This is why I’m obsessed with my spice collection.
Just when I was beginning to feel like I’d never be able to jump out of my weeknight dinner rut, my old friends (and this article found while perusing the web for new ideas) helped me right out of it.
So this one’s for you coriander, cloves, and cardamom. And to my jar of ground African hot pepper, you poor under-utilized soul, this one’s especially for you. (I knew there was a reason I moved you halfway across the country.)
But seriously, this is a perfect example of how your spice cabinet can save the day. Over and over again.
For me, a big part of eating well day after day is keeping meals exciting. I love trying new ingredients and styles of cooking for this reason. But my favorite way to keep my tastebuds guessing is to shake up my spice blends.
Toss those spices with a couple pantry staples and any fresh vegetable that sounds good (rainbow chard for me!) and get ready to feel all sorts of brand new again.
That was my experience, anyway.
As a chronic canned bean drainer and rinser, I also changed things up in this recipe by cooking with the aquafaba (the liquid that chickpeas are canned in). Have you tried it yet? It’s mostly known as an egg white substitute for vegans but you can use it in all sorts of dishes (ideas here).
In this recipe, I used aquafaba primarily to create a thicker sauce than I would be able to get from just water alone. (And to further prove to myself that I can still keep things fresh, obviously.)
The flavors, inspired by berebere (a key Ethiopian spice blend), are comforting and just what I’m in the mood for as we move towards Fall. Most importantly, it’s a combination that I haven’t tried before in my own kitchen, which means dinner’s anything but boring.
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1-15 ounce can chickpeas, including aquafaba (liquid chickpeas are canned in)
- 4 cups (1 bunch) rainbow chard, rinsed and chopped (or substitute with dark leafy green of choice)
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ - ½ teaspoon ground African hot pepper or cayenne pepper, depending on desired level of spiciness
- 2 green onions, chopped, green and white parts separated
- Optional for serving: 1-2 cups cooked whole grain of choice (quinoa, brown rice, farro, barley)
- Heat oil in a large pot with lid on the stovetop over medium heat. Add onion and ginger and cook about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional 2 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, chard, spices, and white part of green onions, stir, cover, and cook until greens are tender and flavors have melded, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with green parts of onions. Serve over cooked whole grains if desired.
Do you have a new favorite spice combination?