fast-food dinner

La, what busy days these have been.  The last two weeks have seen us home very little in the evenings, and despite the fact that two nights a week are taken up with a yoga class that I'm enjoying very much, this is not a pattern that I want to continue for long.  Rushing, rushing is not my scene.

Blogging is suffering, knitting is suffering, Project Runway-watching is suffering.  Our dinners are suffering too (not to mention my mood!), they're harried and on the run:  a learning process all over again. 

I'm lucky to know a lot of amazing women (and men) who really care about food and cooking.  We think and talk about it a lot.  Soon after I got my friend Shoshana The Gluten Free Girl (and a whole post will be written about that book as soon as I buy a copy for myself!), for her birthday, she told me about Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. We were supposed to be having a meeting, but we spent an hour pouring over recipes instead.  Productive, still, ya know?  I had to go and buy my own copy right away.  I supposed I could have borrowed hers, but I like owning things, and really a cookbook, if you like it, is something you should own.  I've made two things from it so far and both have been great.  First was "Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta" (page 234 for those of you following along at home).  We all went into raptures over that one.  A one pot meal.  My god.

Then I made this salad. 

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing (page 132.)  The pasta you see there was fine, really.  Gorgonzola and walnut with a cheese sauce, but out of a bag from Trader Joe's.  Like I said, fine, really.  It's how we're doing dinner these busy days.  Halfway convenience, halfway homemade. The salad more than made up.  Fast and flavorful.  Even Callum said he preferred it to the pasta.  I'm definitely working it into the rotation.

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing

1 can chickpeas
2 T parsley
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 T olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 t ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
3 T non fat yogurt
1 T orange juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon honey
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach

1 T coarsely chopped fresh mint

1. In a medium bowl combine chickpeas, parsley and onion.  In a smaller bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice and zest, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over chickpea mixture and toss to coat

2. In another bowl stir together yogurt, orange juice, zest and honey.

3.  Serve chickpea mix over spinach and toss.  Top with yogurt and garnish with mint.