There are two big lessons that I want to impart to you today: first, cabbage makes an amazing, low-sodium pita replacements and second, cooking with dried chickpeas is kind of amazingly more amazing than using the canned kind.
Now I’m all for convenience. Trust me on this. I’ll happily buy peeled garlic, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and pre-mixed no-salt spice blends. Anything that makes me low-sodium life and cooking easier. And when it comes to beans, I’ve never, I repeat, NEVER used the dried kind. I always rely on the trusty no-salt-added pre-cooked version and a can opener.
But yesterday, I went for it. After reading over and over again just how different the taste and texture of dried beans is versus the precooked kind, I gave in. I bought a few cups of dried garbanzo beans. And I prepared myself for a long, arduous road ahead of soaking and waiting and boiling and probably making a mess.
Which never happened. Because not only are dried beans really great to cook with, they’re also super easy to prepare. Like, “sixty minutes in boiled water” kind of easy. And a quick side note: I’ve re-fallen in love with my food processor this weekend. So on top of getting yourself a bag of dried beans, I highly suggest you get your food processor out of the cupboard and start an affair of your own.
So give it a try and taste the real deal. Make falafels (recipe below) for the work week or hummus or even an oven roasted snack. Get over those cooking fears and misconceptions. And as always, chow on.
HOW TO QUICKLY PREPARE DRIED BEANS
In a pot, cover 1 cup of dried beans with 3 inches of water. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Then remove pot from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it stand for an hour. Then the drain beans before using in your favorite bean recipe.
BAKED CHICKPEA FALAFELS
adapted from Cookie + Kate and her Crispy Baked Falafel recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked (see above)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt-free garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried fennel
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon