janet @ the taste space

Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli

In Mains (Vegetarian), Sides on March 12, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli

So Rob is gone and I am out to play!

A few years ago, I read What We Eat When We Eat Alone by husband and wife team Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin. I was so fascinated by their stories that I wrote my own series about eating for 1. At the time, I had been living by myself for over 6 years (plus another 4 years I lived with roommates). I was fascinated by what people ate when not with their significant other. Truthfully, I don’t really modify my habits too much when Rob is away. I try to stay on track.

However, I emailed Rob about being influenced by the Bad Idea Bears (bonus points if you have any clue what I am referring to). After going to the gym, I was so energized post-shred that I went grocery shopping. My email to Rob:

The bad idea bears helped me reason out why I should buy 8 lbs of chickpeas for $5, spinach (3/$2), baby bok choy (79c/lb), lots of bananas (29c/lb), grapefruit (4/$1) among other things. I bought you some rolled oats, too. :-) oh, and some yogurt (it expires in April so you are still good post-SXSW).

I know my Mom is shaking her head. I thought about it, too. I reasoned it out. Our chickpea stash was getting low!! I am on a chickpea phase! The other beans will not suffice! They are on sale! They will keep. I will eat them. I want my chickpeas!

Plus, my Mom gave me a nice balsamic vinegar for Christmas, so I need chickpeas and greens to eat through that! ;)

(I am thinking about depleting my pantry…)

Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli

So now I have lots of chickpeas and lots of greens. Which is better than a case of beer, right? (Rob thought so, too).

You may have noticed I am posting more and more simple recipes. This is possibly one of my easiest recipes (the broccoli was an afterthought, so the hardest part is chopping the broccoli). In a saucepan, put all your ingredients and make a balsamic reduction with a touch of tomato, garlic and lemon. Within a few minutes, it glazes the chickpeas with a sweet-tart sauce. The original recipe called for ketchup, which I replaced with tomato paste and sweetener. The quality of your balsamic vinegar will dictate how tart it will become and how much sweetener to add. Taste as you go. You could just make the chickpeas, but I found the broccoli to be a perfect match, sweet and crunchy, to balance the strong balsamic reduction. Next time, to make this even easier, I may just whip out my mosto cotto instead.

Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Wellness, this month’s My Legume Love Affair.

Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli
Adapted from Happy Herbivore Abroad

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
sweetener, to taste (I used 3 drops of stevia)
1 crown of broccoli, finely chopped (120g)

1. In a medium saucepan, place the chickpeas, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and garlic. Raise heat to medium and stir until vinegar is mostly evaporated. Stir in the zest, lemon juice and sweetener. Add more to taste.

2. Meanwhile, steam broccoli for 2 minutes, or until slightly al dente and a brilliant green. Stir into chickpeas. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes, to absorb the flavours.

Serves 2.

  1. Now that does look nice. I love chickpeas.

  2. This looks awfully good- totally something I would make for myself, or for both Chris and I. I know what you mean though, about eating differently. There are certain things Chris would prefer not to eat, and those are the things I cook when I’m eating alone. :-)

  3. The Bad Idea Bears invade my head more than I’d like… I’m renaming my street Avenue Q.

  4. Simple, but looks good. We have some dried chickpeas sitting in the pantry, which I’ve been procrastinating about making since I’ve never used dried before and have had horror stories about how difficult they are to cook. But this may compel me to live dangerously and attempt to whip them into shape….

    Interesting that you used broccoli when you had spinach and bok choy, but maybe broccoli does complement the chickpeas best.

    • Haha, you are too funny, Ellen. The broccoli was languishing in the fridge longer but I think it worked the best because it gave more crunch. :)

      Funny you should mention horror stories from dried chickpeas. I love cooking chickpeas because they are the most predictable bean for me. Unlike most recommendations for cooking them 1.5 hours, I always find mine are done in 45-50 minutes (and around 60 minutes if I forget to presoak). Just a bit longer than lentils, woohoo!! :)

      If only my other beans were as well behaved. ;)

  5. Chickpeas AND broccoli?? What a delightful combination!

  6. Are you kidding me? Your Bad News Bears tell you to buy chickpeas? Darlin’, I think you missed the point of the Bad News Bears. Did you see my recent post? Teehee! ;)

  7. When I have the house to myself, I always spend the first night in the most self-indulgent of moods, and end up eating and drinking all kinds of weird things–not the best plan. But then I settle down and start making normal food again. Chickpeas and broccoli sounds like a pretty darm healthy and responsible choice to me–not to mention a delicious one!

  8. I am interested to see how my eating habits change when the.boy and I move in together…but I don’t think they will much since they don’t when he stays over or when I go over there. I’m very controlling about my food :P

  9. I think stocking up on chickpeas and greens is not a bad way to go, if you’re stocking up :) This dish looks delicious too!

  10. Yummy! this looks fantastic – a perfect little bowl of healthy nutrition. I admit that my husband travels often and I definitely enjoy those times when popcorn and carrot sticks just do the trick!

  11. Don’t worry about letting the Bad Idea Bears reason with you…I know someone who would be very happy to take any leftover pantry items off your hands when you move ;)

  12. Delicious and simple, the best meals :) I cook mostly for myself these days and I find when I do that my meals end up being a random mish mash of whatever is in my fridge. When I’m with someone else, they are much more thought out!

    • I have making a lot more meals that serve 1-2 lately and I haven’t quite decided if it is more liberating or more stressful making so many more meals but they are smaller so the risk of failure is less hurtful. ;)

  13. That is definitely simple and delicious looking. I would love to have it for my event @ my blog. Please do take a look and send it.

  14. Mission accomplished! The chickpeas were easily cooked (and enough left over for hummus!). I was a bit fearful that the recipe would be a little underwhelming since there weren’t many ingredients) but it turns out that simple/streamlined/minimalist does not translate to boring or unflavorful. My only tweaks were sauteing the broccoli (I know, I know—some added oil) and sprinkling it with sumac. Yum!

    • Hey Ellen,
      That’s great! Youpee! I know it seemed so simple but simple works, too. Sumac sounds like a great addition. For some reason, I haven’t been able to enjoy sumac as much as I thought (and I love tart foods).

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