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New Year's Deliciousness

In my world, food is love.

Cooking is a way for me to be creative (outside of hair), plus I get to eat the results.

It's also how I like to celebrate events, as well as a source of comfort.

Last year I came across one of the most delicious New York Times recipes that was full of cupboard staples and ticked off everything on my list.

It's also vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free, but my carnivore family members loved it so much I keep getting requests to make "that stew thing" again. It's also super easy to add in some chicken for an additional protein boost, so no worries on that front.

This recipe is easy and tastes like you've cooked all day. It's full of comfort flavors and rich textures that also have an exotic twist and an amazing freshness to keep it light. It's spiced -- not spicy -- so those a little hesitant have nothing to fear.

And if you're feeling a little under the weather (physically or emotionally), the fresh ginger, garlic, and turmeric inside this pot is just the thing you're needing.

Basically, this Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut & Turmeric is ALL. THE. THINGS.

Let me know if you make it.....or better yet take a pic and show me your beautiful creation. Because -- like I said -- food is love.


Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut & Turmeric


¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup mint leaves, for serving

1/2 pound diced dark chicken and additional ¼ cup olive oil (optional)

Yogurt, for serving (optional)

Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)


Optional Step 1

Heat 1/4 cup oil in saute pan, brown and cook through chicken meat. Remove from heat and set side.

Step 2

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, and the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.

Step 4

Using a wooden spoon or spatula (I prefer a hand potato masher), further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides (this will help thicken the stew.) Add coconut milk and stock, and season with salt and pepper.

Step 5

Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to be as delicious as possible.) If after 30 to 35 minutes, you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you've reached your desired consistency. Determining perfect stew thickness is a personal journey! Full disclosure -- I prefer a 45-60 minute simmer.

Step 6

Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook until they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.

Step 7

Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, chicken (if using) a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you'd like.

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