Monday, September 5, 2016

Green Curry Chickpeas

One of my favorite easy meals lately has been green curry chickpeas, based on a recipe I found on the Trader Joe's recipes site. It's pretty simple to put together, relying mostly on their green curry simmer sauce for all of the vibrant flavors, healthy, and full of nutritious vegetables.

The main ingredients of the green curry chickpeas (as I've adapted it) are:

- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 lb of carrots, chopped
- 1 jar green curry sauce
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 small container of mushrooms, chopped (optional)
- 1 bag of baby spinach (optional)

I think you could really throw in all sorts of vegetables that would match up with the curry and soak up the flavors. The carrots and onions weren't in the original recipe, but I thought they would go well with the curry, and they did. I added mushrooms into the mix another time, and that was also good. The original recipe roasted cherry tomatoes in the oven, but it has been so much more convenient to just use canned tomatoes. The first time we used whole peeled tomatoes because we had an expired can that needed to get used, but since then, diced tomatoes (since we buy them in a case at Costco) have been the easiest. When making this a "pantry meal," I've also left out the baby spinach since it isn't always easy to find a good bag, and it's been fine without it too. Lots of room for adaptation based on what's in the fridge. The entire meal comes out to about $10 when you add in grains, like brown rice (what we made the first time) or quinoa (what we made the second time and what was in the recipe), so for a pretty convenient meal, that's not bad at all.

So how easy is it to make the green curry chickpeas? (Not including the grains, which get made simultaneously.)

1. Saute onions and carrots (and mushrooms, if using).

2. Add green curry sauce and stir to combine.

3. Add chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir together, reduce heat to low, simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. Add baby spinach (if using), stir together, and cook for another 10 minutes or so (all spinach should be wilted).

It's a pretty simple dish, but full of flavor. It's so convenient to be able to use a jar of curry sauce instead of painstakingly making the entire curry on my own. It certainly wouldn't be a half-hour meal if I did. The curry sauce combines together coconut milk, soy sauce, cilantro, chili peppers, lemongrass, ginger, and a few other seasonings, so it makes life really simple. Would a freshly made curry be better? Maybe, but this works just fine for us for an easy weekday meal.

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