Chickpeas, as the name suggests, are the cutest of all legumes. Earlier this month we ate tons of chickpeas in Italy (called ceci in Italian, also super cute!) on my yoga retreat at In Sabina. While indulging in delicious hummuses laced with herbs and pureed eggplant, toasted chickpea salads, and even a pasta made from chickpea flour, my student and friend Robin promised to share this recipe with me as “the absolute best thing you can do with a chickpea.” As a Californian with an amazing green thumb, and as a woman who knows a thing or two about good, fresh food, I can’t help but trust and whole-heartedly endorse Robin on this one.
Ms. Robin Penn’s Chickpea Stew
2 c. dry organic chickpeas (aka garbanzos)
1 container Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth
2 or 3 red peppers, cut into thin slices
4 med. size tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. quinoa flakes (a thickening agent found at Whole Foods, must be flakes!)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. cumin or turmeric
1/2 tsp. lemongrass (generous heaping, a must!)
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion
Soak beans for 8 hours, drain and rinse. Combine beans, broth, red peppers, tomato, and spices in a large sauce pan, slow heat for at least 30-45 minutes. With a wooden spoon, skim the foam that forms on the stew as it boils. Add quinoa flakes to thicken, stir. Add additional spices to taste (ROBIN NOTE: the broth is already spiced, but I find I always want more). Slow heat for about 1 hour to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve and enjoy.
Nadya over at Real Yoga NYC shared this recipe for sugar-free apricot oatmeal cookies with her readers last week, and I just might turn on my oven, even in August, to try them out. Just LOOK at those chunks! A chunky cookie is one of the better things in life. Especially if the chunks are wholesome: flax seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oats. Yum! Give her recipe a go, and peruse some of her other wise, insightful posts about eating an Ayurvedic diet.
Yesterday I made it home after 30 hours of a Planes, Trains and Automobiles-like traveling saga that took me from In Sabina, Italy, to the Lower East Side, Manhattan. A wonderful week of meatless eating at In Sabina was, in a word, lovely (this was to become our official word of the week, describing everything from the orange-pink sunsets to the crisp Orvieto whites to the late-morning walks into town). Chef Elide really outdid herself, again. Having a real, organic, sit-down meal every day, and taking the time to eat slowly, intentionally, has inspired me to sit down for every meal, including breakfast, which means no more shoveling Kashi down the hatch while standing over the kitchen sink, half-watching The Today Show.
where we ate: al fresco, with stunning vistas, sunsets, and wine (lots of it)
My student Jean took some lovely (lovely!) pictures of our meals, and she promises to share them when she returns from her post-retreat Italian travels. Until then, some of the most notable meals we had, in listicle form. They’ll likely be attempted in future Meatless Monday posts. Lovely!
– baked polenta covered in mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil
– eggplant sliced and layered with parmesan, basil, and potato
– mushroom and spinach quiche
– cannellini bean and black eyed pea salad, with olive oil and fresh herbs
– Italian multigrain bread, toasted, and spread with olive and fig tapenade
– grilled zucchini with homemade hummus
– lentil soup, pureed and topped with warm croutons
– baked tomato stuffed with wild rice and rosemary
Viva bene, spesso l’amore, di risata molto.
(Live well, love much, laugh often).