Chickpeas and Spinach with Tomatoes

A Healthy and Easy Meal? Yes, Please!

This is one of my favourite easy, cheap and healthy recipes to make, and the best part is the endless ways to flavour it. The basic recipe is simple: Wilt some spinach in a bit of olive oil, add a can of chickpeas, a can of tomatoes and some salt. Cook for 10 minutes and done! How you season it is up to you.  This recipe packs a wallop of nutrition: the chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, while the spinach is full of iron. The dish as a whole is also a good source of vitamin C, several B vitamins, and calcium. It’s also ridiculously cheap to make, coming in around $2 for a big serving. If you’re looking for more protein, you can dice in some cooked chicken or decent quality sausage. You can also add ground beef or tofu.  Here’s some versions I like:

Indian Curry

After heating the olive oil, add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and half a teaspoon of chopped ginger. Then add half a teaspoon each of garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, cayenne or paprika (depending on how spicy you want it) and turmeric. Be careful that the spices and garlic don’t burn in the oil. Once the spices release their aroma after about a minute of cooking, add the spinach, chickpeas and tomatoes. You can also experiment with spices such as fennel, fenugreek powder, cinnamon, cardamom or cloves. You can also use coconut oil instead of olive oil for your base.

Italian

Add 2 cloves of garlic, a large handful of fresh basil (dry is OK as well, if can’t find fresh), a pinch of oregano and black pepper. When everything is cooked, top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Greek:

Add 2 cloves of garlic, the juice of half a lemon, a handful of fresh or a teaspoon of dried oregano, 3 tablespoons of sliced Kalamata olives and a crumble of feta cheese on top when the dish is done.

Middle Eastern

Start with frying up a bit of garlic and ginger, then add a spice mix such as ras el hanout,zataaror a mix of cinnamon, cloves, cumin and turmeric. Add some cayenne pepper for the heat.

Ingredients

2 cans of chickpeas

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 block of frozen spinach or 100 g of fresh spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

salt to taste

seasoning as above

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a pan or pot. Add garlic and ginger, if using it, and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Add spices and cook another minute. Add spinach and stir. When spinach has wilted, add chickpeas and tomatoes. Season with salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Add a bit of water if necessary. 

This recipe is great to make in larger quantities and freezes well. I usually make a huge batch and my wife and I tupperware it for lunch a couple of the days of the week. 

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