chickpeas

Bitter Greens Bowl

Do you eat differently when your partner isn’t around for a meal?

Danny is traveling for work this week and when the husband’s away, my favorite, semi-strange (to him) foods in funky but delicious combinations have their day! That usually means more beans, greens that aren’t spinach or kale, and some more pugent flavors. This Bitter Greens Bowl encompasses all of the above, but I PROMISE it is delicious in every single way! And hey, perhaps even your other half would like this combination too.

The recipe is written for one person, but the ingredients can easily be doubled to feed two people or for dinner one night and lunch the next.

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Bitter Greens Bowl

vegan, nut-free/serves 1

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 3 cups chopped dandelion greens (tough stems removed)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 cup sugar snap peas

  • 1/2 (15.5 oz.) can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup kraut or pickled vegetable of choice, I used Cleveland Kraut’s Beet Red

  • 1 tablespoon tahini

  • flaky sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the sweet potato until softened. When cooled, cut into 4 pieces.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, dandelion greens, and lemon juice. Saute until the greens have wilted. Remove the greens from the pan and set aside.

  3. To the heated pan add the snap peas, chickpeas, and another glug of olive oil. Saute until the peas start to brown and blister.

  4. In a bowl or on a plate, place the sweet potato, dandelion greens, peas and beans, and some kraut. Drizzle with tahini as desired and top with flaky sea salt.

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Chickpea Kale Bowl with Thai Almond Sauce

What’s one food that your significant other just can’t get on board with? For my SO it was beans. If a black bean landed in a salsa at a Mexican restaurant, he would painstakingly pick each one out! It’s not that he’s one of those, “a meal isn’t a meal if it’s missing meat” kind of guys, he just genuinely didn’t appreciate the taste or texture of most beans.

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I, for one, am a huge fan of these protein-packed plants of wonder. I take the opportunity to add lentils to my lunch salads, enjoy a bowl of black bean soup in the winter, and even take chickpeas to the next level by making a sweet “hummus” or edible cookie dough (check out my last post for the recipe!). Plant-based protein, such as what we obtain from beans and legumes, contains almost all the essential amino acids and is a sustainable choice for the environment as they require less water to produce and actually put important nutrients back into the soil. Plus, I love how easy they are to prepare and how nutty and delicious they taste!

We’ve been having a lot of discussions in our house recently about the value of a more plant-based diet and how eating less meat can have a beneficial effect on our long term health. And to be honest, we’ve been looking to keep dinners on the lighter side after some heavier meat eating over vacation and fall fun. Luckily, Danny’s attention has been caught by more recipes that skip the animal component and he recently found one from Cooking Light that inspired this week’s dinner.

We swapped the lentils for chickpeas, per Danny’s request, and I encourage you to feel free to choose your own favorite plant protein!

Bean Appetito!

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Chickpea Kale Bowl with Thai Almond Sauce- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water, divided

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, divided

  • 2 cups matchstick-cut carrots

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (from dried or canned)

  • 1 (7-oz.) bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed

  • 2 green onions (scallions) chopped small, whites and light green parts

Directions

  1. Stir together vinegar, 1/2 cup water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium. Place carrots in a glass bowl. Add vinegar mixture; let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. Stir together almond butter, lemon juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic in a bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon water. If necessary, whisk in remaining water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

  3. Drain carrots. Place 1 cup chickpeas in each bowl. Top evenly with pickled carrots and avocado. Drizzle with almond sauce and chopped green onions. You may not need to use all the sauce, but the extra stays great in the fridge for a few days.

Salsa Verde Tacos Two Ways

For your next Taco Tuesday I invite you to try my salsa verde tacos TWO WAYS. Danny and I don't always want to have the same protein for dinner, which is totally fine, but on those nights when two different fillings are needed we try to keep the other ingredients and concept simple. 

Danny's fish tacos

Danny's fish tacos

I was in the mood for some sort of bean and had a can of chickpeas in the cabinet; seeing as we've experienced another heat wave this week, this was the fastest, coolest option. Danny requested fish tacos, so we grabbed tilapia while gathering the other ingredients from the store.

Chickpea tacos for me

Chickpea tacos for me

The ingredient that ties this whole dish together is my homemade salsa verde, which Danny requests I make at least once a summer while these tangy tomatillos are in season. Find the recipe for the salsa verde below, along with steps for how the rest of our tacos came together.

Do you and your eating partner sometimes prefer different proteins? Have you ever made salsa verde?

 

Salsa Verde- makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 10 medium sized tomatillos, removed from husk and washed

  • 2 small cloves garlic

  • 1/2 white onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped

  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Start by roasting the tomatillos. Place washed and dried tomatillos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in a 400 degree oven. Cook for about 15 minutes until they start to brown and release a bit of their juices. Remove from oven, let cool, then transfer to blender.

  2. To blender, add garlic, chopped onion, cilantro, salt, and chopped serrano. Blender together until smooth. Transfer to container and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tilapia and Chickpea Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage (I even bought this pre-shredded to save a step)

  • 1 ear of yellow or white corn, raw kernals removed from cob

  • 1/2 beefsteak tomato, roughly chopped

  • 1 lime

  • 1 small tilapia filet (by weight, about 4 oz.)

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (either canned or from dried)

  • cilantro to garnish

  • corn or Siete Foods tortillas

Directions

  1. Place shredded cabbage in a bowl and squeeze juice of one lime over cabbage. Using hands, "massage" lime juice into cabbage to help breakdown and soften it. Mix in raw corn kernals and chopped tomatoes.

  2. To prepare tilapia, add oil of choice (olive, avocado) to a hot skillet. Place fish skin-side up in the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Turn fish, then add a few spoonfuls of salsa verde- the amount is up to you and how saucy you want it to be. Cook for another 2 minutes then turn off heat.

  3. To prepare beans, add a few spoonfuls of salsa verde to chickpeas in a bowl and either micorwave for 1 minute to warm them, or heat them through on the stovetop.

  4. Lightly char tortillas over an open flame. To assemble, take 1 tortilla and add small amount of slaw as the base, then top with either chickpeas or flaked fish, generously adding more salsa verde if desired. Divide ingredients equally amongst 3 tacos per person and garnish with cilantro.