Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chickpeas and tomatoes

Looking for a new side dish? Or maybe a light lunch? Here is something quick, easy, delicious and healthy. No, really -- I'm serious! -- chickpeas and tomatoes are all that.

I can't take a lot of credit for this recipe. Does anyone remember back when the South Beach Diet book covered the front-of-store bookshelves? Yeah, I fell into it too and bought the book. One of the recipes in the book was for a couscous dish that you make from scratch, adding some diced tomatoes and a few tablespoons of chickpeas. Long after I stopped the South Beach Diet (which I tried for, oh, four whole days), I repeatedly made this for lunch. I think I gestated both of my boys on this meal.

For the past month, I've gone sort of paleo (no dairy or grains), so I returned to my standby meal without the couscous. I make this differently than I did with the couscous, meaning I cook it on the stove rather than steep it in hot water with the couscous via the microwave. By all means, add this to couscous if you like -- but it's also great just by itself.

1 can of chickpeas
2 plum tomatoes
olive oil
minced garlic or garlic powder

Heat a little olive oil -- say, a tablespoon -- in a skillet over medium heat.

Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly. (Does anyone think of chickpeas as having foreskins? You know, that little translucent wrapper on them that falls off so easily? Nevermind I just said that....) Put them in the skillet and saute.

Wash and dice the tomatoes, then sprinkle them with salt, pepper, basil and garlic to taste. Add the tomatoes to the skillet. Mix the chickpeas and tomatoes, stirring once in a while until they are heated through, about 8 minutes or so.

Serves 2-4, depending on how much you like to eat.