shredded chicken, spinach and chickpea stew/chili
Moving to NYC has been fantastic, but my diet has not….I've gotten better, when I first got here I decided that I could eat gluten. I could not and I suffered major after going to pizza one night and having a near death episode on the subway home. From that day on it was no more gluten, not a bite, not a taste, not even a nibble.
After I reined in the gluten it seemed like there were even MORE places to eat with gfo (gluten free options) not necessarily healthy options, but sans gluten which was magical to me. And living in NYC that meant I was now able to eat all of the trendy crap I saw on my insta feed without feeling like complete death, just half death because #sugar.
It was only until I wound up at the doctors a few weeks ago and was told, that due to physical and mental stress, my gastritis (I was diagnosed with in college) had flared up. A reality check for my body and mind…..and TBH since moving, I was consumed in the culture and mindset of needing to try, do, eat and see everything. My body was yelling at me for the past 3 months and my mind was asking for attention for the past 2. It's time for some TLC and time for me to do my (old) thang! Healthy eating, with realistic standards, here I come!
Now no judgement, I'm def going to be making (and indulging in) some treats and maybe not so clean meals from time to time. I'm only human.
This chickpea "stew" was my first step back on track. It turned out to be less a stew and more of a chili. Who doesn't love a good chili especially on chilly days?! The ingredient list is a little lengthy (a good amount of spices) but the actual cooking is very easy. So easy, I made quinoa AND corn bread at the same time!!
Two things before you begin:
This recipe makes HELLA food. To put it in perspective it fed: me, Blake the"growing boy", we had leftovers proportional to our dinner and enough for a 3rd Rose sized portion. That being said, if it's just you, or 2 of you you might want to cut it down a bit.
I made shredded chicken the night before for tacos and saving the meat from one breast. Shredded chicken is easy to make, but takes a bit of time hence my ‘eve-of’ prep. You can get in the shredded chicken here.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
2 ½ cups of peeled plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 chicken breast → shredded chicken
2 cups of spinach raw - 2 big handfuls
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion & stir occasionally. Fry until the onion becomes translucent
Add in the garlic, stir until the onions are completely see through and the garlic cooks a bit. It should smell wonderful!
Add all of those spices to the pan (cumin, paprika, cayenne), stirring frequently and fry for 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring, the spices can & will burn!
Stir the tomato paste into the mixture
In a large bowl, smash the plum tomatoes with a potato masher. Really get into it and pulverize those suckers until you have a chunky tomato sauce.
Over a simmer add squished tomatoes to the pan. Let cook and thicken over a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the 20 minute mark add in pre-made shredded chicken.
The sauce will thicken not like a paste, but not too soupy. Taste it to see if you think it needs salt, heat, or sweetness. Season with black pepper
Stir in the cooked chickpeas and let them get heated by the tomato mixture.
In a separate pan, add add oil, heat and add 1 clove of garlic, let it cook and soften. Add in the spinach, pan fry just until wilted. Keep an eye on it so that it does not burn
TREAT YOSELF and serve over quinoa with some cornbread like me, or over rice or alone! This a super versatile dish that warms the body and soul on cold days.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week - microwave to reheat or place back into a saucepan and bring to simmer for 5-7 min, stirring frequently.