • salt/pepper
  • 16 oz extra firm cubed tofu, pressed and drained
  • Peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren't using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add ½ of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Toss the broccoli with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until just tender.
  4. Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. To assemble, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with ¼ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup red cabbage, ¼th broccoli, ¼ cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Alex Caspero - http://delishknowledge.com/peanut-tofu-buddha-bowl/

https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/peanut-tofu-rice-bowl/

 

Three Bean Vegan Soup

3 Bean Vegan Soup

Don’t you just love a warm bowl of soup on a cold day? We experienced some morning weather in the teens early this week and I head straight to the store  with soup on my mind. I love a hearty soup that give you a variety of flavors and textures. This soup is easy to make, quickly if you are in a hurry, without sacrificing flavor.

In addition to a few other ingredients, this picture captures all the items in the soup!  3 Bean Soup Ingredients

Although I call it ‘Three Bean’ soup because of the cannellini, kidney and garbanzo beans there are so many other great things in this soup to add to your nutrition – barley, spinach, baby kale, chard – how about that for a bowl full of goodness!  This is the season for the extra Vitamin C you will get from your greens along with iron and folate; the beans  along with barley give you protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Try it whether the temps dip or not.  Warm your soul.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

3 Bean Vegan Soup

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c pearled barley
  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 1 - 5 oz bag of Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Chick Peas
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Peppers, Celery and Onions
  • 3 links of Light Life Chorizo chopped
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients except for baby kale mix in large pot.
  2. If you're in a hurry bring ingredients to boil then simmer for 30 minutes, adding baby kale mix last 5 minutes until wilted.
  3. If you're not in a hurry, let this cook on low heat for 1.5 hours adding baby kale mix in the last 5 minutes until wilted. This is even better if you prepare in a crock pot.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/three-bean-vegan-soup/

Pumpkin Pilaf

Pumpkin Pilaf

Are you tired of plain brown rice and eating it just because it’s supposed to be better for you? With just a few additional ingredients you can be more creative and get more nutrients with that once plain brown rice. calabazaThis dish doesn’t have the pureed pumpkin we see prominently displayed in the grocery aisles right now.  What is used is the Caribbean Calabaza pumpkin or ‘West Indian Pumpkin’.  It is very popular in the Caribbean and Central and South America.  The seeds of the pumpkin, known as pepitas, are eaten as a snack when roasted and you will often find them added to Mexican cuisine.

I use this pumpkin quite often, especially in soups.  However, this is a great addition to meals on its own and I love it mixed in my rice as I had it growing up.  For added protein I include chickpeas and with minimal seasonings I have a great side dish.  I’ve had this with other side vegetables and even with my vegetarian chili.  The Calabaza pumpkin may not be easy to find but a great substitute is butternut squash.  You could never go wrong with that!

 Feed the wellness in you!

 

Pumpkin Pilaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

The Calabaza is usually cut in to large pieces but you will have to dice it into much smaller pieces. It has a tough skin so be careful and have a sharpened knife ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced Calabaza pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place diced pumpkin in a medium pot with one cup of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for ten minutes.
  2. Add the brown rice and chickpeas to the pumpkin along with 1.5 cups of vegetable broth.
  3. Mix in 1 tbl of tomato paste.
  4. Cook according to the brown rice directions (approx. 20 minutes)
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/pumpkin-pilaf/

No Dressing Chopped Salad

 

No Dressing Chopped Salad

We’re seeing lots of creative salads on spring/summer menus and freshly made salad is the main concept for many of the newer ‘fresh’ casual eateries.  I like to make a batch of salad no matter what season it is that I can use throughout the week.  In order for the salad  to stay fresh all week you have to keep some ingredients separated from others to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.  It’s easy  to toss in the remaining ingredients when you’re ready to sit down for your meal.  Let’s face it, despite salad being a healthy option if we add creamy, sugar laden dressing on top you might as well be eating dessert.  Most of the time when I make a salad, the ingredients I use nullify the need for a dressing.  If I want dressing, I use balsamic vinegar alone hence the reason why I’ve added a little to this recipe.  I thought it would be helpful to share the way I create a salad with a variety of ingredients to minimize the need for heavy salad dressing.

I like a lot of crunch so instead of lettuces I use a coleslaw mix of cabbages and carrots along with chopped spinach.  When I thought about the salad I would make for the week, along with my ‘go to’ leafy greens as the base, these are some of the items I decided on while in Whole Foods and a few from my own pantry.

 salad ingredients.jpg

I added a few more items after taking the picture but you get the gist.  A salad is free reign to be as creative as you want and the flavors are endless WITHOUT the dressing.  The main items that give this salad flavor is a little bit of balsamic vinegar, hearts of palm, a little parmesan cheese, your favorite items from an olive antipasti bar, and blueberries.  The items I included from the olive bar are minimal as you can see in this picture, but will add lots of flavor.

 antipasti.jpg

Add a grilled protein of your choice, chop and mix well, and you will have a delicious, low fat salad complete with great protein, iron and fiber.

Feed the wellness in you!

No Dressing Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6

The first nine ingredients serve as the base of the salad and will yield 4-6 servings depending on the size of your servings. The remaining ingredients are added when you are ready to serve the salad. The prep time does not include the recommended 20-30 minutes for allowing the base salad to rest in its ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Whole Foods Organic Cole Slaw Mix
  • 1 pkg of Whole Foods Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) of garbanzo beans
  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) black eye peas
  • 1 can hearts of palm, chopped
  • Antipasti (items of your choice from olive bar of your choice) chopped - in this salad are 6 pitted olives, two tablespoons of sundried tomatoes, and about 6 gigantes (white beans)
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Mini seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 5-6 Grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbl Shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Crispy onions
  • Avocado (I use at least half but it is optional)
  • 1 tbl pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry your baby spinach, coleslaw mix and sugar snap peas. Make sure all vegetables are dry before proceeding as you don't want excess water. Water will make the salad soggy quicker after storing.
  2. Chop your baby spinach, coleslaw mix, sugar snap peas (remove ends) and put in a large bowl
  3. Add your garbanzo beans, black eye peas, hearts of palm, blueberries and antipasti; mix well with balsamic vinegar. Move to a tight lid container for storage. I like to let the salad sit for about 20-30 minutes before serving but it is not a prerequisite.
  4. To serve, place a serving of salad mixture on plate or bowl.
  5. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, crispy onions, avocado, pumpkin seeds and protein of your choice. Mix well and enjoy!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/no-dressing-chopped-salad/

Chickpea Deviled Eggs

Chickpea Deviled Eggs

I had some friends over for drinks and nibbles last Friday (has it been a week already?) and in addition to dips and cheeses I wanted an easy appetizer to have along with a glass of wine.  I am a fan of deviled eggs although I had not made them in quite some time.  No one in my family likes them and there are also so many more creative appetizers that I enjoy preparing so I tabled the idea of making deviled eggs a long time ago.  However, deviled eggs have found its way on to restaurant menus in delicious combinations.  I’ve seen it with truffles, cheeses, tuna tartar, caviar, crab meat, even potato salad.  I love the freedom you have to refill the egg and with a variety of herbs and spices – tarragon, dill, curry – there could be so much going on in just one bite!

I shared this chickpea idea of deviled eggs with my friends and they really enjoyed them. I wanted a different way of presenting deviled eggs particularly for those watching calories and cholesterol levels. Chickpeas are a great way of getting protein so I eat them often and coupled with the egg white makes this doubly powerful.

I like that you can eat it with one hand and in two bites, with your glass of wine in the other.     It doesn’t take long  to boil the eggs and blend the chickpeas with other simple ingredients!  Quick, easy, classic and tasty.

Feed the wellness in you!

Chickpea Deviled Eggs

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24

Prep time includes time for the eggs to cool.

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 c red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil eggs in water and 2 tsp of vinegar until fully cooked. The vinegar helps the brightness of the eggs and the peeling process.
  2. Once cooked, immerse the eggs in cold water. Add ice to keep the water cold.
  3. Cut eggs in half and discard the yolk. Set aside.
  4. Blend the chickpeas, red onion, sea salt, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, onion powder, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper.
  5. Add juice from one large lemon.
  6. Mixture should be smooth and thick.
  7. Fill each halved egg with the hummus mixture.
  8. Sprinkle smoked paprika on the eggs and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/chickpea-deviled-eggs/

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas1 

Since starting this blog I stayed away from the inclusion of a tofu recipe thus far.  Despite preparing meals with tofu at least 2 days a week,  I figured a tofu dish would be expected on a vegetarian blog, very cliché and the obvious default.  I thought you would find it boring.   While chatting with some girlfriends recently they told me that although they eat tofu they never cook it because they didn’t know how.  They weren’t sure where to start and how to incorporate it into their lifestyles because they would if they could (they are not vegetarians). How many of you are struggling with cooking tofu?  If you don’t fall into this category and this post bores you, please return tomorrow!  But for those who are curious about how to prepare tofu, here’s the first of many tofu dishes, an easy Curry Tofu with Chickpeas.  I always have tofu and chickpeas in my pantry along with the required spices.  I am a first generation American, born to parents from the Caribbean so this style of cooking in this recipe is very natural for me to use.

Tofu dishes can be considered my ‘fast food’.  I regularly have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It can be scrambled for breakfast, added to sandwiches and salads for lunch, used in an array of main and side dishes for dinner, and even in desserts.  The key to adding it to the dish is knowing the type of tofu to purchase depending on what you are making.  There are several different types of tofu – silken, firm, and extra-firm.  Silken is used for soft things like sauces or desserts; firm is best used in salads or things that don’t require a lot of manipulation like a wrap sandwich and extra firm would be used in stir fry’s, baked dishes or deep fried.  When eating out, do not be fooled by the inclusion of tofu in the dish as a healthier option.  It is often deep fried when it arrives so ask how it is prepared before ordering it.  If it is fried, just ask them not to.  It’s a quicker process for the chef to flash fry it than to dry the water out of it.

Tofu is packaged in a big block usually with water.

Tofu in white backround

What helps with  gaining the right consistency for your dish before cooking is to drain the water from the tofu.  I open the package, drain the water, slice the tofu, then wrap it with paper towels, changing at least twice.

Curry tofu 2

I then often bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees so it just gets a little firmer and slightly brown around the edges, as I did with this dish.  When I do bake it, I cube it before placing it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Tofu

With this base of tofu preparation, you can try tofu in various dishes.  Here’s the Curry Tofu and Chickpeas recipe which requires this type of prepping.  I hope you give it a try.  I served it over a plantain mash but I also do it with rice and peas –  it works with any starch you choose.  Use as a side dish with your protein of choice or as a main dish if you’re exploring the green life on that day.

Feed the wellness in you!

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Curry lends itself to be customized for those who love it so pay attention to your spices, taste and adjust accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot - your choice!)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 - 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tbl curry powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • cilantro

Instructions

  1. Prep the tofu as described above.
  2. Saute the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onions, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp curry powder for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Turn to low.
  3. Add your tofu and mix well.
  4. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock along with your chick peas, tomato paste, curry powder, onion powder, ground white pepper, cumin, turmeric, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, scallions, 1 tsp of sea salt, habanero or scotch bonnet pepper.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
  6. Add the additional cup of vegetable stock as it thickens, then turn to low for 25 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes, mix, then let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove the scotch bonnet or habanero before serving.
  10. Serve over your grains with cilantro on top.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/curry-tofu-and-chickpeas/

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, Chickpea

I’ll be the first to admit, there’s nothing ‘pretty’ about this dish but it is SO delicious and nutritious!  Instead of rice or potatoes, try this as a substitute.  I eat the three ingredients in this dish separately all the time prepared different ways but I thought long and hard about combining two uniquely (I’ve had spaghetti squash and quinoa, quinoa and chickpeas)…then decided let’s just go with all three!

The ingredients are savory and unexpected with feta cheese, herbs like sage and spices like turmeric.  I made this in a muffin pan and it scoops out easily with a tablespoon and stores well.  You can also make it as a casserole if you prefer.

So if you’re watching your carbs, need more protein and fiber, give this a try!

Feed the wellness in you!

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 12 cup non stick muffin pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash for 45 minutes to one hour, until skin can be pierced with a knife.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the package in the vegetable stock; should be 10-15 minutes.
  4. Blend the garbanzo beans in a blender until the consistency of hummus.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the mixture to the muffin cups. There should be generous helpings in each.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Gently scoop out with a tablespoon and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/spaghetti-squash-quinoa-and-chickpea-muffins/

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Chickpea and Kale Stew

 

I often get inspired to create dishes while perusing the aisles of the grocery store, particularly Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  I shop at other grocery stores but I really love the layout of the Whole Foods produce section.  I fill my basket with the things that I need, then I take my time and look at fruits and vegetables that are new in season and consider how to incorporate them in my food.  At Trader Joe’s I enjoy looking at the wide variety of pre-packaged and frozen goods for ideas.  They have such unique freshly packaged food, dry and canned goods,  and an array of international cuisine.

My gym is around the corner from Trader Joe’s so I went there after working out last week to grab a few things.  While in the frozen aisle I looked at their Indian meals as I often do and saw a frozen meal of chickpea and kale stew.  I have combined these two main ingredients in soup before, but I loved the new thought of this married with an Indian flare as a stew.  Therefore, I gave life to the idea with this recipe.

I really love the way this evolved with the blend of spices I chose, and the sweetness of the Roma tomatoes adds a great balance.  Very fragrant and visually enticing. It also works well as a main dish or a side dish. I served it over brown rice made with light coconut milk and a side of mixed vegetables.

Here’s the recipe – go at it! Get your fiber, protein, Vitamins A, C and K!

Feed the wellness in you.

 

Kale and Chickpea Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Kale, chopped and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cans Chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup Celery, minced
  • 5 Mini sweet peppers (variety)
  • 3 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 3/4 cup Red Onion, Chopped
  • 6 oz Tomato paste
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the kale in 3 cups of vegetable stock and a teaspoon of sea salt for one hour on a medium heat.
  2. Saute the celery, sweet peppers, garlic, ginger and red onion in two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and mix together.
  3. Add the kale along with the vegetable stock to the chickpeas.
  4. Add tomato paste, paprika, curry powder, 3 sprigs of thyme and a teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes.
  6. Stir periodically and watch your temperature as the chickpeas cook the sauce may thicken and stick.
  7. In the last 10 minutes add your chopped tomatoes.
  8. Turn off after 10 minutes and let it rest.
  9. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle cilantro on top.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/kale-and-chickpea-stew/