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Food for Thought Tasty Tuesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

To think deeply about food is to also think deeply about the environment, the economy, immigration, education, community, culture, families, race, gender and identity.  ~Julia Turshen 

A few months ago, a dear friend sent me her advance copy of Chronicle Books' new "Meals for Folks Who Are Too Busy Resisting to Cook." Because I could identify, it made me laugh out loud, thinking about some of the endearing and delightful things and foods I've seen over the years at local, regional, and national resistance marches.

The book centers around essays and affordable recipes broken down into three sections: 

1. For those too busy resisting to cook.

2. Feeding a crowd.

3. Baked goods and portable snacks for the activist on the go.

Many of the recipes are from the Club from Nowhere, Rosa Parks's group of women who sold baked goods to offset transportation costs during the 1950's bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. 

I hope today's nutrient-dense "Feed the Resistance" recipe will make our Tasty Tuesday readers from both sides of the political aisle smile, given that hopefully next Tuesday's election will be peaceful, and thankfully over at least for a while.

Spiced Mung Bean Wraps

Legumes and lentils are among the cheapest sources of nourishment and protein for most vegetarians, especially in countries such as India, besides being rich in nutritious amino acids, B vitamins, other phytonutrients, manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc, and fiber. 

This simple, yet flavorful filling is made up of sprouted mung beans, fresh herbs, and feta cheese, all encased in a whole-grain tortilla, making it easy to pack. They are affordable, nutrient powerhouses, and perfect for afternoon protest marches.

You could also chop up and toss in four hard-boiled eggs to bump up the protein, should you think you might need extra energy. 

Ingredients for 4 wraps

1/2 cup sprouted mung beans*

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1-in piece of peeled fresh ginger, finely grated

1 tbsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

4 whole-grain tortillas

Rinse and drain the sprouted mung beans under cold running water, and place them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.

Place the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring now and then, until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes, turmeric ?and cook for another 30 seconds.

Decrease the heat to medium low and fold in the rinsed mung beans. Cover the skillet and cook, uncovering it to give it a stir now and then, until the beans are softened but still retain a little bite, about 25 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cilantro, mint, and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the bean mixture among the four tortillas, and wrap to form burritos. Serve immediately or hold for up to 6 hours at room temperature.

Ellen Troyer, with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff

* If you can’t find sprouted mung beans (they’re available at many supermarkets but not as readily available as a few years ago. 

Rosa Parks and her friends apparently found time to sprout their own, which are no doubt safer than store bought sprouts.

Start with 1/2 cup dry mung beans and pick out any stones and dirt.

Rinse them clean under cold running tap water, and then place them in a bowl and cover with 1 inch cold water. Cover the bowl, and let the beans sit in a cool, dark place for 6 to 12 hours. 

Drain the beans, rinse, and place them on a large piece of wet cheesecloth (about 2 layers is good). Bring the ends of the cloth together, tie the beans up in a “bag,” and then place the bag in a jar or large bowl and loosely cover with a kitchen towel. 

Place in a cool, dark place, rinsing the bag once a day until the beans sprout, 4 to 5 days. Rinse the sprouted beans with cold water before using. Keep the sprouted beans out of sunlight or else they get bitter.

For protestors with less time than Rosa Parks had, bok choi, napa cabbage or green cabbage, thinly sliced, can be a stand-in for the crunch of mung bean sprouts. These can all be found in Asian markets or in the produce section of large supermarkets.

The breathtaking beautifully a capella protest song above features a Bob Dylan song made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, but featuring the Arlington, Texas, Pentatonix (PPT).