Tuesday 1 September 2009

Asparagus, Almond and Chickpea Brown Rice with a Lemon Tahini Dressing

Asparagus, Almond and Chickpea Brown Rice with a Lemon Tahini Dressing
This is another gem from Heidi Swanson where she had posted it as 'Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice'. However she uses pre-cooked brown rice which I've never seen here so with brown rice taking about 25 minutes to cook I had to call it something else!

It is so, sooooo good - especially that dressing! I'll be using that in loads of things, I'm thinking drizzled over falafel in pita would be yummy.....and last night I was dipping stuffed vine leaves into some of the leftover dressing and that was very good too :) I also loved the asparagus quickly stir fried like this, I usually always steam my asparagus but the crunchiness was really nice this way. I used brown basmati rice, simply as I prefer it to regular brown rice but as she says you can use any grain you like, even pasta.

Recipe is here .

2012 Edit - I am actually going to post my version of this now as we have it so regularly now I've made quite a few little changes along the way, mostly with calories and portion size as we initially found it way too big but also with the instructions and ingredients.

Also, her recipe stated that it serves 4 - 6, if you get 4 servings out of that recipe it comes in at 826 calories per serving, that's more calories than a Big Mac and small fries!! Obviously this is bags healthier but calories are calories. With 6 servings it comes out at 551 calories and my made over version is 384 calories, is nice and filling and JUST as tasty :-)

Asparagus, Almond and Chickpeas with Wholegrain Basmati Rice and a Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Serves 2

1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g chickpeas, drained and rinsed (from a tin)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, halved and sliced
150g asparagus, cut into 1" segments
1/8 tsp salt
25g flaked almonds, toasted

1 Tbsp tahini
1 scant Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp hot water
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
zest of 1/4 of a lemon

75g dry weight wholegrain basmati rice

First make the dressing by whisking everything together but the hot water until smooth then whisk in the hot water. Set aside.

Toast the almond flakes in a dry frying pan until just golden and set aside.

Get a large pot of salted water on for the rice and cook according to package instructions. For mine, once the water comes to a boil tip in the rice, give it a stir and put the lid on. When it comes back to the boil reduce to a simmer and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain and put back in the pot, put the lid back on and let it sit off the heat for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile get the olive oil heating up in a wok or frying pan with a lid, when it's nice and hot add the chickpeas, shallots and a good grinding of black pepper and fry until the shallots are soft and the chickpeas start to brown slightly. Initially keep the heat quite high then reduce to low. The chickpeas may pop a bit here so take care. Add a splash of hot water to deglaze the pan and stir well, making sure you loosen up any cooked on bits. Add the asparagus and the salt give it a good stir then cover and let steam until the asparagus is bright green and tender, and any residual water is absorbed, about 3 - 5 minutes. When there is about a minutes left add the garlic and stir well.

Uncover and stir in the rice and flaked almonds and stir well. If the dressing has thickened up a bit too much you can add a touch more hot water to it. Turn the heat off and add the dressing and stir well until all the rice is lightly coated. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: based on 1 serving

Calories: 384
Protein: 11.8g
Fibre: 7.1g
Carbs: 44.9g
Sugar: 3.7g
Fat: 20.2g
Sat Fat: 2.2g
Sodium: 295mg

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