Warm me up! Chickpea Spiced Stew

Anyone else grow up in a house hold where every night was meat, potatoes/rice and a veggie (most likely broccoli or green beans regardless of the season)? I think back to when I was growing up and what I ate (most of which I am allergic to now) and although my parents had the best intentions with what they were serving us, it was the same thing every week. I grew up in a big family – well, what would be considered big now a days in our average 1.1 children per Canadian household. Never thought it was a big family while I was growing up. My Mom actually made a dinner schedule (that I can still remember to this day) which was there to save time and money (total assumption based on the fact that I now cook for more than myself). Dinners were home cooked but I hate to break it to you Mom  – it was BOR-ING! That’s a lie, I have no problem telling my Mom that her food was boring :)

When we decided to do meat-less dinners (and by we I mean ME, obviously – I’m still trying to convince my husband on this one) twice a week it saved us about $20/week on the grocery bill. That’s a big savings in a year people! There may be some of you who haven’t even thought of cutting meat out of your meals. The main reason I started doing it wasn’t because it was better for the environment or because I have a problem with killing animals or that is was better for our health. Although those are all very good reasons – this was totally selfish. The price of meat was going up so much that it was no longer sustainable for us to eat it every night. You vegetarians out there can stop rolling your eyes! I am on your side ;) It was kind of a big deal for us at the time because we both grew up on meat at every meal. Habit, really. However, now that we have done it for a while, it has really opened up the variety of food we eat (and saved money, which y’all know I always love).

This week was my birthday. YAY! I love making it through another year and getting older, all while feeling healthy! My husband on the other hand decided to go out and get pneumonia…thanks babe ;) So, we kept it low-key and went to Whole Foods to buy a delicious chocolate cake and then off to Rangoli to take home the most amazing Indian food.  It was SO good! It inspired me to pull this recipe out which I haven’t made since last fall/winter. What I love about this stew is that is gives us a meat-less option, I can make it and have it on the table in pretty much 30 minutes AND the warmth of the spices are completely comforting! I’m always looking for ways to add the dark leafy greens to our meals. This one, I chose rainbow Swiss chard, which looks beautiful and provides us with vitamin C, our friend fiber and of course iron, just to name a few. Can you believe I had never tried Swiss chard until I was an adult?!?! I was missing out. I have created a few good recipes with it that I will definitely share with you, so please consider adding it to your repertoire of green veggies. Also, stay tuned for more money-saving ideas in the weeks to come!

Chickpeas Spiced Stew
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (I like jasmine brown rice)
  • 1½ cup of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight OR 2 cans of chickpeas rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 carrots, cut in small cubes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 3 cups of a dark leafy greens, chopped (I used rainbow Swiss chard)
Instructions
  1. Get your brown rice cooking. I like to cook mine with a bit of grape seed oil in it.
  2. In a stock pot, on medium heat add extra virgin olive oil, saute onions, garlic and carrots until they begin to soften. About 5 mins.
  3. Add curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon stick and let the flavours heat up for about  1 mins.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  5. Add 3 cups of cold water. Bring to boil, then reduce for about 20 mins.
  6. Near end of simmering, add the dark leafy green.
  7. Serve hot over brown rice.

How do you save money on your grocery bill while maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.

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