Monday, January 20, 2014

Garbonzo Rice Stew

I'm trying to use the food that I have on hand, and not run to the store to buy something new all the time.  I am trying not to let anything spoil in the fridge before it is used.

I cooked a crock pot full of garbonzo beans on Friday, and there were still quite a few left over today, sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be  eaten.  I decided that we needed some kind of soup, and that garbonzos were going to be the main ingredient.  I looked around on the internet to get a few ideas, and then came up with my own recipe, based on the ingredients I had on hand, and suggestions from my kids.

We did the photo shoot before we ate.  While eating, the kids and I agreed that this soup needed something else.  We added some brown rice, left-over in the refrigerator, and now we think the soup is perfect.  But you will have to guess what it looks like with rice added.

Garbonzo Rice Stew

1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced,
3 garlic, minced
1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/8 tsp tumeric
2 Tbsp LaChicky vegan/gluten-free/soy free Chicken style seasoning (or other chicken style seasoning)
1 bunch of kale, chopped
8 cups water
1 tsp salt (or less, depeding on the saltiness of  your beans and your chicken-style seasoning)
6 cups pre-cooked garbonzo beans, also known as chickpeas.  (If you use canned beans, you will need to decrease the salt in the recipe.)
4 cups cooked brown rice

Saute the onions, carrots and garlic in the olive oil until soft.  Add the red pepper flakes, cumin, Italian herbs, tumeric, LaChicky seasoning, chopped kale, water and salt.  Stir.  Add the garbonzos.  Scoop out 2 - 4 cups of the soup, and blend until smooth in a blender.  Place back into the soup pot.  Add the brown rice.  Bring to a boil.  Serve with bread, or crackers and mashed avocado on the side for a delicious lunch.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free, Vegan

Oh my!  Oh my!  I just made the most fabulous gluten-free, vegan, flat bread I've ever made.  It is a little bit like foccacia, and a little bit like pizza.  Preparation was easy, and the kids are begging me to make it again for supper, so I know it is a good one.  It is made from chickpea flour, something that is a staple in many gluten-free kitchens already.

From my reading on the web, it appears that chickpea flat breads were first made in Italy, and then spread to south France, and now are common in South America too where many Europeans immigrated.  I am certain that my version is not authentic, but it is tasty, and nutritious, fitting the needs of my American family.  Your family might like it too.

I include 1/2 an onion in each recipe.  In my opinion, that is what makes this bread fabulous.  But I know other people would disagree with me.  I am pretty certain you could leave it out, as many recipes have no onions or other veggies in them.  But since I eat a plant based diet, I add veggies to any dish possible. Who knows, maybe next time I'll add some kale.

It doesn't taste a bit like chickpeas or beans when it is baked.  If you have people in the family who might think they don't like chickpeas, call it by it's Genovese name, Farinata, instead.

By the way, you may want to consider making a double or a triple batch, because the bread disappears quickly. 

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free Vegan

1 1/4 cups chickpea flour, also called garbonzo flour or besan
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped small
1/2 can of black olives, sliced

1.   Mix together the chickpea flour, salt and water.   Leave it to rest for 30 minutes or more.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Chop the onions finely, and slice the olives.  

4.  Pour the olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet (12 inches round), or other oven proof pan, such as a pizza stone, or even a casserole dish.  Wipe a little of the oil up the sides of the pan about 1/2 inch.  Evenly distribute the onions in the pan, and then sprinkle the olives on top of the onions.  

5.  When the batter has sat long enough, evenly pour it over the onions and olives, careful to cover the bottom of the pan to equal depths of batter.

6.  Place the pan in the hot oven,and let bake for around 25 minutes, or until firm and starting to get a little crispy.  Let the flatbread cool before cutting and handling.