February 15th, 2011
Okay, people. Valentine’s Day is officially behind us. And so are the sweets. At least for me (which means for my family, too!). At least for now. I’m in serious need for something hearty, healthy and satisfying. Something like this Chickpea side made with Kale and Walnut Pesto and feta cheese.
This is the easiest thing I’ve made in ages. No cookie cutters, no mixers, not even a hot oven! Open 2 cans of garbanzo beans, toss with a small drizzle of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, a pinch of salt, feta cheese and some Kale and Walnut Pesto. A filling protein and veg combo that everyone will love. (Is there a better way than pesto to make dark leafy greens kid-friendly?)
These chickpeas make a great dinner served alongside chicken and a salad. Or, keep things even easier — at lunch or dinner — and toss with rice or orzo (think a poor man’s “risotto”).
I store pesto in my freezer in 1-ounce cubes, which ensures that this comes together in all of 5 minutes. All you have to do is defrost to room temp before tossing with the chickpeas. This won’t take that much longer, even if you have to make the pesto from scratch. It’s a simple matter of blanching the pesto while toasting the walnuts and then zipping everything together in a food processor.
Pesto Chickpeas with Feta
(can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
about 2 oz Kale and Walnut Pesto
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
1. Toss chickpeas with all remaining ingredients. The amount of olive oil you’ll need depends on the consistency of your pesto. You shouldn’t need more than a hearty glug, at most. If you do, even after you add the lemon juice, add a drizzle of water. Add as much feta cheese as you like and taste before adding salt. Feta is quite salty on its own.
*Note: If feeding to young children, be sure to use pasteurized feta cheese and puree or chop to an age-appropriate consistency. Also, some still recommend holding off on citrus until 12+ mos, but there is no evidence that this is necessary. The latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say that there is no proven benefit to holding off on any particular food beyond 4- to 6-months-old.