Monday, January 24, 2011

When Dad's Away..

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson
Everyone has their hang ups about certain foods. I mean hang ups in a good way, I promise. I think it has a lot to do with what was considered a "treat" and what was readily available to you as a kid. Some might argue that fun, sugar cereal is a treat - Trix, Fruit Loops, and Fruity Pebbles come to my mind. Or what about soda? Was soda only enjoyed on occasion growing up? 

While I did not realize it at the time, the true treat for me was what we ate when Dad was traveling for business. I have an affinity for lamb. Lamb chops, lamb meatballs, lamb shawarma - ooh! and especially lamb gyros. 

Mom used to run to the store and pick out lamb chops whenever Dad was away. Dad highly dislikes this variety of meat, so the four of us - Mom, Dad, David, and myself - will never be found sitting down to a family dinner with lamb on the menu (although - once we tricked Dad into thinking his lamb stew was beef stew...shhh!).

I was flipping through this month's Eating Well and felt my eyes widen as they landed on a recipe for Lamb and Chickpea Chili. The appeal? Well lamb, duh..but also that the recipe was featured in the "Healthy in a Hurry - Weeknights" article. The chili takes only thirty minutes of your time, which is perfect for someone like me who is starving upon arriving home from a day of work. I'm always ready to eat immediately, and I am bound to make a bad choice if the supplies and instructions for a healthy meal aren't directly at hand.

Needless to say, the article practically ripped itself out of the glossy and placed itself on my recipe stand.  Hello, Monday night dinner. Please, make yourself at home.

The lamb in this hearty dish is divine. It gives the chili the perfect kick coupled with a hint of chili and cinnamon seasoning. Healthy and homey - this Lamb and Chickpea Chili is a great weeknight dinner. 

But, hey, if candy cereal is your hang up. By all means, pour yourself a bowl (or 2, or 3) and chow down. Here's to a great week!

Lamb & Chickpea Chili

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces ground lamb
8 ounces 93%-lean ground turkey
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons harissa (see Note) or 1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add lamb, turkey and salt and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their liquid and are beginning to break down, about 4 minutes more. Add chickpeas, harissa (or chili powder) and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Serve garnished with cilantro (or mint).

1 comment:

Lynne said...

looks delicious - i'm going to have to try it soon, while it's still chilly in new orleans. thanks, rachel!

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