Last night after cooking, I took a bag of garbanzo beans (chick peas) and put them in the crockpot to soak overnight. This morning I turned them on high and then reduced to low for them to cook all day. At 4:30 PM the house smelled so wonderful that I became inspired to make one of the healthiest, and most popular, buffet dinners in our house! Teenager approved. (Caveat - if I make something he doesn't like I can risk becoming the short order cook for pizza, macaroni or spaghetti!).
Mediterranean Style Garbanzo Beans
1 lb dried garbanzo beans, soaked and boiled until tender
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic/garlic paste
1 cup no-added-salt chicken broth
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 cup baby spinach leaves (fresh if you can)
Black pepper to taste
Saute the garlic until nutty. Add the chicken broth and reduce to half the amount (evaporate). Add the tomatoes, the cooked chick peas (can use canned, drained instead). Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer briefly. (Serves 8, each 1 cup serving: 222 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, o g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 29 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 11 g protein)
Fluffy Jasmine Rice
For the rice, I cooked white jasmine rice (I know, it should be brown but this is so light and delicious it was our one indulgence!) in the rice cooker - 1 cup rice, 1-1/2 cups water - cooks in 20 minutes - fluff with a fork. It goes REALLY well with the garbanzo beans.
Cut squash in quarters, remove the seeds, cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until fork tender, sprinkle with reduced-calorie pancake syrup and cinnamon.
4 Pepper Lemon Chicken
Wow - this one was a big surprise it tasted so wonderful!
8 chicken tenders (we buy them bulk frozen at Walmart)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper sliced
dash: cayenne pepper, chili powder, black pepper
juice of 2 lemons
orange zest (optional - we used dried orange zest but you can also grate fresh or skip this if you are in a hurry)
Put the chicken tenders in the microwave for 5 minutes - they will thaw and cook slightly which hastens the cooking of this whole dish. Meanwhile, use a large nonstick wok or skillet and saute the onions and peppers. Season well according to your taste. Add the lemon juice. Remove the chicken and chop it lightly into thinner strips - add to the pan. Season with orange and saute until the chicken is done.
For our salad, I used romaine, fresh ginger paste (I buy this in a tube in the produce section of the grocery store), grated carrots and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is so flavorful with the ginger and no salty/fatty dressing is needed. It is always a hit.
Voila - enjoy. I have noticed that a buffet at 4 or 5 o'clock always ends up with kids eating a LOT of healthy items.
Check out the Heart Education Materials and Heart Quiz in our store - February is heart month or see the new materials for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines:
What are you doing for Bean Day? Let us know in the comments below:
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.