Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Chickpea Spinach Stew

This is one of those "everything's approximate" recipes. I pretty much dump in whatever amounts of the various ingredients I have on hand. I've added chicken, but it's pretty much a staple at my house as a quick vegetarian meal.


2-3 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 bag chopped frozen spinach
1 large onion, diced
1 large can black olives, roughly chopped
1-2 cans diced tomatoes, lightly drained
2-3 cups chicken stock
liberal amounts of garlic powder and oregano (or just substitute Greek seasoning if you can find it)
feta cheese
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
rice or couscous

Saute the onion in a large skillet in a bit of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the spinach, breaking it up with a spatula as it defrosts (If you are using the frozen spinach in the square package, you'll want to thaw and drain in the microwave first. The looser stuff in the bag is okay to just throw in and thaw in the skillet.)

When the spinach is completely thawed, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, chicken stock and spices. Let simmer for about 20 minutes to heat through and let the flavors meld. Serve over the rice or couscous, topped with the feta cheese and the cucumber.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Beans: Cranberry Beans with Italian Sausage and Kale

I call this "Christmas Beans" because the colors just looked so festive for and evening of tree decorating. We ate it as a main dish, over rice, but it would be equally as yummy with some extra chicken stock, as a hearty stew/soup.


1 pound dried cranberry beans, cooked (can substitute canned beans of any type you like, but add them nearer the end so they don't turn to mush)
1 package hot Italian sausage (about five sausages), casings removed
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 bottle beer, preferrably dark
2 tablespoons marjoram or oregano (or Italian seasoning)
About 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Cooked brown rice (or white if you prefer)

Saute the sausages in a LARGE skillet in a bit of olive oil with the onions, breaking them up as you go. When most of the pink is gone, add about a cup of the chicken stock and let simmer until sausage is completely brown. Add the tomatoes and the cranberry beans, along with the spices, and let simmer for a few minutes. Add more chicken stock if it's getting dry. Add the beer and raise the heat a bit to near-boiling for about 10 minutes.

Place the chopped kale on top of the beans and sausage and pour about a cup of chicken stock over it. Place a lid on the skillet and let the kale steam and wilt down. After a few minutes, stir to incorporate the kale.

Serve over rice with the parmesan on top, with crusty garlic bread on the side.