Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

I love finding and trying new recipes. That's why I love Pinterest so much. Pinterest just opened wide a door of food possibilities for me. Now, you do have to be careful not to get bogged down in the fat and calorie laden recipes most often found on Pinterest. Most of the time I feel like I have to dig through pin after pin after pin of fatty desserts, processed food filled casseroles, and other disturbing recipes to find the really good ones. Every once in a while, I'll pin something I wouldn't normally eat but rarely do I ever make those recipes. I have found some excellent recipes though and my newest, Meatless Monday dish is one of those.

We had to push back our meatless day this week from Monday to Tuesday because of some previous dinner plans we had made. I was pretty excited to get in the kitchen yesterday evening and begin whipping up dinner. This new recipe combines three of my most favorite things...chickpeas, spinach, and smoked paprika. I can go through a container of smoked paprika in a hurry. I put it in almost everything! It has such wonderful flavor.

The recipe comes from Kitchen La Boheme but she actually got the recipe from Bon Appetit. You should check out both sites for more yummy recipes. I did things just a tiny bit different from Kitchen La Boheme but nothing major.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Serves 4

3 Tbs EVOO, divided
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
1 bag of baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
1 one pound can of whole tomatoes, crushed, plus half of the juice
1 15 oz can of vegetable broth

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add 1 garlic clove. Stir until beginning to turn golden brown, 1–2 minutes. Add spinach to pot. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted but still bright green, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. Wipe out pot.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and 3 garlic cloves. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, 3–4 minutes. Add cumin and paprika; stir until cumin is toasted and fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes*; stir to coat. Cook until tomatoes start to caramelize and chickpeas begin to brown, 8–10 minutes.

Add broth; bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, occasionally mashing some chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, until sauce is thickened, 15–20 minutes. Fold in spinach; simmer for flavors to meld,  8–10 minutes.

*When adding tomatoes, I poured off about half of the juice into the pot and then crushed the tomatoes into the pot using my hands. You can reserve the remaining juice if you would like, as the stew does get really thick. I liked the thickness but if you don't, just add more of the tomato juice or more vegetable broth later on, if you have it.

The whole family loved this dish. Even my five year old ate it up. The flavors meld together so well. It was warm and comforting and perfect for a cold night. 

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


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