By Aimee Tritt, Dietetic Intern, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota – The Emily Program]
As the days grow shorter, it seems like the amount of time I have to prepare dinner gets shorter as well. I’m often willing to spend an hour or more preparing dinner in the summer, but on busy fall nights, 30 minutes is my limit.
A few years ago, I discovered frozen, pre-cooked brown rice. Now, this ready-in-three-minutes option accompanies my dinners at least once a week. It’s great to be able to prepare a from-scratch meal in less time than it takes to catch up on last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy!
This recipe is vegan (without the yogurt), gluten-free, and low in fat. (If you are sensitive to gluten, be sure that your curry powder contains no fillers, only spices.) The spinach is high in Vitamins K and A, as well as flavonoids with anti-cancer properties. The spinach is added last in this recipe to preserve its nutritional value. The chickpeas provide protein and fiber, along with iron, phosphorus, potassium, and folate.
I plan to make this stew for dinner tonight! It’ll use up the bag of spinach I got from my CSA last week, as well as the a few chiles from my garden. This recipe is flexible: bell peppers, potatoes, or cauliflower would be welcome additions. Potatoes and cauliflower should be boiled or steamed briefly before being added in Step 2; bell peppers can be added raw in Step 2.
Weeknight Spinach and Chickpea Stew
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1–2 jalapeño or Serrano chiles, minced
- 2 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- One 28-oz. can diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh tomatoes)
- Two 15-oz. cans chickpeas
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- Salt and pepper
- Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Plain yogurt (optional)
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When pan is hot, add onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, chiles, and curry powder, and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, and chickpeas and mix well. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover pan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add spinach and continue to heat just until the greens are wilted.
- Taste stew and season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice or with warm pita or naan bread on the side. Top with cilantro and/or yogurt if desired.