The chickpea, an important Ambassador of the Mediterranean Diet
March 25, 2017
A very important product in Mediterranean Diet is chickpeas. A remedy against cholesterol
A very important product in Mediterranean Diet is Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. With independence of their delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture, they provide a good source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round.
Used in some countries for an unique dish as “potajes” or “cocido”, in others are the main ingredients of many others Mediterranean Diet dishes such as hummus and falafels. The most important characteristic of this legume is its soluble fiber, an excellent cholesterol-lowering agent. This fiber has the propriety of capture the cholesterol in the intestines and drag it away. But chickpeas have another type of fiber as well, the insoluble dietary one. It is important not confuse them, as the soluble fiber is a gelatin-like product, a great part of which remains in the water if you boil the beans, or in the liquid part of the cooking. The insoluble fiber plays another different role. It supports bowel regularity and retard the assimilation of the starch, making the chickpeas very appropriate for diabetics and slimming diets. Chickpeas are indicated for constipation, hemorrhoids, high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
You can eat them also in salads with garnish you like, olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. (Do not forget to drink the water where you boiled the chick peas).
This characteristics of the Garbanzo beans allow preparing dishes with a certain amount of natural saturated fats maintaining the Mediterranean Diet so healthy. This is the case of the “cocido madrileño” or Madrid stew.
COCIDO MADRILEÑO, AN IMPORTANT MEDITERRANEAN DIET RECIPE
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PORTIONS
400 gr. Chick peas
500 gr. Potatoes
300 gr. Beef
150 gr. Carrots
400 gr. Chicken
150 gr. Leeks
150 gr. Salt pork
1 gr Saffron
175 gr. Ham
3 cloves Garlic
150 gr Spicy sausage
60 gr Noodles
150 gr. Black sausage
2 dl. Tomato sauce
1 units Onions
400 gr. Cabbage
0,6 dl. Oil
HOW TO PREPARE THE MADRILEÑO STEW
– Select the chick peas and put them into soak in warm water and salt for around 8 hours. Remove the giblets, pluck and prepare the chicken.
– Dress the beef.
– Clean the salt pork and the ham bone.
– Peel and clean the onions, leeks, potatoes and carrots.
– Place the pot on the stove with a lot of water, add salt, remembering that the stock will be used to prepare the soup.
– Add the beef, chicken, salt pork and the ham as soon as the water starts to boil.
– Add the chick peas, onions, carrots and leeks as soon as the broth starts boiling.
– Stew very gently in a covered pot trying not to let it come to the boil.
– Skim from time to time and if necessary, add more boiling water to avoid the chickpeas from getting hard. Keep checking on the boiling.
– Some minutes before finishing cooking, add the whole potatoes.
– Remove the ingredients from the pot when cooked, and separate the meat and the vegetables, keeping them warm with a bit of broth.
– Cut the beef, chicken, ham and pork, into 4 pieces.
– Cut the spicy sausage, the black sausage and the carrots into slices.
How to prepare the cabbage
– Clean and cut the cabbage into four pieces and cook in boiling water with salt, remove the inner part of the cabbage and cut it into pieces.
– Boil it with water and salt.
– Put it through a strainer when cooked.
– Warm the oil in a frying pan. Brown the garlic which has already been peeled and sliced and then add the cabbage.
– Sauté and remove when ready.
How to prepare the soup
– Sieve the necessary bouillon into another pot and put it onto the stove.
– Add the saffron which must have been chopped and dried.
– Add the noodles when it starts to boil and cook until ready.
– Add seasoning to taste and modify if necessary.
– Serve the soup as a starter
– Serve a portion of chickpeas, cabbage, a potato, a piece of meat, a piece of chicken, salt pork and a piece of ham on each plate.
– Add the black sausage, spicy sausage and carrots.
– Dress with tomato sauce.
If the ingredients are served in different dishes they should be set in “bouquets” shape.
Another important cheakpeas dish of the Mediterranean Diet is hummus, that in Arab means precisely, chickpeas. It is a puree made out of chichpeas, sesame, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. It can have also raw garlic what makes it healthier.