Tracy Miller
newsroom@vaildaily.com
VAIL CO, Colorado

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April 23, 2013
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Vail Colorful Cooking column: Oregano-roasted chickpeas

Summer is coming, right? All this cool weather is making it easy to bundle up and not think about swimsuit shopping, but warmer weather is on its way and I have had a lot of people asking me about how to lose weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight is good for so many reasons. It reduces risk of diseases, improves circulation, decreases aches and pains in the body and helps keep you active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "healthy body benefits extend to mood elevation and greater mental awareness."

Let's not forget the fact that you feel good about yourself and look good in your clothes (or bathing suit) when you are healthy.

Healthy eating takes time and planning. Breakfast, as most of us know, is the most important meal of the day and sets the tone for what you will or will not eat throughout the day. Skipping meals is not recommended by professionals and most adults should consume 2,000 to 2,700 calories per day depending on sex, activity level and age. Planned properly, this is plenty of food.

Three smart meals a day is essential and some are sustained on that alone, but the rest of us need snacks. This is where you can make or break your daily caloric consumption. I happen to be a snacker, so I understand how this can mess up a day of well planned meals.

Chick peas or garbanzo beans are a great snack. A half cup gives you 7 grams of protein, 22 grams of complex carbohydrates as well as good amounts of iron, calcium and potassium. This snack is one I have been serving at my cooking classes and everyone asks for the recipe. For simplicity, I purchase the canned beans, rinse them well to wash away more than half the sodium and wipe them dry. This method takes a little time to cook, but prep is simple and the result is an easy, healthy and low-fat snack. They can be enjoyed alone, on salads or are great on top of my red pepper lamb stew. For that recipe, visit ColorfulCooking.com.

Oregano roasted chick peas

14.5 ounces canned garbanzo beans

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Rinse, drain and pat the chick peas dry with a paper towel. Toss the peas with olive oil, oregano and salt. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring once. Remove, allow to cool and enjoy. If they are not crispy enough, place them on a paper towel and put them in the microwave, full power for 3 to 6 minutes, testing along the way. They will loose some crunch when storing, to re-crisp, place in microwave, full power for 2 minutes. Test to taste.

Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all her meals. To contact her email Tracy@colorfulcooking.com or visit Colorfulcooking.com. She is a private chef, teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and shares recipes on TV8's Good Morning Vail.


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 23, 2013 03:37PM Published Apr 23, 2013 03:34PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.