Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chickpeas and Vegetables Stewed in Coconut Milk

I am always trying to think of new ways to prepare dried beans, because they are economical and nutritious, and also because their production uses way fewer environmental resources than meat production.  I had a bag of dried chick peas (garbanzo beans) in my pantry.  They had been there for quite a while.  I thought it was time to cook them up and put them in a dish or two.  So tonight's dinner is chickpeas in a stew with other vegetables.  I actually cooked the chickpeas a couple of days ago in water and a piece of onion, then put them in a covered dish in the refrigerator until I was ready to use them in a dish.  To maximize the sustainability of your eating, choose as many locally grown vegetables as you can.  Most of the vegetables here are still available locally in Connecticut.  I love coconut milk, even though it comes from a place far away from Connecticut, so I thought I would see what I could do with that.  Remember, we are not bragging about being totally pure and perfect in our quest for sustainable eating.  We just take as many steps as we can in the right direction.  The planet will be better off if we all think about the impact of our eating on the environment and try to do make choices every day that minimize that impact.

This stew is flavorful, with a bit of spiciness.  It would probably be good served with couscous, millet, bulgar wheat or brown rice.  I served it with whole grain toast.  I also made a nice salad to go with it--the recipe for that will come in tomorrow's posting!

1 TBS coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1” piece gingerroot, peeled and chopped
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp sea salt
14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 TBS tomato paste
7 leaves Swiss Chard, chopped
handful of chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime

Heat coconut oil in pot.  Add chopped onion and stir, then add gingerroot and garlic and stir.  Add chickpeas and stir.  Next add carrot, then red pepper, then zucchini, then potato, stirring after each addition to combine..  Add cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add coconut milk, tomato paste, and swiss chard and stir to combine.  Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice at end.  Serves 4 generously.

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