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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Lena’s Lunchbox 6

IMG_20140327_151824Lena will be four-years-old  in a few weeks. An exciting thing she has learned recently is how to make her own nori rolls.

Her favorite filling is rice and avocado, but we were out of avocado this week, so she got creative. These nori rolls are filled with pressure cooked brown rice, steamed kale and currants. Yum! Perfect for lunch.

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Lunch 1
Nori Rolls with rice, kale and currants
Lightly boiled organic edamame pods
Oil sautéed Field Roast rounds
Blanched carrot stars and sliced broccoli stalks

 

 

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Lunch 2

Cooked quinoa mashed with baked yam
Falafel (I buy a few at my local food coop)
Blanched red cabbage
Sautéed broccoli

 

 

More of Lena’s Lunchbox:
Meet Lena
Lena’s Lunchbox 5

You may also like:
Healthy Snacks for Children
Children and Vegetables

 

Meal Planning Part 2: My Personal Strategy

A few months ago, one of my blog followers asked me to create a menu plan for her and her family. I had made plans for myself before, but never for someone else. It was harder than I thought it would be, especially because menu plans have never worked for me no matter how many times I have tried. I just don’t stick to it. I don’t even know what I am going to want to eat tomorrow let alone a week from now.

One goal of a macrobiotic approach is to re-learn how to create balance and health for ourselves on a daily basis. Weekly menu plans can be helpful in the beginning as we learn what balance feels like. Over time we will regain our intuition. When this happens, we are able to wake up in the morning and intuitively know what we need to maintain our balance taking into consideration all sorts of factors including how we feel, the weather and our activity level173

But, how do we do this for a family when we have kids and busy schedules? Continue reading

Planning Meals for the Week

One simple strategy I have seen many parents use for meal planning is to have a set dish they make for each day of the week. Then, no matter where you are in your day, whether at work, picking up children from school or wiping noses, you always know that if it is Wednesday, for example, you will have burritos for dinner.

Having a plan that stays pretty much the same every week makes grocery shopping simple, too. It’s easy to always have a stash of tortillas in the freezer and to know that Tuesday night you will need to soak your beans. Or, you pull a jar of already cooked ones from the freezer because every other week you make double. IMG_20131205_124433

Continue reading