Curried Cashew Rice & Spicy Chickpeas and Potatoes

by simplylife on December 10, 2012

Life is busy.  And I can’t quite figure out how to slow it down, without completely disconnecting myself from everything and sitting on a beach in Costa Rica (which sounds pretty good, but unfortunately isn’t very realistic :) ).

We all experience it.  Whether it’s work, studies, family and home responsibilities, commuting, or all those little errands that seem to take way too long, the time just goes by too quickly.  Our days our packed-full.  We’re getting too little rest and filling up on too much caffeine (at least, I know I’ve been guilty of this ;) ) and too focused on how to check off the next thing on our to-do list.

While I don’t have any magic answers to add more hours in each day, I do know that for me, cooking a fragrant recipe has a way of alerting my senses and bringing me back into the present moment.  It’s easy for me to go on auto-pilot and cruise through my routines during the day.  But when I’m at home, stirring a pot of rice and chopping up vegetables, time seems to slow down, at least for a moment.

That’s just one of the many reasons I love cooking new recipes so much.  Take this meal for example.  When using exotic spices I’m forced to rely on my senses of smell and taste to indicate whether or not I need to add more of something.  There’s something so soothing about the process of rice simmering on the stove, taking its time to absorb the liquid and transform into the perfect, fluffy texture.  It cannot be rushed.  No amount of time spent watching the clock or pacing back-and-forth will make the rice cook faster.

And when the meal is ready to be eaten and the house smells like a home, I feel more relaxed and present in the moment.  I sit down to {hopefully} savor the meal and enjoy every bite while sharing my day with my husband.

As we are in the midst of holiday season, one of the busiest times of year, I am trying to do my best to be mindful each day and really taking in the moments of everyday life.  Rather than getting caught-up in to-do lists of seemingly mundane tasks like purchasing wrapping paper or standing in line at the post office, I’m trying to instead focus on the bigger picture and the incredible people in my life I love giving gifts to, and the relationships I’ve been able to maintain all over the world.

Whether it’s sharing cookies with friends, exchanging thoughtful gifts with coworkers or spreading a bit of holiday cheer with a smile, I hope you are also able to enjoy this time of year!

Curried Cashew Rice

by Simply Life

Keywords: side vegan vegetarian rice nuts Indian

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 2 tbs. oil or ghee
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Instructions

1. Soak rice in room temperature water for 30 minutes.

2. Heat ghee or oil in a medium sized pot. Add cloves and garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining spices and stir for an additional minute.

3. Drain rice. Add rice and salt; stir for about 2 minutes.

4. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and do not stir rice from this point on. Cover pan partially and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated. Cover pan completely and cook for 3 minutes on a low heat. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cashews and cilantro, fluff rice, serve and enjoy!

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Spicy Chickpeas and Potatoes

by Simply Life

Keywords: saute side entree vegetarian vegan chickpeas beans Indian

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cumin, to taste
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cumin powder.

2. Reduce heat to low, partially cover with lid and continue to cook 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and cooked through. Add jalapeno pepper and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Mix in chickpeas and cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro, serve and enjoy!

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And yes, sometimes to have time for all those mundane meaningful tasks, we need to keep things simple and take advantage of shortcuts along the way.  While I do love cooking and enjoying a homemade meal, I also know that there isn’t always time for everything we eat to be homemade from scratch.  That’s why I am so appreciative there are companies out there making foods we can feel good about eating!   And I’m especially grateful to Simply 7 Snacks for their generosity to send me this giant box filled with their chips!

Simply 7 Snacks has 7 core standards that they guide their company by: 1) 0 Grams Trans Fat & No Cholesterol, 2) No Artificial Colors or Flavors, 3) No Additives or Preservatives, 4) Gluten Free Ingredients, 5) All Natural Recipes, 6) Simple Ingredients and 7) Simply Delicious.

These are definitely guidelines that I am happy to support!I am thoroughly impressed with the variety of flavors offered!  They have Hummus Chips, Lentil Chips and Pomegranate Chips that all come in a variety of flavors!…

These are shaped in the form of the perfect “scooping” chip and are delicious on their own or topped with a bit of your favorite dip!

I was hoping that the Pomegranate Chips would more distinctly taste like pomegranates, but I still enjoyed their slightly sweet flavor.

Pictured below are the Lentil Bruschetta Chips; these have a blast of Mediterranean flavors while not being too overpowering.  I have been enjoying them on their own, but they would be the perfect chip to serve in place of bread for your favorite tomato bruschetta topping!

~How do you “slow down time?”
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  • http://whatisbakinginthebarbershop.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    I agree – cooking dinner at night slows me down too! It’s often the first time of the day that I can actually slow down and relax a bit. And nights when the hubby and I are actually home together to cook are even better! What a fun and delicious looking dish, btw!

  • camille

    Pomegranate chips, huh? Do they taste like pomegranate?

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      Great question! To be honest, if I was blindfolded and had to pick what they tasted like, I’m not 100% sure I would say pomegranate – but I do like the flavor! It’s just slightly sweet!

    • Simply Life

      Just wanted to say thanks again for this great question- I updated my review to include this info!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    What a delicious and healthy meal this is. I love cashews and chickpeas so I know I’d enjoy it a lot!

  • http://twitter.com/swankydietitian Kristen RD

    This meal looks just fabulous! I am trying to learn to be better about slowing down. I am a HUGE check list person so it gets difficult for me to just relax at times. This post was a great reminder of that! :)

  • decocinasytacones

    Hmmm, I´m going to share my dinner right now with my husband too…a nice vegetable soup, (veggies cut in juliana) and then oranges, sliced (peeled, so he eats fruit, otherwise, nobody eats fruit in my house)
    Love from Spain
    Merry Christmas to you
    Marialuisa

  • http://twitter.com/Daisy_III IndulgeInspireImbibe

    well I can echo those same exact sentiments in your first sentence…..right down to the beach in Costa Rica part. I would give anything to be carefree back there on the beach!!

  • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

    Oh heavens, I tried the pomegranate white cheddar chips back in New York and thought they tasted like vomit. *shudder* I’ll take your rice dish over these chips any day!

  • http://bite-sized-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Kari

    Your recipes look incredible! Perfect for countering busy days, or just for any time :)

  • itzyskitchen

    I agree! I feel so run over right now!! The chickpeas sound amazing. Totally making this

  • sarah @ pearlandpine

    I feel you girl, my to do list is growing out of control. this dish is so so pretty- looks like a good way to slow things down to me :)

  • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

    You have such a great attitude…it’s so easy to get caught up in the business of the holidays!

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      I’m trying! :)

  • http://thehappinessinhealth.com/ Jessie (Happiness in Health)

    I know what you mean about cooking being the perfect way to slow down a little and uses other senses besides my overactive mind! This recipe looks so delicious and perfect to warm up in this cold weather (although I wouldn’t mind a trip to Costa Rica, either ;) ).

  • yummychunklet

    Those chips look delicious.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)

    That rice looks and sounds EXACTLY like something Chris and I would devour! I have book marked this recipe to make over the holiday season! Thanks!

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      Great! I hope you both enjoy it!!

  • http://twitter.com/LeafynotBeefy Kelly

    that rice dish!! I don’t have basmati rice, but I’m going to try it withsome sprouted brown rice – the flavors sound so good! Those chips also look interesting!
    ~Kelly
    http://www.leafynotbeefy.com

  • Mom

    I fold towels, pair socks and read. I just realized that’s what my mom does and I’ve always seen her take her time doing it. I think that’s why your sister encouraged me and reminded me yesterday when I brought up a load of towels…that was sweet because she knows.:) Your meal looks so interesting and prepared with care, I’d love a scoop !!!

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