Chickpeas and spinach bring big health benefits to this hearty one-pan meal. Cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion bring big flavor.
This meal wasn’t going to be a post. It was just meant to be dinner. But suddenly, the kitchen was smelling heavenly (assuming there’s cumin in heaven, and I certainly hope so). And when I served the chops and spooned the chickpea spinach mixture next to them, the plates looked really inviting. So before cutting into my chop, I had Marion taste hers. She smiled and nodded, and here we are.
This particular dish came together because we’ve been eating too much chicken. We love chicken, but even for us, there’s been a lot of it. So when I saw a nice looking pair of pork chops in the grocery store, I grabbed them. My first thought for sides were mashed potatoes and a salad, quick and easy. But we’ve been doing those a lot lately too.
So I asked myself what we hadn’t been doing lately. Chickpeas immediately came to mind. These delicious, nutty-tasting beans are packed with proteins and other nutrients. No wonder they’ve spread from their Middle Eastern beginnings to tables all over the world.
I love cooking like this, by the way, making up the dish as I shop. After picking up a can of chickpeas, I headed back to the produce department for some spinach, another nutrient powerhouse. Onion and garlic would round out the produce for this meal. For the spices, I would go with salt, pepper, lots of cumin, a little chili powder and, to heat things up on a winter night, some cayenne pepper. Heading for the checkout, I could already smell and taste everything coming together.
Pork Chops with Chickpeas, Spinach and Cumin
Serves 2 (can easily be doubled)
2 bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick and 8 ounces each
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 to 5 cups loosely packed baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (or water)