Cheap eats

Work is settling, but end-of-month is always a bit harried. I’ll interrupt the insanity with a recipe I made last night which is adapted from one at The Simple Dollar which was adapted from something on NPR. I aimed between their recipes because, come on, you shouldn’t sub garlic powder for real garlic! I even tried their use of bread to thicken the stew but either the execution or the idea was poor. Too much oil (I even used less than they called for) + bread = soggy oily bread (and then oily soup), not a thick paste. Here’s my recommended revision:

Spiced Chickpea Spinach Stew

2 cans chickpeas (I drained/rinsed ’em)
6 cloves garlic, minced or whatever size you like
Olive oil
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 pound spinach, washed and cleaned
splash(es) of acidic something (lemon juice etc)
Salt and pepper, honey to taste
Cornstarch for thickening

Bring the chickpeas to a boil in a soup pot of water and/or broth (enough to cover what you’re cooking; I used up some old vegetable broth and added water to make up the rest). Add in the spinach and boil for a few minutes, then simmer at medium heat.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic in oil, adding in the spices and cooking until fragrant and thick but not burnt. {stop to enjoy the smell!} Add spice mixture to the pot of chickpeas/spinach. Continue medium/high heat and add enough lemon juice and honey to suit your taste, as well as salt and pepper. Thicken with cornstarch (bringing back to a boil for a bit helps). Serve with good, crusty bread or over rice or noodles.

This has strong flavor (not hot) and I swear it tasted like a beef-broth based soup. Check out the source links for info on browning the bread and mashing it with the garlic into a paste which then goes in the soup, which sounds great but I just couldn’t get it to work well. Easy meal! You can get lots of flavor from the spices and save yourself a high salt content as a result.

Chickpeas are so versatile. They’re one of my go-to foods.

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