Sunday, February 8, 2015

Spicy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Beans have been soaked

A few Sundays ago I stopped by Kensington Farmers' Market and was offered some samples at Tofu Yu's booth. I grew up eating all kinds of tofu products, so it would take a lot to impress me. I was however impressed with their red quinoa sushi and soy cheese sushi although I could detect slight cilantro in them. They were quite good, and I wished they didn't contain cilantro. I was immediately addicted to their Cajun spiced garbanzo beans. I got a bag and just couldn't stop eating them. During the week, I went to a couple natural food stores trying to find some but nobody sells those spicy garbanzo beans even though they do have other Tofu Yu products. In fact, spicy garbanzo beans aren't even listed on Tofu Yu website. I don't understand why!  Two Sundays later I went back to the same vendor at Kensington Farmers' Market, and this time he had five spice garbanzo beans. I should have bought 2 bags instead of one. They are $5 each bag, but if you buy more than one item, the vendor gives you a dollar discount for each item.

I decided that in order to support my addiction, I need to make these beans at home. I was able to find a bunch of recipes on the internet. They all use canned garbanzo beans, which would probably be my first choice if I didn't happen to have a bag of dried garbanzo beans a.k.a. chickpeas.


I soaked the beans overnight and then left the beans to dry in a colander. I can easily mix some ground cumin, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper together but I happen to have a bag of spicy rub from "tale Gator." It was given to me at some natural food festival. I just used the rub and some extra virgin oil to coat the beans. I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper and spread all the beans on it evenly in one layer. It was then put to bake in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until you see the beans start to jump.

This spicy rub is way more spicy than the mix I put together last weekend. The smoky chili
pepper permeates my entire kitchen and living room. I can't wait to eat these beans!  I also learned something from my last batch - don't put the beans in a sealed bag right away even if they seem to have cooled down. Leave them out overnight. The beans lost their crispness after I put them in zip locked bags.

While I just love the crunchiness and spiciness of the roasted chickpeas, they are also one of the healthiest foods that's high in fiber and lowers cholesterol.  Since I only roast my beans in extra virgin oil, there is no added animal fat.  I won't feel guilty eating them non-stop at work. Oh, be sure not to rub your eyes after eating these beans with your hands. That was another mistake I did last time.

All done!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Transplanting the Kiwi

Shortly after moving to the new house, I got myself a pot of one female and one male fuzzy kiwi plants.  For months, the pot lived in the corner of my kitchen. I watered it regularly but the leaves continued to dry up and fall off until there is hardly any leaf left. I was concerned at first and read many articles about growing kiwi particular growing kiwi in the Bay Area.  It turned it is normal for the leaves to fall off during the winter.

As the weather starting to warm up, I decided it is time to move it outside so they can expend their roots and get open air and rain.

It took some struggle to remove the plants out of the pot. I laid the pot on the ground sideway and pressed it all around with my knee and shin to loosen it up.  I almost wanted to just cut it open, but I had something else in mind with the black planter and didn't want to destroy it.  Finally it all came out in one piece. There are so much roots. I spent a great deal of time trying loosen and break open some of the roots so that they can integrate into the ground better.

Now I am just going to hope Cracus will leave it alone otherwise I would have put up a barrier of some sort.