Raw Vibrant Chickpea Stew
This may be the healthiest dish we have ever eaten. I can only see stew this doing wonderful things for us and it tastes amazing (always a bonus).
I love the name ‘gigglebeans’, it’s is what Jane’s friend Alex calls chickpeas (or garbanzos, they have so many names!) What ever we choose to call them, they are fine legume and a welcome addition to raw June at the Beach House.
We had tried previously to soak and sprout chickpeas. I don’t think we have the heat here. It has been a very strange season this year, our plants are not sure whether its winter or summer. I know the feeling! This may have affected the chickpea sprouts, as they don’t seem to like sprouting, they just swell up. After soaking the chicks for 12 hours, we have discovered that they are delicious, even without a sprout. It has been a revelation. Nothing adds bite and vitality to a salad like a crunchy chickpea, jam packed full of nutrition and protein, they are a real gift from nature. They are just like nuts, without the fats.
I am always compelled to add the flavours of India or North Africa/Middle East to a chickpea. It just seems correct. I have restrained myself this time as I am having a few days detox before raw June ends. I feel quite amazing! I have never been a fan of the word detox, but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve dropped nuts and oils (fats in general) from what I eat and my energy levels have gone through the roof. You wouldn’t imagine that, but it is true. I went for a jog last night and I felt positively turbo charged. I’m not sure if it is wise as a long term diet, but who knows. I feel magic now.
This raw stew came together from the idea for a dressing. It is definitely more of a stew, mainly due to the lack of leaves and the quantity of dressing. The dressing itself can be used on most vegetables and you can add some olive oil and salt, if you are not having fun experimenting with the raw things.
In future I may add some fresh herbs to the dressing, a handful of mint of basil would be delicious. But as I said, I’m trying to restrain myself at the moment and keep things relatively simple for the palate.
The combination of texture and colours here are a real feast for the senses, the flavours are light and understated, with the odd kick of chilli to liven things up. Using apple cider vinegar here adds a nice tang to the dish. Overall a salad fit for any table and certainly fit for any body.
This will make a big bowl of salad, leftovers will get better in the fridge when left for a little marinate.
We use the food processor for the grating
Stew – 1 cup grated swede, 1/2 cup chopped mangetout, 1 sweet potato (chopped), 2 cups sprouted (swollen) chickpeas, 1 cup grated courgette.
Dressing – 2 cloves garlic (one more if you are a garlic fiend), 1 inch of grated root ginger, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 apple, flesh of 1 orange, 1/2 cucumber, 1 red chilli (of your choice, be careful with the heat!), 2 tbs olive oil (optional), pinch of sea salt (optional)
Cover the chickpeas well with water, they will swell up to more than double their original size. Leave for 12 hours then drain. You can eat them now if you like, if you would prefer them softer, add more water and leave for a further 12 hours.
Dressing – Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor and blitz up well. Stew – Arrange/mix the salad and dressing in a big bowl.
For the final, super healthy boost, top with a generous handful of sprouts (mung bean or green lentil would be great).
We Love It!
After eating this salad, we felt our bellies sing! Such a vibrant thing and full of only goodness. The chickpeas really fill you up and you are left with a deeply sated feeling after this, no need for dessert or nibbles between meals.
Chillis are originally from Central America and are such a mainstay of Mexican food. I remember eating raw chillis with my ‘Huevos Rancheros’ most mornings there. My body seemed to get used to their potent effects.
Spanish and Portugese explorers (conquistadors) were originally responsible for making the chilli a hit on the world stage. Chillis are well reknowned for their medicinal and health benefits.
Chillis contain an impressive number of plant based compounds that help to prevent disease and promote health. The spice in chilli, a compound named capsaicin, is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic and lowers cholesterol levels. Chillis are also rich in vitamin C, A and Beta-carotene, these help us counter the effects of free radicals created when the body is under stress or disease.
Chilli heat is measured by ‘Scotville Heat Units’. Your average sweet pepper will get a 0, tabasco sauce rates at 2,ooo-5,000, a mexican habanero weighs in at 200,000-500,00, but the hottest chilli in the world is the Naga Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) rating at a whopping 1,041,427. Not surprisingly, the NBJ has been used in manufacturing weapons, being placed in hand grenades and pepper spray!