Foolproof Chickpea Curry

I made this recipe today for two of my bridesmaids before heading out to do some wedding shoes/centerpieces/jewelry shopping. (Which was very successful! Although took almost 4 hours – these girls have the patience of saints.) Maid of honor is vegetarian and was coming straight from work, so I knew I needed to feed her well. I’m always looking for more vegetarian recipes for my repertoire, especially ones that are not pasta-based, since I eat so much of that already. Enter: chickpea curry.

chickpea curry

Chickpea Curry

(adapted from The Sweets Life)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 14.5 oz cans chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • approximately 5-6 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4  cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium heat; after it warms, add in all the diced onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until clear-ish. Sprinkle garam masala over onions and stir well to coat evenly. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach. Stir until spinach wilts.

Remove from heat and mix in Greek yogurt along with salt. Add fresh cilantro and serve over hot cooked rice.

Notes

Easy as that! Probably one of the fastest, least-fussy curries I have ever made. I kind of wished I’d made naan to go with it instead of rice though. I also completely forgot the cilantro! I just have dried cilantro around, but next time I will be sure not to forget that step. Sometimes I feel kind of iffy on Greek yogurt, but it is PERFECT here; adds just the right amount of creaminess to every bite. Mmmm. Try this one and let me know how you like it!

P.S. Allow me to emphasize – as with every other Indian dish I’ve posted, this is NOT spicy. You can add chilies or whatever to make it spicy if you want to, but as written, it’s safe for literally every palate.

Crockpot Moroccan-Spiced Beef

Hello again friends! Yeah, it seems like once a week is about as much as I can manage these days – that’s about how often I’m trying a new recipe. Every other night it’s just throwing together whatever I can find.

Tonight we have a beef dish, which I believe may be the first beef dish I’ve posted here. I guess we don’t eat it at home terribly often, but it does have all that protein that V’s diet demands – according to the cookbook, this recipe clocks in at 20 grams per serving and just over 200 calories. And it couldn’t really be easier.

moroccan spiced beef

Moroccan-Spiced Beef

(adapted from Better Homes & Garden’s Ultimate Low Calorie Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless beef chuck pot roast
  • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 a large onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups hot cooked couscous

Directions

Trim fat from meat if necessary.

In a small bowl, mix together the curry powder, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle spices evenly over meat and rub in with your fingers.

Place onion at the bottom of your slow cooker; add meat and pour diced tomatoes and beef broth on top.

Cover and cook for 9-10 hours on LOW or 4 1/2 – 5 hours on HIGH.

Remove meat from slow cooker. Serve atop cooked whole wheat couscous.

Notes

The original recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp ground cumin, and that’s what I used because I follow directions like a good little novice cook. However, I did not find the beef to be sufficiently “Moroccan” – you couldn’t really taste the spices much at all. So here I have doubled the amounts and that’s how I’ll try it next time. It could also be that I’m not very good at rubbing spices into meat; this was the first time I’d ever done that.

It also called for 3 cups hot cooked couscous, which I thought was just excessive. 2 cups does the job just fine, and you can really use any kind of couscous you like. I just really enjoy saying couscous. It’s such a fun word!

Crockpot “Indian” Chicken Stew

Well I told you things were getting busy…I haven’t had time to do much cooking in the last week or so. Thank God for the weekend.

I’m gonna be straight with you. The only thing Indian about this stew is a couple spices. Throw in garam masala and curry powder and voila, something’s Indian. If you’re worried about it being too spicy, don’t – there’s no chilies in here. The curry powder won’t hurt you, I promise. Let me tell you, this stew smelled fantastic as it cooked, and it’s really a very basic dump-it-all-in slow cooker recipe. Gotta love those!

slow cooker indian chicken stew

Crockpot Indian Stew

(adapted from Better Homes & Garden’s The Ultimate Low-Cal Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • approximately 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 – 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

After cutting your chicken into nice little pieces, add that, the onion, the curry powder, the garam masala, the ginger, the garlic, the salt, and the pepper to your crockpot. Toss well to coat the chicken in all that good stuff. Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, and add bay leaf.

Cover and cook for 8-10 hours (LOW heat) or 4-5 hours (HIGH heat). About 10 minutes before serving, discard bay leaf and stir in spinach and lime juice. Serve over basmati rice or with naan.

Notes

The end result was totally delicious, but I will say that there seemed to be a bunch of excess liquid for a stew, so I drained a little bit of that.

This was a pretty perfect meal for us – tons of protein, per V’s dietary demands, and low-cal to boot. The naan felt like a decadent treat after a few days of pretty strict eating. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t kill for a bowl of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream right now, because I definitely would. Like, in a heartbeat.

Healthy, Quick Chicken Fried Rice

It’s been a hell of a week, and it’s only Wednesday morning! Hoping things will calm down at least a little after today. I do not like rushing home and having 12 tasks to accomplish – I much prefer coming home, watching last night’s Daily Show, cooking dinner, and reading. But I suppose it can’t always be like that.

Anyway! This meal is perfect for busy weeknights. It will be ready faster than Chang Jiang can deliver to fried rice to your house!

chicken fried rice

Chicken Fried Rice

(adapted from Skinny Mom)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • approximately 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup peas and carrots, frozen (I used frozen peas and fresh carrots, diced)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 eggs, depending on how you like it
  • 3 tbsp sesame or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Directions

Before anything else, start the brown rice in your rice cooker. Get a rice cooker if you don’t have one!!

Pour the oil into a pan on medium heat. Cut chicken breasts into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the pan. While they cook in there, if you’re going to use fresh carrots, now’s the time to start chopping them. If you’re using both frozen peas and carrots, start chopping the onion.

Once the chicken looks mostly cooked, add in the vegetables and garlic. Stir well until the veggies are softened and the onions are clear. Crack the egg(s) into the skillet and scramble into the rest of the ingredients.

Once eggs have scrambled sufficiently, add in the cooked brown rice and pour soy sauce over the whole thing. Mix very very well.

Notes

The original source recipe calls for four cups cooked brown rice rather than two – and only a 1/2 pound of chicken. I found that to be a pretty crazy rice:chicken ratio for a dish that is trying to be healthy, so I kind of reversed the proportions. You could get by with even less rice than I used if you wanted to.

The frozen vs. fresh carrots are just a time/preference thing. I only had fresh ones so it was a simple call for me, but you could cut down on the prep time by using frozen.

Happy eating!