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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes

Meatless Monday

Let me tell you a story.

About that time my watch called me unproductive and I’m still mad at it.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a masochist who often indulges in awful self talk and feels the need to earn everything in her life. This means my rest days are anything but restful.

On Saturday, I went out for a run.

Unless I’m training for a race or I have it in my head that I’m going out to do 400m efforts or shorter 100m sprints, running for me is a simple mental grind of go out and see what happens. Right now, it’s pretty much “keep going,” or “run until it doesn’t suck as much.”

I’ll tell myself to get x amount of solid miles in, and anything else is bonus. On Saturday, it was “go out for 45min and see what happens.” So I did and overall it felt decent. At 45 mins I kept going because it felt good and ended with some interval work during the last mile.

Anywho. My Garmin watch, which I love, shows me all the pretty reports and stats around all my fitnessing just like any smart watch. And in the last year I’ve really started to geek out on HRV, training status, sleep reports, etc. After running Saturday, I pulled up my app to see everything and what do I find but my training status that read: “unproductive.”

Skiiiiiirrrrrt hold up, what?

What did you call me??

This handy dandy little bit of fitness fun assesses your training status based on your heart rate variability as well as the volume and load of your workouts. Normally I’m in the ‘maintaining’ or ‘productive’ category. Meaning if I keep training how I train I’ll maintain my fitness level. When I work in some super aggressive stuff then I’m productive and therefore progressing my fitness level.

But I’ve never seen unproductive. Told me to prioritize rest and recovery.

COOL DUDE I THOUGHT WE WERE BUDS BUT WHATEVER.

Freaked me out a little bit. Especially because it’s lockdown season and my workouts have been very different. However. Was this any huge surprise to me? Nah not really. I know that sometimes the best thing you can do for results is to pull back.

But when something is going to come up in my grill and call me straight up unproductive?!

Wow dude. Rude.

All of this to say that yesterday, on Sunday. We fully rested. Fully and completely rested.

It was one of the small handful of times in the last few years that I really lived the easy Sunday life of couch, tv, and books. Was my mind buzzing with all the things I should have been doing? You bet. Did I listen? Nope. Not this time.

When it’s me and only me, it is extremely difficult to justify any sort of laziness when I have literally no excuse NOT to get something in. So I rarely let that happen.

But yesterday, we let that happen. And we lived to tell the tale.

I guess a good way to sum this up is that I am an all or nothing type of person. Saturday night I knew Sunday would be rest. Full rest. I’m not trying to see unproductive on my watch ever again. So we went all in and as already stated, it was hard. If I mentally know my next day will be more of an active recovery day then I’ll give that active recovery day 100%. If it’s a 45 minute lift/burpee situation like it was early this morning, that gets 100%. If I know I need a high heart rate burner of a day, that is what will happen.

Anyway. That was Sunday.

And in honor of Sunday, allow me to introduce you to a sheet pan meal that those pesky vegans and vegetarians will love.

I say that with nothing but love. I rode that vegetarian train for a couple years.

Then quickly jumped off.

This is a pantry meal at it’s finest. It’s spicy, crispy, hearty, and uses nothing but pantry and freezer ingredients. The main spice comes from Harissa that I have been using in everything lately. I love that it’s both spicy and warm with some hints of cinnamon and allspice. But if you don’t have it, any chili powder would be great!

This recipe needs two sheets pans. One for the chickpeas and sweet potatoes because they need longer in the over. And another for the drained diced tomatoes, frozen peppers, and garlic.

Preheat oven, chop, dump on trays, throw in oven, and forget about it.

I piled this on top of any greens I had but to really round it out, steamed rice would be great! To finish, some crumbled cheese, like feta or goat cheese, would be great, or some creamy greek yogurt dolloped on top! You could get really crazy and top it with a fried egg and let the runny yolk work it’s runny magic.

To keep it vegan, extra avocado is always a good ideas. Or my favorite Primal Kitchen dressings.

I wanted this to have a lot of different flavors going on. With the combo of warm cinnamon and spicy harissa, and the toppings I had of dill, cilantro, Primal kitchen ranch, and a squeeze of lemon, it packed a ton of awesome flavor.

It’s meatless Monday over here folks. Let’s get after it. I’m talking to you, Garmin. Get that “unproductive” status out of here you jerk.

I’m officially talking to my electronics. #sendhelp

 

Spicy roasted chickpeas and sweet potatoes

A hearty and spicy vegetarian sheet pan meal. Works as a side dish or piled high over greens or rice. Top it with vegan or vegetarian cheese, avocado, or creamy yogurt to make even more filling!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes mine were pretty large
  • 1 can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 cup frozen sliced peppers
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 3 tbs harissa spice sub chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon to squeeze over at the end
  • steamed white rice or greens to pile on top!

To serve

  • any fresh herbs I used dill and cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • crumbled feta or goat cheese omit for vegan
  • drizzle Primal Kitchen Ranch or Cilantro Lime dressing
  • dollop greek yogurt omit for vegan
  • fried egg 😉

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and two baking dishes with foil and cooking spray.
  • Drain, rinse, and thoroughly dry a can of chickpeas! Dry as best you can so they get extra crispy.
  • Dice sweet potato. I kept the pieces about an inch or so
  • Spread out sweet potato chunks and chickpeas on one baking sheet. Sprinkle over 2 tbs of olive oil, all the salt and pepper, 2 tbs of the harissa (or chili) spice, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne. Toss and make sure everything is coated with all the warm and spicy spices!
  • Put that baking sheet in the oven to start roasting. You want to give the potatoes and chickpeas a good 15 min head start.
  • While those start, drain the canned diced tomoatoes, smash the garlic cloves (I left these whole and smashed becuase I love garlic, but if you don't want big pieces then give them a rough chop), and slice the onion.
  • On the second baking sheet, lay out with the frozen peppers. Drizzle over a little more olive oil, salt, pepper, and the remaining harissa and tomatoes, remaining harissa or chili spice. I really love spicy so I covered each layer with extra sprinkling over of all the spices.
  • After 15 minutes, toss around the first sheet pan of chickpeas and sweet potatoes to make sure all pieces of potato and each chickpea is getting good color. And place second tray of tomatoes, peppers, and onions in the oven
  • Roast another 15-20 minutes until everything has a good amount of color and those spices really start to smell the place up.
  • Let it cool and toss the entire thing together in a large bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice (this is really important, this dish needs some acid!)
  • Pile high over greens or rice and top with anything and everthing!

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