Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Do you know your chickpeas? Familiar by different names such as garbanzo beans, gram, Bengal gram and ceci (in Italian), chickpeas are part of the pea family under the general classification of legumes. They are harvested annually and there are two main varieties of chickpeas – kabuli and desi. In American supermarkets, the large, beige-colored…

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms are a common ingredient used in Asian cooking, and for good reason. They are flavorful, have a meaty umami taste and give dishes a fragrant distinctive taste when added. Did you know that Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of choline? Choline is a micronutrient that is critical in many parts of the…

Quinoa

First what is Quinoa, and how do you even pronounce it? Originating in the Andean region of South America, Quinoa is commonly pronounced as “KEEN-wah”. Unlike rice, wheat or maize which are grain cereals, quinoa is a pseudocereal that is actually more related to amaranth and spinach, in which its seeds are harvested. According to…

Gai Lan / Chinese Broccoli

If you spot this vegetable at the supermarket, don’t be put off by its stout thick stems, because looks can be deceiving. This Asian green leafy vegetable, known as Gai Lan or Chinese Broccoli, is often featured in Chinese restaurants and actually cooks very easily. Nutrition-wise, this vegetable is a good source of nutrients such…

Green Lentils

Red, brown, green, black…lentil varieties abound, and so do their usefulness in recipes. In general, each tablespoon of cooked lentils provides about 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber, and a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils gives about 3.3 milligrams of iron. Lentils are a good source of phosphorus, potassium and folate too.…

Green Beans

Also known as snap beans, wax beans or string beans, green beans usually abound in the spring season, though better quality crops can be grown in the fall season. Green beans can be further sub-categorized into ‘pole beans’ or ‘bush beans’ depending on whether they require poles for support during growth or not. Long, skinny…

Cooking 101: How To Prepare & Use Dry Beans

Cooking with dried beans is easy and more economical than buying canned beans (which often contain salt as part of the ingredients). It just takes a little time. You can often buy a big bag of dried beans that will make double or triple the amount of cooked beans. In practice when I work with…

Broccoli Raab

Many names refer to this green cruciferous vegetable, so it is easy to get confused. Examples include broccoli raab, broccoli rabe, Chinese broccoli, rapine, rapini, turnip broccoli and rappi (to just name a few) but they all actually refer to the same vegetable. Broccoli raab comes with green flowery like leaves, small florets that resemble…