Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chickpeas with Rainbow Chard, Basmati Rice with Peas and Carrots (No Added Fat); notes on homemade applesauce and pressure-cooked oatmeal

I've been wanting to cook with chickpeas for a while - it's been too long! I soaked some chickpeas last night and decided to make a dish with rainbow chard that I purchased today. My thought was to cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker, add the chard, cook for another minute, and then add raw onions.

My daughter had a bit of an upset stomach, so I wanted to maximize simple foods like white (not brown) rice, banana, applesauce, etc. We rarely eat white rice, but I bought white Basmati rice today. She wanted carrots in the rice, and I also wanted to add peas. Because the main course (I also served her tofu) wasn't going to be for her, I had the rare luxury of spicing it up and bought a jalapeno (yay!) today. Here is what I did:

  • 1 1/4 cups chickpeas soaked overnight in ample water (say, 5 cups)
  • Water to just cover the beans (maybe 1/2 cup?)
  • 3 stalks chard sliced straight across into 1/4" strips (approx. 3 cups); bok choy could be substituted
  • (optional) about a 3/4" length of a jalapeno diced into 1/4" cubes (maybe 2T - but, of course, this can be to taste)
  • 1 T finely minced (approx. 1/8") ginger
  • 1T tangelo juice (or lemon or lime juice)
  • 1 cup 1/4" onion
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/4 t ground cumin

  1. I drained and rinsed the chickpeas, then, adding enough fresh water to barely cover them, cooked on high pressure for 22 minutes in my Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  2. When I was ready to proceed, I slowly let out remaining pressure and opened the pot.
  3. I mixed in the chard, jalapeno, and ginger, and cooked on high pressure for another minute.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I slowly released pressure, mixed in the juice, onion, salt, and cumin, and served.
I also made white Basmati rice (1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water simmered for 20m). I didn't use a vegan bouillon cube as I usually do for rice, as I wanted something with more of an Indian flavor. Instead, I first sauteed for just a minute or so (with no added fat or liquid in my small Saladmaster stock pan) a little onion and cumin seed, then added the water and rice. After the 20m, I turned the heat off and added frozen peas and strips of carrot, and re-covered for several more minutes.


The chickpeas were great - what a treat to have some cooked-in hot pepper "heat"! The moisture was just right, the texture was good, it was all quite good. The only change I'd at all consider is to maybe soften the chickpeas just a little by increasing the initial cook time to 23 or 24 minutes. But the chickpeas were just fine as they were!

The rice was good but not fluffy enough. It could have used more moisture. I think I'll up the ratio next time to 1:2.

Ideas for the future

I don't cook white Basmati rice often, but will try to remember to try a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. I need to cook with chickpeas more often!

Addendum on Applesauce and Oatmeal

By the way, I feel a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I had never made applesauce before. I rarely eat it but my Dad does, and he always likes to get one that just has organic apples and nothing else. With my daughter needing simple foods, yesterday I decided to try a simple homemade applesauce for her.

I cut the core out of an apple, put it in my Vitamix blender, added a little segment of peeled and seeded lime, and, using the food pusher, pushed the apple and lime into the blades running at medium high. I served with cinnamon on top. Wow - it was the best applesauce that I've ever had, and the red skin of the Pink Lady added a pretty color, showing up like confetti. I bought some organic Granny Smith apples and want to make apple sauce in this way with Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples - the green and red color will be appealing, no doubt.

I also recently started occasionally making oatmeal in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It's simple; I put in a measure of rolled oats and twice the amount of liquid (water could do, I guess, but I use either soymilk or homemade unsweetened almond milk), add a handful of raisins and a little cinnamon, then press the "Porridge" button for a 20m high pressure cooking cycle.  It gives the best oatmeal I've ever made - and the raisins bulge up and become particularly tasty.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home