Sometimes the best dinners happen when I am forced to improvise.
Last week I had a get away weekend with my girlfriends so I did not
do my usual weekend meal planning and shopping.
That left me Monday with no time to shop and forced to find something healthy to make with what was in the fridge.
I had spinach and chicken.
In the pantry I found some chick peas and decided to try a quick curry.
This would stand alone as a great vegetarian option but since my husband prefers dinner have some meat attached I made mine with chicken. Fell free to leave the chicken out though, it would still be pretty yummy.
I have abandoned cooking my meat with any sort of oil and found a great stoneware pan I can bake small quantities of meat in with no oil and it keeps them from getting soggy from cooking juices on the bottom (yuck…I can’t imagine anyone likes a soggy white underbelly on their chicken…)
Anywhoooo–I just dust the chicken with a little of the same seasonings I use in the curry (chili powder, curry powder, marjoram, and ginger)
and pop it in the oven (375 for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees) then pull it out, chop it up into small chunks and set aside.
see look…no soggy chicken!! Hurray!
While the chicken in baking you can start chopping up the onion
and get the curry started.
I melt about 1 TBS of coconut oil in my saute pan
and then add the chopped onion
and all your seasonings:
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TBS curry powder
1/2 tsp marjoram
I am a firm believer in adjusting seasonings to your own tastes.
Don’t serve a dish you have not tasted and feel free to use less or more
of anything I list or experiment and swap some of these out for
For example I am positive garam masala would be perfect here but
I did not have any on hand so I came up with this combo.
Trying new things is half the fun of cooking so be brave and
play with the recipe.
Once the onions are cooked through and translucent you can add
the diced tomatoes and rinsed and drained chick peas (garbanzo beans).
Stir that up and let them start melding together
while you coarsely chop your spinach.
You can skip this step but I find that chopping it a bit keeps
the wilted pieces a bit smaller and more manageable for my kids
to eat once its fully cooked.
Add the spinach a hand full at a time and
mix it well and allow it to wilt
Keep adding the spinach little at a time until its all mixed in.
Allow the mixture to heat through until the spinach is completely wilted.
This is when I add back in my chopped cooked chicken and
stir it through.
Let the whole mixture cook together for 4 or 5 more minutes
to make sure all the flavors are blended nicely.
Once its all heated through and your kitchen smells delicious,
turn off the heat and add about a 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro to the top
and mix it through the dish.
Now you can serve it on a platter with Greek yogurt on the side for topping or
serve on top of some rice or if no one is looking
eat that yumminess straight out of the pan-
OK OK I’m kidding here…that would be naughty,
we have to remember to watch our portions….
and speaking of portions,
make sure you separate the leftover into small individual portions
in order to make it super easy to grab
and heat it up for an easy lunch during the week
with no measuring needed!
In less than an hour you made a great,
healthy meal for the whole family
that smells and tastes delicious AND you have
quick easy lunches for at least a few days!
Congratulations to you-
Here it is without my commentary:
Chick Pea and Spinach Curry
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbs Coconut oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 TBS curry powder
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-1/2-oz. can organic diced tomatoes
- 7 oz baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt for serving
Sprinkle chicken with small amounts of each seasoning and then bake at 375 for approx. 40 minutes or until cooked through (internal temp of 165). Once chicken is cooked chop into bite size pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and seasonings and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, and tomatoes. Coarsely chop the spinach and add it by the handful, stirring and allowing it to wilt as you go. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the spinach is completely wilted and then add in the baked chicken. Let it cook until the flavors have melded, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Spoon onto a platter, and serve by itself or over some rice with the Greek yogurt on top if desired.