Thursday, April 26, 2007

Chickpeas and Spinach Stew

'Tis the season for spinach recipes! I picked up a beautiful two pound bag of big green leaves at the Farmer's Market this weekend. It was gone before we knew it. Spinach is so incredibly versatile and nutritious, and it's one of the easiest foods for us to get local and organic. I received this recipe in my "Green Guide" e-mail yesterday and decided to give it a try. This is modified only very slightly. This is a quick and easy dinner that plates nicely and is very satisfying. Made with bulk rice and beans, it's also inexpensive--especially if you don't burn the first batch of rice. Not that I did.

Chickpeas and Spinach Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 cup veggie stock
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
12 ounces fresh greenmarket spinach
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups cooked brown rice
Plain Yogurt

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and spices and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer 7 to 10 minutes. Add chicken stock, canned chickpeas and tomato; cover and cook 10 minutes at medium-high. Add spinach, cover for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve over brown rice, Top with a dollop of plain yogurt, and a sprinkle of spices.

I originally followed the directions to cook for another 10 minutes after adding the spinach, but I think it would have been nicer to let the spinach retain more of it's natural brightness and bite. The chicklets ate a modified version--brown rice, chickpeas, yogurt, and cumin. They had baby carrots on the side for their veggie. It was a big hit. Leftovers were great too. Enjoy cooking local as more variety becomes available!

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