Parsnips, Chard and Chickpeas with Besan Puda (Chickpea Four Flat Bread)

I love quick, one bowl meals. Warm veggies and beans dumped over something starchy? Heaven. So, here's the first in a series of quick meals that fit in a bowl. Parsnips, Chard and Chickpeas, served with Besan Puda, an easy-to-make chickpea flour flatbread. Quick, tasty, and high in protein.

Parsnip, Chard, and Chickpea Yum Yum

Yield: a bunch, or a little, it is up to you.

Parsnips are one of my favorite foods. I could eat them endlessly. This combination is great, and you can do anything with it! Make an extra big batch and freeze the leftovers. Proportions are totally versatile. The main goal is to include all the ingredients, however much of each you have will work just fine.

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2-1 bunch chard, washed and prepared as directed below
  • 1/2-1 can rinsed drained chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • pinch anise seeds
  • dash cardamom
  • dash turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water/broth
  1. To prepare chard: wash it, then cut out the hard rib from each leaf, and chop it up. Then, layer the leaves, roll, and slice thinly (approx 1/4 inch). This is called a chiffonade! You'll end up with long, lovely thin strips of chard.
  2. In a nice big covered skillet, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add your onion, stir around a few times, cover, and let sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Take off cover, stir around, add a little water if necessary, add your turmeric, cardamom, and anise seeds, and the chopped chard ribs. Cover again, and let brown another 2-3 minutes, or until onions are brown and starting to carmelize.
  4. Add your peeled parsnips, add a little more water, and cover again. Cook a few minutes, or until parsnips start to soften.
  5. Place chickpeas and chard on top of parsnip mixture, pour in a little more water, and cover again. Cook until chickpeas are warm and chard is softened, then stir to mix evenly. Salt and pepper to taste.

Options from here:

  • Add more broth and make it like a thick stew
  • Serve it over cooked grain . I'd recommend wild rice!
  • Serve with tortillas or flatbreads, like the chickpea-flour based Besan Puda (see recipe below!)
  • Add sheep/goat yogurt or feta and serve with raw veggies
  • Eat as it is - no frills, still awesome.

Besan Puda (Chickpea Flour Flatbreads)

Yield: 8 flatbreads

Besan Puda are traditional Indian flatbreads made from besan/gram flour, a flour made from chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans). Delicious and high in protein, these are one of my favorite fast survival foods. They are irresistible fresh from the frying pan, and leftovers freeze very well. This is a traditional version of the recipe, but feel free to make it yours - omit the veggies, switch the seasonings, make it spicy, savory, or sweet (agave, ginger, and cinnamon perhaps?). Half or quarter it for a really quick meal solution. Look for inexpensive chickpea flour at Middle Easter or Indian markets, or find the Bob's Red Mill version at health food stores.

  • 1 c chickpea/garbanzo/gram/besan flour
  • ¼ c brown rice or millet flour* **
  • 1 c water
  • 1 small zucchini, finely grated
  • 2 scallions, finely minced
  • 1 t cumin seeds, toasted
  • fresh or dried finely chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
  • oil or ghee for frying
  1. Finely mince scallions and grate zucchini. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flours. Stir briskly with whisk to introduce air and make fluffy.
  3. Slowly add water to flour mixture while stirring until moistened. Add zucchini, scallions, and cumin seeds, and stir until well mixed.
  4. Heat oil or ghee in medium frying pan or griddle over medium heat, until water sizzles on surface. Pour ¼ c batter into pan, spreading thinly over pan surface into a 7-8 inch circle.
  5. Once surface has firmed, approximately 2-3 minutes, flip flatbread in pan and cook reverse side. Flatbread should be golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Re-oil pan as needed and continue pan frying flatbread until batter is gone. If batter starts to thicken too much, add a little more water. 
  7. Serve warm as a side to soups, grain, or vegetable dishes, or use as a wrap for sandwiches.

*The choice of rice or millet flour mixed with the chickpea flour creates two very different flatbreads. Brown rice flour yields a crispier, lighter flatbread with a lighter flavor. Millet flour has a stronger flavor and yields a moister, bendier flatbread that works better for wrapping up ingredients.

**If you want to make these totally grain free, omit rice/millet flour and add additional 1/4 c chickpea flour.