Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pitas with Lime Tzatziki

Thursday nights are often vegetarian nights in our house. I try to prepare a meatless meal about once a week for money saving purposes and also to try to expand my cooking repertoire. Usually my creations are just ok but I've been bound and determined to find some really winners to add to my work night rotation. Tonight I did just that. For all you meat lovers out there, give this one a chance! The pan-fried chickpeas have a nice crunch and the spices they are tossed in provide incredible flavor. Don't even think about making a substitution for the Spanish smoked paprika - it's the highlight of the dish and you can find it your baking aisle (I buy mine from Trader Joe's). And did I mention the meal comes together in a flash? Twenty-three minutes later (according to the recipe and I concur), you'll be sitting down to a delicious dinner. Enjoy!

Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pitas with Lime Tzatziki

(From Cooking Light Magazine)

1 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cucumber (about 8 ounces), peeled and shredded
6 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, halved
2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups loosely packed arugula
12 (1/4-inch-thick) tomato slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  2. Combine yogurt, mint, lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, garlic, and cucumber in a small bowl.
  3. Wrap pitas in foil; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until warm.
  4. Place chickpeas in a single layer on paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels; pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chickpeas to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy, stirring frequently. Remove chickpeas from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, chickpeas, cumin, paprika, and red pepper in a medium bowl; toss well to coat.
    Combine remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add arugula; toss gently to coat. Add chickpea mixture; toss to coat.
    Fill each pita half with about 2/3 cup chickpea mixture, 1 tomato slice, and 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve immediately.
  5. Serves 6 (2 pita halves) 

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posted by kelsie