Speaking of chickpeas …

OMG, I just created my first recipe! Vegan recipe, that is. In my old carnivore days, I would plop a chicken breast (sorry, dead chicken) on the grill, add a few spices, cook a vegetable and some sort of potato and call it dinner. I had many variations of that dinner, switching up the chicken for salmon, the potato for pasta, one vegetable for another. Looking back on it, it was pretty boring, but it did the trick every evening.

Now admittedly I have my new vegan go-to meals and snacks. But today I was looking for something different. It was lunchtime and I was hungry. I closed my laptop and walked into the kitchen. I knew I hadn’t gone shopping in a while so I had to rely on whatever was in the refrigerator or in my “pantry.” Hint, keep these well stocked with basics. In the vegetable bin I had a single red pepper, one cucumber and a red onion. Yikes. I checked my caned goods and found my favorite Eden organic garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas). I love these little roundish balls of protein. I rinsed them in a colander and put them aside. Next I chopped off the top of the pepper, pulled out the ribs inside and cut the pepper left around the stem into slivers. I don’t usually eat onions raw but I was feeling daring. I gave the onion and cucumber a good chop. And that was it. I threw the chopped veggies into a bowl with the chick peas and added some vegenaise (my healthy substitute for mayonnaise). But then came the most important part: I had to make it tasty. Taste and crunch and color, I knew, would be the key. I gave my spice rack a spin and picked out fennel and dill. Don’t ask me why. I like those two and thought they’d made a good fit. I added a touch of salt and some fresh black pepper and voilà, I was done. But would it good? I’ve tried throwing things together in the past, and have a fifty-fifty record. I mixed it all together and spooned it into the red pepper. But before I tasted the pepper-bean combo, I had to try the new mixture by itself. Would it be any good or would it be just a stuffing for a pretty and crunchy outside? I scooped up a mouthful and excitedly put it into my mouth.

It was delicious!! Yahoo!!

So I brought my creation to the table and sat down, ever so proud of myself.

The fennel and the onion gave it a good kick. The crunch of the pepper was very satisfying. I think I remember learning to “stuff” a pepper back in my Weight Watcher days. So why is this so exciting? Because now I am over the 50% status and this was my best and most unique creation yet. I love food and eat at least three times a day and usually add on a late-afternoon snack. Since I eat what I want, I want what I eat to be good.

There are a few secrets to not having a weight or eating problem. One of them is to eat whatever one wants BUT stop as soon as that craving has been satisfied. Our body will tell us when that is. It does not mean when we are stuffed or even necessarily when we’ve finished everything on our plate. That way I eat a lot, whatever I want, a little at a time. Yes, I have my indulgences but that, for sure, is a blog for another time. Here’s the photo of my first creation:

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If you want to try it, you’ll need (but remember I’m not a chef, so please adjust at will):

  • A can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed
  • A red pepper, cap off
  • Part of a small red onion, chopped
  • About a quarter of a cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Vegenaise – a tablespoon or less
  • Slivers of the red pepper from the cap
  • A smidgen of salt and black pepper
  • About 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • A generous 1/2 teaspoon of fennel

Mix and toss into the red pepper (or eat on a bed of some nutritious “green”).

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