FOOD, Recipes

Chickpeas! Made from Scratch

My newest pressure cooker adventure is cooking my own chickpeas instead of using the canned ones. I still keep some cans around for backup for those days when a recipe calls for them and I don’t have any made. I find a batch will keep in the fridge and I take what I need out of it as I go. In my instant pot I can make it in about 40 minutes from start to finish. Actually it’s a bit longer considering the heat up and cook down period so I have to plan an extra hour if I need it that day. It sure beats having to pre-soak and watching the stove, or the slow cooker. Oh, and the flavour! Much more intense than the cans.

I find a ratio of 1:3 works well. In this description I’ll double this because usually that will last a few days.

Here is how it goes:

  • rinse 2 cups of raw chickpeas and add to pot (pick out and sad looking ones)
  • add 6 cups of water
  • cover and adjust the manual timer to 35 minutes.
  • make sure the steam release is closed. I have forgotten to check before and wondered why the pressure would not build up. The cooker will just hiss away until it is closed.
  • After it finishes beeping at the end let it naturally cool down so you keep the flavours in.
  • I use a slotted spoon to transfer them into a container to go right in the fridge. Most of the water will be gone but there will be some left that can be turned into a fantastic soup. Last night I just added water, some chicken pieces that I had in the freezer, rice, and made a yummy congee snack for later. It would make a great base for a lot of dishes so you could also keep it in a glass jar in the fridge for a few days.

By doing this:

  1. I save in the cost
  2. I save the time
  3. I save the salt
  4. I have one less can to recycle

Buy doing this I add flavour and nutrients to my recipes!

ENVIRONMENT, Litterless Lunches

The search for a better way to lunch

I have been packing school lunches for a while now – packing picnics and road food along the way. Lunches are five days a week of course but picnics and on the go snacks have not been my strong point.  It seems we are always in a rush and food always gets packed poorly – by the time we are ready to eat it just never seems appetizing. It is a mindset that we need to be better acquainted with.  That and a better system of packing that is economical, Eco-friendly and easily put together plus easy/fun to maintain.  Robins lunch bag is pretty good. She has a couple but I usually use the Lands End one because it is better insulated. Often it is still cool inside when I unpack it at the end of the day – the cooler pack is still partially frozen sometimes which I find amazing and comforting since it sits in her backpack in between eating times. It is an important feature not only for the freshness and healthy eating reasons but also to keep he lunch appetizing. Who wants to eat fruit that is warm and siting in condensation juice or brown apples slices.

When it comes to packing I use plastic baggies less and less.  I send her in with a water bottle that she refills at the water station at school. I used to give her juice boxes but even that seemed like a waste to be. I cringe at the amount of juice containers in the blue boxes when I am at the school.  Drinking less juice too is good when you consider the amount of sugar.   That way when she had it at home or while we are out it is not a big deal. we currently use a variety of plastic snap lock containers but I would even like to move away from those. The plastic gets scratched and discoloured over time and even though it is BPA free they must begin to degrade and leech something into your food?  The production of plastic also has a huge impact on the environment. The toxins that are released…

Glass is heavy and not to mention breakable -probably not the best choice for a 7 year old’s backpack. Right now I find the weight pretty good. She has an agenda, lunch, usually  a sweater or extra gloves or hat in the winter, something she wants to show the class or a toy to use at recess….So i have been looking for steel food containers.