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Sarah Lawrence

Ingredient Adventure: Black Chickpeas

I love trying new ingredients.  This bag of Black Chickpeas has been in my pantry for a little over a month now and I decided that tonight was their opening night in our kitchen!  Most of the recipes I've seen that use black chickpeas describe them as a snack or side dish and use them in a spiced sauce with some gamey meat.  Instead of using these little nuggets in their traditional supporting role, I've used them as the star.  This meal was rounded out with a gorgeous saute of ripped kale, seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well as a scoop of steamed quinoa.  I also created a Gingered Coconut Almond Cream to top the Chickpeas, just because... I love ginger and I love a creamy sauce that I can dip into or swirl into a dish.  About 1 Tbsp topped each serving of Chickpeas. The Family Verdict: My 9 year old enjoyed the meal; the 5 year old mixed everything together and ate all but a few bites; my sweet husband left some of the kale and noted that because the black chickpeas look like black beans he expected them to be softer.  I cooked the chickpeas just past al dente, but it would be really easy to cook them a bit more to soften them. Notes: the Black Chickpea soaks and cooks the same as a tan chickpea, though this variety seems much smaller than tan chickpeas.  The taste is also very similar if not the same as the tan variety.  My next 2 experiments will be dry roasting them and trying a Black Chickpea hummus. [caption id="attachment_475" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Black Chickpeas with Kale and Quinoa"]black chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce[/caption] Black Chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce (yields 6-8 servings) Adapted from this Chana-chanp recipe 2 cups dry Black Chickpeas, soaked 1 tsp coconut oil 1 lb Onion, chopped 1 cup coconut milk + 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 lb Tomato, crushed 1 Tbsp cumin powder 1 tsp turmeric powder 3 Tbsp Garlic, chopped 2 Tbsp Ginger, chopped 1 Tbsp chili powder or a generous squeeze of Sriracha, optional handful fresh Cilantro, chopped Salt, to taste Prep: Rinse the chickpeas in cool water to clean them.  Soak the chickpeas over night; drain. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder and cumin and boil until chickpeas are soft, about 45 minutes.  Once the chickpeas are cooked, turn off the heat and add the coconut milk/lemon juice mixture.  Taste.  Season with chili powder or sriracha as desired.  If you are serving children, you may want to reserve a portion before seasoning with the hot pepper options. Top with minced cilantro and serve.   Ripped Kale 1 bunch of kale, ripped or chopped into small pieces 1 tsp coconut oil Heat coconut oil in a wok or saute pan and add the kale.  Saute over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the kale is vibrant green and wilted.  Season with a hint of salt and pepper if desired.   Gingered Coconut Almond Cream (yields 1 1/3 cup) 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup raw almonds 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger Combine all ingredients in the Vitamix or other high powered blender.  Blend until very smooth.  The flavor or the cream intensifies the longer it sits.  Fresh ginger yields a stronger flavor faster.

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creativecalligraphy

Black Beans with Fresh Tomatillo Green Pepper Sauce

With fresh ingredients on hand a quick dinner is easy.  For this one I had cooked black beans, tomatillo, garlic, onion, tomato and herbs.  Start to finish, 10 minutes.  The most labor intensive bit is chopping the onion and getting it sauteed.  If you have leftover guacamole it's an easy add on; leftover rice is equally nice, but don't be ashamed of scooping these tasty beans out of the bowl with a piece of bread or even a few baked tortilla chips.  Can't go wrong.  The great news in this meal is that you control the heat of the spices and the level of sodium.  Have fun cooking!
[caption id="attachment_265" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Black Beans with Tomatillo and Green Pepper Sauce"]Black Beans with Tomatillo and Green Pepper Sauce[/caption]   Quick Black Beans with Fresh Tomatillo and Green Pepper Sauce Beans 2 cups cooked black beans, leftover homemade beans are best, but canned are quick and easy 1 onion, diced and sauteed until golden and sweet ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper Sauce 4 fresh tomatillos 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 handful cilantro ½ of a lime, juiced 1 squirt saracha (to taste) 1 green pepper, seeds removed To prep the black beans:  Combine your sautéed onions and black beans in a sauce pan (or in the pan you sautéed your onions).  Sprinkle chipotle over top and stir.  Warm through. To prep the Tomatillo and Green Pepper Sauce:  Add everything into your Vitamix or food processor. Whiz until you have a sauce that is pretty well pureed… this takes about 10 seconds when I use the Vitamix.  The sauce isn’t totally liquid but isn’t chunky like salsa. [caption id="attachment_267" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Tomatillo Green Pepper Sauce"]Tomatillo Green Pepper Sauce[/caption] [caption id="attachment_266" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Tomatillos"]Tomatillos[/caption] Note: If tomatillos are new to you there are only a few things you really need to know.  First, when buying tomatillos you’re looking for plump, firm produce that fills the papery skins.  Second, the papery skin is basically stuck to the fruit underneath it.  You need to peel the skin off and then wash the fruit in cool water to remove the tacky film.  No other peeling is necessary.  Tomatillos are great raw, boiled and roasted.  You really can’t go wrong!

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creativecalligraphy

Go-To Stew

This is my go-to stew.  Has been for about 5 years.  It's comforting, adaptable and so, so good. 1 pot, 1 hour = simple, incredibly tasty vegetarian meal. Truly a delightful change from ordinary lentil stew or soup. Make sure you have a hunk of great bread(gluten free if you need that) to sop up the stew juices or you'll end up using your fingers!  Serve alongside a big salad for a complete meal. 
Leftovers are fabulous if you warm them and spoon them over rice or millet or quinoa.  This stew is a stretcher and you're going to love it! Jamaican Lentil Stew    
 
 
Ingredients:
 
var oldServing = 4;$('#servingssize').servingsize_dropdown({ddTypeName: ''}); 1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed or smashed and minced
1 inch piece gingerroot, grated (should give you about 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 -2 teaspoon ground cumin (adjust according to taste)
1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk
1 liter vegetable stock
4 ounces split red lentils, washed and drained
1 small sweet potato
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree or 2 cups of cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (the more you use the more spicy it will be)
black pepper, to taste
 
 
Directions: Make a thick paste by mashing ginger and garlic together using a pestle and mortar or a small bowl and the heel of a wooden spoon. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute until transparent. 
Add the garlic ginger paste and saute another 2 minutes until fragrant; lower heat and stir constantly to avoid burning the paste.  Add the spices and saute for a minute more. This step is delightful really because the smells that waft from the pan are vibrant. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin puree. Simmer over medium - low heat for 40 - 50 minutes or until sweet potato is soft and almost melting into the stew. Be sure to stir occasionally.  If your stew is getting too thick lower the heat and add ½ cup of water or stock to get things back on track. Before serving, stir in the red curry paste if you are using it or adjust seasoning with black pepper.  I whole heartedly recommend using the Thai curry paste.  It adds heat and brings depth to the flavor of the stew.  If you are serving kids you may want to pull out a portion of stew for them and them season the remainer.  My kids are accustomed to spices, but I increase the amount of spicy heat a little bit every now and then.  Sometimes it flies and sometimes it doesn't.  I also find that giving the kids the control of the spices helps.  My 4 year old is really adventurous with spice and spiciness. The 8 year old is a bit more conservative, but they both try more than I would have imagined they would. 
    
 
 
NOTE: The stew has a creamy texture and is thick with lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin that melt into a delectable base. If you prefer a lighter soup then add more stock to thin the base, or try adding more coconut milk for a very savory and unique taste.
Want a printable version with nutrition facts?  Back in the day, I posted this on Recipezaar (now Food.com) --- so, here's the link to that version.

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