For all the new mamas out there, I want to repeat what I shared on Instagram recently: It does get better. In general. There is still sleep deprivation. The infamous separation anxiety. Plus, you probably won’t have much time for yourself until the little one starts college! It’s kind of a roller coaster, tons of ups, and some downtimes. Like the other day, when my little one was not leaving me two seconds- literally holding on to my skirt most of the time. When he was not physically attached to me, he would be putting the thrash bin upside down, ripping toilet papers, finding things to put in his mouth, trying to eat cat food, spilling coffee on the laptop (twice)- and please imagine most of this happening in less than a few minutes. I lost it. I yelled at him. He cried. I did not. I was angry. I was stressed out. I wanted to get some work done, maybe do the laundry, make something healthy to eat, or at least brush my teeth in peace. I wanted two minutes which I obviously was not going to get that day. So I was pissed. So I had tons of food (I have a tendency to angry-eat). Stayed pissed for a while. Then, all of a sudden, I remembered that he was just a baby. He had no idea why I was angry, what I was yelling at him for, and what he should do to make things okay. So I hugged him. I apologized for my impatience. I promised to make it up to him all my life. I took him to take a walk to the lake. We giggled, laughed, pulled faces. It’s all fine since then. And it’s amazing to witness him grow up, gain skills, engage with us, with his environment. He has always been a curious baby, but look at the way he is watching Sherlock Holmes with us!
Oh, and, he’s sleeping much better, thank goodness. This means that I sleep, too. I can actually compose sentences, and perhaps finish this post in a few days instead of weeks! So, here we go!
Something for everyone
First came the idea of chickpeas, mainly because I love them, but also
- Chickpeas contain a moderate amount of calories and several vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of fiber, folate, and protein.
- The choline in chickpeas helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. I consumed tons of chickpeas while pregnant for better sleep and also for the baby’s health:)
- Chickpeas, like all legumes, are a form of complex carbohydrate that the body is able to slowly digest and use for energy. Carbs are not the enemy people! Chickpeas are a “are a “good carb”.
When I asked in one of my stories on Instagram if people wanted a sweet or savory chickpea recipe, there was a tie! What was I supposed to do? Ignore some of you? Neva! I decided to come up with three recipes: One for those with a sweet-tooth, one for savory lovers, and, as a bonus, one for our cute little pumpkins.
A family tradition: Chickpeas with greens
My mum used to make rice with chickpeas. (Lentil-rice is another tradition). But if we wanted to add more veggies, we made this chickpea dish with spinach. This is that Mediterranean tradition, but with a twist. Instead of spinach, I used chards. I never had chards before I came to the US and I love them now. I also think they look prettier than spinach:) Just look at them!!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste (I always trust this brand)
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock, or water
- Cayenne to taste
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 5-oz. bag chard (or spinach).
- Rinse the chard with water and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan (in fact I use a wok!) over medium heat. Add onion and tomato paste and sauté for a few minutes, until the tomato paste has turned a darker colour. Add in the paprika and cumin and stir well.
- Reduce heat to low-medium. Add the vegetable stock/broth/water, the chards and the pine nuts to the pan, cover with a lid, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Since the chickpeas are already on the soft side, we add them the last. Stir in the chickpeas and stir until combined. Then continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until the chickpeas are heated through.
- Taste and season with salt (I used about 1 teaspoon) and black pepper, to taste.
- Serve warm, with an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and a pinch of cayenne.
Chickpea Truffles. As healthy as truffles can get!
These check all the boxes for me. It’s sweet but with a kick (due to spicy ingredients); has great amounts of protein and fiber; it is anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-balancing, AND adaptogenic. You should know by now how important to me adaptogens are! Check out these delicious recipes for more adaptogenic sweetness (and even more to come!). When I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then thyroid issues, I made bunch of lifestyle changes. Among these, reducing stress was super important to me. Say whatever you want about the “wellness industry”, some of their products have changed my life. I started to sleep better, to deal with and adapt to stress, all of which helped balance my hormones and better my life overall. Cut the long story short, I swear by adaptogens. My favourite has always been ashwagandha. I also regularly use and LOVE maca and cordyceps.
To make these truffles, I used Yoursuper Mellow Yellow. I’m seriously excited about this product! It has turmeric (anti-inflammation), Ashwagandha (adaptogen), Ginger (anti-oxidant), Cinnamon (said to lower blood sugar, has also anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities), Lucuma (simply delicious) and Pepper (enhances curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%. Curcumin is the anti-inflammatory substance in turmeric).
Place all ingredients for the truffles into your food processor or high-speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and pureé until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar and cacao magic mixture until fully coated on all sides. Place back onto the baking sheet/ Pyrex.
You can now place the baking sheet into the freezer until set. Enjoy in a few hours, cold or at room temperature.
chickpea omelette/pancake kids will love
Our little one does not want to be fed by us anymore- he is a big baby now, he can eat the food himself! But he can’t use utensils yet, and there is only a certain amount of ‘finger food’ I can serve him: Steamed broccoli he loves. Steamed purple potatoes and cauliflowers are other favourites. He has given up on bananas already, but he adores strawberries (although he makes a mess eating them!). I have made him polenta with nutritional yeast (for vitamin B) and grounding flax seeds (for omega 3) in his cereal when he lets me feed him, but I was trying to find alternatives. This pancake has been a lifesaver. It has both flax seeds and nutritional yeast; it has veggies, and it has chickpeas which I don’t think I could get him to eat in another way. It’s also easy to make finger food- I just wait until it cools off a little and cut it in pieces. He LOVES it. The best part? Whatever he cannot finish will be mine! The ingredients below make multiple servings. Oh, by the way, I know that the original recipe is an Indian tradition, and it is delicious. This should be similar but not quite (the original recipe uses soy milk if I’m not mistaken, and no nutritional yeast. This is a modified version, but not based on any ‘official’ recipe that I know of).
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (or you can grind your chickpeas in a blender yourself. )
- 1/2 cup pre-cooked ingredients, such as spinach or broccoli (optional). Chop them small and set aside.
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1,5 tsp (or to taste) Ras El Hanout seasoning (honestly, whatever spice you like. This Middle Eastern blend is a favourite of mine because it has coriander, turmeric, salt, cloves, and pepper, all organic and a great balance.)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You can store the mix (without the veggies that you set aside) in the fridge and use it whenever you like. When you decide to use this mix, combine with an equal amount of water, and stir well. For example, I usually mix a 1/4 cup of this mix with 1/4 cup of water. ***If you are adding veggies, use a little less than that amount. Do adjust the amount to your liking, though. Sometimes it depends on what brand you are using, or if you want a thinner or a thicker omelette/pancake. I sometimes reduce the amount of water to make it more filling for me!
Stir it well while the pan heats on the stove at medium-high until a drop of water sizzles. You can use a teaspoon coconut oil or water to further prevent the batter from sticking. Reduce the heat to low. Spoon in half of the batter and spread it evenly in a circle. You want it to be on the thin side rather than thick. Cook until the bottom is light to medium brown (lift a corner with a spatula to check). I also make small holes in the batter, if needed, with a fork to make sure that there’s no uncooked flour left. Flip over and cook the other side until you get the medium brown colour again. Place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.
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