Do you ever just feel like your life will be going along normally, then suddenly 3 million things will start happening at once? That’s how I’m feeling right now (read: super overwhelmed). Right now, I’m trying to make sense of my cookbook offer, figure out my classes for the upcoming semester for my Master’s in Nutrition, and deal with the 10,000 doctor’s appointments that all seemed to fall on this week (well maybe not 10,000, but you get my meaning). Today I have another doctor’s appointment – this time with a GI specialist who I’ve been waiting to see for a few months now. She’s apparently one of the best GI doctors in the area, and I’m really hoping she can help me figure out this awful stomach stuff I’ve been going through. And of course, this is all happening the week after my boyfriend closed on his first house (!!), which we’re trying to fix up a little. I was supposed to help him paint his living room the other day, but I just couldn’t due to my stomach issues. I’m trying not to get frustrated with my limitations right now, but my health problems are REALLY getting old. None of my other doctors have been able to really find a solution to the constant nausea / stomachaches… they’ve all just kind of dismissed it as IBS (which is really hard to treat). But there HAS to be something else going on with my stomach, because this is way out of the realm of normalcy, even for IBS patients. I’m putting a lot of hope in the doctor that I’m seeing today. It’s all I can do.
But I should take this opportunity to express gratitude that I actually have access to legitimate healthcare, something that is a privilege in America. I don’t mean to make a political statement, but I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have access to the doctors and healthcare professionals who have been helping me. If any of you readers out there work in healthcare, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for making a difference in your patients’ lives. For someone who’s been plagued with debilitating GI symptoms for months now, the healthcare professionals I’ve worked with are a source of hope for me – and I know you’re a source of hope for many others, too.
Today’s recipe was inspired by a craving – I just had to have something barbecue-y. It’s something about the warmer temperatures that just makes me crave barbecue flavors. I cooked chickpeas in spices and BBQ sauce, which turned them into something (dare I say) meaty, saucy, and mouthwatering. Paired with wholesome brown rice and leafy greens, and topped with an amazing hummus vinaigrette (that you can make with any hummus you have on hand!) – this bowl is a serious winner.
- 1 Cup Long Grain Brown Rice
- 2 Cups Water, for cooking
- 1½ Cups Cooked Chickpeas
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Barbecue Sauce
- ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ Tsp Chili Powder
- Salt, to taste
- ¼ Cup Hummus (any kind will do)
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice from 2 Limes
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Baby Kale, or any type of greens
- Any other accoutrements you like
- Start by cooking the brown rice. Bring the rice and water to a boil together, then reduce to a simmer for about a half hour, or until all rice is absorbed.
- Note - different types of rice can cook at different rates, so when in doubt, just cook the rice based on the package's instructions.
- When done, fluff with a fork an set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, make the chickpeas. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine chickpeas, olive oil, barbecue sauce (just use your favorite kind), and spices, and mix until the chickpeas are evenly coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread chickpeas out as evenly as possible.
- Bake chickpeas in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway.
- When done, remove from oven and set aside.
- In a blender, combine hummus (any kind will do - I used chipotle hummus), olive oil, and lime juice. Blend until everything is evenly mixed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary - add salt or pepper, etc.
- In bowls, portion out rice, chickpeas, baby kale / greens, and any other toppings you like. Top with as much hummus vinaigrette as you like, then serve!
Song of the Day:
Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band