Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas and Collard Greens

As many of you may remember from a past post, I am currently enrolled in school to become a nutritionist. After much deliberation, I ended up choosing the Global College of Natural Medicine, which has proved to be a good choice.

I'm not incredibly far into the process but the more I read the more I want to know and the more I want to dedicate myself to being a whole food cooking mama.

You wouldn't belive the amount of nasty stuff the average american consumes on a daily basis. Granted, our family is definitely not 'average'. You and your family may not be either. Although we aren't average, I'm not going to pretend I don't buy some things off the shelves in the store either. Take the chickpeas in this dish.... yes, they are off the shelf. Will I look for alternatives now? Absolutely.

After this morning's rousing lesson though, I am seriously considering refraining from anything off the shelves... yuck!

*Did you know:
Genetically engineered foods are all around us? And I mean alllll around us?

Coca Cola has genetically engineered corn syrup and/or aspartame, Kraft salad dressings have genetically engineered canola oil, Land o' Lakes butter has Bovine Growth Hormones, as does Cabot Creamery.

Tomatoes and potatoes that aren't organic can be engineered with DNA of flounder and shellfish, wax moth DNA and antibiotic marker genes and viruses.

Corn, yellow crookneck squash, canola oil and cottonseed oil have also been modified to withstand high quantities of pesticides.It's disgusting.

The number of ingredients that are genetically modified were staggering to me: than 30,000 products people! Stuff most people don't even think twice about.

And milk... I'll save that one for another post. Let's just say this. I don't drink milk for a number of reasons and I am so glad I don't. I would never give my child milk. Ever.

And now that that's out of the way, what the heck do I cook for dinner?

I am so overwhelmed at the nastiness that seems to be everywhere, I want to eat as 'clean' as possible. I want to feed my family in the most basic, whole way possible. Even more than I already do.

I am really good about buying organic and local basically all the time but now? Now I am going to be vigillant!

Today's meal? Very simple. So simple in fact, it could be a side dish to your own choice of protein. Consider the source of protein though folks; read the packaging carefully :)

Although simple, I love these collards and chickpeas because they are packed with amazing protein and vitamins. It's all there! It's my favorite meal before a big race because it has everything I need to boost my energy without completely depleating me.

Enhanced with cumin and simple salt and pepper, you could even take it one step further and add some spice or even other vegetables. Think of it as your jumping off point to create your own awesome and delicious meal. Or just eat it like this.

2 cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 organic red onion, cut in half and sliced into about 1/2 inch pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon cumin
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 bunch organic collard greens, chopped into bite sized-ish pieces

Note: if at all possible, buy everything organic and/or local :)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil.

In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas and red onion. Evenly drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top then sprinkle 1 teaspoon cumin and liberal salt and pepper. Stir or toss to combine.

Once evenly seasoned, transfer to baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes. At the 12 minute mark, pull pan out, give it a shake, rotate and put it back in the oven for another 12 minutes. You will know when they are done because the chickpeas should be slightly crunchy and roasted on the outside; the onions will be tender and rather caramelized-ish.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan on med/high. Add some extra virgin olive oil, garlic and shallots. Let cook for 1/2 minutes, or until slightly translucent.

To that, add the collard greens, stir and sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and more salt and pepper. Once everything is evenly distributed, reduce heat to low, cover and let sit, stirring occassionally.

Let cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occassionally and tasting to ensure proper seasoning. Add more if you like. You will know they are done when the collards are wilted, yet slightly al dente.

Once your chickpea onion mix is roasted and your collards are appropriately wilted, it's time to plate.

In a shallow bowl, start by arranging your collard greens. On top of that, scoop an equal amount of the chickpea onion mix.

To jazz it up, you can add a lovely curry or red sauce, or simply top with chopped green onions. Oh. And red wine.

Serve a beautiful, fresh green salad alongside, for your fresh fiber.

This meal is incredibly simple, very flavorful and packed full of protein, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.

It could easily be used as a side dish, to accompany tofu or another protein of your choice.


*The information I am choosing to share comes from my studies as a nutrition student with the Global College of Natural Medicine.

If you have questions, please feel free to email me at lapuremama[at]gmail[dot]com



  1. Totally unrelated to the recipe: your last picture is awesome! The wine isn't level so it gives a normally still looking shot some action.

    Also, I look forward to what you learn in your classes. It gives me the easy way out, really. You do all the hard work studying and I get to benefit. Thanks!

  2. You and I are sooooo on the same page!

    I usually notice what other people are buying when I'm shopping and I am often appalled by what I see in those carts. Chemical city!! I wish more people had awareness of what they are doing to their bodies.

    I'm by no means perfect but I am way better than I used to be and improving every day. My husband will thank me for my healthy ways....someday!! :)

  3. I used to buy a lot of organic, but then I wanted to reduce sodium, and the Organic Chickpeas have more sodium than the Reduced Sodium non-organic can. Now I'm stumped! Why do they add more salt to the organic?

  4. Lindsey... thank you! the wine was moving :) I'm glad you can learn through me; I'm happy to share!!

    Teri... yes! Isn't it gross to see what others choose? No one has to be perfect... just good most of the time :)

    Kristen... thank you for your comment! I can understand the issue, for sure. Randomly I just happened to have two separate brands of chickpeas in my cupboard and I'm using them so I thought I'd respond. :)

    The first is Private Selections organic garbanzos. Sodium is 120 mg. The second is non organic S&W from Costco. Sodium is a whopping 460!! I was really surprised! The Non organic has less carbs, at 15g, where the organic version has 21g.

    Maybe the sodium level would vary depending on organic brand? Let me know if you find out any more info. I'd love to hear what you have found out :)



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