Kung Pao Chickpeas
with rice / sesame green beans
This vegan spin on the takeout favorite is so addictive that it's already been included in the regular dinner rotation of some of the Cook Smarts team members. It's kid-approved (just adjust the spice accordingly) and makes great lunch leftovers.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp , grated
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Water - 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/4 cup
- Hoisin sauce - 3 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 Tbsp
- Ketchup - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp , more or less, to taste
- Green onions - 3 stalks , chopped, green and white parts separate
- Beans, garbanzo (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans , drained and rinsed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 Tbsp
- Peanuts, roasted - 1/2 cup
- Green beans - 1 lb , trimmed
- Water - 3 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 2 tsp
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Sesame seeds, any color - 1 tsp
Rice - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green beans / Bell peppers / Ginger / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store green beans and bell peppers in their own separate containers. Combine ginger and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make sauce - Combine ginger, garlic, first portion of water (for chickpeas), soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green onions - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven (preferably one that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add green beans, water (portion for green beans), and cooking oil (portion for green beans). As soon as the water is simmering, cover the pan and steam until green beans are tender, ~2 minutes. Remove lid and cook, turning green beans, until water has cooked off and beans are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and toss with toasted sesame oil, lime juice, and sesame seeds. Set green beans aside, covered to keep warm.
Return pan to the burner and reduce heat to medium. Add oil (portion for chickpeas) and then bell peppers and white parts of green onions to heated oil. Saute for 2 minutes to get bell peppers started cooking.
Add beans to bell peppers and pour sauce over top. Stir everything to combine.
Whisk together second portion of water (for chickpeas) and cornstarch. When sauce is simmering, pour cornstarch mixture over top and stir to combine.
Cover chickpeas with a lid and cook, covered until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove lid and stir in green parts of green onions.
If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
Serve chickpeas over rice with peanuts on top. Enjoy green beans on the side.