Monday, March 11, 2013

Curried Chard and Spinach with Chickpeas

We all know how healthy those dark green, leafy vegetables are for you, but for some reason or another, they rarely make an appearance on the dinner plate.  This meal was perfect for us since it incorporated both red chard and spinach along with chickpeas all smothered in a coconut milk based sauce with the powerful combination of fresh ginger and garlic spiced with curry powder and crushed red pepper flakes.  Even though I knew this meal was good for us, it had all the flavor elements that we love.  I served it over rice and drizzled it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Curried Spinach and Chard with Chickpeas
Makes 4 servings

1 cup raw basmati or other long-grain rice
10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed, torn and rinsed
3-4 leaves red chard, stemmed torn and rinsed, stems sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped (about 1 medium)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt to taste
Lime wedges, for garnish

Prepare rice as package directs.  For spinach, remove and discard stem.  Remove chard stems, but do not discard.  Tear the greens into pieces, rinse, and shake off water - do not totally dry.

The celery-like stems from the chard are edible.  To prepare them, rinse and then slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces.  Keep these pieces separate from the greens  They take longer to cook and must be added earlier.

Heat oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium-high heat.  Saute the chard stems and onion, stirring often, until softened and slightly brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic, curry and red pepper flakes.  Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the coconut milk, chickpeas, sugar and salt; simmer 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Toss prepared greens in curry sauce until wilted and cooked, 2-3 more minutes.  Serve with rice and garnish with lime wedges.

Recipe from Cuisine at Home, October 2001

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