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Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax Seeds

19 Jul

Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax Seeds

I’ve been revising my salad dressings to be more nutritious and making the dressing stick to the salad ingredients instead of sinking to the bottom of the bowl after tossing the salad. The addition of the ground flax seeds thickens the dressing which helps to keep on the salad ingredients coated with the dressing.

As a relatively new vegan (almost 3 years) I’m always trying to include more plant protein in my food. Garbanzo beans and flax seeds both have more protein than other kinds of beans and seeds.

I prepared the salad dressing first and let it sit in the bowl while I prepared the following salad ingredients in a bowl. Following this order allows the flax seed to thicken the dressing.

Vegan Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette with Flax Seeds    ©2015 Afroditi Katsikiis

Vegan Salad ©2015 Afroditi Katsikis

Vegan Lemon Vinaigrette with Ground Flax seeds 

½     cup olive oil

3      Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1       Tbsp. red wine vinegar

3      garlic cloves, finely diced

1      tsp. dried oregano

¼    tsp. fresh ground pepper

1.5  Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whip them up using a whisk. Let sit for 5 minutes before using it. Give it a few whisks just before putting on the salad. I used less than 1/8 cup dressing on this salad.


3  large leaves of romaine lettuce leaves torn into bite sized pieces, do NOT cut with a knife

1  large tomato cut into bite–sized pieces

3  thin slices of sweet onion, cut in half

1  cup of home cooked garbanzo beans

2  tablespoons of chopped parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl large enough to toss the salad with dressing. Two to three tablespoons was enough for me. The salad recipe makes enough for one person as a main dish but probably enough for two or three people as a side dish.

Half way through eating this salad I remembered half an avocado left in the fridge from yesterday. Too late to take another photo and if it’s not in the photo how can I put it in the salad recipe? These are other ingredients I wished I had available today: roasted sweet peppers, kalamata olives, sliced almonds, or possibly some fire roasted eggplant.  


 ©2015 afroditi katsikis


Tahini Sauce

21 Nov

Tahini Sauce

Tahini Paste is made from sesame seeds which are ground up.  This Tahini Sauce recipe can be thinned down with water and drizzled over your favorite steamed vegetable – my favorite is to drizzle it on asparagus and broccoli.  Or use it as a dressing for fava beans or garbanzo beans with some chopped parsely.

Magnified image of white sesame seeds

Magnified image of white sesame seeds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 cup (240 ml) tahini paste sesame seed paste
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup water**
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or extruded through a garlic press
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt**
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pepper to taste – (fine ground best)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk for a couple of minutes. Use it as salad dressing, dip for raw vegetables, spread for sandwich or the dressing for garbanzo or fava bean salad.

Garbanzo Bean Soup

26 Oct
Organic Garbanzo Beans

Organic Garbanzo Beans (Photo credit: artizone)

Garbanzo Bean Soup from scratch.

Since I live alone, I’ve been experimenting with making smaller recipes for the single people who like to cook but don’t want quarts and quarts of leftovers.  This  a very simple soup made from dried garbanzo beans, my favorite beans.  If you try the recipe and decide you want to serve it to a large crowd, just double or triple the recipe.  The recipe does not call for any salt during cooking so don’t add any – salt will toughen up the outer casing of the bean – and besides, this soup  tastes great without any salt.


1 cup dried beans

4-5 cups water
(2 cups are used for soaking the beans, the other 3 cups are for cooking so vegetable broth can be used instead)

1 bay leaf

2 pinches of ground rosemary

1/2  teaspoon celery seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2-3 sliced or crushed garlic cloves

1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped basil

olive oil to drizzle over the top when serving

ground pepper to taste


Rinse the garbanzo beans and pick out any bad ones.  Soak the dried garbanzo beans in 2 cups of water overnight.  (You don’t have to soak garbanzos overnight but if you do, they will come out much more tender and take less time to cook).

Pour the soaked beans, with their water, into a small pot with a cover.  Add the celery seeds, bay leaf, garlic, cumin, rosemary and parsley and bring to a slow boil before turning down the heat to very low.  Let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally and keep watch over the liquid so it doesn’t get too low.  Add more water if needed – make sure there is more liquid in the pot than the beans.

Take a masher and roughly mash the beans in the pot.  Stir in the chopped basil and let the soup cook down if it’s too watery; if it’s too thick, add more vegetable broth or water.

This recipe makes 2 large bowls of soup or 3 small ones.   I garnished my soup with a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.


Garbanzo Bean Salad

13 Oct

Garbanzo beans are my favorite beans.  This was my lunch today but could easily be served as a salad with dinner.  Most of the time I’m the only one eating this and make it so that it will store well in the refrigerator so when I make it at home, I don’t add the tomatoes and cucumbers to the salad, I add them to my plate. 

If I’m making it for a potluck or serving it for guests, I add chopped tomatoes and or chopped cucumber and serve it chilled.  If I’m making it for me to be eaten over the next few days, I add the tomatoes and cucumbers just before I eat the salad. Left in the refrigerator with tomatoes make the tomatoes sort of melt and I don’t like them like that.  And the cucumbers, they get kind of rubbery after a night in the frig. 

What makes the salad when the tomatoes and cucumbers are added is their combination of textures with the spicy sauce.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

Place these ingredients in a bowl and toss ingredients:

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1 cup parsley chopped fine

1 cup chopped green onions (1 bunch)


1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped cucumbers

Garlic Tahini Sauce

Place these ingredients in a bowl and mix well:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp raw tahini

1 tbsp crushed garlic

juice of one lemon (3-4 tbsp juice)

½ tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp finely chopped fresh basil

¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

8 – 12 twists of a pepper grinder set on fine

salt to taste

Mix the garlic tahini sauce ingredients until well incorporated and then pour it over the garbanzo beans and stir.

If you are good in the kitchen and can chop quickly, this should only take about 10 minutes to prepare.

Pita with Hummus

28 Sep
One of my favorite sandwiches

Tasty, inexpensive, healthy and vegan

Pita bread stuffed with romaine, hummus, red onion and yellow tomatoes from my garden. As you can see from the picture, this could be very easily put into a reusable container and taken to work for lunch. Very nutritious and vegan to boot. 

Earlier this week I made pizza from scratch and since I was going to use the barbeque as the oven, (didn’t want to heat my kitchen up with all that extra heat). I made double the amount of dough; used half for the pizza and made pita bread in the barbeque oven right after the pizza was taken out. While the pizza was in the barbeque oven I roasted some sweet red peppers to be used in sandwiches and salads. 

So what’s for lunch today? 

Pita bread stuffed with romaine, hummus, red onion and yellow tomatoes from my garden.  As you can see from the picture, this could be very easily put into a reusable container and taken to work for lunch.  Very delicious, nutritious and vegan to boot! 



1 15 oz can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 

1/2 cup raw tahini 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

juice of one lemon 

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel 

pepper – 7 to 10 grinds of black pepper – more or less to your taste 

3-5 cloves fresh garlic smashed 

1/4 cup water or slightly more 

1/8 cup chopped fresh parsely 

Put the garlic, olive oil and tahini, salt, parsely, grated lemon peel and lemon juice in the blender and blend till the garlic is well incorporated in to the mix  (10-20 seconds),  Add half the garbanzo beans and puree in the blender for a minute before adding the rest of the garbanzo beans and the water; if it’s not blending smooth because it’s too thick, gradually add more water.  Blend until it’s smooth – can take a couple of minutes – depends on your blender.  Taste it and add more pepper salt or garlic to your liking.  

Since I like to spread this on vegetarian sandwiches, I oftentimes make this very garlicky!  It’s great as a dip for veggies, breads or crackers and makes every sandwich taste great!  Other ingredients to add to your hummus on a pita: roasted sweet peppers, olives, tabouleh, sliced roasted eggplant, pepperoncini’s. 

Coming up next: 

Pizza on the barbeque

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