Monday, January 16, 2012

I love garbanzos!

I really do. I make several garbanzo dishes--some of which I will post in the future--and my three-year old loves hummus, but he doesn’t know that hummus is actually ground garbanzos (and other delicious ingredients), and please don’t tell him.

For vegetarians and vegans, garbanzos are a delicious source of protein, zinc, folate, and, dietary fiber. In fact, they are low in fat and contain iron and several other important minerals. I was in love with garbanzos from day one!

Usually, I buy a 16oz bag of dried garbanzos and I pour them in a large bowl then I cover the grains in water. Softening grains is something my mother has always done and I think it is one of the reasons her grains are so flavorful! Following her tradition, I let the grains sit in water overnight. The next day I drain the overnight water, pour new water in a pot add the grains and boil them for 30 to 40 minutes (no salt added). A 16oz bag will yield 3 small containers full of grains (see photo below). I put these bowls in the freezer and whenever I feel like having my favorite grain in stews, soups, hummus, etc… they are ready to go.

One of my favorite dishes is stewed garbanzos or garbanzos guisados. I like eating them over rice and green veggies.

Guiso de garbazos is simple to make. In a pot I add 1 tablespoon olive oil, another one of sofrito, 2 cloves of fresh, crushed garlic, several fresh pieces of red or green peppers (or whichever you have at hand), sautéed this together for a few minutes (3 or 4) on low-medium heat, add the garbanzos (one bowl or 1 can), then add 1/3 of can of salsa (tomato sauce), 1 packet of sazón, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt to taste, and the most important, ½ dried, but pulverized, oregano flakes (you can just crush the oregano with your fingers as you add these to the stew). Sometimes I add small, cubed pieces of calabaza (pumpkin) or cubed pieces of sweet potato. You can also add green beans or small cubed pieces of potato to the stew. I tend to add whichever of these foods I have at hand. The greens in the previous photo is romaine lettuce that I sautéed in a bit of olive oil. 

Recently, I made garbanzo-brown rice veggie burgers! The recipe for these filling burgers was featured in this month's Whole Living magazine. They were simple to make and absolutely delicious. 



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