(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
My favorite vegetarian food is bread. That's because it's Food for Life's cinnamon-raisin sprouted loaf that punches up the protein with lentils. Recently, I ordered by mail from their Web site the best ginger cookies I have ever tasted from Sans Bakery in New York City. They increased the protein quotient with garbanzo bean flour. HOPE vegan restaurant in Los Angeles serves chewy, rich chocolate brownies in which black beans are undetectable.
Recently, frozen vegetable pioneer Birds Eye began touting in commercials their vegetable Protein Blends featuring vegetables accompanied by protein sources such as lentils, edamame, black beans and white beans.
You can accomplish similar feats at home. The roasted chickpeas below, for instance, are an excellent accompaniment to steamed squash and cauliflower. The black bean brownies that follow are complete from preparation to finish in about 30 minutes.
Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!
Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.
STEAMED VEGETABLES WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS
1 small squash (about 2 pounds), of your choice, seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1/2 head cauliflower, sliced into florets
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
4 cups snow peas (about 8 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Yields 4 servings.
Place the squash, cauliflower and ginger in a large steamer basket over a saucepan of simmering water and season with salt. Cover and steam until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Add the snow peas, remove the pan from the heat and keep covered until the peas are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sesame oil and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chickpeas and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and scallions; remove from the heat.
Divide the vegetables among plates, over rice if desired. Spoon the chickpea mixture on top and garnish with the mint and sesame seeds.
-FoodNetwork.comCHOCOLATE-BLACK BEAN BROWNIES
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Yields 12 brownies.
Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and oil in a food processor, cover and process until smooth.
Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 12 bars.
-TasteOfHome.comQUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Fresh sage leaves fried for a few seconds in oil and drained are a good accompaniment with a pinch of dried hot chili flakes to breakfast eggs, notes Blanche Vaughan
, author of Egg: Recipes
, which also includes other innovative recipes, such as Thai-Spiced Scotch Eggs and Beet Salad with Herbs and Soft-Boiled Eggs.Lisa Messinger
at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes
(Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet
(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.