Vegetarian recipes for when it rains

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What do I do when it rains? The cliche of comfort food and rain pairing together is authentic for a reason. I can remember coming home to smelling heavy meaty stews, deep cooked spaghetti sauces, pork shoulders roasting slowly for hours.  Those dishes defined rainy days and comfort for my family.  Now that I am dabbling in the vegetarian diet, I’m designing recipes to mimic that level of reassurance during a downpour.

We need to first define what is comfort food? The term was first used in 1966, in an article by the Palm Beach Post.  It was defined as a recollection of pleasant childhood memories through food. The food brings you back to a place of security.  I guess that’s why we need these kinds of meals during shitty weather. For this recipe, I want anyone who makes it, to think of it as a beautiful culinary memory, for their future selves to feel comfort.  If that makes any sense at all.

Here is an interesting article by The Atlantic, discussing studies done on the psychology of comfort food.

So here is the recipe.

What you’ll need

1 can of chickpeas

1/2 cup of pasata (strained puréed tomatoes)

1 Spanish onion

1/4 cup of chopped fennel

3 chilies

1 clove garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

1 bunch of cilantro

3 bay leaves

Pinches of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Bunch of spinach

How you’ll do it

  1. In a pan, add the olive oil, the diced onion, the garlic clove, and the fennel. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  2. Next add the spices, the bay leaves, and the chilies. Cook for 1 minute, just to toast the spices. Then add the tomato sauce.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas, the lemon juice and a bit of olive oil.
  4. While this is cooking, in a bowl, whisk garlic powder, yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  5. Add the spinach to the chickpeas and mix together.  Plate the stew in a plate topped with cilantro and yogurt lemon crema.
  6. Do not forget to take out the bay leaves.

Disclaimer: It’s got some kick and heat, so beware.

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