Last Night’s Dinner: Chickpeas and Olives with Sauteed Fennel, Broccolini, and Spinach

Now that I don’t have a wedding to plan and I have over a month before classes start, there’s really no excuse for not getting back on track with eating well and exercising.  So, last week, I renewed my membership to My Food Diary and pulled out the yoga DVDs.  One of my biggest goals is loading up on vegetables and fruits, which have been seriously lacking from my diet for the last few weeks.  Instead of topping my cereal with a couple strawberries, I’m sprinkling a little cereal on top of a bowlful of berries.   And I’m striving for my dinner plate to consist of half vegetables and the other half split between grains and protein.

The other night was all about sauteeing- garlic, chickpeas, and kalamata olives in one pan; fennel, capers, broccolini, and spinach in the other.  My plan was to mix them all together on top of some brown rice, but for some reason I ended up eating them separately.  I do think they would meld nicely together, though, and will try that next time.

When the brown rice was about 15 minutes away from being done, I heated a little olive oil in a small skillet and a medium skillet.  After they heated up, I put some sliced garlic and chickpeas in the small pan, and sliced fennel and capers in the other; seasoned both with pepper and a little salt.

After a couple minutes I threw sliced kalamata olives in with the chickpeas and chopped broccolini with the fennel.

Then I poured a little dry white wine in to steam the broccolini.  Everything cooked a few more minutes until the chickpeas were a little crisp on the outside and the fennel was just starting to brown on the edges.  At this point, I removed the chickpeas from heat and stirred in  chopped Italian parsley and thyme.  Keeping the fennel over low heat, I added a few handfuls of baby spinach and squeezed lemon juice over it, stirring until the spinach wilted.

And when I plated everything, I was happy to see that there was a heaping mound of vegetables taking up half of the plate.


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