Spices make otherwise bland food flavorful–but did you know that they’re really good for you, too? Researching a story last week, I discovered that areas of India with the highest intake of curcumin–a super-potent antioxidant found in turmeric and curry powder–have the lowest levels of Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to curcumin’s brain-health boosting properties. Capsaicin, another antioxidant that’s plentiful in hot peppers and chili powder, is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce high blood sugar and may protect against heart disease and diabetes, too.
Equally cool, “Capsaicin has consistently shown to increase satiety; people who have spicy meals eat up to 200 fewer calories as a result,” says Wendy Bazilian, Dr.PH., R.D., author of “The SuperFoodsRx Diet” and nutrition specialist for the Golden Door Spa.
All this research left me with a major hankering for a spice-infused dinner, so I whipped up this Indian-inspired chickpea dish. The results were surprisingly delicious, especially considering it took all of 15 minutes to make. (Not a fan of spicy food? Not to worry–the spices I use give this dish a warm, not hot flavor).
SAVORY SAUSAGE AND CHICKPEAS
1 can (approximately 2 cups) cooked chickpeas
2 medium sausage links (I used Applegate Farms’ Organic Sweet Italian Sausage)
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons Goya sofrito sauce (sub tomato paste or mild salsa if you don’t have sofrito)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sprinkle of salt
Grill the sausage links in a pan using some cooking spray. After they’re cooked through, chop them into small (1/2 inch) pieces.
In a large saucepan, combine all of the above ingredients, including the cooked sausage. Simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes, being sure to stir frequently. Serve over rice.