Chickpeas & Crushed Tomatoes

A hearty, healthy vegetarian meal is just the thing to warm up your belly (and your brains!) on a chilly November day! Here is another recipe for Food We Really Eat – it’s quick and easy, tasty, and very good for you.

We tend to avoid complicated dishes, for purely practical reasons. But it is important to us to eat well and not rely on pre-made, pre-assembled, mystery-ingredient-ridden foods. That said, both the tomatoes and the chickpeas in this dish are canned, and therefore pre-cooked. I sometimes (when I remember) cook some chickpeas from scratch, but that means thinking a day in advance, remembering to set them to soak overnight, and deciding what to eat ‘tomorrow’ when we’re still cooking and doing dishes ‘today’. The only real differences between the home-cooked and pre-cooked chickpeas are that home-cooked are less salty (you might need to add some extra salt to adjust) and cooking them costs a bit less (about Can$4.00 for a big bag of dried, about six meals’ worth, versus Can$1.20 for a can of cooked, one meal’s worth). For simple instructions for cooking chickpeas from scratch, see here. Otherwise, just use the canned variety, as we usually do.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and contain a variety of minerals. Cooked tomatoes are excellent for you in many ways – including being a source of vitamin C and many oddball things you need like copper and magnesium. Any other vegetables you add will increase the vitamin content even more. And garlic is great for keeping away nasty viruses (and, of course, vampires!).

How is this recipe Canadian? Well . . .  it IS red and white, a small tribute to the flag, perhaps? 🙂

Chickpeas & Crushed Tomatoes

1/2 can plain old cooked crushed tomato, about 1 ½ cups (avoid diced or whole, or spiced varieties – they do not taste the same)

1 can cooked chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)

 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

2 TBSP (approximately) olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Optional (mix and match to suit yourself):

I diced zucchini

1 diced carrot

In a large pot, fry the diced garlic in the oil for just a minute, until it smells good (but not until it browns). Add the crushed tomato, stir. Add the chickpeas and any vegetables you like; add salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes, or until warmed up and the vegetables are tender. Serve in bowls and enjoy! (This recipe feeds three adults.)

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