during the school year, i am all about the fast & the easy, which doesn’t always translate to the healthy. last semester i turned to pasta a little too often, just because it’s so fast to make & you can toss virtually anything into it & voila, you have a meal. now i’m paying for it in extra pounds which, in turn, means extra working out. during my first year of law school, i actually lost weight just doing yoga pretty much daily–probably because i didn’t have time to stuff my face as much as i would’ve liked. since yoga’s not exactly cutting it anymore, i’m adding running back into the mix.
although there was a time in my life where i could easily run a 10-mile loop around ann arbor, this week i was rudely awakened by the fact that i am no longer living in that time of my life. the 2- & 3-milers i ran on tuesday & thursday, respectively, showed me just how out of shape i am. not only was i gasping for air after 10 seconds, but i was also having great difficulty moving in general as soon as i finished my second run yesterday afternoon. anyway, if there’s anything i remember from my running days, it’s that fueling your body with say “good” foods is definitely better than fueling it with “bad” ones. that is to say that my favorite steak fries & cheesy bread from pizza house (oh how i miss you, my pet) & my standard buffalo chicken pizza from nypd post-skeeps didn’t exactly feel as good to run on as veggies, healthy fats, whole grains & lean proteins did.
so, today i’m gonna share a healthy little side dish with a middle-eastern twist. aside from the garbanzo beans (the starring ingredient in hummus), this recipe contains za’atar. za’atar is a middle-eastern seasoning that can be used on anything. when i was little, my dad used to make us what we called “za’atar pizzas” — pita bread topped with za’atar & drizzled with jordanian olive oil, then baked 5 minutes at 200-ish degrees. actually, who am i kidding, my dad still does this for me! i got this recipe off of the kitchn & adapted it a little bit by switching out the type of vegetables used & adding some more flavor.
-8 oz. kale, ripped into bite-sized pieces
-1 onion, thinly sliced
-3-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 12-oz. can garbanzo beans (about 2 cups), drained & rinsed
-the juice of 1 lemon
-3 tsp za’tar
-garlic salt, to taste
-2 tsp high quality olive oil
1) heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. add onions & sprinkle them liberally with garlic salt. cook them until they are golden-brown (about 10 minutes).
2) add garlic & kale, stirring until kale turns dark green & starts to wilt (about 2-3 minutes). transfer mixture to serving dish & leave pan on heat.
3) add another tsp of olive oil & wait until it’s heated before adding the garbanzo beans. spread them out in a single layer & let them get blistered (about 3-4 minutes), before stirring them & spreading them out again. repeat this for as long as it takes to get the beans blistered all over.
4) when beans are blistered evenly, add za’atar, the onion & kale mixture, the lemon juice & more garlic salt (if desired, to taste) & cook for another couple minutes. enjoy.