Maple Balsamic Glazed Garbanzo Beans

One of my strategies when cooking for busy families is to make dishes that can be eaten as is or added to other dishes. My style is kind of mix and match. I often create components rather than cooking full meals. I find this gives families greater flexibility in meeting the needs of a wide range of eaters.

These glazed garbanzo beans are a perfect example of my style.They can be part of a snack, thrown into a school lunch, tossed in a grain bowl, added to sauteed greens or sprinkled on top of a soup or salad.

Another thing I often do is make a big batch of beans and re-purpose it into several different dishes. Garbanzo beans, or pretty much any legume, can become hummus, grain and bean burgers, bean soup or my sauteed garbanzo beans. This recipe can be made with either 2 cups of home cooked beans or one 15 oz can of beans. Keep a few cans of Eden brand beans in your pantry and this can be one of your last minute go-to recipes. If you have never cooked your own garbanzo beans, the flavor and texture are outstanding. They are quite different from the canned version. Here are my instructions for Home Cooked Beans.

I have adapted the original recipe which can be found in Dreena Burton’s cookbook Plant-Powered Families. The link is for her website. I have reduced the sodium and the sweetness a bit. These garbanzo beans are meant to be served soft. I know there are a lot of recipes for crunchy garbanzo beans out there, but I think hard, dry foods are hard on the digestive system and contribute to cravings for sweet foods. So, I try to limit them.

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Maple Balsamic Glazed Garbanzo Beans
(adapted from Roasted Balsamic Chickpeas in Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton)

2 cups of garbanzo beans, drained (or 15 oz can Eden brand)
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I love Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve)
1 1/2 tsp shoyu or tamari (alcohol-free, unpasteurized if you can find it)
1 tsp maple syrup or to taste

1. Oven to 400°.

2. If the garbanzo beans were made from scratch and refrigerated in their liquid, you will need to re-heat them before draining. The liquid tends to congeal and won’t drain easily while cold.

2. Measure all the ingredients into a medium size bowl and mix well. Place in a single layer on a large, parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. There will be extra marinade in the bottom of the bowl. Just pour that onto the garbanzo beans and they will soak up the sauce while baking.

3. Bake the garbanzo beans just until they soak up the marinade and turn glossy. Stir once or twice during this process to prevent burning. The garbanzo beans should still be fairly soft when they are done. This process takes about 20-25 minutes depending on the oven.

4. Remove and serve immediately or let cool and store for later use.

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Crave Eat Heal Cookbook Giveaway and No Bake Breakfast Cookies

Last summer I spent quite a bit of time helping test recipes for the newly released cookbook, Crave Eat Heal. I had a lot of fun, especially because I tried a lot of the recipes on a family I worked for. We did taste tests and they love a lot of the recipes that ended up in the cookbook. The No Bake Breakfast Cookies were a hit, and super easy to make with young children.

Author Annie Oliverio, is the creative powerhouse over at An Unrefined Vegan. Her cookbook features fun, tasty, inventive recipes and gorgeous photographs taken by Annie herself. To find out more about Annie, check out this interview over at Urban Naturale.BlogTourBannerCEH

Crave Eat Heal opened up my eyes to a variety of ingredients, flavor combinations and techniques I had never used, or even thought of using, before.

Inside, you will find a wide range of recipes and gorgeous photographs that will spark your creativity in the kitchen and fuel your desire to find satisfying alternatives for even your  (or your family’s) peskiest cravings.

I have personally tested at least 50 of the nearly 140 recipes in this book. Many of these recipes have made their way into my regular rotation. Most of the ones I tested are also kid-approved.

Many recipes have options like replacing stevia with other sweeteners like maple syrup, using an oven instead of dehydrator, using gluten-free grains and other adjustments you can make for specific dietary requirements. What you won’t find are refined sweeteners, processed foods or animal products.

Here are a few of our kid favorite recipes from Crave Eat Heal:
Baked Almond Butter and Apricot Oatmeal
Tempeh Bacon
“Parmesan” Cheez
Coco-Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Creamy Scrambled Tofu
Gabby’s Oatmeal Creme Brulee for One
Butternut Squash Queso

Two adult favorites, besides the ones listed above, are:
Raw/Not Raw Barley Bowl
Brussel Sprouts Salad

Giveaway:

CraveEatHealCover4Littleveg is hosting a giveaway of one copy of the companion ebook, Crave. Eat. Heal. Outtakes.The ebook contains 16 recipes not included in the cookbook. If you would like a copy, please leave a comment answering the question, “What is your most persistent craving and what is one healthy way you satisfy it?” I will draw names for the ebook on May 31 and will announce the winners in a blog post on June 1. You will then have until June 5 to contact me and claim your prize.

Over at sweetveg I am hosting a giveaway of the full cookbook Crave Eat Heal for residents of the US or Canada. Head on over there if you want to participate in that drawing. Names will be drawn May 31, as well.

We love this recipe and often use dried blueberries instead of the cherries, about 1 tsp maple syrup instead of the stevia and unsweetened sunflower seed butter. The cookies can also be chilled and formed into little cookie balls. I love the addition of teff. This recipe doesn’t use very much, so you can always add a few tablespoons to morning porridge. That’s actually one of my favorite ways to eat teff.

No Bake Breakfast Cookies; Photo courtesy of Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

No Bake Breakfast Cookies; Photo courtesy of Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

“These are great for breakfast on the go, a mid-afternoon treat, or a post-workout snack.”
-Annie Oliverio

Gluten-free, Oil-free, Quick, Easy

NO-BAKE BREAKFAST COOKIES

12 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup natural almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp. non-dairy milk or water
1/4 tsp. vanilla-flavored liquid stevia
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. teff
1 Tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, pulse the oats until broken into small pieces.  Pour the oats into a large bowl and add the teff, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cherries.

Add the nut butter, applesauce, coconut milk or water, stevia, and cinnamon to the processor bowl.  Process until very smooth and scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats.  Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Divide the oat mixture between 12 muffin cups and using damp fingers, press the mixture down to create a flat surface.  Refrigerate the cookies until firm.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Suggestions:

For a chocolate cookie, omit the cinnamon and add 1 Tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs.
Try using one ripe banana instead of the applesauce.
Use your favorite dried fruit in place of the cherries.
If you prefer, use maple syrup in place of the vanilla-flavored stevia.  Start with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup plus 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract.
If you don’t have or don’t want to use teff, use additional hemp or chia seeds.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Annie Oliverio and Front Table Books.

Feeding Baby: Minced Vegetables

I don’t always have energy to cook full, fresh meals. Often, I just make a new grain or soup and add it to the mix of leftovers available. One thing I do prioritize is having a fresh vegetable dish at every meal. This can get tricky when I am feeding adults, a four-year old and a baby. Sometimes we all have different needs.

Babies don’t do as well with the lightly cooked vegetables that most adults and children need. They need their food to be softer, especially when learning to feed themselves. We need the light, fresh quality and crunch that shorter cooked vegetables provide. If we consume overcooked, or leftover vegetables regularly it can create sweet cravings and a heavy feeling energetically.IMG_20140424_083405

So what are some of the ways I provide fresh vegetables for babies instead of just reaching for a jar?  Continue reading

Bringing Nature to the Table

A big component of creating health throughout our lives is our ability to align with nature. Children are the same way. Showing them the cycles of nature and how to connect are very important ways we can teach children how to guide their own health.

One of the ways I bring nature to the table is through seasonal poems we read as part of our mealtime blessing. Continue reading

Lena’s Lunchbox 7: Noodle Rolls

It can be hard to provide variety in children’s packed  lunches. A lot of items that are loved at home, especially those of the saucy variety don’t pack well for school. Plus, some foods just aren’t as delicious at room temperature and it can be a little too fussy to send a thermos. Hooray for those of you sending hot food!!

Another factor is that many children in school aren’t given enough time to eat. Continue reading