Good Looking Chick: Spiced Chickpeas & Roasted Veggies on Coucous & Fresh Spinach

Hockey players don’t show up to the rink in sweat pants, they arrive in a suit: look good, feel good, play good.  Sorry to go all Canadian with the metaphor, but the same applies to your diet.  When you eat healthy food, you feel good about what you are eating and in return your body feels (and looks) good.  The theory isn’t as wishy-washy as it sounds.  If you think about it, you will perform better, whether it’s on the ice, the bike, at school, or the office, if your body has been properly fuelled.  Ok, so maybe: eat good, feel good, play good.

My Good Looking Chick dish is all about eating good, feeling good, and playing good.  You will feel good when you eat it because it’s tasty and you will love making it because the ingredients are flexible enough to fit any diet from vegan to meat lovers.

Good Looking Chick: Spiced Chickpeas with Roasted Vegetables on Couscous & Fresh Spinach

Ingredients (for two hungry people)

  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 medium/large carrots
  • 1 medium red onion (or 2 small ones)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbs unsalted sunflower seeds (preferably raw)
  • 2 handfulls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup instant couscous
  • olive oil
  • Fresh chilli or chilli powder to taste
  • Fresh coriander, plain yogurt, sea salt, and flax seeds to garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking tray with baking paper or lightly greased foil.
  2. Wash and chop the courgette, carrots and onion into bite sized pieces.  (Cut out the spongey middle part of the courgette, or leave it if you like it). Finely chop the garlic and the fresh chilli if using (I use about 1/2 inch), then set aside.
  3. Place courgettes, onion, and carrots on the baking tray and drizzle with 1-2 tbs of olive oil and lightly season with sea salt.  Place in the oven to roast.
  4. Put a non-stick pan on medium heat.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas while the pan is heating up. Add the curry and cumin and chilli powder (if using, to taste) to the dry pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Check the vegetables in the oven, turning them if they are browned.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and stir to combine with the spices.  Add the chopped garlic and fresh chilli, if using. Stir to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, put the kettle for couscous, following the instructions for the amount of water.
  7. Add sunflower seeds, chickpeas, and lemon juice to the pan.  Stir to combine.  If there was no water left in the pan before you added the chickpeas, add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Turn down the heat to medium-low.
  8. Take the roasted vegetables out of the oven rest if they are done to your liking. If they are under to your liking, pop them back in while you finish the dish and take them out when you are ready to assemble.
  9. Make the instant couscous according to instructions.  You should be simply pouring boiling water over the couscous in a bowl. Then give it a quick stir and cover the bowl.  It will soak up the water and cook while you finish the rest.
  10. Turn the heat off the chickpea mixture and stir.  There should be little or no water and the chickpeas should be coated in the spices and slightly yellow. 
  11. To assemble: divide the couscous between the two bowls.  Add 1 handful of fresh baby spinach to each bowl and mix into the couscous. Top each with half the vegetables and then pile half the chickpea mixture on top.  Garnish with plain yogurt, fresh coriander and flax seeds. Season with sea salt. Enjoy!

Play good:

  1. To add more protein, mix in 1 cup of cooked brown lentils with the couscous or use quinoa instead. You could also add chicken.
  2. To make the dish lighter or lower in carbohydrates, assemble the veg and chickpeas on a bed of spinach instead of couscous.
  3. Use soy yogurt or have it plain for a dairy-free option.  Or add feta
  4. Experiment with the vegetables! Switch out the courgettes for butternut squash.

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