Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oven Roasted Veggies over Lemony Chickpea Mash


Yesterday I wanted to make more “intentional leftovers” to have on hand. This is basically my version of packaged food. I make at least 4 or 6 servings of everything I cook and then we have quick meals for lunch or even breakfast later in the week. I didn’t always cook this way, but it makes things much easier and that is has sold me on the concept. If I tried to make different dishes for every lunch and dinner during the week I would never get out of the kitchen. While I love to cook I generally don’t have hours that I can spend in the kitchen every day.

This dish is a southern Italian variation of the Lemony Chickpea Mash topped with Cumin Dusted Carrots and Cauliflower I made not long ago. That turned out so well I wanted to make a few different variations of the dish. Here is what I did yesterday:

Oven Roasted Veggies over Lemony Chickpea Mash
Serves 4

Veggie Ingredients:

4 cups pureed tomatoes
1 large zucchini, cut into chunks (about 4 cups)
1 large eggplant, cut into chunks (about 4 cups)
1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks
6 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots), depending on how much heat you like this amount will be mild

Chickpea Mash Ingredients:

1 cup dried chickpeas, cooked until very tender (cooking liquid retained to use when pureeing)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
bean cooking liquid necessary to make a thick mixture the texture of mashed potatoes (I used 6 ounces which I added a little at a time to the machine while processing)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots)
black pepper, to taste

Possible Accompaniments:

balsamic glaze
pine nuts
olives
capers
fresh minced parsley

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, I used my convection setting.

Toss all the veggie ingredients together and mix well. Add salt and pepper if desired. Place the veggies in a 9 by 13 baking dish and cover it tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the foil. Bake an additional 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool and refrigerate until needed. The veggies are good hot or cold.

To make the chickpea mash combine the cooked chickpeas, lemon zest and lemon juice in your food processor and puree. Slowly drizzle water into the processor until the mash is the texture of thick mashed potatoes. You want these to have enough body to hold the roasted veggies. Add the seasonings to taste and refrigerate until needed.

To serve top a thin layer of the chickpea mash with the roasted veggies and heat in your microwave or on a covered dish in your oven. Top with any of the possible accompaniments listed above.

Nutrition Information (without accompaniments):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 286.12
Calories From Fat (12%) - 33.1

Total Fat - 4.01g
Saturated Fat-  0.47g
Cholesterol-  0mg
Sodium - 44.38mg
Potassium - 1509.81mg
Total Carbohydrates - 55.08g
Fiber - 17.29g
Sugar - 15.64g
Protein - 14.84g

Comments:

This has flavors that are traditional in Southern Italian cooking. If you like that style of cooking you will enjoy this. The chickpea mash gives this dish a good amount of protein and fiber and makes it a substantial meal.

You can change the seasoning and make this Middle Eastern with cumin, coriander, cilantro and pomegranate molasses if you prefer. You can make it French with herbs de Provence. There are lots of possibilities for changing the flavors of this dish. I will be exploring those more in the coming months since I really like hot chickpea mash topped with veggies.

Today:

I hope everyone had a great day today. My day was good and far more productive than I expected which is always a good thing.

We went through our typically morning ritual and Dan ran out the door to work. After that I walked to the grocery store to buy another 5 pounds of organic carrots. We go through mountains of those things. I almost always get the same cashier at the grocery store. She must wonder what we do with all those carrots, LOL. For those that are curious I walk to the store to get extra activity because I feel that humans were designed to move. Anything I can do to be more active is good in my mind. ;-)


While I was at the store I used my phone to snap a picture of the mums. They seemed much more appropriate earlier when our temperatures were in the 70’s. LOL


When I got home for the store I made myself a simple breakfast. I wasn’t terribly hungry but I know it is important to eat breakfast so I cut up 2 peaches, ½ cup of pineapple and sprinkled 1 teaspoon of white chia seeds over the top. I washed this down with a double green tea.

I make 5 cups of cold brewed green tea every morning by adding 5 tea bags to 24 ounces of cold water and store that in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Then I add about a ¼ teaspoon of ascorbate C powder to the jar and stir it in. It has been reported that the vitamin C helps the EGCG stay bioavailable longer so that you absorb more. Since it can’t hurt me I figure why not go ahead and do it. I try to drink this within a few hours to make certain I get all the nutrition possible since I read another study that indicates that the antioxidants begin to deteriorate after 2 hours (though that was for hot brewed green tea). Sometimes there really can be too much information and this may be one of those times.


Lunch was the rest of the cardamom scented slaw, which I had cold, and some of the cold roasted veggies (recipe in this post) topped with a few pine nuts.

Yesterday watching “Examined Life” had my mind spinning with questions and ideas that I don’t normally consider. One of the more interesting ideas for me was “the moments between health and death.” Obviously all the reading I have done about cancer is what makes this concept important to me.

It wasn’t so long ago that ate food because it tasted good without much thought of health. I used to kid myself that I ate well most of the time so I was better than most Americans. You know that "everything in moderation argument" we are all bombarded with. *rolls eyes* Now I look back at that and shake my head at the ability I had to lie to myself so that I didn't need to make any difficult changes. *shakes head*

Now I am passionate about nutrition, as you all know. When I am making food I am always thinking how I can make it more nutritious and therefore healthier for Dan and me to consume. I do this because I am more aware of the possibility of death because of the cancer. As horrible as cancer is (and it is) it taught me many valuable lessons:

• Never take the people you love and care about for granted
• Don’t assume you are well because you believe you feel fine
• Eat like you care about yourself at every meal because food makes a difference
• Be a good role model for others since you never know when you may have an impact on another life

So why am I brining this up? I think that all of us, me included, tend to forget that we are all somewhere on that continuum between health and death. It is very easy to think we have decades left to do things but maybe we do, and maybe we don’t. I find it very comforting to live each day as though this may be the end. Every day I make certain to let my husband know how much he means to me. He probably gets tired of hearing I love you. However I think we all take people, time and health for granted and we shouldn’t. I just wanted to toss that concept out there for everyone to ponder. You never know how long you have so make the most of it is my motto. ;-)

The other idea from the DVD which took root with me was the question “What have you done to make the world a better place today?” The philosopher specified the idea by saying don’t tell what you didn’t do (example you didn’t eat meat) but what did you do to help someone else? He used the example of people wasting money on expensive designer goods rather than donating money. This idea has been rolling around in my head since yesterday afternoon.

This is such a powerful thought that I wanted to share it. I know I am going to try to be mindful of this every day. It is easy to get comfortable and stay to yourself but I think it also important to reach out and touch someone (either figuratively or literally). This morning I helped a very elderly lady get out of her car at the grocery store. Nothing big mind, but I did do my part to make the world a nicer place at least. ;-) With this is mind, did you do anything today or even this week to make the world a better place? If you didn’t what would you like to do and what is stopping you?  I think we can all make a difference every day if we just want to. :-)


My afternoon snack was a Gala apple (from the big basket at the market this weekend) and 12 almonds. Nothing fancy just a quick bite. I am always surprised by how filling this can be.


I was on my own for dinner tonight since Dan has a project to get out today. When he left this morning he told me to expect him to be late again tonight and not to wait for him to have dinner. I made myself plate of the roasted veggies over chickpea mash (recipe above) topped with balsamic glaze, pine nuts and parsley. Even though my serving was on an appetizer plate I am quite full now. Anything that is abundant in chickpeas tends to be very filling in my opinion.

I am going to go for now. I started reading “This Crazy Vegan Life” by Christina Pirello and I am seriously enjoying it. It is so good I may have to buy this one. I will write a review of it as soon as I finish reading it.


I hope everyone had a great Thursday and is looking forward to the long weekend. I am going to leave you with a picture of the sunset I took tonight. I love looking at the beauty of nature. Have a great evening.

16 comments:

  1. Mmm sounds delicious, thanks for sharing! That's a beautiful sunset, too. :)

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  2. Tiffany,

    You are very welcome, glad you like the sound of it.

    I love sunsets and sunrises but in the morning I am too busy to take pictures. ;-)

    Ali

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  3. Love the idea of the veggies over the chickpea mash. I almost made a roasted veggie salad - this would be a fun change.

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  4. Heather,

    I like the warm chickpea mash with veggie topping. You will probably be seeing more variations of this in the months to come. ;-)

    I have always loved roasted veggies on salad. That was my "house salad" for years.

    hope you are having a good evening,
    Ali

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  5. What a gorgeous sunset photo. And I love walking to the store. I know in some suburbs here walking is nearly impossible, but walkability is good for your own activity and for the neighborhood's health. This is something I enjoy about my current neighborhood and want to find in future homes as I move.

    I like the question of what are you doing to improve your world - many days I do something, but not every day. Sometimes I get a little down thinking that I'm not so great that I can have some sort of positive change over things going on... who am I to step in and say there's something I can make better. What is there that needs my help?

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  6. Jessica,

    Glad you liked the sunset I enjoyed it too. I only wish they lasted longer.

    I love my neighborhood and the ability to walk to stores and restaurants. It is so nice to be able to get around using my own steam most of the time.

    I doubt any of us could do something big to make the world better everyday, but something small is doable. I am going to try to do at least that much every day. Imagine the impact of all of us did that?

    have a great evening,
    Ali

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  7. Thanks for tonight's dinner plan, I was wondering what I was going to cook and this sounds fabulous.

    I got lazy this week and found myself reverting to old ways and used fish as my protein rather then making a wholesome meat free meal. I feel my heart calling me to be a committed Vegan and not a part timer.

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  8. Ann-Marie,

    Glad I could help. ;-) I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    I found it was much easier to commit once I didn't have any animal products in the house to cook. It also helps to have lots of beans on hand. I try to keep some cooked in the frig and freezer at all times. Lentils are great when you don't have precooked beans available.

    Going 100% had huge health benefits for us. Both Dan and I now have very low cholesterol and blood pressure and we feel terrific. :-)

    good luck making the shift!
    Ali

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  9. I love walking for my errands too--I do so pretty much exclusively. I don't think I could survive in the suburbs where you have to drive everywhere!

    Every week I volunteer in the kitchen making healthy nutritious meals for people with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, MS, etc. who get the meals delivered to their homes (by other volunteers). I love it. But you are right that that isn't enough--we should all look for ways to do something *everyday*, no matter how small, to help someone if we can :-)

    Courtney

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  10. Courtney,

    I don't think I am suburbs sort of girl either. There are entire months where I don't start the car. In fact my car sits so much my husband switches between our cars to make sure neither one sits too long. I keep telling him I don't really need a car but he thinks I do in case of an emergency.

    That is exactly what I am talking about! How impressive that you do something that meaningful for others every week! We should all learn from your example. :-)

    There is a woman's shelter here for battered women that am going to see if I can figure out how to contact so I can find out what I can do to help them. Thanks for the inspiration!

    talk to you later,
    Ali

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  11. Hey Alicia,
    Great words to live by! I have been making pretty big changes with my diet lately, and I've been turning to a lot of your recipes for inspiration. This recipe is timely because I had just been thinking about roasted veggies and how it probably wouldn't do well without oil. I see that is not true! Did the tomatoes give the moisture needed while roasting, or is that really not even necessary? Have you had great success roasting most things without oil? One of my favorites is roasted carrots and potatoes, but I can't imagine the potatoes doing well without oil. Your advice is much appreciated! I'd like to try your mash as well, I'm impressed by the low calorie content of this meal despite all the beans :)
    Sarah

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  12. Sarah,

    Sounds like positive dietary changes taking place in Chicago, good for you! :-) Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    Yes the tomatoes are to add moisture and flavor. I think the veggies would be a little dry without it but if you try it without the tomatoes I would love to hear how it works.

    I have roasted potatoes without oil. Check the recipe for chermoula which I also used to roast potatoes that night. When I roast potatoes without oil I par cook them in the microwave to encourage them to soak up the marinade flavor and so the outsdie doesn't get black before the potatoes get tender. I always marinade them when I am not using oil. They are also really good in a marinade of dijon and either wine vinegar or lemon juice. Roasting potatoes without oil will result in crispy potatoes but they will be different. You will know what I mean once you try it. I hope that helps.

    have a great holiday weekend,
    Ali

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  13. Your chickpea mash with veggies on top looks fantastic. I'm going to have to give that a try.

    I love the points you make and the question that you ask about what difference are we making in the world. I'm always thinking of the big picture, but I think it's the small simple things that can make a big difference in the world today. I know that it probably made the elderly lady's day by you helping her get out of the car. Sometimes a simple smile at someone can change their entire outlook on the day. Most days I am in such a rush that I forget about these small simple acts. Small acts can make big differences. :o) Thanks for reminding me of this today!

    What a beautiful sunset...perfect way to end your blog! I hope you have a great weekend!

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  14. Michelle,

    I hope you like the chickpea mash with veggies. I was very happy with how it turned out. ;-)

    All of us are in such a rush most days that we forget about the little things. I know I try to smile at strangers too. Sometime they smile back and other times they just look confused, like what do I want. Overall I agree little things can make a difference. If all of us worked to do something nice for strangers or acquaintances everyday think what difference that would make in the world. :-)

    Glad you liked the sunset I thought it was particularly stunning last night.

    I hope you have a great holiday weekend,
    Ali

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  15. Hi, Ali! Great post with lots of good ideas. I love the idea of making extra food for leftovers; I try to do that sometimes too, but sometimes that extra food gets sniffed out before I have a chance to freeze it, if you know what I mean. I also liked what you had to say about appreciating each day. I personally know there's no guarantee on my longevity. With that, I appreciate every moment I have and tell my loved ones how I feel. So to you, friend, I care for you too! :-) Miss you.

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  16. Blessed Mama,

    Nice of you to stop by. Glad you enjoyed the post. See what happens when I watch a documentary on philosophy? LOL

    I don't have the problem of leftovers disappearing since my hubby barely knows where the kitchen is located. Thankfully the felines don't have thumbs so they haven't figured out how to get into the frig, yet! Sorry I don't have any suggestions to your disappearing leftover problem.

    None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. When three of my friends died from various types of cancer in their late 30's I knew we were all on borrowed time. It is a scary time we live in.

    I hope you have a nice holiday weekend with your family and that all is well in Sacramento,
    Ali

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