These cold winter nights mean that I crave a warm hearty bowl of health more and more often. That is when Vegetarian Chana Masala with Spinach comes into play. Nutritiously dense and tastefully hot, this baby is sure to do the trick!
Ingredients (Serves 6)
· 2 cups chickpeas. (I used organic frozen chickpeas and they worked great – just be sure to defrost first.) Fit fact 1: Chickpeas are rich in fiber. We can all appreciate some extra fiber, if ya know what I mean.
· 3 tablespoons safflower oil or olive oil. Fit fact 2: Not only is safflower oil perfect for high heat cooking, but the health benefits also include reducing cholesterol, strengthening the immune system and eliminating excess fat in the body. Yes, please!!
· 1 pound washed baby spinach. Fit fact 3: Did you know that spinach has more protein per calorie than a piece of steak? Winning.
· 1 cooked sweet potato, peeled and mashed. Fit fact 4: Sweet potatoes are packed with calcium for strong bones.
· 2 washed tomatoes, crushed. Fit fact 5: Tomatoes have potassium. Potassium helps your joints stay nice and limber and promotes healing. Great for after your workout!
· 3 garlic cloves, diced. Fit fact 6: Garlic cloves provide anti-cancer agents. Stay preventative!
· 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon, if you prefer extra spicy!) Fit fact 7: Red pepper flakes can increase your metabolism!
· 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Fit fact 8: Balsamic vinegar enhances insulin sensitivity for diabetes control.
· Juice of 1 lemon. Fit fact 9: Though lemon is acidic to the taste, it leaves off alkaline residues in the body. Get your PH on!
1. Place skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of the safflower oil and the spinach. Cover and stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until leaves are just wilted. Remove cooked spinach to a plate and set aside for later.
2. In skillet, still over medium heat, add in 1 tablespoon of safflower oil plus the garlic and red pepper flakes. Allow to cook for 2 minutes until garlic starts to golden.
3. Add in the mashed sweet potato, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and chickpeas. Cook until the chickpeas are fully tender and the sauce is-a-sizzling.
4. Mix in the sautéed spinach and lemon juice. Turn off heat and serve immediately. Feel free to top with quinoa or serve as tapas on flaxseed crackers with chilled lemon water. Ahh. Can you feel it? Experience the health!You can refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for 4 days. When I packed my Dad’s lunch, I put leftover in his tortilla wrap. He liked it a lot.
Happy cooking, foodie friends!