Now that it’s almost fall, I have begun my transition from exercising outside to exercising inside and have started swimming again. Last night, after my first good, long swim of the season, I was craving something vitamin-packed, high-protein and high-fiber for dinner.
As usual, I had some canned chickpeas and whole peeled tomatoes on hand, plus a cabinet full of spices. I also had a red onion, a head or garlic, some baby spinach, some chile peppers and a couple of small Yukon Gold potatoes, so I decided I’d combine all those in a vegetarian stew, and flavor it with a Middle Eastern-inspired mix of spices.
Here’s what I did:
First, I toasted a tablespoon each of cumin and coriander seeds, a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick in a dry skillet until they were toasty and lightly smoking, about 1 minute. I emptied the spices into a spice grinder,
and ground them to a powder.
I chopped the red onion, cubed the potatoes, minced two cloves of garlic, and diced a jalapeno. I heated a quarter cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then tossed in the red onion, garlic, jalapeno and ground spices. I seasoned it all with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
When the onions were soft, I added in the can of whole peeled tomatoes,
the cubed potatoes,
and 2 cups of water. I covered the pan and simmered the stew for 20 minutes. Then, I stirred in two big handfuls of baby spinach and simmered the stew until the spinach wilted, 5 more minutes.
The potatoes and chickpeas together made the stew hearty and filling, and the toasted spices gave it a sweet, perfumy flavor. It was good on its own in a bowl last night, and this morning, for an early lunch, was even better over couscous.
Recipe: Chickpea Potato And Spinach Stew