How do you know a meal is nutritious? When it is colourful!
Essential colours to have on your plate include green, red, yellow, orange & black. Vibrant meals suppress your appetite and help you maintain or lose weight. Challenge yourself this winter to always have colour on your plate be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sometimes it is best to have plant-based meals occasionally, like this spicy chickpea & lentil dish. This meal is packed with essential nutrients your body needs to perform at its best in this cold weather. There are vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein which are responsible for most of the health benefits, which range from weight management to blood sugar control.
Including chickpeas in your diet regularly will support your health and may reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Let’s delve into the 4 health benefits of including chickpeas into your diet.
1. Chickpeas are packed with nutrients. They contain a moderate number of calories, providing 46 calories per 1-ounce serving. About 67% of those calories are from carbs, while the rest comes from protein and a small amount of fat. Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fibre and protein.
2. They are rich in plant-based protein. For all the vegans, the chickpea is a great source of protein. If you want to fill full and keep your appetite under control, then indulge in this wonderful legume.
3. Chickpeas have several properties that may help manage your blood sugar levels. Chickpeas are a good source of fibre which is known for its role in blood sugar regulation. This is because fibre slows carb absorption, which promotes a steady rise in blood sugar levels, rather than a spike.
4. If you are having bowel issues, consider including chickpeas in your meal. The fibre in chickpeas has several proven benefits for digestive health. The soluble fibre in chickpeas increases the number of healthy bacteria in your gut and prevent the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. This can lead to a reduced risk of some digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer.
INGREDIENTS: Serves 2
- ½ cup chick peas
- ½ cup lentils
- Cherry tomatoes
- Kale leaves
- Soy sauce
- Cut chilies
- Curry spice
- avocado oil
- Soak the chick peas for 8-12 hours (preferably overnight)
- Stir fry some kale in a pan for 5 min and season to taste.
- In an oven, grill the cherry tomatoes at 150 degrees Celsius for 10 min.
- Put the chickpeas in a pot, fill with 2 inches of water and add ¼ tsp salt. Bring to boil for 15-20 minutes for firmer beans, 40 to 50 minutes for softer beans.
- Put the lentils in a separate pot and fill with 2 inches of water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to boil for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut some garlic, add them to your chickpeas, pour some avocado oil and stir.
- Pour some soy sauce, add some raw cherry tomatoes to your fried chickpeas, add cut chilies and curry spice. Stir until your chickpeas are golden.
- Dress plate with kale leaves first, mix the spicy chickpeas and lentils together.
- Add some grilled cherry tomatoes on top of your meal as well as some raw cherry tomatoes.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Soak time: 8 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
You may be wondering why you should bother cooking chickpeas. Well, it’s all about the texture. Canned chickpeas are a bit too soft and dissolve quickly in the mouth. This recipe will bring out the perfect chewiness of the chickpeas with a touch of spiciness inspired by Japanese cuisine.
I incorporate some soy sauce, garlic and cut chillies which are commonly used in Japanese food. The smell is amazing and makes you want to dig in.
I find it very helpful to soak the chickpeas overnight as this speed up the cooking process.
If you have forgotten to soak the chickpeas, do not worry. Add the beans to a large pot, cover with water and boil for 5 minutes then take off the heat and let them sit in the water for 1 hour. Afterwards, you can add the beans to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
All thanks to The Refillery SA for the best ingredients.