easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Rice · Sauces · vegan · vegetarian

Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Stew

It’s that time of year again… time for setting a new year’s resolution. I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I like the idea of making positive life changes and just trying to be an all around better human. On the other hand, I hate the idea that we think we have to change who we are (usually physically) every single year. Part of me wants to just blow off the whole fucking thing, but the other part of me has some goals set anyway. I mean, these goals aren’t dependent upon the new year, but have been sort of ongoing. Here is my list:

  • Eat mindfully (stop scarfing candy and cookies all the damn time)
  • Get my ass to more yoga classes
  • Advance my Acro practice
  • Limit social media to only checking twice daily
  • Travel EVERYWHERE

I recently got my passport renewed, so that last one is definitely going to happen this year. The others… we’ll see. The problem with wanting to change parts of yourself, either physically or mentally, is that it’s hard to also accept yourself as you are when you’re trying to change. So let’s all practice being a little bit gentler with ourselves. Fuck what society tells us. We are enough just as we are. And if we want to change something, we can, but that doesn’t mean we need to criticize ourselves in the process. Change takes time. It’s not instant.  And if we don’t want to change, that’s okay, too.

My new passport brought with it a sense of freedom I had not anticipated. My ex couldn’t travel for reasons I won’t get into, and so that kept me from traveling internationally. We would get into these huge fights anytime I went on a trip. It was a whole thing I’m not going to delve into right now, but it left me feeling trapped. It was a fight I didn’t want to have, so I let my passport expire for the first time in my life. Now that it has been renewed, and I’m divorced, I cannot wait to go exploring. Iceland and Brazil are both on the list. If you have cheap travel suggestions/tips, please let me know! I want to go EVERYWHERE.

Also, I signed up for Tinder last night, and promptly lost almost 2 hours of my life setting up my profile and swiping like mad. I currently have 11 matches, and almost no one is messaging me. Why swipe right if you don’t want to talk?! I give it 2 weeks before I lose my patience.

I think I’ll focus my energy on planning all the travel! Excitement!

Oh, and this recipe happened when I was searching for meals that would include a lot of protein. I’ve been really into chickpeas lately. And I’m always eating spinach, so this seemed like a good recipe to try. It’s delicious! And I didn’t even realize it was vegan until after I made it. Though, sometimes I add an egg on top, which obviously makes it not vegan anymore. It is also gluten-free! Yay! Side note: I am neither vegan nor gluten-free. This is still good, though! Try it!

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Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2-3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 (28 oz)can whole, peeled tomatoes, slightly drained and mashed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (15 oz)can chickpeas

2 cups spinach (I didn’t actually measure this, but threw in a few big handfuls)

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown rice, cooked, for serving

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook for several minutes, until the onions are translucent, stirring often. Add garlic and continue stirring, cooking for another minute or so. Add the spices and stir continuously for another minute or two. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the mashed tomatoes with a little of the juice from the can, salt and pepper, and half of the sugar. Let simmer, stirring occasionally. Add more salt and pepper as needed, as well as the rest of the sugar (only if needed). Let simmer for just a couple of minutes, until sauce has thickened a little bit. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently until chickpeas are heated through, and spinach is wilted. Add any final seasoning, and serve over a scoop of brown rice.

Feel smug about your healthy meal. But maybe have some ice cream for dessert. No one is perfect, and no one should try to be.

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