Roasted Red Pepper, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

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Photo Credit: One Green Planet, 2018

 

Sometimes we need simple food to fill our souls. For a Meatless Monday, this Indian inspired curry is to die for! Chickpeas and spinach are blanketed in a rich, red pepper and coconut sauce. Not only is it spicy and fragrant, it is also good for you. If you’re looking for something that is rich in iron, look no further. What more could you want in a dish that will delight your palate and fill you up at the same time?

Adapted from Sonia Trurnit
One Green Planet, 2018

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 to 4 large red bell peppers
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/3 cups coconut milk
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
A pinch of smoked paprika
1 1/4 cups  canned chickpeas
1 cup baby spinach, washed and dried
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the bell pepper on the foil. Put the bell peppers in the oven for about 30 minutes and roast until charred. Place the bell peppers in a plastic bag and allow to cool until they can be easily handled. Remove skin, seeds, and stems, then set aside.

While the bell peppers are roasting, heat up a pan on medium high and sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden brown Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside.

To a blender add the peppers, onion and garlic, coconut milk, cornstarch, and smoked paprika; blend until well combined. Adjust the seasoning, if needed with salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to at 390°F.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to a medium sized Dutch oven or a large cast iron skillet. Add chickpeas, spinach and halved tomatoes and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir.

Serve with rice or freshly baked naan.


Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus recipe

Photo Credit: PhillyVoice.com, 2017

 

Did you know that the very food known as “Hummus” was derived from the Arabic  word meaning “chickpeas”, and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means “chickpeas with tahini”.  Hummus is basically  a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or a mixture of other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.  It is popular in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores anywhere in the world.

The chickpeas used in hummus make it high in fiber, protein and iron, and when lemon is added, offers your body a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants. What’s more, a thick spread of hummus will never threaten your waistline, but tahini has been known to be anti-inflammatory and lower cholesterol.

Yes, you can buy hummus at just about any local grocery store these days, but it so much better if you make for yourself at home and so easy to do as you can follow this recipe basic recipe with a few tips from Inspired Taste.

For some people, hummus is like the comic relief at an awkward dinner party. Everybody’s yearning for it, and it’s a universal pleaser. This light, savory snack is the perfect hors d’oeuvre as it  slides smoothly onto your chip, pita, pretzel, bagel, carrot or cucumber slices and rarely leaves a mess. And it is perfect for Super Bowl Parties

But for a change of pace, we switched it up a little to liven up a party in presenting this quick and easy roasted beet hummus which is a light, savory snack that will make your mouth pop with flavor.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 medium roasted beet, cooled, peeled, and quartered (Directions Follows)
One 15-ounce, can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dash salt and pepper
Water, to thin as needed
Optional spices: dried sage, cumin, paprika

Directions:
In a food processor, blend roasted beet until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to blend, reserving olive oil and water. Drizzle in olive oil while hummus is blending. If too thick, thin out with water until you have the desired consistency.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, as needed.

Place in a bowl and serve with vegetables , crackers or whole grain pitas of your choice.

Directions for Roasting Beets
 Option 1 
1. Preheat oven to 400 º F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. If buying whole beets with stem, remove leaves and stalk.
3. Peel beets and dice.
4. Lay on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried sage.
5. Cover baking sheet with foil and bake beets for 1 hour or until tender.

Option 2
1. Preheat oven to 425 º F.
2. Scrub, wash, and remove leaves/stalk from beets.
3. Place whole beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
4. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

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Chickpea Sliders

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I am always looking for new and interesting things to eat. Sometimes your palate just needs a break from the routing hum and drum of ordinary foods….And viola, I stumbled across this recipe from Blue Apron, a food delivery service, entitled “Chickpea Burgers with Vadouvan-Roasted Carrots & Feta-Yogurt Sauce“.

The very title of the recipe had me intrigued and I am always willing to try something new. The star of this recipe is the vadouvan curry powder. You can find more information at the following link. You can purchase it as a dry powder or make it on your own and use it like a sofrito.

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is also known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean and sometimes known as Egyptian pea. In Northern India, it is known as the ceci, cece or chana or Kabuli Chana. Nutritionally speaking, its seeds are high in protein, and they are more than just a salad garnish and more than hummus. Did you know that chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes? Nearly 7,500-year-old remains of chickpeas have been found in the Middle East. Imagine that!

This is definitely a delicious spin on the veggie burger that combines, onions, shallots, garlic and chickpeas. And the feta -yogurt sauce is the perfect condiment to top this sandwich off.

It’s a Keeper in my book…..Happy Eating!

Ingredients:
4 Sesame Seed Buns
One 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas
½ Cup Greek Yogurt
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Pounds Carrots
1 Lemon
1 Ounce Arugula
1 Persian Cucumber
1 Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Vadouvan Curry Powder
½ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
¼ Cup Chickpea Flour
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the buns. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; transfer to a bowl and smash with a fork. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel the carrots and cut into 3-inch-long sticks. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, feta cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Roast the carrots:

Place the carrots on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and half the vadouvan curry powder; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast in the oven, stirring halfway through, 21 to 23 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and toss with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cook the aromatics:

While the carrots roast, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and remaining vadouvan curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of smashed chickpeas. Wipe out the pan.

Form the chickpea patties:
While the carrots continue to roast and once the aromatics are cool enough to handle, add the chickpea flour and Parmesan cheese to the bowl of smashed chickpeas and cooked aromatics. Season with salt and pepper and mix to thoroughly combine. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized portions; form into 1-inch-thick patties.

Cook the chickpea patties:
In the same pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the chickpea patties. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Toast the buns and serve the dish:

While the chickpea patties cook, place the buns on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface. Divide the cooked chickpea patties between the bottoms of the buns. Top with the feta-yogurt sauce, sliced cucumber, arugula and the tops of the buns. Serve with the roasted carrots on the side. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note:

You can make your own vadouvan. Click here for the recipe.