Monday, June 9, 2008

Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans with a Side of FAQ

Hey folks – before today’s recipe, I’d like to answer a few really good questions that have come up about CHG lately. Please bear with them, and then WITNESS THE WONDER of Cooking Light’s Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans.

Q: What’s the point of the Comments of the Week?
(submitted by: reader Sarah)

A: Well, between the feed and random hits, CHG is currently pulling in about 2600 daily readers (whee!). Y’all have a TON of stellar recipe suggestions and strategy ideas – lots of stuff that doesn’t occur to me in my tiny corner of Brooklyn. My hope with CotW is to highlight the best tips, and hopefully encourage readers to submit even more creative, thoughtful, funny comments. (Which, everyone’s been doing beautifully.) If you commenters have sites of your own, I try to link, so you’ll see some traffic/get mad props, as well.

Q: I’m a PR person for a startup website. Will you link to this article I send you?
(submitted by: PR people for startup websites.)

A: If it’s a generic piece promoted by a generic pitch letter, fuggedabouhdit. If it’s a personalized pitch and the post content is truly relevant to the cheap/healthy/good theme, I’ll definitely take a look. If the pitch and/or article mention Anthony Bourdain, The Office, or the smooth sounds of “Purple Rain,” then yes.

Q: Can I e-mail you my favorite recipes, articles, or posts from other sources?
(submitted by: a few wonderful e-mailers)

A: OH HECK YES. Please. Seriously, I need all the help I can get. Special thanks to reader Becky for her efforts on the recipe front.

Q: Why does CHG concentrate so much on supermarket shopping? Aren’t farmers markets, CSAs, and gardens the way to go these days?
(submitted by: my own guilty brain)

A: Ooo. Ouch. Yes. Yes, they are. Alas, CHG reflects my cooking and shopping experience, which is pitifully limited by location and budget. I DO make it a point to avoid most packaged and convenience products, and my goal over the next year is to move away from Key Food and toward fresh, locally-picked produce, grains, and meat. But in the meantime, I’m making do with what I have.

Q: Is there a site redesign in the future? Can I do it? Will you pay me in sandwiches?
(submitted by: The Boyfriend)

A: Yes, yes, and possibly. Also, I like your new haircut.

Q: I’m a Nigerian Prince begging you to claim $200,000,000 in American money, payable entirely in $100 bills. All you have to do is give me your name, date of birth, and credit card number. Won’t you please respond?
(submitted by: Prince Nbubu of Niger)

A: Umm … mommy?

And with that - today’s recipe! I haven’t been grocery shopping in awhile, but have the good fortune to own 12,000 cans of cabinet-clogging beans. A quick Cooking Light search yielded this totally slamming legume-heavy recipe. It took less than a half hour, made two additional lunches, and smell-ified my apartment in wondrous, curryesque fashion. If you make it:

1) Curry powders are vary widely the world over. Mine is particularly spicy and potent. (NOTE: The way I like my men.) If your powder doesn’t have quite the power, feel free to double the spices and/or add a dash or two of cayenne.

2) The original recipe asks you to simmer for five minutes, but a commenter or two suggested 15. I went with the latter, and it was aces.

3) Pair it with brown rice for the most complete, filling, fiber-y meal you’ll ever eat. Seriously, your colon will thank you for it.

If y’all have anymore questions about CHG or suggestions for this recipe, I’d love to hear ‘em. Fire away!

Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans
Makes 4 heaping 1-cup servings
Adapted from Cooking Light.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot
4 teaspoons curry powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1) In a large nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and ginger. Cook 3 minutes, or until onion starts to soften. Add curry. Stir. Cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Stir. Cook until a tiny bit thick, about 1 minute. Add salt, black beans, and chickpeas. Stir. "Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes." Kill heat. Add parsley and lemon juice. Stir. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
277.5 calories, 4.4 g fat, $0.82

2 teaspoons vegetable oil: 88 calories, 10 g fat, $0.04
1 cup chopped onion: 67 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.16
1 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot: 5 calories, 0 g fat, $0.06
4 teaspoons curry powder: 13 calories, 0.5 g fat, $0.20
¼ tsp ground cumin: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained: 82 calories, 0 g fat, $0.89
1/8 teaspoon salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 (15-ounce) can black beans: 328 calories, 1.6 g fat, $0.50
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas: 507 calories, 4.9 g fat, $0.50
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro): 14 calories, 0.3 g fat, $0.66
1 tablespoon lemon juice: 6 calories, 0 g fat, $0.25
TOTAL: 1110 calories, 17.4 g fat, $3.28
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 277.5 calories, 4.4 g fat, $0.82

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Feed the moose said...

LOVING the website! I will note this recipe and try it out on my own blog (citing your blog as the source, of course!). I'll try to fix this sometime this summer. I'll let you know how it goes!

Kelly said...

OK, seriously, when you posted this, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with that 1/2 onion, leftover diced tomatoes, and 28 quarts of chickpeas I had in the fridge. Amazing!

Chief Family Officer said...

LOL at The Boyfriend wanting to get paid in sandwiches! We should make that the new currency. I highly recommend these CL sandwich recipes (hopefully he likes pesto): Turkey Pesto Sandwiches (from 2002! can you tell I've been a CL fan forever?) and Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches (makes a ton b/c it's a lunch club recipe, I usually make half a recipe). I hope he likes 'em!

Alicia said...

I love this one! It sort of defeats the purpose, but I often add half a can of coconut milk to it. Ohhh ho ho yes.

Cookus Interruptus said...

Curry powder can be kind of uninteresting. YOu'll get a lot more flavor by either fresh grinding the whole spices purchased in bulk (cumin, cardomom) and combining with some tumeric OR making a cool curry paste to keep in your fridge and add to things (my favorite). I have a recipe for this in my book Feeding the Whole Family and will be posting a video about how to make it on Cookus Interruptus soon!

Amanda said...

If the pitch and/or article mention Anthony Bourdain, The Office, or the smooth sounds of “Purple Rain,” then yes.

That's hilarious. It's amazing how we have the same link criteria. ;)

shannon said...

This dish was super tasty. I was almost out of regular curry powder so I had to use a mixture of regular curry and Madras curry, but it still turned out great. Thanks!

twinkleworm said...

Made this a few days ago, my husband and I both snarfed it! SO good!

Tara Milligan said...

I tried this recipe for the first time a month or so ago, and my whole family loved it! My kids (1 and 3) even scarfed it down. I've been making it pretty much weekly since, we've had it on rice, quinoa, and as a 'taco' salad. Thank you so much for sharing!

Carol said...

Very tasty, but the ingredients list includes cumin and cayenne while the instructions don't mention them, except to say that you can use more cayenne if you want to increase the heat of your curry powder. It's obvious when the two spices need to be added but it was disconcerting to find myself at the "cover, reduce heat and simmer stage" with unused spices still on my countertop.