Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cheater’s Chana Masala (Parents Need to Eat Too) & Giveaway

Keep the entries on my four year blog birthday giveaway coming!! It is amazing how long I have “known” some of you. Biz even copied/pasted the first comment I left on her blog about 3 1/2 years ago!!

I’ve mentioned a hundred several times that once you have a peanut, your available cooking time is drastically cut down. When the nice people at Harper Collins gave me the opportunity to review Debbie Koenig’s cookbook, Parents Need to Eat Too, I jumped at the opportunity (disclaimer: I received this book for free).  According to the publisher:

PARENTS NEED TO EAT TOO finds real solutions for the real problems parents face in the kitchen.

Each chapter addresses a real challenge for parents with smart and easy solutions including:

• One-Handed Meals (that won’t drip on baby’s head while you’re nursing)

• Mom’s New Best Friend: The Slow Cooker

• Nap-Friendly Cooking (recipes to make in stages, whenever baby’s sleeping)

• Big Batch Bonanza (cook once, freeze half)

• Galacta-whats? (recipes using galactagogues, foods that support breastfeeding)

• “Un-Recipes” for Partners Who Can’t Cook but want to help out in the kitchen”


How awesome is that? For my first recipe, I decided to try out the Cheater’s Chana Masala. I had never cooked Indian Food and was a little nervous.


I even purchased my first bottle of Garam Masala for the recipe:


Below is Debbie’s recipe. I made a few simple alterations:

  • I went a little lighter on the spices, since it was our first time having at-home Indian
  • I used diced tomatoes with fire roasted garlic, and left out the garlic in the recipe. I also grinded the tomatoes down into a sauce, since Josh isn’t a fan of tomato chunks:
  • I left out the cilantro
  • I placed it on top of pasta. If I told Josh I was making Indian food…I was afraid he might not eat it Winking smile. By throwing it on top of pasta, it looks like much more familiar-to-us Italian food

Cheater’s Chana Masala
Serves 4
Cooking time: 25 minutes (15 minutes active)


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or ¹⁄₂ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¹⁄₈ teaspoon cayenne
  • Two 15- to 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ³⁄₄ cup water
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Juice of ¹⁄₂ lemon (about 1¹⁄₂ tablespoons)
  • Cooked brown rice, plain yogurt, and prepared chutney, optional, for serving


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When it shimmers, add the
onion, fresh ginger, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion
is translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and ground ginger (if not using fresh) and cook
for 1 minute.
3. Add the chickpeas, water, diced tomatoes, and salt to taste and raise heat to medium.
Simmer uncovered (if it spatters too much, cover it partially) until the sauce has
thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice, and
salt to taste.
5. Serve over brown rice and top with a spoonful of yogurt and chutney, if desired.





Such a fun book! I can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes. Want to win a copy of your own? Leave a comment on this post by Friday, March 10 at noon, telling me one of your favorite kitchen short cuts! The winner will be randomly selected.

On a side note, a big thank you to Stonyfield for the package they sent me last week. Always fun to get a mid-week treat!!



Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather said...

Ohhhhhhh Erics I would love to win this book with my owl lil peanut on the way. My favorite kitchen tip is to make more than 1 serving at once. Like when I pack lunches and snacks I make enough fit multiple days. I hate being rushed in the morning!

Stephanie @Cookinfanatic said...

Love channa masala!!! Such a great meatless meal idea :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a new mom andwould love this book. I do my prep on weekends - chopping veggies and measuring stuff out so I can just grab ingredients and put meals together quickly during the week.

Aggie said...

I would love this book! Love the concept behind it, it's always great to have go-to ideas like this recipe (that sounds amazing btw!)

I love the chapter for the partners that want to help but can't cook - genius!!