Swiss Chard & Chickpea Curry

 

So I peeked in my fridge the other night and was saddened by the dire vegetable situation in my kitchen after a long holiday weekend. So I headed out to Trader Joe’s in search of some hope for my cooking situation. Lo’ and behold, the shelves were bare. So I headed down the block to the trusty local kosher grocery store, and amazingly, there was some beautiful fresh swiss chard. It being the beginning of the new year and time for healthy new year’s resolutions and better eating plans, swiss chard is the perfect healthy green to be that representative to ease us into this special moment.

Swiss chard is a fabulous, hearty green that can adapt to any situation. It’s somewhere in between kale and spinach in terms of durability? Can greens be durable? I say, yes. Anyhow, they cook down nicely and pair well with most flavors. It also cooks up quickly, so it’s great for those evenings where you get home at 6pm and dinner needs to be ready before the half hour episode of The Simpsons is over. Am I the only crazy busy mom who does that? I try not to, but to be honest, the occasional park the kid in front of a show moment is the only way that dinner will be cooked and bellies will get filled.

Curry is the perfect wintery dish. It’s comforting, warm, spicy and pretty healthy. And if you follow some of my other recipes on here and also my instagram, you’ve probably seen a fair amount of similar dishes. It’s such an easy meal to turn to as I usually have all of the base ingredients at home already.

I quickly set up some basmati rice to cook. Basmati rice also mostly babysits itself while it cooks.

I sauteed up some onions, garlic and ginger and curry spices. Next, I added in the chopped swiss chard and let that cook down a little bit. I then added some chickpeas, a small amount of broth and some diced tomatoes. I added in a small amount of salt. I let everything simmer for a little bit – five to seven minutes and I was ready to go. By the time the curry was ready, so was the rice.

I tried to keep the heat level on this dish more mild so my kids would eat it, and eat it they did! Hope you enjoy this as well!

Swiss Chard & Chickpea Curry
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • half teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 large bunch of green swiss chard, washed and chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • additional salt to taste

Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic and let soften for a couple minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices and cook another minute.
  4. Add in the swiss chard and let it cook down for a few minutes, stirring well.
  5. Add in the drained chickpeas, tomatoes and broth. Stir everything well.
  6. Let simmer for five to seven minutes, stirring every so often.
  7. Taste and add salt as necessary. If you’d like some heat, add in some cayenne or red pepper flakes.
  8. Serve with warm Basmati rice.
  9. Enjoy!

Tuscan Kale & Cauliflower Curry with Chickpeas

main-curry

If you’re anything like me, you run in to roadblocks in the kitchen almost every day. What to make, ingredients to have on hand, cooking time, etc. It’s life. We get by. Even if dinner ends up as cereal with milk, there usually aren’t too many disgruntled customers.

If you follow my dinner posts on Instagram, you probably already recognize some of the usual suspects in my kitchen. From throwing in an egg for protein to tossing every vegetable in the pan – dinner can be anything. Play with the flavor.  Swap out the veggies. Switch your proteins around. It’s all good.

You also know that I love curry. From a haphazard cabbage curry to a polished palak paneer, curry rocks. When served over Basmati rice, it is perfect. It’s one of those dishes that spring from nowhere on a busy evening. You can take advantage of whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand and it’s quick to prepare. Add in a protein and go to flavortown and you’re there. Your dish has arrived. Dinner is served.

Well it happens that way in my head. A few more steps are thrown in. But like I said above, a great curry can be born from whatever you have lying in your fridge. Well, most of the stuff. Don’t try and make a curry out of marshmallow fluff! Did I just admit to having marshmallow fluff in my house? Oops.

This curry I’m sharing with you, like the others, was born out of necessity. Some amazing Tuscan Kale was taking over some valuable real estate in my fridge and I didn’t want it to go bad. My husband wanted something with chickpeas. I wanted the kale. It’s cooperation. Or something like that. Regardless, it tasted great, it’s a great vegan curry and it cooks up super fast.

I heated up a large pan with some olive oil and add in some onion, garlic and traditional curry spices.

Next I added the cauliflower and it it cook a few minutes to soften. About 5 minutes.

I then added the Kale and Chickpeas. The kale will wilt pretty quickly.

After that, I added the canned tomatoes and some vegetable broth.

I let the mixture cook for another 5-10 minutes – letting all of the flavors meld while simmering.

While everything cook, I had some basmati rice going in my rice cooker.

Dinner took about 20 minutes to cook. It was perfect – especially for these chilly days.



Hope you enjoy!

Tuscan Kale and Cauliflower Curry with Chickpeas
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • half teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-2 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, washed and broken up in to florets
  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable broth

Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic and let soften a bit. About 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in the spices and add the cauliflower florets.
  4. Cook about 4-5v minutes to allow the cauliflower to soften.
  5. Add in the kale and the chickpeas. Stir well to mix up the spices. Allow the kale to wilt a bit. About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir well and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with warm Basmati rice.
  9. Enjoy!

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Pan-Seared Tofu with Harissa Chickpeas

Pan-Seared-Tofu-Harissa

I think this month’s Bon Appétit Magazine may be one of my favorites. They focused on healthful foods this  month. Page after page, I was just blown away and inspired by the ideas and photos. Their cover photo inspired my recent miso soup. When I paged through and landed on their Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas, my mouth began to water some more. Harissa. I love the spice paste and I have always wanted to make it myself. I knew right then that I had to veganize this dish. I also knew that I wasn’t going to use store-bought harissa. I had to make it my own.

Harissa is a North African chili paste. It’s spicy and fragrant – so full of flavor. I often buy it to spread on challah for Shabbat, or I sometimes spread it on fish. I knew from past research that Harissa uses freshly toasted spices and would be the perfect opportunity to break out my new mortar and pestle.

The amazing folks at Core Bamboo recently sent me a beautiful mortar and pestle that would be perfect for this Harissa job. Core Bamboo is also amazingly generous and sponsoring a giveaway for a mortar and pestle just like mine. So check out the end of this blog post if you are interested in winning a set for your own kitchen. Core Bamboo produces an amazing array of kitchen products. I think I have a cutting board addiction, and several in my collection are made by Core, as are several of my bowls. I may also hoard serving bowls. I’m a kitchen stuff hoarder. Plain and simple.

Anyhow, back to the dish.

First, I made the Harissa. I soaked some dried chile peppers in boiling water.

peppers

While the peppers soaked, I toasted the spices in a hot pan. I then ground up the toasted spices in my mortar and pestle.

mortar-and-pestle

Once the peppers were soft, I seeded and stemmed them and then I transferred everything to my Cuisinart food processor and blended the mixture. Everything came together quickly.

Cuisinart

Once the harissa is ready, transfer the mixture to a clean jar and add some extra olive oil to cover the paste.

harissa

I then set out to make the rest of the meal.

Next, I sliced my tofu and spiced it with salt, pepper and cumin. I seared the sliced tofu in a hot pan and then transferred the tofu to a plate.

I sautéed some onion, garlic and additional spices. I added my chickpeas to the pan, along with some harissa, tomato paste and vegetable broth.  I let the mixture cook for a few minutes. I then added the tofu back to the pan so that it gets coated with the Harissa.

Chickpeas

I served the tofu and chickpeas with some lemon wedges.

Pan-Seared-Tofu-Harissa

Dinner was amazing. It was super easy to make and everyone walked away with full, happy bellies. I hope you enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter the amazing giveaway for a Core Bamboo Mortar & Pestle!

Pan-Seared Tofu with Harissa Chickpeas
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • ⅓ cup Harissa (see recipe below) or use store-bought
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
  2. Season the tofu slices with the salt, pepper and cumin and sear the tofu until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate when done.
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute for a few minutes until softened.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and add in the chickpeas and the harissa.
  5. Stir in the vegetable broth and let the mixture simmer.
  6. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes and then add the tofu back to the pan. Ensure that the tofu is coated with the harissa mixture.
  7. Serve the dish with lemon wedges for squeezing over the dish. You may also like rice along side the dish.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Harissa
 
Adapted from Saveur
Author:
Recipe type: sauce, dip, paste
Cuisine: Moroccan, Tunisian

Ingredients
  • 6 Dried Guajillo Chiles
  • 3 Dried Pasilla Chiles
  • 2 Dried Chiles de Arbol
  • 1⁄2 tsp. Caraway seeds
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Coriander seeds
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Dried Mint Leaves
  • 3 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste

Instructions
  1. Put the chilies in a bowl and pour bowling water over the chiles to allow them to soften. Let them sit for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. In a dry pan, toast the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat. Toast them for a few minutes until they begin to become fragrant.
  3. Transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle and grind them so that they become a powder.
  4. Drain the chiles and remove the stems and the seeds. Transfer them to your food processor.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, including the ground spices, and puree until everything is well integrated and smooth.
  6. Store the mixture in a sterile glass jar. Add some olive oil to the top of the harissa paste and seal the jar. Store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Pan-Seared-Tofu

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Curried Spinach and Chickpea Veggie Burgers

spinach-and-chickpea-burger

Let me tell you something about myself. I love veggie burgers. I often judge a restaurant by three things; their veggie burgers, their grilled cheese and their onion rings. I know they sound like simple dishes, but often, they’re what I turn to when I go out to eat. And if those dishes are not good, uh oh.

So I’m always trying out new flavor combinations for veggie burgers at home. It’s a great weeknight dinner and they tend to freeze well for future meals.

This spinach and chickpea burger fell together. I was in the mood for a falafel flavor without the falafel and the mess it comes with. I needed simple. I also had some spinach I wanted to use up and I didn’t want to turn it in to a salad.

I’ve been keeping my Cuisinart food processor out on the counter lately, so these came together super fast.

I mixed up a can of chickpeas, an onion, some garlic and the spinach in the food processor. I then added some spices.

I formed them in to burger shapes and then lightly fried the burgers in a pan that was coated lightly in olive oil. I just wanted them to brown and hold together.

I then placed them in an oven at 375 to finish cooking.

I enjoyed these with a salad, while my kids devoured them on a sandwich thin along with extra spinach and sliced avocado and French fries on the side. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Curried Chickpea and Spinach Burgers
 
Author:
Recipe type: Burger, Sandwich, Veggie Burger

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bag of baby spinach – about 3 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a food processor.
  2. Form mixture in to burgers.
  3. Pan fry in a large sauté pan.
  4. Finish cooking in an oven at 375. It should bake for around 10 minutes or so.
  5. Serve them dressed with your preferred burger toppings. Enjoy!

spinach-and-chickpea-burgers

Chicken with Chickpeas

Some people collect stamps. We collect cookbooks. The cookbook doesn’t have to be popular. It doesn’t have to have a celebrity chef attached. It just has to be interesting. I like the cookbooks that come with stories attached to each food. I rarely cook straight from a recipe anymore, but I like the cookbooks for inspiration, and they keep me company in the kitchen.

Several years ago, while on a visit to my aunt, I came across her well leafed copy of Claudia Roden’s cookbook “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey From Samarkand to New York.” Paging through the recipes that span the world…I knew I had to have this coobook. We finally found the cookbook reasonably priced at a Half Priced Books and quickly got to work deciding what to cook first.  To be honest, I have only made maybe three recipes from this cookbook, but cookbooks to me are more for inspiration rather than cooking straight from them.

On a whim…we randomly opened to a sephardi section of the book – and blindly pointed to a recipe. In a “pick a card any card” fashion, our finger landed on the Chicken with Chickpeas recipe. The first time I made the recipe, I followed it to a T, and it was amazing. The next couple times, I slowly adapted it.  This past shabbat, I made this dish for Friday night dinner…and then and there, my husband and guests insisted I make it again during the week to be eaten and posted to the blog. I laughed…and I obliged.


Chicken with Chickpeas – adapted from “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey
From Samarkand to New York.” by Claudia Roden

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 whole chicken, cut up
1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas
lemon zest (from a whole lemon)
juice of 1 lemon
10 cardamom pods, cracked
salt
pepper

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion until soft. Add in the turmeric, garlic, and ginger and sautee until fragrant.

Add in the chicken pieces and brown the chicken.  Turn them over after about 8 minutes.

Add in the chickpeas and the cardamom.

Add in about 4 cups of water.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover.  Cook for about an hour.  Serve with rice.  Enjoy!


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