What’s Cooking? Chickpeas!
They might look like shrivelled nuts but chickpeas can taste delicious and are packed with health benefits. Just three tablespoons count as one of your five-a-day and just under a cup can help you lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart attacks. So a little really can give a lot! They are also a great store cupboard staple as the ready-to-use canned version is just as nutritious as cooking them yourself from dried.
Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein but have a low glycemic index – the perfect combination to help weight loss and control. As well as small amounts of vitamins C and E, chickpeas contain phytoestrogens - a plant version of oestrogen. It’s thought that this is the reason chickpeas have been shown to lower breast cancer risk, minimise the symptoms of the menopause and protect against osteoporosis.
Another way to incorporate chickpeas into your diet is through chickpea flour which is also known as ‘gram’ flour. It’s high in protein, gluten-free and can even be used instead of eggs in some recipes. Chickpea flour is often used in Indian cuisine in poppadoms, pakoras and pancakes.
If you find it hard to think of anything to do with these perfect peas beyond hummous or a curry, let Lisa help you get inventive – Moroccan Quinoa Salad
Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Quinoa Salad
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
- 240g quinoa, mixed red & black
- 4 carrots, grated
- 100g raisins
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. acacia honey
- ½ litre boiling water
- 120g chickpeas, rinsed
- 2 handfuls, chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- 20g crushed pistachio
- 35g toasted pine nuts
- In a medium size saucepan, add the 1 tsp. olive oil sauté over a gentle heat the grated carrots and raisins
- Add the quinoa, cinnamon and honey, stir till thoroughly combined
- Add the boiling water, bring to boil then cover reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, remove from the heat and sit for further 5 minutes
- Fluff with a fork then leave to cool
- Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick pan over a medium heat until browned
- In a large mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, chickpeas, coriander, salt, pepper and paprika
- When the quinoa has cooled, fold into mixture in the large mixing bowl
- Scatter with toasted pinenuts and chickpeas
- Garnish with coriander
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