Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew – the 2022 Revision

Yes, I’m messing with the spice mix. So far I like the changes. Changes from the first version Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew are in bold. In this revision I used dried chickpeas instead of canned. The night before rinse one cup of dried chickpeas with 2-3 changes of water. Then add enough fresh water to cover the beans and soak overnight. (These little guys will approximately double in size so make sure you add enough soaking water). Before cooking, drain well, rinse and toss into a pot. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Add some garlic and onion powders and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • crushed red or cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpea
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15oz. can no salt diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups MOL vegetable broth (MOL= more or less)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add the onion, garlic, and ginger (fresh if you have some, powder if not) to a soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat Add the green pepper and saute for another few minutes.
  • After a few minutes toss in the chili powder, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and red pepper flakes or cayenne. Keep sautéing for another few minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and chickpeas to the pot. Pour enough vegetable broth into the pot to cover the ingredients by an inch.
  • Turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
    After boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about an hour, lid on partially covered. Stir occasionally. Add more broth/cooking liquid as the stew thickens.
  • After an hour taste and adjust your seasonings. The amounts of seasonings I used results in a very mild stew.
  • Serve over rice (or not).

Confessions

This revision has been sitting in my unpublished drafts for a long time. It was time to revisit, cook and taste again to see if it was worth keeping around. I had a half bag of frozen carrots and a third bag of frozen corn. They got tossed into the pool. The corn is a nice addition, bringing in a little sweetness.

The dried cup of chickpeas makes approximately 3 cups cooked. I used the cooking liquid and less vegetable broth.

I’m flying solo this week. At least I have breakfasts and lunches ready to go.

It’s Struggle Meal Time

Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva on Pexels.com

Rice and beans may be a struggle meal, but there’s a reason so many gravitate to this humble dish. It’s filling, it’s nutritious, and it’s cheap. Given the right preparation and a few seasonings, rice and beans can also be delicious and satisfying. Beans are basic, but also infinitely versatile.

Which Beans Have the Most Protein?https://vegnews.com/2022/8/bean-protein-guide

I’ve known for quite some time that beans are a poor person’s meal. But in all of my years on the planet this is the first time I’ve heard of beans referred to as a struggle meal. Well struggling or not everyone should be eating more beans for the health benefits.

Start-up of the month: non-HFSS cereals (Brave) — The Food Science Addict

Are you looking for a better understanding of non-HFSS foods? Do you want to know which brand is thriving? Brave is a UK plant-based snack brand. They have recently developed a grain-free, sugar-free breakfast cereal product made from chickpeas and peas. This product is known as Super Hoops (available in Original and Cinnamon flavours) and,…

Start-up of the month: non-HFSS cereals (Brave) — The Food Science Addict

HFSS = (High in Fat, Sugar, and Salt).

A small step in the right direction. But you still have to get consumers to buy, try, and buy again. Changing habits can be very hard to do.

Make Homemade Veggie Burgers

Krista Navin has been a vegetarian since she was a teen, and says these imitation meats have been creeping onto more menus. It really hit home when Burger King replaced its veggie patty — made by vegetarian stalwart brand Morningstar Farms — with the Impossible Whopper. “I find those types of burgers uniquely off-putting,” Navin says. “I think they have actually done a really good job making them like the real thing and that is exactly the thing I don’t want.”

It’s Time to Put Actual Veggies Back Into Veggie Burgers — https://www.eater.com/23274496/veggie-burger-vegetarian-should-be-made-from-vegetables

Results from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), which included participants aged 35 and older, showed that higher intake of UPF was significantly associated with a faster rate of decline in both executive and global cognitive function.”Based on these findings, doctors might counsel patients to prefer cooking at home [and] choosing fresher ingredients instead of buying ready-made meals and snacks,” co-investigator Natalia Goncalves, PhD, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil, told Medscape Medical News.“Participants who reported consumption of more than 20% of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster decrease of the executive function compared to those who reported eating less than 20% of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods,

More Evidence Ultraprocessed Foods Detrimental for the Brain – Medscape – Aug 01, 2022. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/978365?src=rss

UPF consumption was associated with worse performance in Animal Fluency among older people without pre-existing diseases. Decreasing UPF consumption may be a way to improve impaired cognition among older adults.

Association between ultra-processed food consumption and cognitive performance in US older adults: a cross-sectional analysis of the NHANES 2011–2014 — https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-022-02911-1

“You used to eat those commercially prepared veggie burgers.”

“I don’t eat them anymore. It’s better to make your own.”

Faithful followers know what happened during the inferno summer of 2022 because of my earlier post on Spinach, Mushrooms and Onion. I’m still working feverishly to reduce the number of packages of frozen vegetables to make room for other items. The other day I used up a package of frozen spinach and about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas to make Chickpea and Spinach Burgers.

Yup, that’s right. No recipe. The Boss said,

“Go ahead and toss all of the spinach in the mix.”

So I did. Instead of Chickpea and Spinach Burgers I ended up making Spinach Burgers with a Small Spattering of Chickpeas Somewhere in the Mix.

I promise to post if and when I’m totally happy with the results.

Eat Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol, but they also contain a variety of essential nutrients. There is conflicting evidence as to whether egg consumption is beneficial or harmful to heart health. A 2018 study published in the journal Heart, which included approximately half a million adults in China, found that those who ate eggs daily (about one egg per day) had a substantially lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those who ate eggs less frequently*. Now, to better understand this relationship, the authors of this work have carried out a population-based study exploring how egg consumption affects markers of cardiovascular health in the blood.

eLife. “How eating eggs can boost heart health.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220524124839.htm (accessed May 25, 2022).

Results – Egg consumption was associated with 24 out of 225 markers, including positive associations for apolipoprotein A1, acetate, mean HDL diameter, and lipid profiles of very large and large HDL, and inverse associations for total cholesterol and cholesterol esters in small VLDL. Among these 24 markers, 14 were associated with CVD risk. In general, the associations of egg consumption with metabolic markers and of these markers with CVD risk showed opposite patterns.

Conclusions – In the Chinese population, egg consumption is associated with several metabolic markers, which may partially explain the protective effect of moderate egg consumption on CVD.

Pan et al. investigated associations of self-reported egg consumption with plasma metabolic markers and these plasma metabolic markers with the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In general, there was some impact on metabolic markers which could protect against CVD. The paper will interest scientists in the field of nutritional epidemiology.

Association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A nested case-control study — https://elifesciences.org/articles/72909

To review the study shortcomings hop over to the full study and read the editorial decision letter.

WHAT? Another Website Devoted to Beans?

Yes there is. https://beaninstitute.com/

Here is another post in my world famous Beans for Breakfast AND Electronic Sticky Note series. Honestly, I’m just surfing the Internet looking for bean recipes to make when the temperature outside will be 106 degrees F and I don’t want HOT beans. Note for new visitors to this blog:

  • I do eat beans for breakfast on occasion and
  • An electronic sticky note is a Memo to Self with links to websites for recipes to try as I expand my bean recipe repertoire.

WOO HOO!

The other day I discovered 30 Recipes with a Can of Chickpeas at https://feelgoodfoodie.net/chickpeas-recipes/

I also found 15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes at https://www.thefullhelping.com/15-nutritious-vegan-white-bean-recipes/

Double WOO HOO!

My bean obsession began many years ago during my vegetarian years. I still have this cookbook as proof.

Copyright date is 1984.

In blue zones areas, we found that the longest-lived people eat a full cup of beans every day.

The World’s #1 Longevity Food — https://www.bluezones.com/2016/06/10-things-about-beans/#

Always remember what you don’t eat is as important if not more important to health and longevity than what you eat.

Global Supplies of Chickpeas Could Dip 20% This Year

Tight supplies have helped push U.S. retail prices higher. Chickpeas on U.S. grocery shelves jumped 12% from last year, nearly 17% higher than prior to the pandemic, according to the most recent NielsenIQ data. Hummus prices have increased 6.9% since 2019.

Fewer chickpeas means cheap protein and hummus could be harder to find — https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/focus-fewer-chickpeas-means-cheap-protein-and-hummus-could-be-harder-to-find

I immediately checked the pantry. I have just two 16 ounce tins of chickpeas and approximately half a pound dried. Time to restock!

Spinach, Mushrooms and Onion

OOPS

The past week has been one of those terrible horrible no-good weeks that hit the checking account hard. I won’t list all of the things that stopped working but one thing hurt the most.

The side by side refrigerator/freezer died. I think this appliance was over 30 years old. it functioned as our second unit, a place to keep drinks cold and to stock up on frozen foods to prepare for the future food shortages and higher costs. Buying mass quantities of frozen vegetables as a hedging strategy against higher prices works well until your freezer dies.

I managed to STUFF a large number of frozen bags into our primary freezer. But I have to cook and eat a large number of these frozen bags of goodness to make room. So I started with a bag of spinach.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onions sliced thin
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms sliced thick
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 12 oz frozen cut leaf spinach
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add mushrooms and saute for five minutes. When browned…
  3. Add onions. Reduce heat to medium. Saute for five minutes. When browned…
  4. Add garlic. Saute for one minute.
  5. Add frozen spinach (no need to defrost). Saute for 15-20 minutes. You want the spinach to be drier but not too dry.
  6. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. You are done. Now decide what you’re going to do with this stuff.

What to do?

  • Quesadillas
  • Omelette
  • side dish
  • mix with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses for stuffed shells
  • or lasagna
  • melt some cheddar for a quick sandwich/tortilla filling
  • toss with pasta for a quick meal
  • open a can of white beans, drain/rinse and mix with broth for a quick soup

Welcome to my world.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to make Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw – Bon Appétit. Tonight was a good night to have black bean tacos so I pulled up my original post from nearly eight years ago Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw – (NOT) Bon Appétit

No surprises this time.  I make these tacos differently now. Time for another revision.

The Beans

  • 1 15-ounce can organic low sodium black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (maybe more)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium size lime juiced
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • pinch oregano, dash celery salt (trust me on this one)

The Slaw

  • 1 14 ounce bag cabbage slaw mix
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • onion and garlic powders, a dash apiece
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1.5 limes
  • 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 T honey

Taco Things

  • 4 white or yellow corn tortilla shells, crispy
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (cheddar is OK too)
  • Your favorite hot sauce or salsa
  1.  Drain and rinse the black beans, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, saute the onion on medium flame until soft and slightly browned. Add oregano, cumin, and garlic. Saute until the spices are fragrant, about a minute or two.
  3. Add the well drained black beans.  Add juice of half a lime. Heat until warmed through.  Mash the beans with a spoon but leave some beans whole and chunky. Season with celery salt. Set aside.

The Slaw

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and juice of 1.5 limes.  Mix in honey. Add olive oil to create a smooth dressing. Season to taste with onion/garlic powders, salt and pepper.  
  2. Add the cabbage slaw mix.  Mix well, adjust for seasoning, and set aside.

This recipe will make enough for 4-6 tacos.  If you need more servings, double the bean recipe and buy more taco shells. You will not need to double the cabbage slaw portion.  You’ll have plenty.

Construct your tacos.  

TIPS –

We recently discovered La Tiara authentic Mexican taco shells from Gladstone Missouri.  Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as you until I tried these shells.   Use bagged sliced slaw for pure convenience.  Fresh cabbage? Only if you have the time and eschew convenience. Fresh avocado would be nice. Beer is also a perfect side dish for these tacos.

Veganistas – use vegan cheese.

Is There a Website Devoted to Beans?

Yes there is. https://usdrybeans.com/

This is another post in my world famous Beans for Breakfast series.

I post links like this to remind readers no one can possibly teach you everything. There is a ton of information on the internet to research and read to improve your food and nutrition knowledge. But you have to take the time and be motivated to find solid, good information. Avoiding fad diets would be a good thing too.

And for the conspiracy theorists out there feel free to use this information to fight back against the World Economic Forum telling us to eat bugs. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/good-grub-why-we-might-be-eating-insects-soon/

Eat beans instead of bugs.

Postscript –

I posted then got this:

WOO HOO!