Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Odds and Ends Chickpea Salad

Jess posted over at Not A Diet yesterday about learning to cook without a recipe.

I agree with several of the commenters there, it's about practice and trial and error- after a while, you start to develop a sense of what would go with what. It also helps to keep certain items on hand. I feel Jess's pain about going to the grocery store too often, but there are a lot of fresh ingredients that last a long time, impart a lot of flavor, and are key to having around for last-minute meals.

Here's my list of things I try to keep in the house, aside from the usual salt, pepper, olive oil, etc:

Cans/dry goods:
-black beans
-chick peas
-diced tomatoes
-whole tomatoes
-tuna
-light coconut milk
-chicken broth and veggie broth (I actually get this in those cartons and I know, making your own is better, but let's be realistic, shall we?)
-quinoa
-brown rice
-barilla plus pasta (for emergencies)
-lentils

Perishables (that last a long time):
-eggs
-garlic
-onions
-sweet potatoes
-kalamata olives
-lemons and limes (seriously, with a lemon, you can make pretty much anything better)
-ginger (I cheat and get the pre-grated stuff in a jar.)
-thai red curry paste
-block of parmesan cheese
-salsa verde from a jar
-frozen mixed veggies
-block of feta cheese

From these ingredients, all of which are pretty cheap and last a long time, you can make all kinds of stuff. Some of my go-to meals include:

*Scrambled eggs with salsa verde, black beans, and feta
*Mixed veggie red curry with roasted sweet potatoes and brown rice
*Black beans simmered with canned tomatoes and salsa verde, served with brown rice or quinoa
*Pasta with quick homemade tomato sauce
*Mujadara (lentil and onion stew- so yummy, and so so cheap)

But my favorite, and the one I want to share with you today, was a happy accident. I call it "um, we have nothing to eat" chickpea salad:

Ingredients:
can of chick peas
garlic
1 lemon
olive oil
salt
pepper
feta
olives
quinoa

optional ingredients (if you have them, toss them in)
tomatoes
spinach leaves
red peppers

To make:
1. Whisk together the juice of one lemon, about 1Tbsp of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and one clove minced garlic. If you're feeling really adventurous, toss some lemon zest in there, too. Taste for seasoning and tartness, and adjust with additional oil and/or salt if necessary. Toss dressing with a can of drained chickpeas.

2. Add any additional veggies, if using (spinach and red bell peppers are particularly tasty- you'll probably want to sautee the red peppers before mixing them in to soften them a little.) If you want, pop this mixture in a frying pan and heat through.

3. Prepare some quinoa according to the package instructions.

4. Scoop some quinoa into a bowl, top with some of the chickpea mixture, and sprinkle with crumbled feta and chopped kalamata olives. If you want, grate some parmesan cheese on top. Pat yourself on the back for being so thrifty and gourmet.

11 comments:

bren j. said...

You're so right about a lemon being able to fix almost anything. This salad looks great - thanks for sharing your recipe!

Stefanie said...

This is exactly the sort of thing I need to learn how to do: whipping up something out of whatever's on hand. (First, I need to more often have the right things on hand.) I have a couple of friends who make it sound so easy. I guess you are one of them.

Anonymous said...

viagra professional cheap viagra overnight viagra pharmacy viagra and cannabis generic viagra online buy cheap viagra online uk does viagra work problems with viagra 2007 viagra hmo can viagra causes legs to ache online viagra viagra sample natural viagra substitutes viagra stories

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/member.php?u=259462]mexitil online pharmacy[/url]

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just registered and wanted to pop in and introduce myself to the people. Let me just say that it is a wonderful forum that you have here.

Here are some other web sites and blogs that might be of interest to you.

[url=http://skintoday.info]skintoday.info[/url] - skintoday.info
[url=http://skintoday.info]skincareblog.info[/url] - skincareblog.info
[url=http://skintoday.info]skinsmart.info[/url] - skinsmart.info
[url=http://skintoday.info]skincareshop.info[/url] - skincareshop.info

skin care products and tips and tricks

Anonymous said...

uk dating [url=http://loveepicentre.com/]jacksonville fl singles catholic[/url] sexy singles http://loveepicentre.com/ high school singles

Anonymous said...

dating agency [url=http://loveepicentre.com/]free dating east midlands[/url] el cajon christian singles dance http://loveepicentre.com/ india singles

Anonymous said...

free online orgasm game [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/glyset.htm]glyset[/url] victorian lace inn tea room http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/antibiotiques.htm black health professionals wny http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/gasex.htm
silicone medical band [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/colesterol.htm]colesterol[/url] social services free medical [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/perdida-de-peso.htm]how to increase red blood cells[/url]

Anonymous said...

dog cannot eat or drink shaking muscle spasms [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/catalogue/f.htm]No prescription online pharmacy[/url] repetitive stress hand injuries http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/blood-pressure.htm toms river north high wrestling drug suspension http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/tofranil.htm
depression for medical postpartum treatment [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/anti-diabetic.htm]anti diabetic[/url] sample medical office resume [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/dulcolax.htm]interactions ambien and zoloft[/url]

Anonymous said...

http://www.knowflash.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=121833#121833 http://projecticebox.net/BB/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=140937 http://community.autowatchscript.com/index.php?topic=307124.new#new http://www.2pwn.com/pspninjas/viewtopic.php?p=129474#129474
http://www.gami-futon.com/cgi-bin/hana/bbs/apeboard_plus.cgi?command=read_message&msgnum=35 http://lazoenterprises.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=145091#145091 http://www.palacenolimit.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=381317 http://icon-note.com/skin/iruka/apeboard_plus.cgi?command=read_message&msgnum=5
http://viimprovement.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=159718 http://dubose-design.net/community/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=336174 http://ideagraphers.com/smf/index.php?topic=205382.new#new