recipes for winter meals

Let’s talk about chickpeas and how awesome they are. My older son eats them straight up, a habit he picked up from me.

Also called garbanzo beans, these babies are not only delicious, they are packed with protein and vitamins. Although most people think of them as a vegetable, chickpeas are a legume with a slightly nutty flavor. One cup of chickpeas has roughly 270 calories, 45 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein and 13 grams (!) of fiber.

If chickpeas are not already a staple in your diet, they should be. As we enter into the winter rainy season here in California I personally turn to simple, hearty and healthy stews and soups to get me through till Springtime.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, stems removed, minced
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Directions

Step 1: Place a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot but not smoking, add the onion and sauté till tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an addition 30 seconds.
Step 2: Add the curry, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, coriander and Garam Masala and cook for about 1 minute till fragrant.
Step 3: Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, chickpeas, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil use the back of a wooden spoon to carefully break up or gently smash the tomatoes in the pan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and stew, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
Step: 4 Add the spinach to the chickpeas, stir to incorporate and cook an additional 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning as needed, garnish with chopped parsley.
Step: 5 Serve warm with your favorite side such as couscous, quinoa or rice.

Former chef and now Menlo Park stay-at-home mom, Andrea Potischman blogs at Simmer and Sauce; photos and text used with permission.

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