While on vacation, I find myself having full days without time to relax. Even trying to rest can be a handful. Mealtime is never overlooked; we must spend time shopping for the ingredients and preparing meals. I plan for easy recipes that don’t take a lot of time, while my mother can spend the morning cooking without giving it a second thought.
So today we will make chickpeas with sausage and a mixed salad. It is fast and easy.
Chickpeas – also called garbanzo beans – are not very popular in the United States. I sometimes cook them at home, but only when I find good quality ones, like the ones from Fuentesauco that are small, faster to cook and have a delicious taste. One of the problems with chickpeas is that they take a long time to cook.
I stay away from canned ones because they are loaded with salt and they taste different. But here in Spain they sell them cooked, inside glass containers with no salt added with an incredible natural taste.
We like to prepare garbanzo beans with the Spanish sausage called “chorizo”, but any kind of sausage works. Chorizo has such a unique taste and smell that your whole neighborhood will notice your cooking.
Here are the ingredients and how to prepare them:
- 1 lb of garbanzo beans dried or canned
- 1 chorizo sausage or any other variety
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
If using dried garbanzo beans, cook them in abundant water and salt, adding ½ of an onion and 1 garlic clove to the pan for flavor. Remove and discard onion and garlic after the beans are done. If using canned beans, rinse with cold water and drain.
In a saucepan heat up the olive oil. When it is hot, add the sausage or chorizo until it is partially brown. Add the garbanzo beans and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes. Keep the saucepan covered, as the beans tend to explode as they get hot.
For a small child this dish is a meal by itself. Garbanzo beans count as a source of protein and as a vegetable. They are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, niacin and folates. For young and old they help decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol; they are also recommended for patients with diabetes, as they help to keep the blood glucose under control.
The meal is complemented by a mixed salad. I also refer to it as a “cleaning the refrigerator salad” since I usually scavenger for anything green.
Today’s salad contained: lettuce, tomato, corn, carrots and a hard-boiled egg. All mixed together and sprinkled with some olive oil and vinegar.
This is Mediterranean style diet at its best.