September, you are gorgeous and I wish I could be outside right now to enjoy it all. However, despite the filtered sunshine and the turning leaves, I’ve become a whiny little jerk lately. All because earlier this week I woke up with a cold that I just can’t seem to shake. I’m sniffling, sneezing and feeling lousy. I’d rather be out meeting with friends, going for walks around the neighbourhood or out on a bike ride. But no, I whine and complain about how awful I feel. To make matters worse (or maybe I’m just in a complaining mood), last night we ordered in some pretty bad Chinese food. Everything seemed over-salted and covered in a sticky goo. This meal that you see here is my remedy for last night’s dinner misstep. I made if for lunch today to counteract all of that sweet and greasy stickiness and I came up with something truly wholesome and good for you. Whether it makes this cold disappear, we’ll see.
Luckily, I had sorted out all of our greens from our CSA share into a little produce bag. They were ready to be washed and chopped and cooked up into something healthy. Easy! I had a can of chickpeas which was a saving grace since lately I’ve been using only dried beans and I didn’t have any that were cooked and frozen. Green onions and fat cloves of garlic from our CSA was a no brainer. Out of the freezer came a half-bag of diced sweet potatoes to add a bit of seasonal flaire to this meal, though a fresh sweet potato or yam would be even better. Everything else came from the cupboards to keep things simple.
This meal turned out to be a deliciously bright spot at a time when I needed it most. The vegetable stock I had on hand was flavourful and the tahini added just the right amount of creaminess. A squeeze of lemon for brightness and vitamin c. But what I loved the most was the salty crunch of the sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. It was comforting and soothing and the perfect autumn meal – even though it still feels like summer out.
elsewhere: Need more vegetables in your life? Of course you do! Head to Poppytalk for a delicious vegetable pasta bake. Want something more porky? Then have I got a recipe for you. An easy weeknight pot roast using pork loin, wine and figs over at the Huffington Post.
autumn chickpea & greens stew
1 T olive oil
3 green onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t ground cumin
1/4 t red chili flakes
1 1/2 c yam or sweet potato, diced (I used frozen or use 1 large sweet potato)
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 c homemade vegetable stock
2 T tahini
2 bunches of assorted greens, tough stems removed & leaves sliced (I used a mix from our farm share: kale, chard, beet greens)
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
toasted & salted sunflower seeds as garnish
In a large, deep skillet or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, cumin and chili and heat until fragrant and soft. Add in the yams and the vegetable stock. If you are using a raw sweet potato rather than frozen, put on the lid and let simmer until nearly soft, adding more stock if necessary. Otherwise, just add in the frozen yams plus the chickpeas and let simmer for a moment. Using a fork, whisk in the tahini until blended. Dump in the greens and put on the lid for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the greens are tender, squeeze over the lemon juice and serve in deep bowls, garnishing with the sunflower seeds. Serves 4.