Moorish Flavors of the Mediterranean

Spinach with Chickpeas Up Close

This entry originally created for Oldway’s National Mediterranean Diet Month Dietitian A Day promotion.

I love the flavors and simplicity of the food of the Mediterranean. The well documented heart-health benefits make it that much more lovable. And the benefits continue to mount.  Recent research links a Mediterranean way of eating with not only a lower incidence of heart disease but also cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

As the title alludes, this recipe has roots in Spain (Moorish, in fact).  Like the traditional recipes of the Mediterranean, this is a simple dish.  In the old days, it would have been called “peasant food” since it’s based on seasonally available produce and contains no meat. Today this translates to a delicious and healthy dish that also happens to be vegan, high in fiber and potassium and incredibly satisfying. Give it a try and let me know what you love about it.

This is a forgiving recipe so feel free to play with it a bit. Cook your own chickpeas or choose the lowest sodium canned chickpeas you can find and rinse them well.  I used smoked paprika because it adds tremendous depth of flavor and color. Truth be told, I am a little head over heels for smoked paprika these days but if you don’t have it in your pantry, add a little more cumin to the dish.

 

Chickpeas and Spinach IngredientsRecipe: Chickpeas with Spinach

Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 t cumin

1 t smoked paprika

2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1-15oz can)

8 cups fresh spinach

¼ t kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add the garlic, cumin and paprika.  Cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add chickpeas and spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 180, Fat 6g, Saturated fat 0.5g, Monounsaturated fat 2.5g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.5g,   Carbohydrate 25g, Fiber 8g, Protein 9g, Sodium 145 mg, Cholesterol 0mg, Potassium 224mg, Iron 2.4mg

 

Marisa Moore, MBA.RD LD owns a nutrition speaking and consulting practice in Atlanta, GA. She is a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Connect with her on Twitter at @MarisaMoore for morsels of food and nutrition tips & news.

 

 

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Moorish Flavors of the Mediterranean

  1. […] you’re ready to get started, try my recipe for Smoky Spinach & Chickpeas pictured […]

  2. […] Confession: This recipe had a former life. I’ve since advanced my photography skills a bit and changed the recipe a little too. Take a look if you dare!  […]

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