Tag Archives: Chickpeas

Bid Chips and Salsa Adieu: Smoky Carrot Hummus

I am easily excitable when it comes to food. In other aspects of my life as well, passion is my North Star. When something just feels right, I tend to try and steer my ship in that general direction. It’s a magnetic pull, really. Things could be no other way than what they are. Now we arrive at the ever-elusive point: the hummus. Not your traditional hummus, oh no, this is a special sort of hummus. It is intoxicating and rich and downright wonderful, something that you’ll want to make over and over again on those days that things just aren’t going your way and you’d just kill for an ingestible that won’t make your stomach swell to the point of no return.
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Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas with Quinoa

These spicy chickpeas evoke visions of a languorous evening spent in Marrakesh, lounging about on hand-woven rugs in a smoky den of jeweled resplendence. If you own an actual tagine, gold star for you! Use that. Otherwise, a Dutch Oven or a large heavy-bottomed skillet will do the trick.

I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa kick lately. It’s just so easy. Not to mention that it is widely considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Older than Peru, the Incas called this gluten-free grain the “mother grain”. Unlike any other non-animal product, quinoa contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein. In addition to a sizable amount of protein, quinoa is also an excellent source of fiber, calcium, phosphorus, folate, and many B vitamins. Just rinse those little suckers off for a few minutes, throw em’ in a pot of water, and simmer until they all explode into little curly q’s. When approaching this recipe, instead of running out to buy couscous (this gal’s trying to develop a budget), I cooked up a big pot of quinoa not only as a side to this dish, but enough to last me for the week.
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Spinach & Barley Soup with Fried Sage

A warm, invigorating soup for increasingly crisp fall evenings. The lemon juice is essential to the success of this recipe as it lightens the heaviness of the barley and the chickpeas. The final addition of fried sage leaves pleases both the palate and the eye.

Spinach & Barley Soup with Fried Sage
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 large sage leaves, chopped
1 cup pearl barley
14 oz can organic garbanzo beans
14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
8 cups spinach, washed and chopped
6 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock
fine-grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
juice from 1-2 lemons, to taste

parmesan cheese
3-4 whole fresh sage leaves per person
olive oil, for frying

1.) Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Once very hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sage and cook for 8 minutes more. Add barley and cook for 1-2 mintues.

2.) Add beans and tomatoes and give everything a good stir. Add spinach, in batches if the volume is too great, and cook until wilted. Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Check to make sure barley is cooked through (it should still retain some bit), taste for salt and pepper and season to taste.

3.) While soup is simmering, heat a glug of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sage leaves and fry until crisp. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

4.) To serve, stir in red wine vinegar. Season to taste with lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowls, coat generously with shaved parmesan, adorn with sage leaves, and serve.

Moroccan Sweet Potato Tagine

Moroccan Sweet Potato Tagine

2 tablespoons mild-flavored olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or two 14 oz cans)
4 medium sweet potatoes
3 skinny carrots, chopped
14 oz can tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.) Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat slightly, and cook for 5 minutes more.

2.) Reduce heat again and add all of the spices, stirring constantly, and taking care not to let the onions burn.

3.) Add carrots, squash, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

4.) Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins, cover, and simmer for 30-50 minutes, depending on how large your chunks of vegetables are; until fork tender.

5.) Serve on a bed of cous cous.