August 24, 2010

Sauteed Chickpeas with Quinoa, Spinach, Cucumber, and Lamb

Since T's mom is such a good cook, I've had the simultaneously relaxing and frustrating experience of not cooking much this summer. But last night I was on my own for dinner, and, because nearly every cent I've ever earned is going towards contributing to the wedding, I decided to make use of what we had in the house. I went shopping in the fridge and the pantry and chose chickpeas, quinoa, spinach, cucumber, and lamb.

Sautéed Chickpeas with Quinoa, Spinach, Cucumber, and Lamb
  • 1 can of chickpeas, washed and patted dry
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup of loosely packed spinach, washed and patted dry
  • 3-4 slices of cucumber per plate
  • 1 piece of delicious and mind-blowing leftover lamb per plate
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil 
  • 1 big clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and stir once so that they're properly coated with oil. Cook for 10-ish minutes, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are beginning to brown.
2. While the chickpeas are cooking, slice your lamb and cucumber thin and on a bias, and set it aside. To the chickpeas, add the garlic, salt and pepper, and then the spinach, stirring continuously until it begins to wilt. This will happen fast.

3. This is wilted spinach.

4. Scoop a few healthy spoonfuls of quinoa into your bowl or onto your plate, and then add the chickpeas and spinach. Top with the lamb and cucumber (you can arrange it all fancy like, if you want), and serve.

All in all, the dish turned out nicely. I was lucky to have some fantastic leftover lamb on hand; T's mom covered it in rosemary, mustard, and garlic, and then roasted it, so just slicing the lamb and putting it on top of the dish added a lot of flavor on its own.

In terms of the greens in the dish, I'm not really a spinach fan. But I know it's good for me, so I like to add it to flavorful dishes like this and kind of trick myself into eating it. Together, the cucumbers and spinach add a nice bit of color to offset the tans and browns, and I felt pretty good having thrown this one together from things we had around the house.

Sidenote: first wedding dress fitting today...nervous! I'll have to cut out the lamb and eat a lot more dishes like this if I want to make the wedding day carefree and not stressful (well, for me at least), but we'll see.

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