Tag Archives: chickpeas

Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans?

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Hazelnuts or Filberts? Zucchini or Courgette? Sproinger or wired coil whisk? Whichever you prefer to call them, they both mean the same thing. Just like the case of last night’s dinner. I put a bunch of ingredients and spices together in a pot and called the dish Curried Chickpeas with Spinach. Little did my tiny brain know that the dish I created was actually a slight variation on the already well-known Indian dish Chana Masala. Whodda thunk? I’m sometimes so much of a genius that I’m not even aware of it myself. Like the time I was messing around in the chemistry lab and concocted a vaccine for Polio… granted a young hombre from the 50’s had already beaten me to the punch, but still…

Now, I always assumed trying to cook Indian food would be a difficult task and call for an abundance of spices and ingredients that an everyday kitchen wouldn’t normally contain. Boy was I wrong. We apparently had all the right stuff in our cabinets and spice rack and I didn’t even realize it. I can make Indian food after all. Woohoo, muy bueno for the TeenyChef.

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach (Chana Masala)

2 tsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

2-14.5 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 cups fresh baby spinach

Directions:

1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, mix the spices in a small bowl. Add the tomatoes, broth and chickpeas. Stir until combined and then add in spice mixture. Stir well and cover pot. Allow to cook 10 minutes.

3) Remove lid and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer 20 minutes.

4) Add spinach and lime juice and allow to cook 5-7 more minutes.

5) Serve over a bed of your grain of choice (rice, millet, quinoa, couscous etc). Enjoy!

So there you have it. Or as my best French Poodle friend would say, “Voila!” I may not have come up with the idea for this particular concoction myself (even though I thought I did) but it’s still incredibly tasty.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be going. I have an idea for something I’m sure no one else has come up with before.

Darn it!

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If the stew is Moroccan, you better come a knockin

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I really hate wasting food. I get so sad when I look in our crisper drawer and find slimy lettuce or open up our fruit bin and find mold growing on a strawberry or a peach. The other day during a commercial break in between my telenovelas, I saw an ad stating that Americans throw away nearly 33 million tons of food each year due to spoilage. That’s just crazy! It pains me to think of how many of those pounds were once perfectly beautiful carrots just waiting for some hungry little super chef to feast on and now they’re just sitting in some landfill, rotting away.

Alas, food waste is a very rare occurrence in my house. I try to find a use for everything, whether it’s on its last leg or just beginning to reach its point of expiration. Got a brown banana? I’ll make a banana bread. Come upon a few pieces of nearly stale bread? I’ll whip up a plate of French Toast. Have half of a butternut squash leftover from the macaroni and cheese dish I posted about the other day? I’ll chop em up, throw them into a stew and call it dinner. Need a stew recipe so you can do the same thing? I’ll give ya one.

Moroccan Butternut Squash Stew with Chickpeas and Lentils

2 tsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large carrots, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes

1 cup lentils

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

salt and pepper, to taste

14.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup raisins

2 tbsp tomato paste

freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions:

1) Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onions, garlic, carrots and fresh ginger and cook 5 minutes until onions are softened.

2) Add butternut squash, lentils, vegetable broth, tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil, cover and allow to simmer 25-30 minutes.

3) Remove lid, add chickpeas, raisins and tomato paste and allow to simmer 10 minutes.

4) Serve over a bed of cooked rice, couscous, quinoa, millet or whatever your favorite grain just so happens to be. Top with grated Parmesan, if you so desire and enjoy!

Another possible food waste crisis averted. TeenyLittleSuperChef saves the day again. Now if you’ll excuse me, mi mama says she’s craving a tuna salad sandwich and I need to figure out just how I’m going to open up this can.

Buenos noches, mi amigos!