Lately, I’ve been trying to eat primarily plant based meals. I stumble here or there, but I feel my best when I eat whole, nutritious foods. Eating junk calories, like fast food and ice cream, not only makes me feel physically like garbage, but it has a huge impact on my anxiety and overall mental state. I’m slowly getting used to the idea that if I want my body to be at its physical best, I need to have the proper fuel.
The hardest thing for me in ditching meat was finding good sources of protein. I eat a ton of eggs and dairy, but I wanted something plant based. So, I’ve basically become a lean, mean bean machine.
Chickpeas sneaked their way into my diet, which according to my food guru Erika, is a great thing. I am the luckiest gal in the world as I have the best people in my corner. Erika is a registered dietitian, so I get to pick her brain about how to best fuel my body for my runs. (Seriously, she’s the smartest and punniest food gal around. You can find her here). Here’s Erika’s take on this humble legume:
One serving (3/4 cup) of chickpeas packs in 7 grams of fibre (perfect for healthy guts), 8 grams of protein (aiding in muscle repair and immune function), calcium (for strong bones), magnesium (protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function), iron (which supplies oxygen to lunges and muscles – key for runners!) and folate (helps maintain healthy DNA).
My favourite way to eat chickpeas is in a super easy stir-fry. I mix-up a can of beans, rinsed, and chop up any veggies I have laying around. For me, it’s typically carrots, cauliflower, and zucchini (which I currently have a ton of in my garden). I’ve also been known to use up frozen veg this way, including green beans and corn. I chop up my veg – usually about 1-1.5 cups of each veg – then I stirfry the chickpeas and veg all together for 10-15 minutes. I top the mixture with some sort of sauce – because obviously, sauce is boss – and cook for another 5-10 minutes. If I’m feeling particularly creative, I will make a homemade peanut sauce, but I’m currently addicted to a store bought mango curry sauce, which I could eat all day. I throw all this on basmati or brown rice that I made in my rice cooker and eat it all up. The whole process takes me 25-30 minutes and I have healthy, delicious meals for the whole week.
What’s your favourite, quick plant based recipe? I’m always looking for new recipes to add into my rotation. Share them with me!
- 1 can chickpeas, drained or rinsed (or use equivalent of dried chickpeas)
- 1-1 1/2 cups each of your favourite vegetable(I typically use cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini)
- Your favourite sauce (curry, peanut, etc)
- Prepared rice, 3/4 cup for each serving
Chop up all the vegetables into consistent sized pieces. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Hea up frying pan (use olive oil if you like) and stir fry the chickpeas and vegetables together for 10 minutes. Add in your desired sauce and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Serve over rice. Marvel at how easy, delicious, and healthy this recipe is.