It seems like every week we hear about a new ‘superfood’ – something that is especially good for us. There are some that have not only stood the test of time but also keep coming up in new literature such as The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
I recently found a yummy superfood recipe that combines three of these nutrient-packed foods: chickpeas, kale and tomatoes.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas have many positive attributes:
- Control blood sugar with slowly digested carbohydrates that sustain energy
- Increase the feeling of being full because of their high protein and fiber
- Improve digestion also due to high fiber which helps move food through the digestive tract more quickly, removing toxins and waste
- Help protect against heart disease and cancer because of the way they bind with fatty acids to balance cholesterol levels and help arteries clear of plaque build up
- Provide essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, folate, manganese and vitamin B
- Are a great source of plant-based protein which helps slow aging, promotes healing and many other positive effects in the body.
Kale is also high in fiber and many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, iron, vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants which protect against various cancers. It also improves eyesight, is anti-inflammatory and removes toxins from the body like chickpeas.
Tomatoes have long been known for their high levels of lycopene which reduce free radicals that cause cancer. They are also high in many vitamins such as C, K, folate and the mineral potassium. Tomatoes improve eyesight, reduce blood pressure, relieve diabetes, improve digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation, constipation, cholesterol, skin problems and urinary tract issues.
If this litany of health benefits doesn’t make you want to try this superfood recipe, what will? And it’s really tasty too. Serve it cold like a salad or warm as a main dish or side dish. My book club lapped it up. Enjoy!!!
Superfood Recipe: Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
(Food & Wine Magazine)
Takes: 45 minutes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt
- 8-ounce bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
- Two 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Torn basil and marjoram leaves for garnish
- Finely grated pecorino romano for serving
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fennel seeds, red pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes break down and the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes.
Stir the kale into the sauce and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Spoon into bowls and garnish with torn basil and marjoram leaves. Top with finely grated pecorino.