01 February 2013

Chick Peas rule!

They're smooth and potato-y, packed with protein, high in fiber, and low in fat. The canned variety are OK, but I like to cook a big batch of chick peas in my pressure cooker and use them in salads, soups, and for impromptu hummus when friends drop in.  Here's another thing I found to do with them, a sort of smoother, Italian-flavored version of hummus, which stands in well for polenta or any other starch alongside fish or meat.

Chick Pea Puree with Basil

2 cups cooked chick peas
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 large handful fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

Whir all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and season to taste. This will keep for a week in the refrigerator, though I don't recommend freezing--the texture gets weird.

Serve in place of polenta as a healthier side or under meats and fish.  Can also be stirred into hot cooked pasta as a sauce along with some fresh diced tomato.  OR, you can use it as the base of a soup--just add vegetable stock until you get a consistency you like, then toss in leftover vegetables and cooked rice or pasta.