A Friday night feed – spicy chickpeas with thyme and peanuts

As bizarre as that sounds… it was delicious!

The flavour profile was inspired by a recipe for blackbean fritters from of my favourite recipe books, Vegan Soul Kitchen. This book is full of interesting African-American dishes, a cuisine I had never before explored. We discovered it when Ash made this recipe for ‘Jamacian veggie patties’, posted on 101cookbooks (see Blogroll). And for the record, those patties are mindblowing! Despite the mile-long ingredient list, if you use pre-made pastry (brushed with turmeric in a little oil) instead of making your own, it’s not too time-consuming either.

So anyway, getting home from work on a Friday night, needing a quick dinner to line my stomach before heading out to a party and being too poor to duck over to the local Thai shop, I looked in the fridge and saw fresh vegetables – spinach, a carrot, and half a head of broccoli. Our pantry had the usual stock of tinned legumes, and the cupboard had a glut of onions. By now you may have realised that my most common fall-back dinner goes along the lines of tinned legumes, some sort of flavouring, and fresh veggies. Ash has mentioned that it might be worth branching out a bit, and he does have a point, me being a blogger now and all. But for a quick, healthy and delicious dinner, this works well – so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

And then I went ahead and ate second helpings, so I had a tummy ache while riding my bike out afterwards. Sometimes a successful recipe isn’t the best thing for portion sizing… ah well.

so much for leftovers...

On another note, as soon as this post is finished, I’m showering and packing my books to ride over to Surry Hills library to study. While in the area, I’ll be scouting out some boxes and other bits and pieces to package the granola jars! If you haven’t entered already, please do! I’ll be drawing the names on Tuesday night, and I’ll post the names of the three winners. I’ll also email the three of you to check that a) you were actually entering and not just happening to sign up on that day whilst in fact being a granola-hater, and b) to get your address. Exciting!

Spicy chickpeas with thyme and peanuts (serves 2 hungry people)


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 brown onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated on the finest setting
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, undrained
  • 5 small red chillis, chopped finely (I’m finding our chilli tree is a bit mild, so if your chillis are very hot, 5 might be an overkill)
  • A pinch (1/8 tsp?) of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar would be a workable substitute)
  • a good crack of salt
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped up
  • 2/3 bunch english spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts


  1. Over a low heat, stir the onions and oil in a large pan and then cover and leave while you grate the carrot.
  2. Once the onions are looking a little translucent, stir in the carrot and cover while you chop the chillis.
  3. As the onions and carrot are getting a bit browned around the edges, stir in the chickpeas (with canning liquid), chillis, cayenne, thyme, vinegar and salt. Turn up the heat and simmer until almost all the liquid is gone.
  4. Add the broccoli, stir a bit and cover for about a minute.
  5. Uncover, stir, throw in about 1/4 cup of water and cover again for another minute to steam the broccoli.
  6. Uncover, stir in the spinach until just beginning to wilt, turn off the heat and stir through the peanuts.
  7. Serve, eat, and remember to chew.

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