Smoky Chickpeas and Greens

I’ve been on a dried bean kick lately. They are so cheap, and so easy to prepare! Just soak all day, cook until tender (30 min. to an hour, depending on the bean), and you’re done. I usually cook up a bag at a time and freeze in 1 or 2 cup portions so that I always have some on hand. (FUN FACT: 1 can of beans equals about 1.5 cups.) Anyway, I had an abundance of chickpeas in the freezer and kale in my Greenling box last week, and came across this recipe.

I seriously heart it so much. There are several contrasting elements that make it so, so tasty: smoky flavors from the bacon and smoked paprika, brightness from a squeeze of lemon juice, and creaminess from a scoop of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Yum!

While this isn’t vegetarian, you can probably easily make it so by using oil instead of bacon (the smoked paprika will still give it a smoky flavor) and using vegetable broth instead of chicken. Whichever way you try it, I think you’re going to love this recipe just as much as I do.

Smoky Chickpeas and Greens (from Cooking Light)

2 center-cut bacon slices
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed and drained)
4 cups chopped fresh kale (or other hearty green)
1/2 cup plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
4 lemon wedges

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon, and crumble. Add carrot and onion to drippings in pan, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 1 cup water, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups bean mixture into each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle with bacon and serve with lemon wedges.

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