June 24th, 2019

 

Chef Mark Allison's Column

Chickpeas or garbanzos beans have a delicious nutlike taste and a texture that is buttery and yet starchy and creamy. They are the main ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, falafels and curries. The normal color of the chickpea is beige, but if you look around Middle Eastern stores you can find other varieties such as black, green, red, and even brown.

Chickpeas are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. We all know how important fiber is to the diet, even more so if you're a diabetic. This rich source of fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels and control appetite. Chickpeas contain a rich source of plant protein, and one cup provides over 80 percent of your daily requirement of manganese, an essential factor in the production of a number of enzymes that are important in energy production in and antioxidant defense of the body. The chickpea is truly a wonder bean, as regular intake can help lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol in the body. They contain significant amounts of folate. Folate lowers the levels of amino acid homocysteine and strengthens blood vessels, which can potentially lower the risk of heart disease. Finally, they contain the all-important phytochemical saponins, which could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis, and reduce hot flashes in post-menopausal women
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Chickpea Burgers
Makes 8 patties

1x can low sodium chickpea, rinsed and drained
½ medium size onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 tablespoon cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

How to make:
Make sure the chickpeas are completely dry, and then tip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, spices and flour. Blend until roughly chopped, but not to smooth, place into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up, then shape into eight even size patties with your hands.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the patties and cook for 3 minutes each side or until lightly golden in color and warm all the way through.

Serve with lightly toasted pittas, homemade tomato salsa, homemade avocado cream and a green salad.

Avocado Cream

1 avocado, stone removed, flesh mashed
1 lime, juice of
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
½ cup Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

How to Make:
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Enjoy,
Chef Mark .

Copyright © 2018, 2019 Mark Allison