Stew-pendous Chickpeas

chickpea & spinach stew

which came first: the chickpea or the egg?

You don’t need meat to have a satisfying meal. I know, that sounds like a lie. But it’s the truth, as evidenced by this vegetarian stew that even me – a meat lover – really loved. The mish-mash of whole and smashed chickpeas gave the stew a really great texture. The fried egg (cooked in olive oil) was a nice addition, as eggs tend to be.

Chickpea & Spinach Stew with Fried Egg
– 5 oz of baby spinach leaves
– 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
– ¼ teaspoon of paprika
– 2 15.5oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
– 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
– 1 ½ to 2 cups of veggie broth
– Hot sauce
– Eggs
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 sliced clove of garlic and let brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the baby spinach leaves, season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring frequently, until bright green and wilted, about 3 minutes. Place the spinach in a bowl and set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean, add another tablespoon of oil and heat on medium. Add the onion and the remaining 3 sliced cloves of garlic and cook until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, paprika and season to taste with pepper, and cook until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes (including the juice) and cook until the chickpeas start to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Next add 1 cup of broth and continue cooking over medium heat, occasionally stirring and mashing some of the chickpeas with the back of your spoon (or with a potato masher), until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Add a few dashes of hot sauce, stir in the spinach, add more broth if it’s too thick, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.

chickpea & spinach stew

chick out this stew

For the fried eggs, heat a small skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add one egg at a time into the hot oil, and then use a large spoon to baste the whites with the oil until the edges are set and are crunchy and golden. Remove the eggs from oil. Plate the chickpea stew, top with a fried egg, season to taste with salt and pepper, and eat.


Cream of the Chop

pork florentine

a different take on creamed spinach

In honor of Christopher Columbus and his special day this past weekend, I celebrated my Italian ancestors with a twist on an Italian classic: pork florentine. You could use thinly sliced chicken cutlets if you want, because no matter what you cover with this spinach cream sauce will taste awesome. And depending on how generously you cover each chop, you’ll have a good amount of sauce leftover. Toss it on some penne or fettuccine the next day, and it’s buon appetito!

Pork Florentine
6 oz of baby spinach leaves, chopped into large pieces
1 lb of thinly sliced boneless pork chops (about 4 to 5 chops)
4 tablespoons of flour, divided
½ of a white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of chicken broth
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of grated Parmesan-Reggiano
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Olive oil

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and saute until wilted. Lightly season with salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow bowl and lightly dredge the chops, shaking off any excess flour. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown on both sides and completely cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and cook until fragrant. Slowly add the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer until sauce thickens, occasionally stirring, about 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the spinach and Parmesan-Reggiano.

Plate the chops, top with the spinach cream sauce and eat.