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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet including:  better health, food safety, global food crisis, animal rights, frugal living, public health and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/resource depletion (pdf)


. 64 Billion livestock bred each year

. Livestock outweight wildlife 8:1

. Livestock consume 6X megafauna

. Humanity consumes 12% of appropiated Net Primary Consumption NPP--Livestock consumes 58% NPP

. Livestock provide 17% of our calorie intake (fish 1%)
If we ate a plant based diet, we would have a 50% surplus of grain (UNEP,2005)

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health.  Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis.  Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet; we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!

Today I'm celebrating one of the most Earth friendly foods in the world. Chickpeas also called garbanzos, cecis, Indian pea and Bengal gram are high in protein, one of the earliest cultivated vegetables traced back 7,500 years, and a delicious addition to a vegetarian meal. They are used in most cultures and today I will show some familiar and some perhaps not so familiar recipes for chickpeas.
     Spice Roasted Chickpeas
Makes a great, healthy snack, a delicious appetizer with beer or wine and is the perfect way to add some spice and crunch to a salad.

    3 cups chickpeas (tined or soaked)
    2 tbs olive oil
    1½ tsp garam masala
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp mustard seeds
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    ½- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    ½ tsp paprika
    ½ tsp raw sugar
    1-1½ tsp rock salt, coarsely ground (to taste)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and place a baking tray in to warm.

Coarsely grind all the spices and the sugar together with a mortar and pestle.

Rinse and then pat dry the chickpeas well with paper towel.

In a large bowl toss the chickpeas with the oil and spice mixture; ensuring the spices are well distributed and chickpeas evenly coated.

Add the chickpeas to the warmed oven tray, make sure they are spread evenly in one layer and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes.

Check the chickpeas every 10 minutes or so and toss them in the tray to ensure they cook evenly.

After 35-40 minutes keep an eye on them to ensure they do not overcook remembering they will get crunchier as they cool. I like to cook them until they are a lovely dark brown but this is personal preference so make sure to cook them to your liking :)

Remove from the oven and toss through salt to taste.

Serve on a platter with nuts and dried fruit with a little fresh coriander or parsley. Alternatively toss through salad or store for 4-5 days in a jar or air tight container and keep as a light snack or addition to your lunch box.
      Spicy Chickpea Carrot Salad
Just because the weather is cool doesn't mean that I can't have my salad fix. This hearty, winter/early spring entree salad is perfect to wake up your dormant winter tastebuds.
Serves 4-6, H/T Heidi Swanson

    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon honey or use agrave
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    10 ounces carrots, shredded on a box grater or sliced whisper thin on a mandolin or if you're in a time pinch (as I usually am) use pre-shredded as I do.
    2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15- ounce can, drained and rinsed)
    2/3 cup  dried pluots, plums, or dates cut into chickpea-sized pieces
    1/3 cup  fresh mint, torn

    For serving: lots of toasted almond slices

To make the dressing, first toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, a minute or two. Let cool, and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

In a bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried pluots, mint, and almonds, (if you're including those as well.) Gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You can toss this salad, minus the almonds, hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.)
         chickpea and aubergine stew
This is awesome and hearty with some crusty bread or over brown rice.  4 large servings

    2 tablespoons medium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 red onion, chopped into large pieces
    2 green zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
    5 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
    1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, in juice
    1 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
    3 tablespoons Fig Balsamic Vinegar or use a splash of red wine
    ½ cup sliced, pitted olives of choice
    ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

    Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Add onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until light golden, stirring, about 4 minutes.
    Add garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper to pot; cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.
    Add chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, and vinegar to pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes.
    Add olives and mint to pot; stir and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.
        Chickpea Salad
So good. You can have a healthy, earth and sea friendly sandwich without getting out your fishing pole. Makes 2 sandwiches

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup mayo or vegannaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons umebochi vinegar, the best, but can use rice vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1/4 cup chopped celery (about one rib)
2 tablespoons sliced scallions (about two scallions)
a few turns of the peppermill
a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

four slices whole grain bread
a few lettuce leaves, washed and dried well

Place the drained chickpeas in a bowl and mash slightly with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.

Lay out the bread and place the lettuce leaves on two slices. Spoon on the Chickpea of the Sea and top with the other slice of bread. Cut in half and enjoy!
         Coconut Curry Chickpeas
Yummy, soothing curry. Serves 2-3. Thanks vegandad

   2 tsbp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and ginger for 12-15 mins, until onion is a deep golden brown. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
2. Add chickpeas and spices and fry for 2 mins. Add tomato paste and coconut milk and bring to simmering. Adjust spices to your liking. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.
       chickpea taco
Economical, healthy, earth friendly taco filling!

    15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 tbsp tamari
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1 recipe taco seasoning (recipe below)
    8 whole taco shells

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk tamari, juice & spices together. Add rinsed chickpeas and toss until well and evenly coated. Place chickpeas on tray, spray with oil and bake 20-25 minutes, until crunchy. Assemble tacos with chickpeas, arugula or lettuce, tomatoes and eat.

Taco Seasoning

    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper

    In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
                  farinata Pictures, Images and Photos
SOCCA (Farinata)
Once you try this recipe you can't live without it. It's called Socca in France(Nice)where it's street food and Farinata in Italy. It is addictive and a quick and delicious protein fix. Serve it as an appetizer with wine, as an entree with a crisp salad or tuck inside a pita half with tomato, lettuce and cucumber tzatziki .

1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon, at least, freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional.

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

2. If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2-3 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.

3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm. 4 to 6 appetizer servings. For lunch or dinner it serves 2 with a salad

Note: My easy stove top method. Follow batter instructions. Heat a lightly oiled non-stick 12" large frying pan and pour batter into pan. Lightly brown on one side, flip over to brown other side. Done.

"Peace In the Neighborhood"   Paul McCartney

"My Love"   Paul McCartney

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle songs here!

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