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Chickpeas with gravy

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on January 09, 2012

Chickpeas in gravy

 

Looking for a way to add plant-based protein to your diet? Here is an excellent recipe. I found this recipe on my Tweeter feed this morning and thought it looked like something we should try. It's best to soak dried beans and cook them rather than using canned, but I know it seems easier to just open a can. I even tried soaking them and using them "raw", but seriously they get rancid/moldy much too quickly unless you keep a close eye on them. Check out the blog, Quantum Vegan, for the full article and recipe.  She mentions adding flour to thicken the gravy. The way we like our gravy is cashew gravy and we just put the raw (preferably soaked but I usually don't remember to do this) nuts and water in the blender (Vitamix is great, but we don't have one) and add one tablespoon of whatever flour you want - actually garbanzo bean flour would work. We're always looking for substitutes for refined flours and wheat while also trying to eliminate as many sources of gluten from our diet as possible. Let me just say that I haven't tried this recipe yet, but will probably fix it for Warren tonight. However, I have definitely discovered that after many years of eating regular flour/roux type gravy, I much prefer the cashew gravy. I like to add about a tablespoon of veggie chicken broth seasoning (msg free!) or other seasoning depending on what flavor I'm trying to achieve. Since this recipe highlights thyme, I would think "chicken" broth would be great and we prefer the veggie type. I know, I know veggie chicken is an oxymoron! Try it like she has it or adjust it with the cashew gravy - either way, it sounds like a keeper.

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1tsp dried thyme
1-2cups veg broth
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
1) In a large skillet or saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the flour and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-5 minutes.  Add the thyme, chickpeas, and 1 cup of broth; stir well to combine.

3) Bring the mixture a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Add more broth as necessary if the gravy becomes too thick.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve hot.

What so great about cashews?:

The great thing about this recipe, especially if you substitute the regular gravy which has very little nutritional value, is to use the cashew gravy. Did you know that  cashews (contrary to what I was taught years ago), have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil! They are high in antioxidants as well. Now how much protein?  Cashews have about 17 grams of protein for each 100 grams of nuts (about 3.5 ounces.)  Check here for information from Whole Foods about all the healthy benefits you get from adding nuts, such as cashew nuts, into your diet.

What about chickpeas?:

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are best known for their very high protein and fiber content.  One of my favorite ways to use chickpeas in to make hummus dip for celery. For those of us trying to increase our plant-based protein and fiber in our meal plans - chickpeas are one of your best bets. For just one cup of beans you will get approximately 17 grams of protein! That's a lot! And as well as that you will receive about 14 grams of fiber. This particular bean has been studied and has shown that incorporating chickpeas into your diet will help keep you satisfied without food cravings. For more information about chickpeas, here is the link to Whole Foods detailed information.

Let me know if you try it!




Organic, Gluten-Free Granola

By Recipes for a Healthier You Appetite Control Snacks
on May 25, 2011
2 comments

Looking for a healthy breakfast or snack?

 

I am SO not good about eating breakfast! I usually don't want to eat anything until I've been up for about two hours. Now, I know this isn't a good practice because I then get hungry mid morning and it's too close to lunchtime - what to do? I just attended a 4-day class on a healthy eating program especially attuned to heart health. One of the main things they emphasized was a fairly big breakfast without animal protein, but full of protein-laden grains. Hot 7-grain cereal was one of the choices and although Warren loves this, it's just not my thing and especially not in the summertime. I also have gluten intolerance, not yet a full-fledged allergy, but I don't do well with most grains, which is why breakfast is a problem for me. 

Not any more! I came across this recipe from our friends at Organic Soul. They are Facebook Friends and we receive their very informative newsletter. This was their featured recipe today and I can't wait to try it. I may try to make it more "raw" by dehydrating instead of baking the granola, but either way, this looks like a winner to me. 

To quote from their website: "Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I feel it is the most important meal to get your day started right. It is essential to provide your body with the necessary nutrients to get you energized and motivated for everything that comes your way. Here is a simple and fun, gluten-free organic granola recipe you can enjoy as a breakfast cereal or as a healthy snack during your lunch time break."

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old fashioned, organic, and gluten- free oats (yes, all oats are naturally gluten free, but read here why you need to check)
  • 1 cup of raw, soaked organic almonds, coarsely chopped *Note: Soaking requires 8-12 hours prep!
  • ½ cup of shredded organic coconut
  • 3 tablespoons of packed organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of raw organic cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup raw organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic raisins (or dried organic blueberries!) (I'm going to try Trader Joe's dried cherries or their blend of dried fruits!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, raw cocoa, ginger and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Stir together honey and oil in a small pan over low heat until combined. Pour honey and oil mixture into the large bowl with oat mixture and stir well.
  5. Spread granola mixture into an even layer onto lined baking sheet. Bake granola mixture for about 40 minutes. Be sure to check every 10 minutes to stir and rotate pan. When granola turns golden brown, remove from over and let cool.
  6. Pour granola back into large bowl and stir in raisins until combined.
  7. Now your organic gluten-free granola is ready to be eaten as a healthy breakfast or delicious afternoon snack!

This recipe was contributed by Jake Webster, chef and food aficionado.

Thanks to our friends at Organic Soul for allowing me to share this recipe. Check in with them and sign up for their newsletter and "Like"  them on Facebook.

Thanks for listening! Let me know if you try this and how it turns out.

 


Why are nuts a healthy snack?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutritional Niblits
on May 24, 2011

Looking for a healthy snack?

 

Well, look no more. Following a large study investigating ways to prevent or reduce metabolic syndrome, it was found that adding 30 grams of nuts per day decreased the incidence of this increasingly prevalent syndrome approximately 14% after one year. Whereas adding olive oil and no nuts, the incidence decreased 6.7%. Either way - it's a decrease and the research is showing that the Mediterranean diet is effective for dealing with this problem.

Research now gives us reason to believe that those people with this syndrome characterized by multiple health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol,  high blood sugar, and with the easiest to diagnose - an expanding waistline due to excess belly fat.  I'll talk more about why belly fat is so dangerous in another blog. But it is helpful that this study shows that these symptoms can be reduced just by adding about one ounce of mixed nuts per day. Now don't overdo it, because although the fat in nuts is "good" fat, too much of any fat is just that - too much. I also would add that the nuts should not be the roasted kind that contain large amounts of salt which is obviously counterproductive. I recommend raw nuts only - soaked overnight if possible and then dehydrated at temperatures below 106 degrees. You can season them easily this way according to your own preferences. I realize not everyone has a dehydrator or the time to do it this way, so please at least eat raw nuts easily found in bulk at your local health food store. Researchers believe the fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids in the nuts helped regulate insulin, blood pressure, and inflammation - all of which can result in metabolic syndrome.

Participants in the study ate about five walnuts, five hazelnuts, and five almonds daily. Kathy McManus, RD, director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, recommends eating the same amount (approximately 1 ounce) when you have a snack attack.

The link below provides the results of a large meta study on this subject.

 

Thanks for listening!



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