I’ve been wanting to make this chickpea dish I pinned from The Kitchn for a while and tonight was the perfect night. I needed just a couple ingredients, so I stopped by my market after spin class at Crank (another awesome class with Ellie). Luckily, the market is across the street from the studio and both are only 6.5 blocks and 1 avenue from my apartment. There is something to be said for being able to walk to everything you need, even if it is ungodly cold outside.
If I had planned better (which you’ll learn I’m not the best at), I would have made my own chickpeas ahead of time because I prefer them over canned. But, just like all of you, I sometimes need/want to go the easier and faster route. One change I made from the original recipe was to add spinach because I wanted to get some more greenery in there. The original recipe also suggests refrigerating for at least an hour before eating, because it’s best after it has had a chance to sit overnight in the fridge, and then serving slightly warm or room temperature. I was super hungry and wanted it warm, so I skipped that part. Tomorrow for lunch I’ll have the chance to taste it once the flavors have melded even more.
I served mine over quinoa and, even without the overnight marriage of flavors, it was super yummy. Sun-dried tomatoes and cumin are two of my favorite ingredients, so the two of them together along with the lemon, parsley and mint were amazing.
A couple of the health benefit highlights (besides how tasty it is):
Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans). High in fiber and protein, but low in fat, and contain significant levels of molybdenum, manganese, folate and other minerals. They are also full of antioxidants. One cup of chickpeas can provide 85% of the daily recommended value of manganese, a key antioxidant in mitochondria (the energy powerhouses in our cells). They have been shown to help regulate blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides), reduce heart disease risk, improve blood sugar and insulin secretion and support your digestive system.
Quinoa. Also provides a ton of manganese anti-oxidant power but is also a complete source of protein (contains the full complement of amino acids), making it a staple food in the diet of many vegans and vegetarians. Quinoa also provides fiber and healthy omega-3 fat in the form of oleic acid, along with other nutrients such as calcium, folate, copper and phosphorous (in higher levels than found in whole wheat). Eating this superstar grain can help to protect your heart and reduce inflammation. For those with allergies or intolerance to wheat and gluten, it serves as a great grain alternative.
Parsley. Not just a garnish, parsley is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants (vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and iron) that help to keep your immune system strong, protect your cells against damage, modulate inflammation and protect your heart.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3/4 cup Italian parsley, leaves only, minced
- Small handful fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3/4 pound English cucumber, seeded and cubed into 1/2"-squares
- Sea salt, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about one minute or until the seeds are toasted. The cumin will turn slightly darker in color, and smell toasty.
- Turn the heat to medium low and add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for about three minutes or until the garlic is turning golden (don't let it turn brown or burn).
- Add the drained chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chickpeas are warmed through and are shiny with oil.
- Stir the spinach, parsley and mint in with the chickpeas. Once the spinach has begun wilting, turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
- Toss the cucumber with the chickpeas. If needed, add sea salt to taste.