October 14, 2013

Mediterranean Chickpea Pilaf

Most of the regular visitors to my blog know that I love rice. I grew up eating it. Its a staple in my diet. While I am okay with almost any kind of rice and have actually come to prefer Brown Basmati rice, my dear husband is not a big fan of anything other than white rice. So often, when I'm making a rice-based entrée, I'll use White Basmati rice. My way-around, adding more fiber and lowering the starch content is to add lots of beans and lentils and vegetables to most dishes. 

Prep Time: 20-30 min

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  1. 2 x 15 oz Cans of Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  2. 1 cup White Basmati Rice
  3. 1 x 10 oz Fresh Baby Spinach
  4. 2 cups water.
  5. 4-5 tbsp Tomato Paste
  6. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  7. 1 tsp Garlic powder
  8. 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  9. Salt & Pepper, to taste
  10. 1/3 cup Raisins (optional)
Line a heavy lidded stock pot (preferably cast iron) with a half a cup of water and add tomato paste, spices and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Add baby spinach to the pot, reduce heat to medium low and cover for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt. Mix well. The spinach will release its water and the mix at this point will look like a thick gravy. Add rice and raisins (optional), mix well and add 1.5 cups of tap water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover with lid, with just a slight gap (couple of millimeters) to allow some steam to escape. Cook for about 8-10 min until rice is bite-tender. At this point, cover the pot completely with its lid, turn off the stove and let the pot sit on the stove for about 10 more minutes. This will allow any residual bite in the rice to cook and will also allow any excess water to be absorbed by the rice. This step is a good one to follow for any rice based dishes. This last 10 minutes makes for a fluffy pilaf. Serve garnished with freshly cracked black pepper. 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 348 (Fat Calories 38)
Total Fat 4.2 g; Carbohydrates 69.7 g; Fiber 9.3 g; Sugars 3.5 g; Protein 13.9 g

If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my Recipe Index for more Whole-Food, Plant-Based, No-Added-Oil recipes. You can also like Rugrat Chow! on Facebook. Thanks!

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