Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Garbanzo Stew

Here's another that I found in the drafts folder. Perhaps I was waiting to post until I copied the picture from my camera to the computer, but I don't see a photo of it anywhere.

I *did* wind up making this again with a different brand of beans instead of Rancho Gordo and it tasted fine. I didn't have luck with most of the beans I got from there and quit the bean club just last week. Others have had great luck with their beans, but I know I'm not the only one because someone on Dr. Fuhrman's forums recently wrote the same thing, how the beans were kind of tasteless. Are we getting bad batches? Is it the way we cook them? I've done with and without soaking, slow cooker, stovetop and pressure cooker, and they all tasted the same - tasteless. Who knows what the problem is.

Anyway, on with the post.

~*~

This Mary McDougall recipe is an oldie. I remember first seeing it back in the 1990's, and it's appeared in the newsletter at least once. The copy I saved is dated 2008 from a "cheap recipes" newsletter listing.

Garbanzo Stew

This is another of our old favorites, made with inexpensive pantry staples.  Make it on the stove or in a slow cooker.  Garbanzo beans require a long cooking time to be really tender, so plan accordingly.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes (overnight soaking needed)
Cooking Time:  4 hours (Slow cooker:  8-10 hours)
Servings:  10

2 cups uncooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
8-10 cups water
2 potatoes, chunked
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Soak the garbanzos overnight in water to cover.  Drain.  Place the garbanzos and 8 cups water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 2 hours.  Add remaining ingredients and cook an additional 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.

Hints:  To make in a slow cooker, combine the soaked, drained beans with the remaining ingredients (use only 8 cups of water) and cook for 8-10 hours on high.

Instead of the Goya or HFS's bulk bin beans, I used the bag of chickpeas that came with the last Rancho Gordo Bean Club order from October. I sorted and rinsed them as I usually do with garbanzos, and the next morning did the rinse and fresh water and cook routine. Hand chopped all the veggies during the last hour of cooking, adding a third of everything, including the soy sauce. Another 2 hours on the stove at a nice simmer, turned it off about a half hour before dinnertime so it cools down a bit, set the table and then served.

It tasted like . . .

nothing.

The beans had no taste, the carrots and celery were tasteless, the potatoes tasted like soggy potatoes. My husband said it's just beans and veggies floating in water.

He added a very generous amount of sriracha sauce to his bowl, while I went the salt and pepper route. It helped a lot.

I used veggies the same packages of carrots and celery earlier this week and they tasted fine. I've had taters from the same bag for breakfast and/or lunch this week and they, too, tasted fine. Was it the Rancho Gordo beans? So far I'm very underwhelmed with their beans so far and plan to cancel my membership after the January delivery. They charge way too much for beans that taste no different than the buck a bag - or less - Goya beans.

I have a 5 pound bag of garbanzo beans from the Amazon sale still waiting to be used and figured this would probably be the right meal to use them on during the winter, but now I'm having my doubts. I will try it at least once more, using those Palouse beans next time, and hopefully they have more taste than these did and rescue this dish. If not, it's back to Goya beans for a fraction of the price and a few hearty shakes of Mrs. Dash or McCormick salt-free seasonings before I serve this dish.

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