It’s that time again. The time when you want to stay in the kitchen to stay warm rather than avoiding it to stay cool. The change from summer to fall came as a quick slap in the face out here on the West Coast; overnight, the air cold blew in and the thought of bare legs sent shivers down my spine.

So, to the kitchen I go, and this little diddy often brings me out of the oatmeal-for-dinner rut. It also has made me an official convert to DIY beans. Canned beans are alright in a pinch, but the texture and flavour of homemade run circles around anything found on the supermarket shelf. I guess you could say this is a Cream original, but it was inspired by a recipe I made a few times from a South Beach cookbook (no judging!). It is free of my beloved flour, but it’s chickpeas… they’re starchy enough to keep even me happy. I’ve been pretty steady with the following recipe, but you could easily turn to India by swapping ginger, curry powder and cilantro for the dried herbs.

Tomato-Chickpea Saute
Serves 2

2 cups cooked chickpeas (one standard can will yield a little less)
1/2 large or one small onion sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pinch (or more) of crushed red pepper
Pinch dried rosemary
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme
Salt and pepper
Grated salty cheese

Heat oil over medium heat in non-stick plan. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, a little bit of colour is okay, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, pepper and herbs and saute until fragrant. Turn down heat to medium low and add tomatoes. Watch for splatter. Stir and keep at a light simmer until most of the tomato liquid has evaporated, about another 10 minutes. This isn’t a stew. Turn up the heat slightly if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas, turn heat down to low and serve when chickpeas are warmed through. Top with some cheese.