Chickpeas Sprouts, Asparagus, Garlic Green & Penne Stir-fry

Garlic green, a spring culinary treat from my garden.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Because I planted the garlic cloves closer than recommended last fall, I am now harvesting every other plant for cooking.
Use as you would scallion. Both the white and green parts are used. Garlic green has a delicate garlic flavor.

Trying to find time to eat right and healthy while spending the better part of the days outdoor gearing up for the planting season which will be in full swing soon can be a challenge.

Fortunately I made friend with my freezer and always remember to cook for it. I have quite a bit of precooked meals that I can reheat and I also have cooked chickpeas sprouts, cooked lentil sprouts, cooked pasta, cooked brown rice and beans … in the freezer for quick stir-frys.

Stir-frying is one of the fastest way to get a meal from the stove to the table and one of the healthiest way to eat.

Here are a few tips to make a gardener’s life easier
Make friends with your freezer, always cook extra for it (remember to date and label)
Keep a supply of your favorite dried fruits on hand
Keep a supply of your favorite nuts and seeds on hand, toast if you prefer (I always have a supply of toasted nuts and seeds on hand)
Prep veggies the night before or early in the morning before heading outdoor
 When a sauce is called for in the recipe, if possible, measure out ingredients into a covered container (label if pre-preparing more than one sauce)

Staples in my freezer for quick stir-fry:
Meal-sized portion of sliced meat and poultry
Cooked chickpeas sprouts and lentils sprouts
Shelled soy beans (edamame)
Cooked brown rice and beans
Cooked pasta and noodles

The recipe below can be prepared in under 15 minutes.

Before heading outside to work, I prep my asparagus, shallot and garlic green, put them in the refrigerator; take the chickpeas sprouts and penne (or pasta of choice) from the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw.

Enter the kitchen at the end of the day and dinner is on the table in no time.

Chickpeas Sprouts, Asparagus, Garlic Green & Penne Stir-fry

¾ – 1 pound asparagus, peeled (click here for how to) and slant cut
½ pound (about 1½ cups) cooked chickpeas sprouts (click here for chickpeas sprouts information)
½ pound (about 2 cups) cooked pasta, regular or gluten free, microwave 2 – 3 minutes to reheat
1 shallot, minced
1 – 3 garlic green or scallions thinly sliced
2 – 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 – 3 tablespoons toasted nuts (I like slivered almonds) or seeds
½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black/white pepper or to taste
chili, fresh, bottled or dried to taste, optional
2 – 3 tablespoons regular or gluten free soy sauce
¼ – ½ cup broth or as needed
1 – 2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil, optional

1. Add oil to preheated wok or frying pan, add shallot and chili (if using) stir-fry a few seconds, add salt, asparagus and chickpeas sprouts. Stir-fry until asparagus turns a bright green color, 2 – 4 minutes.
2. Add pasta, mix well, stir in soy sauce, add broth as need. Stir fry until asparagus reaches desired doneness and pasta is heated through, about 5 – 8 minutes.
3. Stir in sesame oil, dried cranberries and nuts. Adjust taste, serve hot or cold.

VARIATION 1 – Substitute 1 tablespoon oyster sauce for a tablespoon of the soy sauce
VARIATION 2 – Substitute 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce for a tablespoon of the soy sauce

Related post you might be interested in:
Click here for Growing Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Sprouts
Click here for Curried Chickpeas Sprouts, Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Stew
Click here for Marinated Tofu, Asparagus & Portabella Mushroom Stir-fry
Click here for Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-fry
Click here for Asparagus Salad

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Robin, The Gardener of Eden, is the host for Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard. Head on over to Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard to see what others are cooking.

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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77 Responses to Chickpeas Sprouts, Asparagus, Garlic Green & Penne Stir-fry

  1. Great tips! Do you have to under-cook rice and pasta to freeze it? Or just cook as normal?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Penny,
      Thanks. I just cook normal and freeze. I try not to overcook the pastas, but if it happens not a big deal still good.I sometimes undercook the pasta but not the brown rice.

  2. Daphne says:

    That looks delicious. I store things in the freezer too. But for me it is white rice. My husband won’t eat brown rice. I used to make brown for me and white for my husband, but I got tired of all the extra work.

  3. cocomino says:

    I also planted garlics. It’s easy to grow and useful for cooking.

  4. Kristy says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. And someday I hope to have my kitchen/meals that organized. 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      Making a single recipe or doubling/tripling it does not take much more time and once you get into the habit it comes naturally. Trust me, I am not an organized person.

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Yes, Norma, my freezer is my friend! 🙂
    Living alone, it is far too wasteful to cook for one, much of the time. I always cook extra, some of which I’ll enjoy as leftovers and the rest goes into the freezer. Your stir-fry here sounds really tasty, a nice mix of flavors and textures. It would be fun “testing” to find out which sauce is preferable: soy, hoisin, or oyster.

  6. Robin says:

    Those are some great tips Norma. We make some meals and put them in the freezer to eat later….but, we should make more.

    The recipe sounds wonderful. “The Italian” is allergic to chic peas. What would you suggest as a substitute?

  7. Toni Kellers says:

    Hi Norma – since you turned me on to chickpeas, today’s recipe looks very good. Question. I have gotten asparagus several times since it started showing up in the store. They are very thin right now. The first batch I stir-fried and they were wonderful. The next ones I put in the oven with a casserole and roasted w/olive oil. That batch had many woody stems (I had cut them in about 4 pieces both times). Was that a difference in the 2 batches, or a difference in the cooking method? The roasting was done at the behest of a house-guest who considers herself a chef and said to do it.
    Question #2 – That does it – I need a wok. Any suggestions? I have several good cookware stores available.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Toni,
      I think it was most likely due to the difference with the 2 batches.
      As for a wok, what kind of stove do you have? If you have gas or electric coil any shape will do. If you have glass top you need a good heavy flat bottom one. I personally do not like the non-stick. I also prefer a 14-inch to a 12-inch. Since you have several good cookware stores available, go to each and ask questions, through the process of elimination a decision will be easier to make.

  8. Eri says:

    I love the combination here! Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Purely.. Kay says:

    Oh Ms. Norma, this stir fry sounds absolutely delicious. I love to make stir fry, and I think I will enjoy making this.

  10. Sophie33 says:

    Ooh Norma, what a great & truly fabulous spring dish! I love this!

    I also love your blog & that’s why I just gave YOU an AWARD! Yeah!!

    Come over @ my latest blogpost & you can read why!!

    Have a great weekend! 🙂

  11. Yum! I usually don’t add pasta to my stir-frys but this looks delicious!

  12. Barbara says:

    I may not have a garden anymore, but I used to and really enjoyed this post! Your stir fry looks and sounds delicious too. Love meals like this for dinner.

  13. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s very helpful Norma and I love seeing what you are growing in your garden. When I come home late in the day I usually cook pasta or a stir-fry as these are the fastest meals to get to the table and like you say, stir-fries are very healthy too.

  14. Lrong says:

    Am thinking about when to harvest my garlic… your recipes always look so healthy and delicious…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lrong,
      Are you talking about harvesting the garlic green or the mature garlic head? If garlic green, yank one out of the ground and see if it is tender like a scallion.
      Thanks. I try to eat healthy, at this stage of my life, health is more important than anything else in the world.

  15. Hi Norma,

    I love cooking extra and freezing but I’m not so good about taking it out and eating it. I must get better at that.

    Love the idea of planting the garlic closer together and using it as a spring onion.

    The stir-fry looks yummy.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Thanks. Planting the garlic cloves closer together does not require extra garden space nor extra work, yep, lazy gardener, that’s me. I am so thrilled to be getting something from my garden at this time of year.

  16. mac says:

    Yum~~ you have green garlic already?

  17. Norma, the meal is delicious, healthy and very quick, I love it! I am a big friend with my freezer, actually, with my two freezers. Most of the time my experience with it is good. One vegetable that didn’t freeze well was kale. I had about 10 bunches of kale at some point, and decided to freeze it: I blanched it in salted water for about 5 minutes, cooled, and divided into portions to freeze. When I open it to prepare, it wasn’t good, not what I expected. Collard greens, on the other hand, were perfect. Do you have any advice about freezing greens, kale in particular?
    Thanks, and have a great weekend!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      I never tried freezing kale. When you said it wasn’t good, what do you mean? How were you preparing it? I imagine it would be OK in soup. Will experiment with freezing kale this year and try to remember to post about it later.

  18. Ina Gawne says:

    Norma – such a lovely pasta dish! I love garlic greens! They are not quite ready where I live, but another month or so – can’t wait!

  19. Liz says:

    I love your tips, now I just need to convince the kids that they love stir fry…I’m about to plant my garlic and I think I will do it extra close as you did as green garlic is fabulous isn’t it.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      Call the dish by another name, don’t use “stir-fry”, and if it means adding tomato sauce or tomato ketchup to please them, give that a try.
      Yes, I love garlic green and am looking forward to harvesting garlic scapes.

  20. Great tips Norma! I have a full size freezer in my garage that I try to keep stocked with cooked grains, proteins and prepared (homemade) food. I love it when it’s full!

  21. Eva Taylor says:

    You couldn’t be more bang on Norma, eating healthy is just a matter of planning and preparation! Your dish looks tasty and colourful.

  22. I love the combination of asparagus and chickpeas. This looks great.

  23. kitsapfg says:

    A well stocked pantry and freezer and a great garden of fresh items – makes meal prep so much easier! That recipe looks very similar to one I periodically make and enjoy quite a lot. Odds are good I would really like yours too so snagging it to try in the near future.

  24. Charles says:

    Hi Norma – I had no idea one could even sprout chick peas – I never considered that before so this is really interesting to me, but I’m not clear about some things from your other post – when you say “harvest”… do you mean, detaching the sprouts from the chick peas, like cutting/breaking them off? Also, do you still then eat the chick peas, or discard them? Can the sprouts be eaten raw, or need cooking? Thanks a lot!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      Yep and they are really good.
      I am so sorry that I am not clear with my info. I will rewrite that sentence. If you cannot understand, then there are many out there who did not, appreciate you bringing it to my attention.
      Use the whole thing, chick peas and roots. I personally do not eat the sprouts raw, some people do. If you re-read the beginning of the post I give info on steaming and freezing. Let me know if I helped.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Again Charles,
        I rewrote the sentence, let me know if it is clearer. If not, would you mind helping me with the wordings? Thanks.

      • Charles says:

        Ah, thanks for the clarification Norma – I think I actually have a bag of chick peas in the cupboard at the moment – I’m going to try and give these a go – what fun! 🙂

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Charles,
        You are so welcome. I just posted Growing Pinto Bean Sprouts.
        Did you get your chick peas from the food market? If yes, it may be treated and not sprout as well.

      • Charles says:

        Hi Norma – these ones I bought from a supermarket in a big air-filled cushion-like plastic bag. They do have an organic section with self-serve dispensers of grains and beans which you then weigh. I’ll go for those next time!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Charles,
        The supermarket prepackaged ones will probably sprout. After 2 days, if they do not sprout then just cook like regular chickpeas.

  25. Norma, this looks delicious, and I’ve never cooked with sprouted chickpeas before! I’ll go check out the link now. I am best buddies with my freezer – everything ends up in there, and it really is the best way to manage kitchen “cashflow”. 🙂 I’ve just made a huge batch of Syrian hommus, and it’s all in little containers in the freezer!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      Thanks. A freezer sure makes my life easier. Do you freeze the extra veggies from your garden?
      Hope you like chick peas sprouts. I tend to do more sprouts during the winter months when nothing is growing in my garden. Below is another chickpeas sprouts recipe.

  26. shuhan says:

    I love this! my freezer is about the size of two yellow pages put side by side, that’s how small it is, so I often have to resort to making food fresh, but I don’t mind because I do love cooking! wondering how garlic green differs from spring onions, would really love to get hold of some! and even better that this was straight from your garden, that’s brilliant!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Shuhan,
      Garlic green has a mild garlic flavor, a would say a delicate garlic flavor. You are not going to find it is the food market, perhaps at a farmers’ market if one in your area is open this time of year. That’s why I grow my own.

  27. samology says:

    This looks like a fusion recipe!!! Best of both worlds! Easy, fast, and oh so delicious!! Great job!!

  28. Hey Norma! Your pictures are getting really good. Are you taking them yourself?

    And another good looking recipe to try.

  29. Carolyn Jung says:

    How delightful to reap the rewards of your garden. I bought some green garlic at the farmers market this weekend. But nothing beats home-grown.

  30. Wonderful tips and a very wonderful looking stir-fry! Now I just need to go and clean out my freezer…

  31. I’m inspired by the asparagus in your recipe — it’s the second post that I’ve seen tonight with asparagus (just came from Bits and Breadcrumbs). Given that this can be prepared in 15 minutes, I’m definitely going to give it a try on a weeknight soon!

  32. zestybeandog says:

    So lovely, asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. 🙂

  33. Jeanette says:

    Norma, wish I had some garlic greens – they look a lot like scallions. Great tips for putting together a quick and easy stir-fry. It’s all in the prep.

  34. This recipe looks sooo good. I’m going to give it a try this weekend when my friends are visiting. I’m sure they will all love it. 🙂

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