Forget boring meat and potatoes – tonight it’s all about beans and sweet potatoes! Sweet potato is one of the foundational foods for centenarians in Okinawa and it is a great fuel food with its combination of simple and complex carbohydrates. When combined with kale in this recipe, it’ll give you a whopping dose of Vitamin A. Chickpeas and brown rice pack this dish with filling fiber and protein, while the simple seasoning mix of ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric will take your tastebuds on a multi-layered trip.
Recipe from the Blue Zones Meal Planner.
Yield: 2 servings
1½ cups frozen brown rice
2 sweet potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 can no-salt canned chickpeas
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsps cumin
4 cups baby kale
½ tsp turmeric
Salt & pepper, to taste (optional)*
*Notes: Black pepper in combination with turmeric improves the bioavailability of the antioxidant curcumin.
The stock and variety of spices at different grocery stores can vary – a lot. If you’re missing a spice for this recipe, try playing test kitchen! Add more of the other spices and taste test until it’s just right for you. No baby kale? Any leafy green will do here. In Ikaria, there are over 150 varieties of wild greens including purslane, dandelion, and arugula. These rich, dark, wild mountain greens are a great source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Using ground ginger instead of fresh? Just divide the fresh ginger measurement by 4 to get the measurement you need (i.e., 1 teaspoon fresh ginger = 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger).