Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: One Pot Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our weekly meal plans. We'll never go completely vegetarian (we both enjoy meat and seafood way too much), but I think it's nice to switch things up once in a while.

Budget Bytes is probably my favorite resource for vegetarian recipes.  Stephanie mentioned Budget Bytes in her Three on Thursday post last week, and I completely agree with everything she said. There are a ton of creative, simple, healthy, budget friendly meals on that site (with and without meat!), and, while I usually tweak the recipes, everything I've tried so far has been delicious.

The meal I'm posting today is no exception. I made several changes to the original recipe, and the end result was amazing.

 photo OnePotSpanishChickpeasandRice_zpsbhsjbv5l.jpg
This is probably one of the best, most flavorful vegetarian dishes I've ever made. I love that it's something a little different as well ... It's not my standard pasta dish or curry. (Though I'm definitely not knocking either of those things. I mean, my other favorite vegetarian dish is Red Curry Lentils with Coconut Jasmine Rice.)

There's just so much to love about this meal. I love that it can easily be adapted to fit your tastes. I love that it's super easy to throw together and requires minimal effort (and minimal cleanup!). I love that it's not only delicious but also pretty healthy. And, perhaps most of all, I love that my meat loving husband thought it was awesome (and didn't even say anything like, "This would be even better with some chicken!").

One Pot Spanish Chickpeas and Rice

Adapted ever so slightly from a recipe on Budget Bytes.

Ingredient List:
  • 2 14 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic (or, if you're lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
  • 1/3 cup olives + 1 tsp brine (You don't have to add the brine, but I think it adds a little extra flavor. And if you're not a fan of olives, you can skip them altogether.)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I used long grain white rice. I've tried a few different types of rice in these one pot meals, and this seems to consistently be the best.)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika (You'll really want to use smoked paprika for this recipe. I felt like it added a certain depth of flavor that I don't think you'd get from regular paprika.)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (If you're not a fan of spicy food, I'd cut it back to 1/4 tsp. I thought the spiciness was pretty subtle, but Eric said he noticed the heat.)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Once the skillet has heated up, add the garlic and cook until just fragrant (between about 30 seconds and 1 minute).

2. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and sea salt to the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring regularly to combine with the garlic and hot oil. 

3. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to the skillet. Stir several times to coat with the oil, garlic, and spices, and cook for about 5 minutes (or until the vegetables are just beginning to soften).

4. Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Allow the rice to cook for about 1-2 minutes.

5. Pour in the chickpeas, olives, olive brine (if you're using this), diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Stir all of the ingredients together until well combined.

6. Turn the heat up to medium high. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.

7. Once it has reached a boil, squeeze in the juice from the lemon and stir to combine.

8. Add the bay leaves, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes (or until most of the liquid is gone), stirring occasionally. (I did have to turn my heat back up to medium low after I checked on it the first time because there seemed to be a lot of liquid left. It should be fine if you turn the heat up a bit, but you'll want to stay a little closer to the stove and stir a little more frequently to make sure the rice doesn't start sticking.)

9. After it has finished cooking, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid, remove and discard the bay leaves, and fluff the rice with a fork.

This makes a lot, so you should have plenty of leftovers (unless you're feeding a lot of people). And don't worry ... It still tastes great after being reheated!

1 comment:

  1. this looks so good, but not gonna lie, i'd probably make it without 75% of the spices haha. i don't like hot stuff. but i LOVE budget bytes. she is so awesome and i've tried a ton of her recipes (vegetarian and meaty) and i asked for her cookbook for my birthday lol