Unrefined Living

maintaining a healthy balance of the mind, body, and plate


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Curried Chickpeas

This week I made something I’ve been craving for a long time.  Curried chickpeas!  And it was divine!   While I am steering clear of meat again, my go to always seems to be chickpeas.  Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, iron, protein, energy, and are also known to help lower cholesterol and stabalize blood sugar. They are also really tasty and filling which helps with eating healthy and fighting cravings.

I also love, LOVE spicy, and anything curry.  Well, maybe not anything, but you get the idea… This is the photo_2-16first time I actually made curry, where it tasted like actual curry!  And it was pretty darn simple.  I made a side of quinoa and kale to go with this, and it made for really great leftovers too.  I will definitely be making this one again!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans soaked and cooked according to instructions (or two 15 oz cans)
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced (or a tsp of ground ginger)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 2 tbsp of (organic) canola oil, or 2 tsp ghee (can also substitute coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (brown sugar works, if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (or thick sauce works also)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I used trader joe brand, but regular coconut milk in a can or carton will also work)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint or cilantro, chopped (I used mint)

In a large skillet, heat oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and cumin over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add coconut milk, coconut sugar, tomato paste and salt.  Mix and let simmer, then add in chickpeas and stir it up.  Continue to stir until it thickens.  Enjoy on it’s own or add it to quinoa or any other healthy starch of your choice.  Garnish with mint and eat up!

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Eggplant Crunch Burger

This week I made the mother of all meals.  Being an eggplant lover, I am pretty picky about how (and by whom) my eggplant is cooked.  This time I wanted something different and exciting.  I recall having an interestingly yummy vegan eggplant burger at Kobeyaki in NYC last summer.  And this recipe pretty much blew Kobeyaki’s right out the window (side note: not sure Kobeyaki even makes it anymore).  This concoction was inspired by One Green Planet and The Tolerant Vegan.

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What you will need:

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • light olive oil

Check out the recipe for Sriracha Tahini Dressing 🙂

Place sliced eggplant in large skillet coated with olive oil over medium heat.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and soft.  Then set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, to a blender or food processor (I used my VitaMix), and process until mixed well but still lumpy.  Pour into a large mixing bowl, then add the breadcrumbs and mix again by hand.  Use your hands create medium sized patties.  (If you can spare the time, I suggest putting the patties in the fridge for an hour so they set.  This will prevent them from losing their shape when cooked).  Wipe down your skillet and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Cook patties on medium heat, a few minutes on each side or until golden crispy brown.  I like mine well done so I left them longer on each side.  Top with your favorite dressing and enjoy.  I opted for steamed kale instead of a bun. 🙂