Light lunch idea: Chick peas with roasted red pepper, green onion and a hint of balsamic

I ate way way too much in New York at IACP and over the Easter holiday. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to deny oneself when faced with a tableful of delicious foods right in front of you for the taking. And besides there’s always time to recuperate and get back on track.

Red pepper for chick pea

One of the best ways to eat well and lose those extra pounds painlessly is by focusing on beans and whole grains. I happen to love both, so it’s not hard for me. So today I chose to have chick peas for lunch. There are really so many ways to prepare them and I’m offering up to you just one super simple recipe.

Ingredients (for two people):

  • Dried chick peas (garbanzo beans), 300 gr — 10 3/4 ounces
  • One large red pepper
  • 1 green onion
  • Balsamic vinegar, 30 ml — 1/8 cup
  • Olive oil (optional),  20ml — 1/16 cup
  • Salt, to taste

First of all, remember to soak the beans in abundant cold water before going to bed. The next day, following a good twelve hour soak, place the beans in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover the beans plus a few inches to spare.

Salt the water to taste and then cook until tender, usually about 35 to 40 minutes.

In the meantime, roast your red pepper. The easiest way to do this is stovetop. I use a chestnut roaster as it has a lot of small holes which allow the flame to pass through.

Roasting red pepperOnly turn the pepper when it is completely and totally black on one side. Roast all four sides, then the pepper top and bottom.

Once it’s done the pepper will be quite limp. Place the pepper in a sink and run a stream of cold running water over it. You’ll find that the skin, which has been carbonized stovetop, slips right off. Turn the pepper inside out and rinse out the seeds and remove the top stem portion.

Place the pepper on a cutting board and slice into thin strips, and then cut again into shorter, bite sized pieces. I like it finely chopped.

Finely chop the green onion top and an inch or two of the white part and place in a bowl along with the pepper.

Add the cooked chick peas, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (optional) and additional salt to taste. The hot chick peas will cook the green onion and when all the ingredients are tossed together the flavors amalgamate beautifully.

I don’t add any oil…at least now following my weeks of over-indulgence. It really isn’t necessary: the smokiness of the red pepper and the balsamic are more than enough to create an amazing flavor.

Chickpea salad



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