Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chickpeas Florentine

I was having an intense craving for this chickpeas florentine all week.  I really do like pasta dishes.   Maybe I'm 1/1000 Italian or something.  I'm kinda obsessed with starch.   Now, I've found the most amazing way to plantify chicken recipes.  Chickpeas are actually a super awesome substitute for chicken.  I prefer it over the imitation meat because it's as close to untainted as I can get.  Visually, chickpeas look like the head of a baby chick.  The little tip that pokes out resembles the little beaky beak and the rest, the head and the chest.  Amazing huh?

The more amazing thing is that chickpeas, to be very honest with you, actually have a chicken-like taste/smell.  Scout's honor.  I've noticed this many of times either while I doing the following: cooking them, eating them, cooking them or eating them some more.   Take curried chickpeas, for example, a recipe I will feature in the future.  It never fails to surprise me how much the taste is similar to what I grew up eating, which was curry chicken.  So for all the chicken recipes that have posed a problem, I have found the answer!  

This chicken florentine is a big dish.  This serving is like a family-sized serving.  I used it as lunch for the week.  Let's do this.

1/2 box of cooked whole grain pasta
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 sprig of rosemary
3 - 4 sprigs of thyme
2 plum tomatoes
3/4 - 1 yellow onion
1 cup of cashews
2 cups of water
1 cup of cooked chickpeas (cooked with 1/4 onion and no salt)
a liberal handful of spinach
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp of salt (cheese-containing recipes usually use 1 tsp in addition to parmesan or some high-salt cheese)

Side note: When cooking beans, I always soak them overnight.  When I am ready to cook with them, I throw away the soak water and rinse them really well.  Then I cook them for about 35-45 mins with some onion and garlic.  Sometimes I add a tsp of salt.  It all depends.

You got your main plants

....your little plants

...and your big plants

You can have a couple things going on at the same time if you want to keep cooking time to the minimum.  If not, just go one by one.  
1.  Dice up the garlic, onions and tomatoes. 
2.  Blend cashews with water, lemon juice, salt, thyme and rosemary.  (Remember to blend the cashews dry before adding the water)
3.  Cook your pasta (I use whole-wheat, whole-grain or multi-grain)

Pour the cashew blend in a large skillet and add the diced veggies. 

Add the cooked chickpeas and garlic powder.  Let simmer for 20 mins.

Turn off the stove.  Throw in the pasta.  Incorporate the pasta and the fresh spinach. 




Sheesh, that was easy! :)

Straight out of Gourmet


Thank you for reading!  My people, I appreciate you all so much.  Be happy and healthy.  Ciao!

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