Freitag, 24. April 2015


I don't know if it's because my parents always cooked a lot of Italian food back in the days or because of our vacations in Italy when I was little, but for me the first step to cooking a good meal is olive oil extra vergine on medium heat. Using olive oil in the pan is a controversal topic but I'm with Jamie Oliver on this one.

This dish I kind of winged when I cooked it for the first time. I do own a lot of cookbooks, and I like flipping through them but I rarely end up cooking a recipe straight from them. Also, I kinda suck at shopping for groceries, which has become a running gag with some of my friends. Just across from where I work is the farmer's market and usually I just walk around there and buy whatever strikes my fancy but that's mostly eggs, cheese, salad ingredients and fruit. And always flowers.

So as I said, this one kinda happened. I had a friend over who I wanted to share some comfort food with and so I skimmed through my kitchen cabinets. I ended up creating a sweet potato & chickpea stew, and the cumin seeds added a little special something to it. BIG YUM. I've been cooking it a couple of times since and really like it. It's simple, it's quick and inexpensive, too.

You'll need:

- a sweet potato
- a zucchini
- canned chickpeas
- an onion
- garlic
- canned tomatoes (or teh real deal but only if in season)
- cumin seeds
- salt, pepper
- couscous or polenta

Put some oilve oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onions, stir them and let cook until glassy. Add the chopped garlic and the canned tomatoes. In the Summer I'd use fresh tomatoes but they're not in season yet and since I try not to buy food from far away, I go with the canned ones for the rest of the year.

Add salt, pepper, and cumin seeds, let simmer on low heat. In the meantime, peel and then chop up the sweet potato and add it to the tomato sauce. Stir in the chickpeas, put a lid on the pot and let simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, which takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks. Stir from time to time, taste test and season if it needs more salt / cumin seeds / pepper. Thyme might also work!

That's the perfect time to chop the zucchini and prepare the couscous. I usually just add one cup of couscous to two cups of hot water in a bowl, salt it and stir until the couscous has absorbed the water. Easy as... couscous!

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, remove the lid, stir in the zucchini bits. Zucchini softens up almost immediately, that is why I add it shortly before the meal is done cooking.

Remove from the heat, put some of that couscous on a plate and top with the stew. And then, dig in! I usually put the leftovers in the fridge and reheat them at night or for lunch on the next day. Still pretty damn good!

This one is high on protein due to the chickpeas, full of veggies and vegan. I think I might add some feta in the future... Mmmhh.

Have a great weekend!
XO, Ida

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