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roasted soy beans a.k.a chiko nuts

13 Jun

i’ve had this bag of soy beans sitting in the cupboard staring me down for months now. i tried to make soy milk once, it won’t happen again. the past few weeks i’ve been trying to come up with snacks the kids like that aren’t sweet and i got to thinking about roasted nuts, beans and seeds which led me to soynuts. i turned to google, my favorite place to look for all things unknown, and found a few recipes and they all said to soak overnight and roast. super simple and the kids were delighted to have ‘tiny chiko nuts’ for snack today.

roasted soy beans

1 cup soy beans, picked through, washed and soaked over night
1 tbs oil, i used sunflower oil
1 tbs arizona dreaming spice mix from penzey’s or tbs seasoning of choice
salt to taste

mix everything in a bowl and then spread beans onto pan in single layer. roast for 45mins to 1hr stirring every 15mins. when the beans start to look golden turn off temperature and leave them in the oven to cool.


an interesting article on eczema and chiko nuts

11 Feb

i read an interesting article this morning about atopic dermatitis and food allergies. in first paragraph it says that new research suggests eczema may precede the onset of food allergies. this is what was going on with eli, the longer he ate gluten the worse his eczema got. if you have a child with eczema it’s worth trying an elimination diet and keeping a food journal to find out if foods trigger a reaction. it’s a lot of detective work and it can be frustrating. it’s ongoing for us, his skin is fine and then it’s not, very frustrating. although he still deals with breakouts, going gluten and dairy free has given me a happier and calmer little boy.

on to the chiko nuts. really they are roasted chickpeas but my kids have named them chiko nuts. it’s a great snack for after school when they come home starving.  the great thing about them is that they can be spiced anyway you wish. here’s one of our favorite ways to make them.

chiko nuts

cooked chickpeas, maybe 1 can? 2 cups? (i’ve never really measured i just use my leftovers from making hummus)
1 tbs oil
1-3 tsp curry powder, depending on how many chickpeas you have and how strong you want the curry flavor
1 tsp sea salt

375º (most recipes i’ve found say 400º or higher. i tend to get burned chickpeas when i cook them that high)
set timer for 10 minutes, stir, continue for about  30 to 40  minutes or until desired crispness.

lucky peas for the new year

1 Jan

happy new year! until i moved to the south, i didn’t know about the tradition of eating black eyed peas on new year’s day. everyone would ask me, “did you eat your peas?” it took me a few years to catch on but i finally did. we love our peas with a cornbread muffin smothered in honey. this batch got 200 thumbs up from eli, a new high score for me! anyway, a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to all!

200 thumbs up mom!!!


black eyed peas

2 cups of dried, picked through black eyed peas*
1 tsp-1 tbs of salt, go with your gut on this one, i never measure how much i use.
wash and soak peas overnight in salted water**. drain and rinse.

2 bay leaves
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
ham hock
1 tsp salt or to taste
cayenne to taste
parsley, opt

add beans to slow cooker and cover with an inch or so of water toss in the bay leaves. turn slow cooker to high and leave for several hours, until peas are soft all the way through then add celery, onion and ham. let that cook until an hour before dinner. keep testing the beans turn your slow cooker to low if you think they are getting too soft. just before dinner add your seasonings until it tastes the way you like it. serve with hot sauce of choice.

*make sure you know how fresh your dried beans are, it makes a big difference.
**through trial and error, i have found that soaking my beans in salted water gives me a creamy bean that holds its shape, every time. i could never get my chickpeas the texture of canned ones until i soaked them overnight in salted water. they are so yummy that elsa eats them like candy.



flat-bread and hummus

10 Sep

flat-bread and hummus

for lunch today eli had flat-bread and hummus. i used a living without recipe for the flat-bread. mine looked nothing like the picture but they tasted great. more like a pancake. eli was very excited about his lunch after school today. the first big hit! you can make the batter the night before just don’t fry them up till morning. these are definitely best when fresh. the hummus was not traditional since i had no tahini or lemons. here’s how i made the dip.

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 TBS lime juice

garlic to taste, i used 4 small cloves

cayenne to taste, i used about 1/2 tsp

1 TBS tomato paste

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

salt to taste

give a whirl in the old food processor adding olive oil and water till smooth.


9 Sep


beans beans they’re good for your heart the more you eat……it’s still funny when there’s a five year old boy in the house. tonight it’s baked beans. tomorrow for lunch hummus. well a chickpea dip anyway no tahini. here’s how I cook my chickpeas.


1 pound chickpeas
soak overnight with kombu
drain and rinse
cover with water then add:

1-2 bay leaves
1-2 dashes of tumeric (gives them a great color)

bring to simmer. simmer till tender. 1-2 hours. cool, drain, use.