You don’t realize how much you miss something until you remove it from your life. In my case, I’ve decided to eliminate (or limit my consumption of) caffeine, chips, wine and sweets, at least for now. We have a generally healthy diet around here but I do like a salty snack fix once in a while (read: Doritos and Pringles). I overdid it on cookies, too, over the holidays. And wine. Who doesn’t like wine? I have a small glass a few times a week, mainly while I’m preparing dinner (oddly, once I start eating dinner wine is no longer as appealing to me) and I’ve decided that I’ll restrict myself to drinking it only on the weekend. Maybe the pull of new year resolutions is still strong in the middle of January but I cut the chips and dessert right after Christmas and the wine shortly after the new year.
So far, so good. I look for the salty snacks and wine between 4 and 6 pm and I really want to bake scones and a cake but otherwise, I’ve enjoyed seeing the extra pounds melt off and I feel great! I haven’t even missed the caffeine too much in the morning. It will be interesting to see how long I can keep this up.
Besides the new, albeit temporary, restrictions the rest of our diet remains largely unchanged. Stir fries are everyday fare for us but this dish in particular came about out of ingredients I had other intentions for and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. The Chicken Parmesan sausages were meant to be added to a polenta dish and the garbanzo beans were to be roasted. Instead, I threw both into the skillet with rice and my husband and I have enjoyed this combination twice since.
Who knew that the touch of Parmesan in the sausages and the toasted garbanzo beans would work so well with rice? It might help to add that I deglazed the pan with wine after cooking the sausages. Or maybe it’s the caramelized shallots that added another layer of flavor. The garlic? Perhaps the sweet soy sauce? I wouldn’t skip the broccoli either. Whatever it is, this was a palate-pleasing combination. I especially loved the garlicky, toasted chickpeas. From now on this will be my version of beans and rice.
I hope you try this recipe. You won’t miss the chips, caffeine, dessert or wine. Well, that might be stretching things a bit but try it anyway.
- 2-3 cups cooked rice
- 2 sausages removed from casings (I used Chicken Parmesan)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 2 broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 shallots (or half an onion), sliced thinly
- Splash of wine (optional)
- Olive or grapeseed oil (or your favorite stir frying oil)
- 2-3 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce or regular soy sauce)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- salt, to taste
- Chopped Scallions for garnish (optional)
- Chili Sauce (for topping, optional)
- Plain vinegar (for drizzling, optional)
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, crumbling them up in smaller pieces while they cook. This should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same skillet add the chickpeas, season with a little salt, garlic powder and paprika. Add a splash of wine (or water) to the skillet to loosen the sausage bits. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are toasted and golden, about 4 minutes. Add a splash of oil if you feel you need to. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the shallots (or onions) to the skillet, a little oil if necessary, and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Then add the broccoli and about 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (or regular soy sauce). Stir fry the mixture for about 3 minutes, just until the broccoli pieces are crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to the skillet if it's dry then add the sliced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then add the cooked rice. Stir fry for about 2 minutes over high heat, adding a bit more soy sauce if you like. Add the sausage, broccoli and chickpeas to the rice and stir to combine. Garnish with chopped scallions and top with chili sauce and/or vinegar and serve.