As a rookie cook (yet an experienced griller), I made the the mistake that many make - I didn't consider the sides. When grilling, I usually went with the standard potato, corn on the cob, or asparagus, but beyond that, sides dishes were just an after thought to me.
When I slowly began to migrate to indoor cooking, my attitude didn't change much. At the last second, I'd open a can of peas or maybe steam some Brussel sprouts, and ta-da, dinner was done.
It wasn't until recently when I pulled a recipe from Real Simple magazine that had the entree and the side paired that I understood my mistake. Of course, the ecstatic reaction from The Boss is what brought on my epiphany.
It's all about pairing.
You can have a killer entree, but if you're sides are average or terrible, no one will be overly excited to eat your food.
So thanks to the magazine above, a bit of personal modification, and a little urging from my most honest critic, I have a great little Go-To side that I can experiment with on different entrees. No name yet other than "Chickpea Concoction Side" or maybe "Garbonzo Bean Love" (I just love saying the word "garbonzo" - it's just a fun sounding word). Any suggestions would be welcome.
Unnamed Chickpea Concoction Side (a.k.a "Garbonza Bean Love")
- one can chickpeas (15.5 ounces)
- one avocado (sliced)
- one shallot (thiny sliced)
- one-half cucumber (sliced)
- extra virgin olive oil (two tablespoons)
- combine the chickpeas, sliced avocado, sliced shallot, and sliced cucumber in a bowl.
- add the two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- stir well and serve
(I made this with baked chicked breasts flavored with turmeric and coriander and spooned three tablespoons of the broth in with the mixture)
- Makes four servings
I did some notebook calculations on the nutritional content of this side and came up with the following per serving approximation:
226 total calories per serving
121 fat calories
85 carb calories (31 fiber calories)
21 protein calories
So there you go - a great side that pairs well with baked chicken and is light enough for spring or summer. It's a little higher in fat than I would like, but it's avocado, so it's the "good fat," and the chickpeas are a great source of protein.
Until Next Time...
Here's a video about the most popular use of Chickpeas/Garbonzo beans - How To Make Hummus.