Springtime is green food time in Chinese Medicine. Yes I’m grossly simplifying matters here but essentially we are in the time of ‘Wood’ and energetically, the Chinese Liver organ (more about that in another blog). Roughly translated, we need to eat lots of greens. A yummy recipe is to follow which uses a hill of greens, melted into salty, garlicy chickpeas. My take on an Ottlenghi recipe and by ‘my take’ I mean simplified.
Before I launch into the recipe, a quick word about the seasons and Chinese Medicine. Old Chinese texts advocate attuning our life to the ebb and flow of nature (yin and yang). Cycles of night and day, the four seasons and so on, these cycles follow patterns which we should follow in how we live. Winter is dark, cold and still, it’s about conserving energy; so we should slow down and sleep lots, eat warm stews and avoid raw foods. Then we move gradually to optimal activity and the full blossoming of summer. Spring is our path to this, which is about growth and expansion. We come out of our winter slumber to embrace activity and this reaches its full expression in summer. We can help this transformation by eating foods that support our blossoming such as green veggies which mirrors the green shoots and budding leaves all around us. Now for the recipe!
Spinach, Chard and garlic chickpeas
For 2 meals. I usually make this for lunch and reheat the following day. I sometimes add roast chicken or tofu, to boost my protein. I just can’t get enough of this.
4 bunches of spinach from SMBS Foods – should work out about 300g trimmed weight, stalks removed.
250g Chard, stalks removed.
15g fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
2 large fat garlic cloves peeled and sliced (or less if you are not quite as obsessed as garlic as I am)
1 small tsp salt or to taste
60 ml olive oil
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
Put frying pan on high heat, add freshly washed spinach, chard, parsley and if using fresh oregano and salt. Stir frequently until all water has evaporated and greens are wilted, about 10 minutes.
Turn down heat to medium-low, add oil, dried oregano if using, stir a few times. Then add chickpeas and fry until they are starting to brown but soft inside. Usually takes about 10 mins or less. For the last 5 minutes add the garlic.
Serve with wholemeal walnut bread.