Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Middle Eastern Inspired Chickpea Pilaf

Hi Friends, how are you?

It's been a long time since I uploaded a recipe on here as to be honest, I haven't had a wave of inspiration or creativity in the kitchen for a long time - until now.. thanks mum!

A lot of the dishes I make tend to use similar spices but this chickpea pilaf is such a welcome change to my norm. The warming infusion of cinnamon really bring this to life and the creamy cashews are just divine! I have started making this in bulk portions for my boyfriend and I to eat for a few days at a time and he actually likes to add extra protein such as chicken or salmon to it when he takes it to work for lunch (I love it just as it is though!) It could also be frozen in batches too if you wished as all the ingredients freeze really well.

Middle Eastern Inspired Chickpea Pilaf - the easiest one pot dinner

Ingredients:
Makes around 5-6 main meals or even more if pairing with animal protein
Note - you will need a large pan with a lid for this one pan dish, especially if you are making extra for multiple meals!
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I use EVOO)
  • 1 white onion, diced 
  • 2 big cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 2 handfuls of raw cashews (unsalted)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 courgette, sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 cup fennel, sliced 
  • 2 cups of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach 
  • 1 tbsp tamari (can sub for soy sauce if you don't have tamari)
  • 1 veg stock cube

Method:
  1. Place the rice in a sieve and thoroughly rinse under fresh running water 4-5 times until the water runs clear. Dissolve the stock cube in the 4 cups of water and then add in the washed and drained rice. Set aside to soak.
  2. Heat 1tbsp of oil to the pan and then add in the onion and sauté until they have softened and browned
  3. Then add in the garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, cashews, chilli powder and black pepper. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the cashews have become slightly toasted and the spices have become fragrant.
  4. Then add in the courgette, fennel, tomatoes and chickpeas. Continue to sauté for a further 5-8 minutes until the tomatoes have become nice and juicy. 
  5. Add the rice with the stock and water to the pan and bring to the boil. Place the lid on the pan and reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. Note - check the package instructions for your rice as quick cook rice will often cook in just over 15 minutes, especially as we have soaked it for 15-20 minutes already.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, give everything a good stir and make sure all the water has been absorbed. 
  7. Stir in the spinach, tamari and remaining tbsp of olive oil
  8. Serve either on it's own (my preference!) or with your choice of animal protein

Enjoy,
Jess x
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