Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spiced Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Stew

Indian inspired chickpea dish

Sometimes the best recipes happen by accident. Like this one. It was born out of a fear that the spinach in my fridge, if not used Immediately, was going to transform into a horrific swamp thing reminiscent of B horror movies.

I confess that I have something of an issue with spinach. I don't dislike it exactly. At least as long as I can't taste it - or can't taste it very well. Because, let's face it, despite the fact that it's one of those Really Healthy Vegetables that we all know we should eat more of, it tastes like dirt, which is not something I put in my mouth voluntarily. Even Popeye, the classic spinach advocate, could only promote spinach as a viable food option through its benefits, because no one would eat it for its own sake. Popeye taught us to eat spinach because it will make you strong, sexually attractive and - and this part is key - sexually successful. Spinach was the original steroid. (Only it gives you biceps and grateful women, not breasts. At least according to Popeye.)

So anyways...I do eat spinach. Not because I want to attract women, punch large people senseless or crush trains with my fist, but because I want to be healthy. And eating greens makes me feel like I'm succeeding at life. Sort of.

Spiced Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Stew
1 small Sweet Potato (roughly 2 cups chopped)
1 Hot Red Pepper
2 cloves Garlic
1 - 2 tsp Oil
1/2 cup Chickpeas
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Cayenne (Optional - use more or less, according to your tastes)
1 bunch Spinach (or 2 cups spinach leaves)
1/2 cup cooked Millet (roughly 2 - 3 tbsp uncooked) (Rice or Quinoa would also work well)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Serves 1.

garlic, hot pepper, sweet potato
chickpeas and spinach

1. Cook millet (or other grain of choice) according to directions. About 2 tbsp uncooked millet will yield 1/2 cup cooked millet, but I like to cook a larger batch to store in the fridge for on-hand use. For step-by-step millet cooking instructions, check out this link.

2. Dice garlic and hot pepper, set aside. Heat up a pot over medium heat, then add oil. Add cumin seeds, and when they start to sizzle, add garlic and hot pepper.

3. While sauteing garlic and hot pepper, chop up sweet potato into small chunks. Once the garlic has browned and the pepper softened, after about 5 minutes, add the sweet potato, chickpeas, and spices. Add just enough water to cover everything, cover with the lid, and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove lid and let the liquid reduce for another 5 minutes or so, until roughly only an inch remains.

4. When the stew is done, stir in millet, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop spinach leaves roughly, stir in, and serve.


  1. Made this today, thank you! It will feed my week with comfort.

  2. Yummy! I added some red onion and it came out great.