The Mediterranean diet supports the consumption of legumes at least once per week. That is because they are a very good source of protein (alternative to meat), contain nutrients and lots of fiber which promotes a healthy digestive system.
Kids are not so fond of eating legumes, I know, but it is really worth to try and replace a beef burrito meal per week with beans, or lentils, or peas.
My kids (at least for now) like chickpeas. I searched for a kid-friendly chickpea recipe and all I found was recipes with canned chickpeas. They say that you can buy good quality canned chickpeas, and make a super quick and convenient food with no mess, no chopping, no prep. True, but nothing compares to fresh cooked chickpeas. And it is not only the taste. What about the nutrients? Can a canned and preserved meal compare to fresh?
It is so easy to make chickpeas from scratch. Plus you can make lots of them and freeze them.
Hands on: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 min (pressure cooker) or 50min-1h
½ kg. (17.6 oz) chickpeas
1 large onion (finely chopped)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 springs of rosemary (fresh or dry)
6 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 carrots finely chopped
1 country sausage sliced into half rounds
pepper or smoked paprika
How to do it
Soak the chickpeas in a generous amount of water for 8-12 hours (depends on how fresh your chickpeas are). I do it the night before I go to sleep, to have them ready for the next day.
Take a big wide pot, and when it gets really hot add 1-tablespoon olive oil.
Sauté the sausage for 3 minutes and remove it from the pot.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic for 2 minutes.
Then add the carrots and sauté for 2 minutes.
Then the tomato paste, the bay leaves, the rosemary and the chickpeas. Stir well.
Add some hot water (about 1.6 lt ) until the chickpeas are fully covered.
Season with salt and a little bit of pepper.
If you have a pressure cooker, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes (low heat – according to your pressure cooker instructions). Turn the heat off, let it rest for 5 minutes and open the lid slowly. Add the sausage, check the salt, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir well and cover the pot with a clean towel until you serve.
If you don’t use a pressure cooker, cover pot halfway and simmer for about one hour over low heat without stirring. Check from time to time and add more hot water if necessary. When ready check the salt, add the sausage and some olive oil and serve.
I finely chop the onions, the garlic cloves and the carrots at my food processor. Most of the kids don’t like to find big pieces of vegetables on their meals.
I strongly recommend you ask from Santa a pressure cooker next time. It is so time saving. I boil the chickpeas first thing in the morning, while I am getting the kids ready to go to school.
If there are any chickpeas left you can freeze them. You can also blend them and make an alternative “hummus” flavored with the smoked taste of country sausage. Or drain them and add them to your green salad together with the sausage.