Garbanzo for Apples

Welcome! I am sure you can only imagine the personal pressure I have put on myself to start off my blog with an AMAZING debut recipe. I kept going back and forth as to what type of first impression I might make to all of you lovely friends and friends-of-friends or random foodies who have stumbled my way. I have been thinking if I start off with a salad recipe, or a pasta dish or maybe an elaborate entree, that it will put me in the wrong “box”. Eventually after I pushed all that nonsense out of my head, I realized all I can do (and all I can ever do in the future) is share with you what I am really excited about right now. And there are two things that I am really into right now; clean eating and garbanzo beans.
Did I loose you on the second one? Humor me for a half second. These little guys are little super foods that most people like but don’t utilize enough. Here are just some of the reasons they are good for you- they are one of the best (if not THE best) sources of fiber, they are an excellent source of manganese, folate and tryptophan as well as good sources of iron and protein. With 65-75% of the fiber found in garbanzo beans being insoluble fiber, they are friends for your digestive tract 🙂 Lastly, these beans decrease cardiovascular risk and support better regulation of blood sugar. WOW all of that in one little bean!
The added bonus is that they are versatile and create substance for non-meat meals. Chick peas are not just for hummus people…not to discredit hummus, that actually is one of my favorite condiments ever.
Having said all of that I would like to share with you this little dish I call  Garbanzo For Apples Salad. Good food does not have to be complicated or intimidating. I find that my favorite go-to recipes are the ones that take the least amount of effort while still having incredible flavors.
For any great tasting dish you must start with the best ingredients you can access/afford. If you follow the good, better, best philosophy then garbanzos beans would go like this; GOOD- canned, BETTER- frozen, BEST- dried. I realize not everyone has the time or desire to start off with the slightly unattractive dried garbanzo bean, but trust me when I say that the flavor is completely worth the effort.
I don’t want to assume that everyone would know the process of using dried beans so here is a quick explanation:
Soak the chickpeas for up to 6 hours (or just do what I do and throw them in bowl w/water before I head to bed). At the end of the soaking time, wash the beans thoroughly under cold running water. Cook the beans in a large pot with lots of water for approx. 1.5 hours at a simmer. Drain and cool.
So that’s it, follow these simple steps, use the freshest ingredients you can and then pair this salad with a grilled veggie burger or pile it onto a mountain of raw spinach and call it a meal!
Garbanzo For Apples
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Inactive Time: 1 hour to chill
Total Time: 1 hour & 15 mins
2 cups garbanzo beans (from your source of choice)
2 apples, chopped (I like you use 1 Granny Smith and 1 Gala…actually my daughter thinks the more apples the better this salad tastes, so pile in as many as you wish)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped finely
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 tsp red wine vinegar
5-6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey (if you do not eat honey you can also substitute pomegranate molasses)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2-1 tsp of chili flakes
juice of half of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in separate bowl. Combine together and place in fridge for at least an hour before consuming but overnight is great too. Chilling this salad really helps sweeten the apples and marinate all the flavors into the garbanzo beans.
Sadly, this salad does not keep in the fridge longer than about 2 days so try to consume within the first day or so (which never seems to be a problem in my house!)

a note from Emily …

My name is Emily and I am a Holistic Nutritionist on a quest to get everyone excited about enjoying plant-based meals.
Being a mother is what inspires me to eat live, natural and whole foods in an effort to protect my health and as well as my families. My original interest came when my daughter was born in 2001 and had digestive issues even with a simple mother’s milk diet. Through my own process of elimination I determined that once I eliminated dairy from my diet her whole disposition changed for the better. Over time, and general societal persuasion, by the age of 2 she was back to eating dairy regularly. Throughout the years she has struggled with asthma and until recently through a food allergy test, I didn’t fully understand her sensitivities to dairy and gluten.  In 2009 when my son was born, I made the decision for myself to change the way my family eats. More consciously. Reading “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Saffron Faer was another pivotal point in my thinking of what I am eating and what am I feeding my family. This new way of thinking also lead me to change my career from the design industry and pursue Holistic Nutrition. I graduated in August 2012 and am now eager and passionate about sharing what I have learned and experienced through this blog.
I always encourage people to eat organic (lessening the toxic load on the body), eat locally and eat seasonally according to your region. Along with doing the best that we can to eat mindfully and with the intention of fueling our bodies for energy and optimal health. I truly believe in all of these eating philosophies but like most people I am not perfect. I have my own struggles with portion control, staying away from foods that are high in fat and well…BREAD!
At the same time I try to stay balanced and not be too rigid. I slip up all the time from my ideals. This blog is in part to remind myself of all the great reasons to stay on track…80% of the time 🙂
My vision for this blog comes from a passion to share my LOVE of food, a desire to always be in the kitchen and a constant curiosity to what’s happening in the health food industry.  I love using traditional recipes that you may have had in childhood and tweak them so that they no longer require animal proteins to make them delicious.
Whether you live a plant-based lifestyle or a curious flexitarian needing a recipe for your Meatless Mondays, I hope to inspire your kitchen skills and learn from you along the way.
Emily Goulet, RHN