Simple Meal: Brown Rice, Asparagus and Chickpeas

I thought I’d share a dinner from the other night as it was a welcome change from all the meat heavy posts recently. I was getting tired of all those heavy meals and wanted something light and healthful (and vegetarian). I mixed some brown rice with asparagus, bell peppers, and canned chickpeas in a pot and squeezed some lemon juice over it all. I would have left it at that, but I remembered a tahini dressing that Heidi from 101 Cookbooks used in an eerily similar dish. I’m glad I included it because it made for a wonderful nutty and earthy combination.

Nutty brown rice dinner.

Nutty brown rice dinner. The picture was taken before I added the dressing.

These kinds of smaller, lighter dishes are actually more representative of how I eat day-to-day. I love making more complex and interesting dishes when time permits, but it doesn’t take much effort to use things you have on hand in an interesting and flavorful manner. You don’t have to follow these ingredients to the letter, just add anything you have in your fridge. Frozen vegetables work fine too.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 or 2 bell peppers, chopped (red or yellow are best)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small bundle asparagus, chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped almonds

-For the Dressing- From 101 Cookbooks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Nutty brown rice dish.

Nutty brown rice dish.

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl and mix to combine. (I keep a spare mason jar around to make dressings. Handy to shake it up and store it in the fridge.)
  2. Put a large pot over medium-high heat then add the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chickpeas. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until some start to brown, stirring occasionally so nothing burns.
  3. Add the garlic, peppers, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and nearly all the chopped almonds. Cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Serve with tahini dressing and garnish with the reserved chopped almonds.

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