Monday, November 30, 2009

Warming One-Skillet Meal

     Many people don't think they have time to cook at home, relying instead on the quick "convenience" foods provided by their favorite drive thru or pre-packaged "meal".  The following recipe can be made in the same amount of time it would take to "make" Hamburger Helper, yet you won't get the MSG, added sugars and high sodium that come with these boxed meal mixes.  I came up with the idea of this while on my way home from the gym a few weeks ago.  I was starving and did a mental inventory of what I had at home.  I knew I had the makings for a nice spinach salad and could throw in some chickpeas for protein, but since it was chilly out, I really wanted a warming, spicy meal.  Using the same ingredients that I would have put in my spinach salad and adding some different seasonings, I came up with this dish in a remarkably short amount of time.
     Don't let the chickpeas deter you!  My son, who is not exactly a fan of them (unless they are pureed into hummus), tried just a taste of this (with my begging) while home for Thanksgiving break, and then decided to help himself to more - an entire serving more!  My husband loved this dish so much that, after the first time I made it, he was asking for it again the very next day.

Olive oil
½ onion, cut into rings, then quartered
6 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 can chickpeas (aka:  garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained (approx 1 ½ cup)
½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder (I like to use hot curry for this)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup water
1 5oz package fresh, pre-washed spinach
In large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the spinach.  Stir to combine, cover pan with lid and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add spinach, stirring to coat spinach with heated mixture.  Replace cover and allow to cook for 2 minutes.  Stir once more.  Remove from heat.  Enjoy.  [TIME SAVING TIPS:  1)  combine seasoning in the morning.  Store in a small container.  2)  prepare onion, garlic and tomatoes the night before.]

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