Last night I was craving something hearty, healthy, and “different.” I thought back to our honeymoon in the San Juan Islands, where we’d gone out to a waterfront restaurant called Cask and Schooner. After about a full week of eating heavy meals at the Bed & Breakfast we were staying at, going on the Seattle Gourmet Food Tour, and having chocolate and wine ‘spontaneously’ delivered to our hotel room, I went for the lightest looking thing on the menu. I chose the “Chic Pea & Kale Saute” (how does it get any lighter than that, right?) and it was to die for. Okay, okay, I know I’m super lame for not ordering something like salmon (so fresh it’d practically be swimming on my plate) while vacationing in the Holylandofseafood, but hey- at least I ended up not going to bed feeling like a whale myself that night. I even got to have leftovers the next day, which were just as good as the original!
Ever since then, I’ve been trying to replicate their recipe. While I don’t think I’ve done the real deal complete justice, I’ve come pretty close. Serve over a fluffy bed of rice or pita, with a dollop of plain yogurt! This time I also added in some tomato sauce and chicken sausage to make it a bit more filling (I’m training for a half marathon, alright already?).
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 whole carrots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste, depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 cans chickpeas (or “garbanzo beans” if you want to go all fancy-schmancy on me)
12 oz frozen spinach
2 links chicken sausage, fully cooked
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tomato, diced
Lemon juice, to taste
Brown rice, cooked
Smoked paprika, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Plain yogurt, to taste
Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Swirl in oil and add onions, garlic, and carrots. Cook until onions are caramelized and tender- about 3-5 minutes (carrots will continue to cook). Add cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and red pepper and stir continuously for 1 minute.
Add chopped chicken sausage and cook until browned. Reduce heat to medium and pour in red wine vinegar and water to deglaze pan. Make sure to scrape up all those delicious bits from the bottom of the pan!
Add spinach and tomatoes to skillet and cook until heated through. Add chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until carrots are tender to your liking. Meanwhile, cook rice (I used 10 minute boil-in-bag rice for perfect timing!).
Just before serving, add lemon juice to skillet. I used a good 2 tablespoons.
Portion each bowl with 1 cup rice. Spoon espinacas over rice and top with parmesan, paprika, and yogurt.