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On the Side

I’m not a fan of huge portions at dinner time. Lunch and midnight snacks…not a problem. But I don’t enjoy eating a big meal at the end of the day (mostly because I thoroughly look forward to my glass of beer/bubbly and don’t like fill up before hand!) And according to most health researchers, the largest meal of the day should never be at dinner time. So what’s the solution? Sides for supper. Call it tapas, call it grazing, call it sophisticated snacking…it’s all about tasting a few different menu items, each perfectly portioned to be consumed in just a few bites.

Lately, Chris and I have been trying to go “cold turkey” on our restaurant/take-out addiction. Primarily because we are experimenting with our “Plate Portion” diet but also in preparation for the festive season. December is a busy month for us, with birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. So spending is being kept to a minimum in preparation for the holiday insanity. But just because we aren’t frequenting as many restaurants, that doesn’t mean we can’t have the gourmet experience at home!

One of my favourite sides is rapini. For those of you who haven’t tried it, it’s a bitter version of broccolini (often called broccoli rabe) and extremely good for you. For those of you who have tried it, you may not choose it on a menu because of the bitterness. This Daily Apple recipe was created to enhance all of the health properties of the famous Italian green, but bring out its unique flavour while cutting the bitterness. Paired with the hearty chickpeas and creamy miso, it’s a protein-packed “petit plat” like no other. Enjoy!

Garlic rapini with chickpeas and miso

What’s In It

olive oil


2 cups chickpeas

1 head rapini, washed and chopped

2 tbsp tamari or Braggs

2 tbsp white miso dissolved in a quarter cup of hot water.

2 tbsp rice vinegar or mirin

dried chili peppers (optional)

How To Make It

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chopped rapini for 1 minute, until bright green, to bland and lessen the intensity of the bitterness. Drain and set aside.

Heat a good glug of olive oil in a deep saute pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add chickpeas (and chilies if desired) and mix with garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown. Add vinegar, Braggs and miso and toss. Mix in rapini until thoroughly coated. If more liquid is needed, add a bit of warm water or an equal dash of tamari and vinegar. Once heated through, transfer to a large bowl and serve!

The tastiest way to detox!

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