Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coconut Chickpea Masala

Today was kind of floppy.  I was supposed to have a meeting at school, but it kind of snowed a lot.  I probably could have made it but, I called to see if it was still on, and they said that they weren't expecting everyone to show, so...duh, I didn't go.  I mean, an hour in the snow or...stay at home.  Hmm...difficult.  But then I felt kind of guilty and lazy.  I normally would have went to the gym, but I already was going to yoga tonight.  I made some muffins, which were a disaster.  I tried using the gluten free all purpose flour again, and it was disgusting.  I just can't shake that bean flavor.  I can smell it on my fingers over an hour after using it.  Bah.  I just threw out the rest of it.  I'll just use the rice and buckwheat combo that I've been using so far.  

Anyway, I did go to the grocery store to get out of the house for a little.  I needed some bananas.  But...who can go to the grocery store and *just* buy bananas??  Not me.   

This is so yummy.  If you can't see the label, it is Vanilla Chai Tea from Bolthouse Farms.  Not all of their drinks are vegan, but this one happens to be.  It is sweetened, but with apple juice, which I find to be acceptable!  It has 160 calories and 10g of protein per serving.  Oh, and it is delicious..did I mention that?  Fabulous.  Not an everyday thing, but an awesome treat.  

Between the grocery store and yoga though, I was bored.  So I prepped everything for dinner before I went.  Awesome.  I mean, that sounds lame, but it made making dinner so much faster.  
So pretty, right?  I got those bowls for Christmas, they certainly came in handy today.  I can see this becoming a trend too, it made things so much faster.  Yoga was okay.  Thursday is kind of slow because there are usually new people, but it was still okay.  My instructor said that class Saturday is going to be 1h40min minutes long instead of the usual 1h30mins.  I'm totally excited!  It means he has something new planned, I'm sure.  Either that, or he wants to be able to do group stuff, which takes up a lot of time.  We did that last week.  Anyone do a double downward dog?  My partner was scared, so my instructor did it with me instead.  To give you a mental picture, he is about 6'2'' average build, and I am 5'4'', kind of small.  I was on the bottom:  

Nothing like that today though.  One of the woman was brand new, another was only her second time, and one guy hadn't been there in a long time.  There were only 12 people, so enough to tailor the class towards them.  They don't hold back on Saturday though...can you tell I am looking forward to it?  It had BETTER not snow.  You hear that weather??

Anyway, those pretty bowls did eventually turn into dinner.  It was really good, I just made it for my brother and I.  My mom was out, and I didn't want him eating frozen pizza for another meal.    

Coconut Chickpea Masala
1 cup of potatoes, in bite sized chunks (I used fingerlings, but any sort of yellow/white would be okay)
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 small red pepper
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium onion
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
1 tsp ginger (you might want to use a little more, actually)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup water
15oz can diced tomatoes
15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 cups spinach

1. Lightly coat a pretty big pan with cooking spray, and saute the onions and peppers over medium heat until soft.  Make sure you move it a lot or else it will stick.    

2. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, garam masala, and chili powder to the pan, and cover, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  You will also probably want to add a few tbsp of water every few minutes, just to keep things from sticking.  

3.  Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and cayenne, along with 1/2-1 cup of water.  Simmer for 20 minutes, until most liquid has been absorbed, and the potatoes are tender.  

4.  Add the spinach, mixing until wilted.  Add chickpeas, and stir until heated through.  

5.  Remove from heat and add the coconut milk, plus any salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4
Nutrition Information:  309.2 Calories;  12.4g Total Fat;  9.7g Saturated Fat;  0.0mg Cholesterol;  43.2g Carbohydrates;  9.5g Fiber;  9.9g Protein.

This was good.  Spicy, sweet, coconutty.  Yum.  Plus, you've got to love anything with garam malsala.  You've got to.  Not a question, an order.  Love it.  Also, this is not as high in calories as what I normally have for dinner, but it was really filling.  It'd obviously go well with some brown rice though.  
Also, I've said this before, I'm not against using fats, I just don't like to use them in places where I don't feel like they really affect the taste.  I think you can really see that hear, since I used no oil to saute the onions, but still added the coconut milk at the end.  Gina fact of the day, I love coconut...all things coconut.  I always have, and my mom hates it.  She hates the smell, the taste, hates anything even remotely to do with coconut.  When I was a "rebellious" teenager, I think every scent I owned was coconut because I knew it drove her nuts.  My shampoo was coconut, my body lotion was coconut, body spray was coconut.  Ah, to be a pain in your mom's ass again.  Oh wait, I'm pretty sure I still am now.  But we're friends, don't worry.

You get a Gina fact AND a Cooking Song, feel special!:  "Gamma Ray" - Beck


  1. i love the bolthouse farms drinks!! mm mm mmmmmmm.

    love the coconut chickpea dish too. i want to eat at your house tonight! :)

  2. haha the coconut smell is so funny:D
    i've never done yoga with a partner but it seems so fun! and that vainilla chai sounds great, i can never go grocery shopping for one thing, something always appears in the way :P

  3. Haha, I always prep dinner by lunch, my husband thinks I'm obsessed, I just like to throw it all together quickly at dinner time :P

    Wow, that double downward dog pose looks awesome! And dinner? Mmmmm delicious.

  4. I *love* coconut, and your curry looks fabulous. Sometimes I prep for dinner like that, too, but my tiny bowls aren't nearly as pretty as yours are!

  5. I like to prep for dinner early myself ... it makes things so much easier and I actually think it's kinda fun. (Though I know it would be even more fun with pretty little bowls like yours!!)

    Ha, and I'll let you know if I ever become a goji lover :s ... we have some frozen goji's too and I still really don't like those! I guses I'm just glad I found a way I at least like the dried ones, even if it is the ONLY way, haha ... but I'll be sure to let you know if I decide to love them;)

  6. mmm chickpea masala! I've never added coconut milk to my malasa before... but curry and coconut do work so well together... umm... and i love your snowmen along the side!!

  7. oooooooooooh i love the photo with the tiny bowls lined up! GORGEOUS!! LOVES IT.

    Yea no one goes to the store just to buy bananas! Come on!
    Glad you got a little treat for yourself;)

    Chickpea masala...swooooon. Sounds and looks delish! Well done Gina Gina!

  8. I know what you mean about the weather!!! It's insane and it NEEDS to stop! Everytime I watch the weather I have to yell at the weatherman to shut-up because he keeps giving bad news =P
    You probably think I'm crazy now...haha

    That drink looks so good! I've seen it before but didn't buy it because of all the sugar. I guess ti would be a good treat once in a while.

    Amazing yoga.

    Love the bowls, I never do that even though it would make it so much easier...I just don't want to clean up all the bowls! And amazing recipe, I love curry anything!

  9. oh man! Awesome yoga moves! And I love that recipe, I have some roasted chickpeas in the fridge right now and have been trying to come up with ideas as to what to do with them!

  10. I haven't done any group yoga but it sure does sound like fun. Your dinner looks wonderful. I love coconut and garam masala! Have you ever tried roasting butternut squash sprinkled with garam masala. Delicious! Next time I make it, I'll post a picture. I hope the weather works with you.

  11. Love garam malsala, coconut and Beck!

    Never done a double Down Dog. Wow - would love to try. Can't wait to hear about you class tomorrow. Sending anti-snow thoughts your way. :)

    Happy Friday Gina!

  12. Sounds like such a great combo. I love coconut milk and masala and chickpeas. That yoga pic is so cute!

  13. The Bolthouse Farms Clementine Juice is my absolute favorite!

    Wow, the double downward dog looks so challenging. Not for a clumsy stooge like myself! :)

    Coconut = Love!

  14. i saw that bolthouse stuff in walmart the other day I wanted to get it but not that one... there was a pear one. Cant wait for tomorrow

  15. i have never been able to buy just one thing at the grocery store. i'd have to wear blinders or something!

  16. Megan, I'm so glad I finally bought them...I've looked at them so many times and passed them by because of the sugar.

    Larissa, yoga is totally fun with a long as you are at somewhat the same level. My initial partner, before the instructor took pity on me, kind of made things frustrating. husband already thinks I'm crazy (although I might agree ::shrugs::), haha, so this will just be another thing to add to the list. It really does make it SO easy, right?

    Theresa, coconut really just IS love, isn't it? They're food network bowls..I feel so fancy :) They actually have measurements too, so its good for approximating for recipes.

    Iborg, I think if I had a bunch of gojis I'd be putting them in some kind of the same time, I remember them tasting like dirt, I'm sure they can't be as bad as I remember, haha.

    Thanks Lindsay! I keep thinking it is time to take them down, but I figure if its still snowing out, they're still appropriate, right?

    Denny, I was totally being a nerd with those bowl, but I love it! They're actually pretty ugly in person, but with the stuff in them they look all nice!

    Shelby, I am (obviously) with be damned!! I hope we move southward. I passed the drink up many times also, because of the sugar. I really only ended up buying it because it was fruit sweetened and there was a significant amount of protein. Plus, if you only drink 1/2 cup at a time (which, we have cute little glasses and its perfect), its not bad at all.

    Emily...roasted chickpeas? I wonder how it would be with them, so interesting!!

    Omnidudemeandthebean, I read your comment this morning and have been thinking about butternut squash with garam masala all day!! it sounds soo good!

    Heather, you should try it with your husband, haha. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it really isn't HARD at all. The person on the bottom goes into child's pose, then the person on top puts their hands about a foot away from their hands, and their feet in the small of the bottom person's back. Then the bottom person pushes up into downward dog. Its more about confidence than anything else, it doesn't take a lot of strength. Or maybe it does and I am just super duper strong, haha.

    Thanks Bianca :) Although I don't know how happy I'd be about doing yoga in the woods.

    River, I don't think they have the clementine juice at my store :( I was actually looking for a cheaper version of odwalla drinks for my brother...I think next time I'll buy him the strawberry banana.

    Thanks Lindsay!

    Jackie, pear sounds awesome. You better come to yoga this week.

    Alaina, I seriously had such a hard buying the few things that I did. Spending less than half an hour in any grocery store is almost painful, I am such a browser, haha.

  17. I am definitely going to try that recipe sometime. It sounds great.

    Just wondering, since you mentioned baking, have you done much baking with flax seed as an oil substitute? I bought a box of it, but I haven't gone for it yet.

  18. Oh my gosh!! I wish I could do that in yoga, haha, I just started and I'm having difficult with the easiest things..but I'm not giving up hehe.
    Your food looks amazing, when I go to the US I'm going to try the products you review on your blog :)

  19. very tasty looking noms you got there. I am just getting into yoga and I am so excited. Great blog!

  20. I love your coconut chickpea masala! I'm always looking for new chickpea curries! Thanks for the great recipes and wonderful blog!