I'm on a crazy detox-esque diet, which means, for me, no dairy, gluten or sugar. So far I've only fallen off the wagon hard once in a week of it...not bad, hey?
Surprisingly, I've eaten quite well throughout. Dinner tonight was a riff on a recipe I had book marked ages ago, and happily rediscovered: Spinach and chickpeas from Smitten Kitchen.
I have a fondness for chickpeas - they're my favorite legume (if one is rating legumes). However, the dish I made is only a nod to Deb P's rather than the exact thing. It does have chickpeas and spinach, lots of garlic and smoked paprika (one of both of our favorite ingredients which makes me feel like we'd get along swimmingly and have so much to talk about - isn't the internet weird that way?).
The starting point is chickpeas, which I cooked a vat of this morning in my pressure cooker. This is a great, fast and easy way to cook beans and every infrequent time I do it, I wonder why I don't do it more often. Hopefully every time I do it, it will be less of a pause before I remember to do it again. Baby steps.
So then I had all these chickpeas - way more than I could use to make hummus with (which I did make, and which is delicious) and they become the foundation of our dinner. The other cornerstone was an oil that everyone should know about: a basic rosemary garlic oil that is so easy to make and so delicious it could be used for world peace. It is a combination of Nigella's Rosemary Oil and perhaps (my memory fails me) Michael Chiarello's Roasted Garlic.
Pour 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan over low heat, add a head of peeled garlic cloves (for this I only used about a half - no good reason, I just got tired of peeling cloves) and cook until cloves are toasty tan and smell amazing. Then, dunk 2-3 springs of rosemary in the oil and cook a minute or 2. Turn off the heat, let the rosemary cool in the oil then pull out and discard. Done. Delicious. (I already mentioned that but it bears repeating).
2 cups Chickpeas - check. Sweet, crunchy chewy roasted garlics - check. Hefty glug of rosemary garlic oil (1/3 cup or so) - check.
I sautéed some D'Artangnan Anduille sausage I'd bought today - because our grocery store started carrying D'Artangnan meat products and I figure I better buy them so they keep stocking them - you know "vote with your money" philosophy. And tossed in a cup of chopped butternut squash to saute with the sausage. The squash finished cooking when added along with a 1/2 cup of water to the chickpeas. The addition of the water also helped the garlic melt into the dish and steamed the next item in - one of those salad boxes of baby spinach. The finishing touch was the smoked paprika and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.
All in all it was comfortingly tasty and filling. The kids had hot dogs (bribery for good behavior during haircuts) and we all enjoyed baby broccoli. And even though Mur is alarmed about the potential for intestinal combustion, I think I'm going to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Without dairy to exponentiate any danger, I'm feeling confident I'll be fine - better than fine, actually.