Chickpeas, Spinach and Tomato

I have been digging through cookbooks, blogs and websites all weekend looking for recipes to make for Thanksgiving.  I’ve been charged with bringing dessert and a veggie dish.  After hours (yes, hours) looking through recipes, I’ve got some desserts figured out, still debating on a veggie dish that won’t be too “out there” for some and I found some new ways to use up some extra chickpeas I had from another recipe.  When you create a grocery list for a husband, I have yet to learn to be super specific.  When asking for low sodium chickpeas, I got it, in the largest can possible since that was all they had for low sodium.  Gotta love him 🙂  Just gives me a reason to find new ways to eat chickpeas!

I did some searching on the Smitten Kitchen’s blog, with some absolutely fantastic recipes I have pulled my favorite ingredients from her Spanish Chickpeas and Spinach recipe and threw some ingredients together.  I decided not to commit to the original because I didn’t feel like fried bread, I didn’t want a real saucy dinner but I was craving some garlic, spinach, tomato flavor and chickpeas.  I also really liked the idea of cooking with smoked paprika, it’s been a long time since I have and I really do enjoy this spice.  I put it on popcorn with a hint of cumin, garlic, sea salt and nutritional yeast and it’s fantastic!

This is what I have whipped up and I hope you enjoy it.

Makes 2 servings

1 pkg spinach, washed
14oz can rinsed chickpeas
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbl EVOO
Dash sea salt
~1 tsp ground cumin
~ 1 tsp smoked paprika
~1 tsp red wine vinegar
~1/2 Tbl nutritional yeast (optional)


Heat 2 Tbl EVOO over med-hi in a large saucepan.  Sauté  your spinach until just wilted and transfer to a colander to drain.
Heat 1 Tbl EVOO over med-hi and add and spices, sauté, stirring constantly for about 15 seconds.  Add can of diced tomatoes and stir, add chickpeas, vinegar stir.  Simmer about 10 minutes.
Add nutritional yeast, stir well and simmer about 10 additional minutes.

Mix in spinach and heat through.  Enjoy, I can attest that it goes well with an American Pale Ale, but a Shiraz would do nicely as well 😉  Just sayin’.  Special thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the inspiration for this recipe.



Sunday Funday Run

It occurred to me this morning during my Sunday Funday run on the Glacial Drumlin Trail that about 4 years ago I was on FB asking distance runner buddies how they can run more than 3 miles without getting incredibly bored.  I really wanted to venture into distance running since sprinting isn’t something I can do daily nor are there “sprint” fun runs 😉  I asked what keeps them interested because for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out.  When I started dabbling into distance running, I’d get out there, painfully get through my 5k and think to myself “why am I doing this?  what am I missing? this wasn’t all that fun”

So, I started doing research (asking buddies is where I started).  After 4 years of working on my running, learning about better form, breathing, increasing distance, working in aerobic intervals and just being consistent, I finally get it.  It’s my time to listen to my favorite music, it’s my time to let my mind completely wander (I’m a visual person and could be called a daydreamer at times), it’s my time to sort out troubles, it’s my time to take in the seasonal changes in southern Wisconsin, it’s my time to think up great ideas or “fitness epiphanies”, it’s my time to overcome challenges, it’s my time to get in tune with my body and to just plain feel amazing.

I think it takes patience and consistency to finally appreciate what running (or biking) can do for you.  I am a much happier, calm, patient person when I get that time and I encourage any who haven’t given a whole hearted try to do so.  Sure, it’s tough at first, but it’s worth it.  I have the full support of my husband who gives me that time on a weekend morning to just run and be by myself and he gets his time too.

That being said, I often wonder what reasons everyone else has for making fitness (whatever form it may be, I enjoy all kinds) a priority and doing it daily.  So, what are your reasons?  what does exercise do for you?