April 22 is Earth Day, a celebration of our planet that we call home. On this day people honor the earth in many ways. Some will plant a tree or start an herb garden. Others might choose to pick up litter in their neighborhood. Families will often use this day to come up with ideas for using less water and electricity… or even how to do LESS driving.
What better time than on Earth Day to try out a delicious plant - based meal? A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the huge benefit that replacing red meats with more plant proteins such as beans and tofu would have on the environment. In addition, having a few plant based meals each month can add up to big savings at the grocery store.
Here is a simple chick pea recipe to try for Earth Day… or ANY day!
Bulgur Chickpea Stew
1 cup bulgur wheat (uncooked)
1 - 15 ounce can chickpeas (well drained)
3 large tomatoes (chopped into medium chunks). NOTE: If fresh tomatoes are not available, use one - 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes (not drained)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (or one teaspoon of garlic powder)
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon of canola, extra virgin olive or avocado oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in large skillet
2. Add garlic and cook over low heat for ~30 seconds.
3. Stir in onions and sauté until they begin to look translucent.
4. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until soft
5. Add chickpeas, cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix gently.
6. Pour in chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
7. Add bulgur wheat. Cover and cook on low heat for ~15 minutes (until bulgur wheat is tender).
This dish is delicious as is… OR you may top it with freshly snipped parsley or with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Happy Earth Day!
Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program