Chana Masala

On the Menu today…..None other than the scrumptious Chana Masala!

If you are not familiar with this dish, it is basically a delicious tomato based Indian chickpea stew, probably one of my favourite things on the menu when I get Indian food, and now I’ve figured out a way to make some for myself.

A while back I tried making Aloo- Palak a spinach based Indian dish, and now I’ve come full circle to try for another recipe from the same background. If you’d like to check out the Aloo- Palak recipe, here is a link.

Anyway! Onward with our chickpea adventure 🙂

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Okay, I didn’t mean those kinds of chicks or peas…. hmmm lets try again..
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Yeah… that’s more like it

Anyways, Other than clearly a can of chickpeas, here are the Ingredients you’ll need!

Ingredients:

-1 can of chickpeas

-1-2 onions

-1 inch of sliced ginger

-4 cloves sliced garlic

-1 large tomato or 1 cup of crushed tomatoes

-1 chopped hollowed out chile pepper or hot pepper flakes (optional)

-1 tsp chile powder

-1 tsp garam masala

-1 tsp coriander

-1/2 tsp turmeric

-pinch of salt

-1 tsp cumin (optional)

-2-3 bay leaves

-3 tblsp olive oil

-water (as needed)

 

STEP #1: Chop ’til you drop 

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and tomato and hot pepper if applicable

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I used tomato sauce and chile flakes so I didn’t chop a tomato or chile pepper.

STEP #2: Blending 

Blend the tomato (sauce or fruit), onion, garlic, ginger and chile (vegetable or flakes- use as much as you can handle, be careful not to make it too spicy unless you are looking for a challenge) Into a blender or food processor. I used a blender and added a bit of water. 

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STEP #3: Oily

Heat oil on a pan on a high- medium heat for about a minute or two, and then add your bay leaves and cook until fragrant. (I let it cook for around 30 seconds) 

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STEP #4: Adding the tomato stuff! 

Add your tomato blend to the pan and cook for around 2-3 minutes. Then add all your spices- chile powder, salt, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and optional cumin and cook for another 2-3 minutes add water if the mixture is too thick, or strain a little out over the sink carefully if it is too thin. (Be careful with this part!) let the mixture come to a boil and then turn down the heat.

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STEP #5: Chickpeas! 

This step is very simple. Add in your chickpeas and then stir the mixture until you reach your desired flavour and texture. I added a splash of almond milk to give it a creamy kick. Cook for around 5-7 minutes or until you feel your dish is complete! 

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With just a dash of almond milk
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It was a bit too watery for me so I drained mine just a bit

STEP #6: EAT!

Ahh how I love this step. This is the time you can serve your dish or put it in tupperware for later. This dish ages well and is great leftover food! Serve over a bed of rice, quinoa, or with naan or tandoori bread if you want to get fancy.

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Well that is it! It was quite a lovely hearty healthy meal with the spicy kick I like! As for ratings I think I am going to give this dish a big 5 out of 5 just because it is one of my personal favourites and I am so glad I now know how to make my own 🙂 

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Huh… well that’s only two thumbs up… but that’s okay… we can only do so much with our limited human capabilities… *sigh*…. wish I was an alien…… ANYWAYS!

If you want to suggest a dish for us to make in the future, or show us your meatless monday dishes you made inspired by our recipes or not, tweet or tag us @sustainableuofg 🙂

That’s all for now! 

Iris

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Ratatouille

And no, we don’t mean the movie!

But the dish was featured several times in the movie, and maybe it was a cartoon, but you know and I know how very mouth watering it was nonetheless!

I mean seriously… you know you want some of this action…….

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(Maybe with just a few less rats around though…. hehe…)

Our Version of ratatouille is Just as delicious an maybe a tiny bit less elegantly served…

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 oregano springs
  • 1 cup tomato puree (tomato sauce etc)
  • 1-2 small eggplants
  • 1-2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium squash
  • 2 small red peppers
  • 3 medium tomatoes (I used 6 small ones)
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
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    Nice looking ingredients

    Lets put them all together to create new magical flavours!

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STEP #1: Prep..

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare 1- 4 baking sheets- 1 large, 4 small OR 2-3 medium… It is your call really.

I used 1 slightly bigger- medium baking sheet and 2 sort of small ones… (Also make sure they could all fit into your oven)

Cut all your veggies into nice thickish sized pieces and leave them aside.

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Mountains of veggies!

 

STEP #2: sauté!

In a medium pot heat your 5 tblsp of olive oil and 5 cloves of crushed garlic on a medium heat.

Let that warm for about 1 minute and then add your oregano and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the oregano and crushed garlic from the olive oil by draining it, and set the herbed olive oil aside- dispose of the garlic and oregano.

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STEP #3: Assemble!

Grab your baking sheets and spread 2 tblsp of tomato puree on the bottom of each one, or enough so you have a thick bottom layer.

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Take your veggies and line the baking sheets with your sliced vegetables so they are tightly packed together.

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Drizzle the remains of your tomato puree on top of the veggies, then evenly drizzle your herbed olive oil, and sprinkle the 2 tblsp of thyme leaves and salt and pepper on top.

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If you are unsure if you got it right, just do as the rat does 😉

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STEP # 4: cook!

Take your baking sheets and put them in the oven for 25- 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

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See you laters ratatouille

STEP #5: Take out!

Once you are happy with the way your dish has been cooked, take it out of the oven using an oven mitt, and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving!

 

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Looks like some finnnneee ratatouille

Step #6: EAT

Serve this dish atop some rice, next to some quinoa or on it’s own, Eat it with some greens or steamed vegetables and have a fancy dinner with someone you like or snuggle up by yourself and watch Ratatouille with your ratatouille 🙂

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Yummy yummy yummy I swear it’s not a rat in my tummy…

 

…….And…… let the first bite take you on an adventure……. 

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That’s about it! 

It was pretty fun to make this colourful dish, and brought back a lot of movie- themed nostalgia… *sigh*

Out of 5 I am going to give this dish a solid 4 because as good as it was, I would have liked to make it a bit spicier….. ahhh… goals for next time…

Let us know if you tried this dish out, and make sure you have your rat fascinated on tight! 

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Yep… Just like that..

 

Tweet us @SustainableUofG if you have any ideas for next Monday’s dish or if you simply want to show us what sort of dishes you’ve got cookin’ 

 

All the best for this week, and good luck with finals! 

 

                                                                                -Iris 

 

 

 

A Rainbow of Tastiness: Roasted Vegetables Dish

Hello everyone and welcome again to this week’s #MeatlessMonday post!! This week’s dish?

A Rainbow Of Roasted Vegetables

Sounds amazing right? And it looks like and tastes EXACTLY like Lucky Charms!!*

*Disclaimer: This recipe looks like and tastes nothing like Lucky Charms. But it DOES taste of vegetable goodness and is super colourful!

With that tantalizing simile, just how excited are you?

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A friend recommended to me that a roasted veggies recipe is an easy and quick recipe to do if you’re busy- and with school becoming a bit crazy with the end of the semester looming, this was a great choice!

When checking for different roasted veggie recipes, I found this one recipe (#simpleveganblog) which organized the vegetables in a colourful way- which looked fun and delicious.

Gluten-free, and vegan and vegetarian friendly, this dish could be also a great to eat with some quinoa, rice, or other dishes you’ve made.

With that said!

*drum roll*

Here is the recipe!


Colourful Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients 

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 small-medium carrots (or ~1 cups)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1/4 red onion (you can add more if you want, like ~1 cup! This is simply how much I had in my fridge)

Seasonings: Couple pinches of dried thyme, balsamic vinegar

Equipment needed: Pan, cutting board and knife, baking sheet, oven tray

Serves: 1-2 (this recipe is very flexible in the amount it can feed/how many leftovers you have, how much you eat , what you eat with it, etc. because YOU can choose how much you want to have of each ingredient! I personally had a container of leftovers with the amount I used).


 

Instructions:

  1. Gather ingredients and take a photo to share with everyone you love. Say cheese!*

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*no cheese was used in this recipe.

2. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F or 200 degrees Celsius

3. Set baking sheet on tray

4. Chop up the vegetables and then place onto tray. You can do this in coloured order. Or no order at all. Chaos is cool. Below is a mosaic of my photos with unnecessary titles. Enjoy.

Fig. 1: Rad Red Peppers

Fig. 2: Cool Cut Carrots

Fig. 3: Um…Yellow Yummy…Yard-grown-bell-peppers

Fig. 4: Z….Zesty Zealous Zucchini!

Fig. 5: Beautiful Bashful Broccoli

Fig. 6: Obtuse Obscure Onions

6. Now, time to add thyme and balsamic vinegar!

7. Place the tray into the oven for around 25 minutes, or until the vegetables have been cooked.

8. Enjoy!

Fig. 7: Yin and Yang


 

Rating: 3.5/4. I took off a 0.5 because it wasn’t as crispy as I would have liked.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s recipe! And if you are stressed with lots of work this week, just remember:

keep calm and vegetable on

Tweet @sustainableUofG any suggestions for next week’s Meatless Monday dish.

As always, until next time!

Joanne

Meatless Monday Post: A Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free White Bean Soup

Hey everyone!

I hope you are excited because once again it is our #MeatlessMonday post!

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This week’s dish is courtesy of my friend Emily who gave me a gluten-free vegan/vegetarian white bean soup recipe which is hearty and delicious. Without further ado, here is the recipe!


Hearty White Bean Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of white kidney beans
  • 4 red potatoes (medium/small)
  • 1/2 small or 1/4 large onion. Any type works. A red onion will give a more crisp taste, white/yelllow onion gives mellow flavour
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves

Seasonings: red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, salt

Equipment needed: 1 pan, 1 *LARGE* pot, 1 smaller pot, cutting board and knife.

Serves: An army (i.e. 4 or 5). And the leftovers, apparently, are even better as after a few days in the fridge the flavours combine even more. If you’re only cooking for 1 (like myself) you can look forward to delicious lunches for the whole week!

Cost: around $10 for 5 meals, and items like vegetable bouillon or onion are not completely used, so may be saved for other meals (yay for lots of food for little moneys).

Nutrition info per serving: 15 to 20g protein (same as a whole chicken breast!), full serving of carbs, 2 servings of vegetables (cooked tomatoes are really good for you). Extremely hearty meal.


Note: Just as a forewarning, I did end up making some slight miscalculations when I made this dish (I changed to a bigger pot). THEREFORE!  Make sure to use a big pot for your soup from the start!!


Instructions:

1. As always, first thing to do is to grab all your ingredients and tools!

IMG_23552. Fill pot with enough water to completely cover whole potatoes in pot (just water- no potatoes just yet!) and raise to a boil.

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3. As the water boils, wash and dice the potatoes into small cubes (leave the skin on for more flavour!)

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4. Put the diced potatoes into the boiling water for 15 minutes on maximum heat.

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5. While potatoes are boiling, dice onion. They don’t have to be that small, maybe 1/2 inch squares.

6. After potatoes have been boiling for ~10 min, start a pan on medium heat with butter or olive oil.

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7. Add onions and sauté until just starting to become clear. Should still be firm.

8. Taste the potatoes for readiness. They should be firm, not mushy, they will cook a bit more once other ingredients have been added.

9. Pour out around 1/2 of potato water (or less if you prefer a thinner soup over a stew. I removed more because I had the vegetable bouillon to add)

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10. Prepare the one pot of vegetable bouillon according to instructions on package

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11. Add onions, bay leaves and vegetable bouillon to pot, cook on medium-high for 10 minutes, stirring to make sure the bouillon is dissolved

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12. As you leave that to cook, open the cans of white beans and tomatoes

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13. Empty just the white beans into a strainer in the sink and gently give them a quick rinse

14. Add beans and entire contents of the tomato can to pot with rest of the ingredients*. Use spoon to crush tomatoes and stir.

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15. Add red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to taste.

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16. Turn heat down to medium until just boiling, then on low heat/simmer for 5 min or until desired serving time.

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17. Taste with a spoon to determine if salt should be added. Add sparingly, more can always be added later.

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18. Pick out bay leaves before serving, if storing in the fridge, leave bay leaves in until serving.

19. Enjoy!

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Optional garnish: if you are vegetarian, but not vegan or lactose intolerant, a couple of tablespoons of 10% or whipping cream make a delicious creamy stew. Grated parmesan or a sharp cheddar served on top after heating makes a great garnish.


Side Note: *Because I had a smaller pot, after I opened the two cans of white beans and the can of tomatoes, I realized (with a slight bit of panic) that I had too many ingredients to fit my small pot. I ended up switching to a bigger pot and made some adjustments along the way. It ended up tasting great regardless my mistakes, which goes to show you that mistakes can happen and you can still make a great dish.

everything is ok


Rating: 3.5/4. It ended up, to me, being a bit too watery but as I ate the soup, it got better (so I only took off a 0.5). What I think was so great about this recipe was not only was it delicious and nutritious, but cheap for how much I ended up with too!


Hope you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

With the cold weather coming again, it was nice to eat something warm and cozy- with tons of leftovers for me to enjoy during the week!

Tweet @sustainableUofG any suggestions for next week’s Meatless Monday dish.

Until next time!

Joanne

Smokey Eggpant Tahini Dish

Get ready for a Treat this Monday eve!

This week I learned how to make a dish that is smokey, delicious and as usual 100% vegan. (Well I guess we sometimes do vegetarian recipes too) 

You might want to check to make sure you have proper ventilation before going ahead with this recipe as it does get a bit “smokey” but not in a bad way at all. 

Also I must warn you, while looking through ways to make this week’s blog more entertaining, I found A LOT of adorable eggplant pictures so be warned of impending adorableness to come…. DUM DUM DUM……

Don't listen to Calvin, the only thing those snow people would do if they came across an eggplant dish, is melt! ;)
Don’t listen to Calvin, the only thing those snow people would do if they came across an eggplant dish, is melt! 😉

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4- 5 baby eggplants 
  • Tahini 
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 cloves of garlic 
  • salt (to taste) 
  • 1/2 can chickpeas 
  • 1 cup chilled water 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • parsly (garnish) 
  • pepper (optional)

So let’s get right to it! 

STEP #1: Take all the eggs you have and plant them in the ground and wait 4-6 weeks. 

JUST KIDDING! This is a vegan dish, so we will have to find a different way…. 

You're dream will never come true silly little egg.
You’re dream will never come true silly little egg.

ACTUAL STEP 1: Put a cup of water in your fridge to chill 

Well that was easy! Maybe I shouldn’t have devoted a whole step to just that….. 

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STEP #2: Cooking the eggplants 

And yes… I mean eggplants and not planted eggs…

For this step you want to first examine your stove and see if you have a gas-top like my family back home does, or an electric stove. 

For electric stoves: preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet for your eggplants with a bit of olive oil drizzled on it to keep them from sticking. Once the stove is heated put in your baking sheet with all your eggplants on it. IMPORTANT!: Make sure you poke holes with a fork in your eggplants to avoid an explosion. 

Once your eggplants are happily cooking keep a careful eye on them for the next 15-20 minutes and let them cook until the the skin is charred black and looks slightly crispy, and they are soft when you poke them with your fork. (time may vary depending on the stove.) 

For gas stoves: Turn your burners on to a medium- high heat and place your eggplants directly on top of the burners with no pan using salad tongs- you might want to use an oven mitt to old it just in case it gets hot. You can have 1-2 eggplants sitting on each burner and cook them for 15 minutes (or however long it takes) until the skin is crispy and they are soft when you poke them with your tongs. keep a plate on hand to place the eggplants on when they are ready and leave aside to cool.

remember to use tongs for these beauties!
remember to use tongs for these beauties!
Excellent! Nice and crispy and black.
Excellent! Nice and crispy and black.

Whether you use the oven or stovetop- set your eggplants aside to cool off on a plate when they are done cooking. Using salad tons or a fork carefully put them out of the way and don’t burn yourself! 

See ya later
See ya later

Step # 3: Making the tahini 

The first thing you want to do for this step is mince your garlic up very fine and set it aside. 

Then grab a bowl and pour in a substantial amount of your unprepared tahini- maybe a cup or so. 

Squeeze in your whole lemon and mix for a bit. Be careful not to let seeds get in!

then add a bit of your cold water and mix. Add salt, garlic, and as much water as needed to create a nice partially runny consistency… You can taste it to see if you need to add any other ingredients to get the flavour of your liking 🙂 

This is a bit too thick… don't you think?
This is a bit too thick… don’t you think?
Much better!
Much better!

Set your tahini aside, and move on to the next step! 

STEP #4: Preparing the cooked eggplants 

Grab your plate of eggplants and bring them over to the sing- you might want to rinse them with cold water first before touching them to make sure they aren’t hot.

Then one at a time take an eggplant and gently flake off just the burned layer covering the outside. this is a process that you need to be quite ginger with and its quite easy to peal away more than you need to…once you have peeled as much of the burned stuff as you can with your fingers, rinse the eggplant under the tap in cold water to get the remaining residue off. then place the eggplant in a strainer and move on to the next until all have been completed. 

Flaky flake flake. Don't be a flake with this step… lots is at stake… this is no cake…
Flaky flake flake. Don’t be a flake with this step… lots is at stake… this is no cake…
Wash that thang real good!
Wash that thang real good!
They look like a bunch of old babies sitting together :)
They look like a bunch of old babies sitting together 🙂

STEP #5: garnish and fridge time

For this step you want to line your eggplants on the plate you are going to serve them and put a layer of parsley on top and set it in the fridge to cool

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pretty parsley
See you around the bend!
See you around the bend!

STEP #6: Chickpea preparation

Take your chickpeas and strain them, then put them in a bowl and add a bit of salt, lemon and pepper to taste- you can also use a little paprika or whatever you think would go well. Nothing too complicated though. 

I also apologize, I sadly forgot to take pictures for this step, so I will have to entertain you with an image of a sad eggplant trying to fit in…. **shh…. don’t listen to them eggplant…. you are too unique**

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What mean eggs!

STEP #7: Putting it all together!

Take your eggplants out of the fridge and drizzle the tahini right on top of them. Add the chickpeas to the sides/ on top and garnish the top with a bit more of that parsley if you’ve still got it! Voila! 

C'est magnifique!
C’est magnifique!

STEP #8: NOM NOM 

Please eat and share this dish! It works really well with some salad on the side and some pita, but is delicious and healthy all on it’s own using a fork and knife- or even a spoon to get at it 🙂 

YES I WANT
YES I WANT

This has been a really fun and really different sort of dish that we made right after halloween… 

I was going to do a halloween themed dish, but was too tempted when I got these eggplants instead of pumpkins…. ooops! 

Out of 5 I’ll give this dish 4 1/2 stars since it passes the tasty test, and the healthy test, but not the halloween test…. well not exactly….

I hope your Halloweens were super spooky, or at least very sweet.

As usual, please tweet us @sustainableuofg for any other recipe ideas or pictures of veg recipes you have tried. (We’d be especially eager to know if any of you have tried on of OUR recipes 🙂 

Have a lovely week,

Iris 

Tasty Tuesday: A Meatless Monday… But on Tuesday :P Herby Pan fried Rice with Chickpeas

So normally Meatless Monday is on Monday, but if we ever skip out on the beginning of the weak (since Mondays can be sort of tiring) We will be sure to post a Tasty Tuesday! Or a Mouth- Watering Wednesday, or a Thirsty Thursday! Or a Foodie Friday….. or a Scrumptious Saturday… or a Salivating Sunday…… or…. well we’ve gone full circle.. but they will always be strictly veg recipes and we’d like to challenge you to try and go veg one night of the week 🙂 

Anyways, This week we are going to introduce a recipe that I sort of put together on the spot one day, and decided to see if I could recreate. One of my favourite things about this recipe is that you don’t have to be precise at all! Pick and choose from the ingredients, pick and choose quantities, and just allow yourself to get creative 😉 

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Just don’t get TOO creative….. (be safe!)

Alright first things first…..

INGREDIENTS: 

  • rice– or quinoa or both
  • veggies- i just used orange pepper, you can use red, or yellow, or carrots, or all of the above, you can even add brocoli
  • 1 onion- i didn’t have any onions so I just didn’t bother with this
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • greens– arugula or baby kale or baby spinach (doesn’t have to be baby) 
  • fresh herbs– cilantro, basil, mint (or none or all of the above) 
  • 1 can of chickpeas 
  • 1 hand full of small raisins or currents 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • curry
  • turmeric
  • Lime juice 
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce (optional) 
  • paprika (optional)
  • seseme seeds (optional)

Time for the first step! 

Step#1: make the rice (or quinoa or whatever grain of your choosing) 

Make sure you add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. and let it cook until the rice has absorbed all the water. (If you have a rice maker, use that!) Set your rice aside and move on. 

Our trustworthy rice maker
Our trustworthy rice maker

Step #2: Chop all the veggies 

For this step you might want to separate your veggies like peppers broccoli and all that jazz from the ginger garlic and onions, from the arugula and Herbs. I didn’t have any veggies other than orange pepper and I didn’t have an onion, so i cut the pepper and separated it from the ginger and garlic, and then washed all my greens 🙂 

Hot orange pepper! dammn
Hot orange pepper! dammn
Ginger and garlic. Brothers and sisters.
Ginger and garlic. Brothers and sisters.

Step#3: Sauté! 

Take this moment to sauté your ginger and garlic like me, and if you have it, include your onions, slowly add in your veggies, drained chickpeas (or with a little of the liquid from the can if you want it to be less dry) and spices (you can choose how many or few you put- i like to put 1 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp of cumin, and a little sprinkle of pepper and paprika to start.12178080_10153749088294662_2140567758_n

Gotta get things cookin'
Gotta get things cookin’
Chickpeas :O (don't worry, they're not chicken….. to go on the hot pan…hehehe..)
Chickpeas :O (don’t worry, they’re not chicken….. to go on the hot pan…hehehe..)

  

Step #4: Adding rice and greens

Now is the time where you get to add in the rice that you cooked gently into the pan. stir around carefully for a while and add any more spices you see fit as you go along! Once you’ve got a taste you like add in all those greens and mix carefully.

Hola rice!
Hola rice!
Getting all the goods together
Getting all the goods together
Welcome green revolution! (of sorts)
Welcome green revolution! (of sorts)
Lookin' fineee
Lookin’ fineee

Step #5: raisins and finishing touches! 

Now is the time you can throw in that handful of raisins or currents to give a bit of a sweet flair to your dish 🙂 I like to add a bit extra sesame seeds at this point too, along with some fresh lime juice to give it a bit more tangy moisture as well as 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce which can also help eas the dryness. 

Raisins are so cute.. they are grapes who wanted a sun bathe…. oh silly former grapes..
Raisins are so cute.. they are grapes who wanted a sun bathe…. oh silly former grapes..
And a little of this, and a little of that…
And a little of this, and a little of that…

Step #6: EATING 

Oh how I adore this step. Eat up, its served great in a bowl with extra lime juice and hot sauce. Its quite the flavourful rice dish experiment 🙂 

Yum Tum
Yum Tum

OTHER thank that, thats all there is there is no more. 

I hope you had as much fun with this dish as I did. 

Rating: I think I’ll grant this dish 3 1/2 out of five stars, since it was very good and lots of fun, but loses points just for the sake of making an even better version next time 🙂 

As usual, we encourage you to tweet @SustainableUofG if you tried out our recipe or a recipe of your own 🙂 Or if you have any requests or suggestions

See you around, 

Iris