Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Espinaca con Garbanzos

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In addition to our love of cooking and finding new restaurants, as friends Amanda and I bonded over the fact we both studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain. When I was living in Spain, I was totally spoiled. My host mother, Manoli, cooked three homemade meals a day of rich and delicious traditional Spanish food. Needless to say, my waistline started to pay the price. Everyone touts the healthy Mediterranean diet, but I struggled to find healthy options.  One of my favorite dishes, however, happened to be an incredibly healthy option: Espinaca con Garbanzos, or Spinach with Chickpeas. One good thing about most home made Spanish dishes is that they are easy to make and are budget friendly. It's a great vegetarian dish that even meat lovers will enjoy! And, of course, the best part is that totally reminds of my semester in Sevilla. 

To make Espinaca con Garbanzos you will need:
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin virgin oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 16 oz package of frozen chopped spinach - defrosted
  • 1 12 oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (more to taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (more to taste)
First do all of your prep. Finely chop the garlic into tiny pieces and dice the the onion. Then you need to get all of the water out of the frozen spinach. Pour the spinach into a colander and then using your clean hands, press on spinach to drain the water. This will take some time because you want to get all of the water out before you begin to cook it. If you don't it will become a soggy, unappetizing mess.

Then, heat the olive oil in a large pan over low to medium heat. Add the onions into the oil and saute until translucent. Next, add the garlic into the pan and saute until it turns golden brown. 

When the garlic and onion are cooked thoroughly, add the spinach and chickpeas into the pan and stir into the onions and garlic. 

Slowly add the spices and lemon juice and keep tasting as you go. Depending on your taste buds, you can add as much or as little of any of these seasonings. We found the original recipe to be very bland so we doctored it up by adding a lot of extra lemon juice, garlic powder, and cumin.
Saute the spinach and chickpeas until it is heated evenly throughout. This should take about 10 minutes and then it is ready to serve!

We served the Espinaca con Garbanzos with the patatas bravas, tortilla espanola, and gambas al ajillo. These were a huge hit! We will be sharing the last two recipes before the week ends, so be sure to check back!

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