Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chickpeas

Chickpeas
The popularity of chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans in 2016 has not waned and looks to be on a winning streak for 2017.  Most of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble fiber, which is great for digestive health. Individuals who eat them typically have better blood sugar regulation since chickpeas are so high in fiber and protein. One-half cup of cooked chickpeas has 134 calories.
Chickpeas are a versatile addition to salads, stir fries and make a crunchy snack when baked. They are called "The New Superfood".  Their rich fiber content may help you lower your cholesterol level and increase your feeling of fullness at meals so you may actually eat less.     
One of the new buzzwords in culinary circles is pulses? Pulses are the category of legume that includes beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils. And did you know every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein? 
2016 was the International Year of Pulses. Pulses help feed and nourish people in every part of the world and they don’t leave a big carbon foot print in doing so. 
Tuna and Chickpea Pita Sandwiches
Cook's notes: Recipe adapted from cookingclassy.com and makes four wrap sandwiches.
Ingredients:
Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2- 1/2 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried crushed
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried
Tuna Salad
  • 2- (4.5 - 5 oz) cans white albacore tuna, drained well
  • 1- (15 oz) can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced and drained on a paper towel
  • 2 cups spinach or Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Whole wheat pita pocket bread
Directions:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, and thyme or rosemary. 
  • To a medium mixing bowl add tuna chickpeas, celery, and red onion. Pour Greek yogurt mixture over the top and toss everything to evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. Refrigerate one hour.
  • Slice pita pockets in half then slice through the center to open. Layer in spinach or lettuce, tomatoes and tuna salad mixture. Serve immediately.
Greek Grilled Chicken Hummus Wraps
Cook's notes: Recipe adapted from Kraft and makes four wraps.
Ingredients:
  • 1 -1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled or baked
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 TB. store- bought Greek vinaigrette dressing
  • 4 (10-inch, burrito size) flour tortillas (wheat, low carb or spinach is fine)
  • 3/4 cup hummus, store-bought or homemade (homemade recipe in notes below)
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
Directions:
  • Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl and pour vinaigrette over it and toss to evenly coat.
  • To assemble wraps spread about 3 TB. hummus over each tortilla, top with chicken, lettuce, 
Homemade hummus

To a food processor 
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can drained chick peas
  •  3- 1/2 TB. drained chickpea liquid or water
  • 3 TB. tahini
  •  2- 1/2 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
Pulse until smooth -it will take about 3 minutes 

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