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Monday, January 31, 2011

Lemony Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage and Spinach


So here I am again! After quite a long hiatus from this blog, my life has begun to regain something resembling order and I can fit these updates back into my schedule again. The boxes have been unpacked (except for the ones that probably never will be) and the new semester has started to kick in. My new kitchen is almost sorted out, complete with a brand new range.

I'm now the proud owner of my very first gas cook top, although there is definitely a strong learning curve involved. We opted for the most basic, no-frills range we could possibly find. This means no clock, no timer, no oven light, and no indication that the oven is pre-heated. This was a little scary at first, but I've been catching on to the oven's various quirks and learning to work around them. I burned a lot of food before I realized that the left side of the oven gets a lot hotter than the right side for some reason. I also burned some things in the broiler drawer before I realized that I could actually lower it, but I've never had a broiler drawer before so I'm cutting myself some slack.

I have to say, I do really enjoy cooking in this kitchen. I've never had enough room for appliances, all of the oils, vinegars, and spices that tend to collect over time, or the counter space necessary to actually relax. All of this added space makes cooking feel like a different experience.

And of course, the never-ending challenge remains: finding ways to eat healthy on a busy schedule. This recipe involves pretty simple, easy to find ingredients that really work well together.

Lemony Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

1 medium yellow onion, sliced
12oz (about 4 or 5) italian style chicken sausages, sliced
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6-8oz baby spinach
1 tsp or more spike seasoning (or another season salt)
the juice of one lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown. Add the sausages and continue stir-frying until lightly browned on the outside (if your chicken sausages are not pre-cooked, make sure they are no longer pink on the inside). Add the chickpeas, spike seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through.

Add the spinach and the lemon juice. An easy way to juice the lemon without a reamer is to cut the lemon in half, hold it over the pan, and stick a fork inside the lemon half. Then squeeze the lemon over the fork, pushing the fork around in a circular motion to remove all of the juice. Continue heating, gently incorporating the spinach into the rest of the ingredients, until it begins to wilt. Remove from the heat. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, and spike if necessary.

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