Cumin Spiced Chickpeas and Carrots
with Couscous

Cumin Spiced Chickpeas and Carrots over Couscous

So where were we? Oh yeah, we moved. And it was just as stressful as I thought it would be and then some. I told JB I’m not doing that again for another 2-3 years! WHEW! We’re settling in and left with the fun part–making it our home by buying furniture and hanging art work. Life as we (used to) know it can continue.

What does that look like? Work, train, work, train, take a photography class, work, train…race! The road race season kicked off two weeks ago and I sat out through both weekends of racing. I just didn’t feel like it in the weeks leading up to them. Who can blame me? It’s hard to get excited about racing in more clothes than I would wear for a cold-ass cross race. When I asked my coach when he’d like to see me add races to the calendar he simply replied, “when it seems like fun”. So I took his advice and waited. And then, all of sudden, I got excited about racing again and sent him my race schedule. Okay, maybe it wasn’t “all of sudden”–Chicago experienced one day of 80 degree temps and that might have had something to do with it. None of the races are “epic” or require excessive travel and that’s intentional. There will be plenty of HTFU this fall (rubs hands together and smiles devilishly).

Cumin Spiced Chickpeas and Carrots over Couscous

There are some awesome things that came out of the last couple weeks of crazy: the weather finally turned and it’s starting to feel like spring; I bought a beautiful work table made of reclaimed wood from a bowling alley–perfect for food styling; and I found this awesome recipe that I completely forgot about! The ingredient list is short but the spices pack so much intense flavor and the lemon juice adds brightness, while the combination of crunchy chickpeas and al dente sautéed veggies give the dish a unique texture. I doubled the vegetables for more nutrition and MOAR food!

Cumin Spiced Chickpeas and Carrots with Couscous

Adapted (ever so slightly) from Cooking Light

Serves four (or two hungry athletes)

Gather:
3/4 c. vegetable broth 
1 lemon
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups carrots, julienned (about 8-10 carrots)
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
Cilantro (garnish)
4 cups prepared couscous (2 cups uncooked)

 

Method:

Zest and then juice the lemon over a small glass bowl. Add the broth and tomato paste and wisk to combine. Set this mixture aside.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Throughly dry them on a layer of paper towels. While the chickpeas are drying, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas to the pan and cook until lightly browned, stirring to ensure they do not burn. Remove the chickpeas from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and return heat to medium-high. Add bell pepper, carrots, and jalapeño and stir-fry for 2 minutes and then add spices (cumin through garlic), stir to combine. Add broth mixture and chickpeas, stir to combine. Continue to cook until broth comes to a boil and reduces to a slightly thick sauce, about 3-4 minutes. (Add more broth if you like a thinner sauce.)

Remove pan from heat. Serve chickpeas and carrots over couscous (or brown rice or quinoa). Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and lemon wedges.