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April’s Third Thursday: Sometimes Things Just Work Out April 21, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Challenge, Third Thursday.

The month is, once again, flying by!  Can you believe April is 3/4 of the way through?   And on top of that, Easter is this weekend!



A couple of weeks ago, on my bi-weekly trip to the public market, I managed to score some spinach.  Not just some spinach, mind you – a 5-pound bag of the stuff.

Do you know how much spinach weighs?  Not much, that’s how much.  In other words, a 5-pound bag of spinach is a LOT of spinach.


Or at least it is before it’s  cooked, anyway.

I also had a quart jar of dried chick peas that’s been sitting up there in the cupboard long enough, so I declared chick peas to be that week’s bean of the week.

Like you don’t have a bean of the week.


With spinach, much like lettuce, the clock is pretty much ticking when you bring it home.  Let that stuff go just a day too long, and you wind up with a bag of green, slimy goo.

Ideally, what I needed was something that would use chick peas and spinach – all in one fell swoop – so I did what sane person would do; I asked the internet!


Spinach and chick peas.  Chick peas and spinach.  I had in mind some sort of curry, which also would have been good, but Peeps preferred a Spanish-style version: espinacas con garbanzos which, coincidentally, translates to “spinach with chick peas.”  That fills the bill quite nicely, huh?


Since there are three of us, I kinda-sorta expanded the recipe – we sauteed half of the 5-pound bag of spinach, stashed part of that for later pizzas, and used the rest here.

We cooked the chick peas in the pressure cooker – and SERIOUSLY! – if you don’t use a pressure cooker for anything but beans, you’ll more than get your money’s worth.  I’m just saying.


Although, on the face of it, this dish sounds a little. . . weird, I’ll tell you, it was fantastic.

Between the beans and the toasted bread, there’s a heartiness that, for a household of non-vegetarians like us, was surprising.

The spinach was, of course, delightful.  We all like spinach anyway.

The spices – a blend of paprika, garlic and cumin, along with a pinch of red pepper and some garlic – were warm and cozy without being overly spicy.


We served it on a mound of whole wheat couscous – I guess I was still kind of hung up on the “Mediterranean” idea, though to be honest, I think I might have preferred either rice or even maybe some fried potatoes – that would be good, wouldn’t it?

I’m going to be honest here.  This was good – really good.  It fed the three of us – and we were hungry, too.  Plus there was a serving left over.  At least, there was a serving left until the next day when the Boy – that would be he who doesn’t like “stuff pretending to be meat” – apparently took care of that.

If you’d like to play along, leave a comment with a link to (or a description of) your Third Thursday project – tell us what you’re up to!  For loose guidelines, or if you want to check out some past Thursdays, they’re right here!



1. sjbraun - April 21, 2011

That does sound good – like something we’d eat here! So many things to comment on – the spinach turning slimy so fast, the pressure cooker for beans (I must need one …), and all your spices sound so good!
Here’s my entry:

Thanks for joining – I love your scones! I’m finding, more and more, that the market is kind of guiding our menu plans – I get spinach at the market, so we have a couple of spinach-y meals. I can’t wait until tomatoes are in season! And the pressure cooker – dude, cooking dried beans in less than 10 minutes (I think pinto beans are something like 3 minutes). I can barely open a can that fast! 😉

2. anne - April 21, 2011

I don’t like “stuff pretending to be meat” either. And chick peas are one of my least favorite. But I usually have almost-slimy spinach, and there are some chick peas feeling neglected and unloved in the pantry.

I guess it doesn’t count for a Third Thursday if I link to you, now does it? 🙂

Well, I won’t tell anyone. . . 😉

3. Monday Musings: 05.24.2011 Edition « Dark Side of the Fridge - May 23, 2011

[…] annual checkup instead.  I picked up some lovely, fresh spinach this week, and we so enjoyed the spinach with chick peas a few weeks ago that we decided to give it another go.  This time, though, we’re making more […]

4. Sara - May 23, 2011

I think I will give this a try. Never thought about pairing the two together before, but love them both individually! Thanks!

Sara, it really was fantastic! This time, we made more so we’d have leftovers for lunch. 🙂

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