Beans do not normally appear too often in Asian recipes, save for soybean products (tofu, tempeh), sweet red bean paste in mochi (Japanese), and mung beans in sweet coconut soup (che, in Vietnamese). I have set out to change this! Beans are awesome, because they’re a plant-based source of protein, essential for eaters who heavily rely on plants to keep them running.
As you all know, I do a lot of food prep on the weekends. Cooking dried beans, some type of grain (usually brown rice, quinoa, or wild rice), chopping up green onions and cilantro, and making mason jars full of cooked steel-cut oats for the week. Because I had the chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) cooked and vegetables already chopped in the fridge, I made this in 15 minutes. WHAT?! Yes, honestly! There really is no excuse for eating well when things are already in the fridge, waiting to be made into something delicious. All that needed to happen was a quick 10-minute stir-fry over the stove, and heating up my rice in the microwave. I also have to add, I made this when I woke up, got ready for work, and realized I had a little time to squeeze a dish in before I woke up baby girl. Boom, lunch was ready by 6am. 🙂
A little nutrition word of advice: to cook dried chickpeas, I soak them for a really long time (at least 12 hours) overnight. I do this because the longer you soak the beans, the more their phytate level goes down. Phytates (and phytic acid) in whole grains, legumes, nuts, and beans inhibit the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Change out the water every now and then, to wash away the phytate that leaches out into the water. Then, the cooked beans will have low phytate levels and you can absorb more nutrients.
I love this dish, and have made it a couple times already. It’s just so great to be able to make something quickly, and not stress out over a meal. Part of the secret to executing easy meals is preparation, thinking of meals ahead of time, and time management. Throughout the week, when I get an idea for a meal, I usually write in my phone what ingredients I’ll have to buy and write a meal plan for the next week. That way, I don’t get stressed out, and even when I don’t have a prepared dish in the fridge, I can almost always find something to put together in no time.