recipes for healthy living

Tag: chickpeas

Baked Eggs with Chickpeas


It’s becoming harder to get a post up with a decent photograph given how early it gets dark and with the poor weather how it always seems that the clouds are just above my head. Being back to work doesn’t help either as having to do an honest days work just gets in the way of cooking :-). It can be hard too to get out and about with the wild winter storms boiling above our heads. I thought the house was going to lift up the other night so I can’t imagine how those on our western shores are feeling, being battered by the Atlantic since St Stephens day. We did get out this weekend though and despite the cold and wind enjoyed blowing the cobwebs away and earning our next meal.

This makes a great late breakfast option or quick meal when everyone is hungry and you need to get food on the table quickly. This dish gives a great bang of protein from the eggs and chickpeas together with the goodness of the tomato sauce with its believed anti cancer properties from lycopene. Plus it is a great meal to fill you up healthily after all the excess of Christmas.

Serves 4

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled chopped and mashed
2 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bottle of tomato passata about 500gr of the 680g bottle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
Warm pita bread or rustic loaf for dipping

Preheat oven to 170C.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and peppers
Cook on a medium heat until onion is soft, about 8 minutes.
Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Add the tomato passata. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Separate the chickpeas across 4 oven proof dishes if your pan is not oven proof.
Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart. Transfer to oven and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 5–8 minutes.
If you have a real hungry bunch it works too, to just fry your eggs instead then,
sprinkle over a little more paprika and serve with pita for dipping.

Salad of Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Feta and Beans

Do you feel fed if you haven’t had meat? I know lots of people, especially men who just don’t feel like they have been fed if they haven’t had meat on their plate.  Not me though –  I actually did not eat much meat for years, until I started weight training and developed a taste (maybe a need?) for it. There are days still though that I just dont feel like eating meat. I know it’s good for the body to have a meat break and personally I never feel deprived without it, as there are so many delicious ways to combine grains, veggies and leaves. This dish came about by chance after seeing an article on ways to use Quinoa. I’m a big fan of this grain and played around with some of the stuff I had at home and I have to say the flavours of this dish are really exceptional. It’s also great if you are really eating clean, yet filling and full of flavour. The salad dressing uses Pomegranate molasses which is a fantastic addition to your storecupboard and adds a lovely sherberty zing to this. The result was a really tasty meal, deceptively simple for the great flavours it produced. While I used butternut, you can use any squash or small pumkin.

Ingredients – Serves 4
Turn oven on to 200
1 butternut squash – slice and deseed
2 pinches of sumac
1 cup quinoa soaked for 15 minutes in 2 cups of water then brought to the boil and simmered until absorbed and cooked
200gr feta chopped
1 can mixed beans or chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 red onion sliced
3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

60ml EVOO
30ml white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Pomegranate molassees
1 tsp castor sugar
salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients and mix well

Toss the sliced butternut squash in 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
Sprinkle the pinches of sumac over the squash and cook in the oven until tender
After 15 minutes add the red onion till the end of cooking time
Add the dressing and flat leaf parsley to the cooked quinoa and season well
Add the feta and beans and assemble the salad as shown.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shanks – Easter Party Perfect

Lamb is very traditional for Easter and this is a nice alternative to a leg of lamb which can be really pricey if you are trying to feed a big gang. This dish is a great crowd pleaser and as it just cooks away in the oven is great for entertaining. Made with Lamb shanks which I think are my favourite cut of meat, and better yet, great value especially if you can get the rear shanks as they feed at least 2 per shank. They take on flavour really well and stand up to Indian and African flavours as well as the traditional frenchstyle cooking approaches. This recipe uses the Moroccan spice Ras el Hanout and is delicious, a tomato based sauce with chicken stock- it thickens up beautifully, a lovely shiny flavourful sauce. Chickpeas cooked in the dish means you don’t need much else, Couscous can be nice if you are a fan of that grain although I’ve started to eat Quinoa in its place lately. The result was lamb falling apart infused with lovely sweet smokey spicy flavours from the spice blend and just a little kick of heat. I had a large party to serve so I did a herb crust rack too and served a little rack and some of the Moroccan lamb for everyone and it was devoured.

This would serve 6-8 easily if you have rear shanks.

4 Lamb Shanks
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ras el hanout
2 tbsp gluten free flour mixed with 1 tsp ras el hanout
2 big onions sliced thinly
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 garlic cloves peeled chopped and crushed
1 litre chicken stock
2 (400gr) cans chickpeas
harrissa to serve

Preheat the oven to 170C°. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and dip in the spiced flour to lightly coat.
In a large casserole dish with a lid, heat the oil and add the Lamb Shanks and fry until browned on all sides. Do in 2 batches if your pan is small and keep the heat moderately high to ensure they caramelise and develop lovely flavour. Transfer the lamb shanks to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes until lightly golden.
Keeping the heat at moderate add in the spice blend along with the tomato paste and cook until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add half of the chicken stock and scrape up the lovely browned bits from the bottom of the pot which are full of flavour. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree.
Return the lamb to the casserole and add the chickpeas. Pour in the rest of the chicken stock to cover the meat and bring to the boil. Season, put lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
Transfer the braised lamb shanks out of the put and take all the meat of the bones and cut into bit size pieces. Look for the fatty membrane and hard bone ends and remove that too. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce, bring to the boil and reduce to a medium heat to reduce the sauce to the consistency you like. Tip the meat back into the sauce and bring back up to temperature. Serve and pass around the harissa which is delicious spooned alongside your couscous or veg of choice. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

%d bloggers like this: