I’m still getting used to my new routine working in an office — rushing home to make dinner much later than I used to. My note to self this week was is to get a better handle on my weeknight dinner plan! But some days we all have to work with what’s in stock and time available. In the time it would have taken to order delivery, a middle eastern inspired chickpea ground meat dish came together. It will be in my easy weeknight meal arsenal from here on out.
This recipe is by Mark Bittman. I’ve always been a big fan of his classic Minimalist Kitchen series on the New York Times. In the early days, I learned to cook through many of his simple and unfussy recipes which made for great weeknight dinners.
I would never have put ground meat and chickpeas together which is what intrigued me in the first place. The combination and the spices – heavy on the cumin and chili lends a middle eastern note. The flavors are warm and my kids loved it!
I know at some point you’ll have ground meat and likely have a can of chickpeas in your pantry. When you have those two ingredients together, whip this up for a healthy and easy weeknight dinner!
Chickpea and Ground Meat with Cumin
Adapted from: Mark Bittman, NYT
- ½ to 1 pound ground beef or other meat
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 28-ounce can), drained (reserve 1 cup liquid)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ancho or chipotle chile, soaked, stemmed, seeded and minced; or 1 teaspoon good chile powder
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Minced cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Turn heat to high under a large, deep skillet, and add meat a little at a time, breaking it into small pieces as you do. Stir and break up meat a bit more, then add chickpeas. Keep heat high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until chickpeas begin to brown and pop, 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t worry if mixture sticks a bit, but if it begins to scorch, lower heat slightly.
- Add cumin, chili or chili powder and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add reserved cooking liquid, and stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper, then turn heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until mixture is no longer soupy but not dry.
- Stir in olive oil, then taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish if you like, and serve immediately, with rice or pita bread.
Notes: I adapted the recipe with what I had available in stock. But most importantly the kiddos gobbled it up! I love that it also snuck in some extra plant power with chickpeas. Serve this with a bright green salad and grains or pita bread complete this dish!