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A few weeks ago, I found myself in Orlando, Florida for a wedding. No, I didn’t go to Disney, and yes, I cried through the entire ceremony, and of course I danced. Ohhhh, did I dance. But I also had some fabulous vegetarian food at Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Not only was it delicious and satisfying, it was a revelation. I had one of the best salads I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and my S.S. had a killer Flutter Nutter sandwich, made with almond butter, homemade fluff and sliced bananas.

If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area, it is worth a special trip to the cafe. If you don’t, you can try my attempt at their salad, the Abundant Harvest:

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
4 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to garnish

1. Combine the carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Fold in the quinoa.
3. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Eat. And do me a favor–make this the main course. There’s a good deal of prep, and it’s glorious. It deserves to take center stage.

vegan kitchen sink salad

But wait! The dressing! Tune in tomorrow for my take on the Green Goddess dressing served with the Abundant Harvest at Dandelion Communitea Cafe (like what I did right there?).

Strange, but addictive. I rinsed a can of chick peas, dried them well, and tossed with a touch of canola oil, salt and a bunch of spices from the bowels of my cabinet, including curry powder and cayenne pepper. Roasted them in a 450-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, until they were crisp outside and tender inside.

The result was a curiously tasty snack that would compliment happy hour. They will not help your hangover, though, as they are not so good the next day.

Roasted chi chi beans are a good snack to have if you’re trying to watch your figure (though, if that’s the case, I reluctantly have to suggest consuming them sans happy hour libations).