Tag Archives: chickpeas

They ate it, they liked it!

Chickpeas. Wheatberries. Brown rice pasta. Not exactly kid food. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve sneaked these items into our meal plan and eureka, no complaints!

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Chickpea salad with pesto - no complaints

Sometimes I wonder it’s just a matter of planetary alignment that I get fewer grumbles than usual from my sons. Maybe their growing bodies/appetites are finally forcing their tastebuds to be less discriminating.  I like to think that they’ve surrendered to my passion for themed menus this fall.  Meatless Monday, Whole Grain Wednesday, Thermal Thursday.  They’ve realized I’m not willing to give up this effort easily.  And we’re all starting to look forward to Fun Friday when a) we order pizza or b) indulge in a special meal that isn’t easy to achieve on weeknights and c) we often add a movie from our instant queue on Netflix (you can find those movie titles on the Friday night meal plans too).  Themed meals are certainly making my life easier. The rhythm is easy to remember, especially when the themes are helping me achieve overall goals in the kitchen on weeknights:

Eat more fiber (explore the confusing world of whole grains)

Consume less meat (Meatless Monday is easy: We love fish; the boys will tolerate vegetarian meals)

Use time- and energy-saving techniques (use the pressure cooker, rely on a stable of simple recipes)

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Pork medallions with wheatberry salad

And we’re cooking new foods along the way.  Wheat berries – I’ve always loved wheat berry salads from the deli.  Cooking them at home was an adventure.  I ended up buying both soft and hard wheat berries, even though the recipes don’t specify which type works best.  I soaked them all day ( the soaking time on recipes ranged from zero to overnight soaking). And I cooked them in the pressure cooker, which turned out just fine even if they were a bit squeaky to bite.

More to learn, I suppose. As long as they eat the stuff, I’ll keep cooking it.

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Filed under pressure cooker, Weeknight

Turkey burgers worth repeating

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Turkey burgers get a thumbs up, finally

Ground turkey is slowing gaining respect in my household.

Instead of a guaranteed groan from the guys — all three of them — they’ve become more open-minded when they hear turkey burgers are on the menu.  It took some digging, but I’ve stashed away a few recipes with enough flare to make budget-friendly and bland ground turkey a regular on our weeknight menus.

On Thursday I gave the guys a choice — turkey burgers with zesty Mexican seasonings or curried turkey burgers.  They chose the latter; I was glad.  I had picked up a package of whole wheat Mediterranean flat breads from Trader Joe’s that would be just right with the curried recipe.  Also scored dried cherries and organic chickpeas for a salad featured in this month’s issue of Real Simple.

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Mesclun salad with chickpeas and cherries took t-burgers to new heights

Back to the turkey, it takes a lot of seasoning to make the bird palatable in this form.  In the case of Curried Turkey Burgers, it’s a combination of curry powder, chutney, green onions and mint that gives the burgers a kick, plus a yogurt-based topping. Together with the mesclun salad with dried cherries and chickpeas, the burgers seemed more special than usual.  The boys inhaled the burgers but the salad was snubbed this time around. I understand. I didn’t like chickpeas as a kid either.

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Filed under Quick, Weeknight