turmeric chickpeas (summer simplicity)
Summer is a time for simplicity, both elementally and practically.
The elemental simplicity has been expressed here before, such as with these sweet treats that require no oven, these refreshing juices that nourish when the digestive system craves a rest, and the easy joy of a revolutionary vegan hamburger off the grill. Summer is not a time for fussy food; summer is a time for relaxed, non-cumbersome flavors, ideally enjoyed in good company.
Practically, my summers usually demand -- rather than request -- simplicity, as this marks the third of the past four summers that I have spent preparing for a bar exam (I'm an attorney, and assuming all goes well, this will mark the third jurisdiction that I am licensed in). This extra demand on my time is why today's post is late, and to any who may have checked early this morning in expectation, I apologize. However, I find that summer is often a paradoxically relaxed and busy time for many, with trips to be taken, events to be enjoyed, and friends to host.
Accordingly, in light of my current career demands, I am simplifying the posting schedule on here for the duration of the summer. VLGL will now be updated with new content every Monday, and not at a specific, set time. I plan to return to the usual posting schedule once I can do so without detriment to my professional life -- which will likely be around the autumnal equinox.
Beyond scheduling, VLGL's summer content will consciously spotlight and celebrate simplicity in cooking, as has been requested by many. The recipes showcased, marked in their titles with the phrase "summer simplicity," will require little by way of ingredients and preparation time; these are the quick VLGL recipes that provide nourishment when I am ravenously hungry (and/or hangry) with little time to spare.
These chickpeas encapsulate the concept of summer simplicity in its purest form. Their sensual, richly aromatic nature comes purely from the spice cabinet, and both "fresh" ingredients -- spinach and a single tomato -- may be substituted with frozen or canned versions. You may, of course, elaborate on this very basic recipe if it suits you, fresh onions or whatnot, but this dish is complete in flavor despite its simplicity. These luscious chickpeas, which get their golden color from anti-inflammatory turmeric, require little time to come into their flavor and their preparation demands only one small pot. I make this dish often, usually as a quick, stovetop lunch, though it have proven to be a popular dish at potlucks and dinners with friends (at which I am usually grateful for the potent, plant-based protein).
I hope you love these chickpeas as I do... and that you savor every moment of this golden season in good health and with pleasure.
RECIPE: Turmeric Chickpeas
(makes two servings)
- 15 ounces cooked chickpeas (if using canned chickpeas -- I use these as the packaging is BPA-free -- rinse well)
- 1/3 cup water
- one large, chopped tomato
- 1 cup loosely-packed spinach
- 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked, powdered paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- chili powder to taste (I add about 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon, depending on my mood)
- salt to taste (I add about 1/4 teaspoon)
- Heat a small pot over medium-high heat. Add all powdered seasonings to the pot and gently toast over the heat for about 1 minute.
- Add the chickpeas, tomato, tomato paste, and water, and gently mix to combine. Fold in the bay leaf.
- Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes, though this dish tastes better the longer it simmers. When just ready to serve, taste, adjust seasonings, and gently mix in the spinach until just wilted.
Serve with love.