One of the highlights of 2011 was working with some lovely food bloggers at Babble’s The Family Kitchen. One of the women I worked with was Stacie who seemed as sweet as pie and to be a real whipper snapper online.
Luckily, my impression of her was spot-on as I was able to meet her at Blogher Food in Atlanta and from that day forward I was smitten (don’t tell her though as she may equate smitten with stalker). Read below and I bet you will become smitten as well.
Without further ado, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me with Stacie Billis of One Hungry Mama….
1. I have an unhealthy obsession with the Housewives series—all of them (well, except for Atlanta).
2. I want to raise sheep and learn how to make sheep’s milk cheese when I grow up.
3. I have a secret addiction (that I work hard to keep in check… most of the time) to trashy, sugary cereal. I know, I know!
4. Before having kids I worked in creative development at, among other places, Sesame Workshop. In other words, I helped make cartoons! And, yes, it was a ridiculously fun job.
5. Burps gross me out, but farts make me laugh!
6. Before deciding on graduate school for child development, I seriously considered culinary school (of course) and trying to become a set designer in film because I LOVE the movies so, so much.
7. I’ll kick your butt in Scrabble.
8. I can dance the night away and karaoke til the wee hours. Not necessarily in the same night, though it can be!
9. I’ve been to 15 countries and have a must-visit list a mile (and a half) long.
10. I was a vegetarian for nearly seven years and returned to meat-eating, after all that time, by digging into a monster osso bucco. What can I say, I was ready to eat meat again!
This recipe is a go-to these days. It’s quick, easy, nutritious (spinach + chickpeas = power food!) and uses frozen spinach which is easy to find all year around.
Chana Saag (Indian Chickpeas with Spinach)
serves 4-6 (can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, defrosted
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2-3/4 teaspoons minced (or grated) fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine spinach (don’t include any water that’s drained out of the spinach, but you don’t need to squeeze the spinach either) and your preferred broth in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Set spinach puree aside.
2. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, add the ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a more mild ginger flavor; I use 3/4 teaspoon for a stronger flavor) and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garam masala, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Toast the spices for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant and take on a deep color. If the garlic begins to brown or the spices darken quickly, lower your heat. This is a gentle process to ensure that your ground spices release their oils and keep from imparting a powdery flavor. (This dish will taste significantly better when made with fresh spices.)
3. Add spinach puree to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Cook for about a minute, to bring the flavors together, then add the chickpeas. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are heated through and all of the watery liquid cooks down leaving a puree (with a consistency like baby food). Add more broth if you end up needing to make adjustments to the consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Suggestion: serve with rice.
*Note: Be sure to mash or puree the chickpeas into the spinach for babies not yet managing larger chunks.
Be sure to stop by One Hungry Mama and tell Stacie that I sent you!