Thursday, June 11, 2009


After last night's decadent meal I needed to take a break. So where did I turn? Where else! The Recipes for Health section of the NY Times that is my go-to guide for quick, healthy meals. One of my favorite pantry meals is the Chickpeas With Spinach. I always have chickpeas in my cupboard as a kind of emergency staple because I know that I can do so many things with them, even if the rest of the cupboard is bare.

The Times pictures this chickpea recipe on toasted bread, but I like to serve it with Basmati rice for a more complete meal. I also add a little more garlic and heat, but that's just my personal preference.

Oh! I almost forgot, this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, which is such a small amount that I recommend purchasing the tomato paste that is sold in tube form (like toothpaste) rather than the 4 ounce can that you generally find in grocery stores. I've found that whenever I buy those cans I use a little, have every intention of making something with the rest, never do, then end up throwing it away. So, even if the tube is a little more expensive, you're probably coming out ahead because you don't have to keep buying and throwing away unused tomato paste. OK that's my hot tip of the day. Back to the recipe.

Chickpeas With Spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water

Cayenne to taste

1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring for one to two minutes, until fragrant and the tomato paste has turned a darker color. Add the chickpeas, the stock or water, and the cayenne, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, stirring until each addition of spinach wilts. Add salt to taste (about another teaspoon) and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for five minutes. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt and cayenne, and serve. Serves 2 - 3.

1 comment:

WendyB said...

This looks good. I keep feeling like I might try one of these recipes one day!