Have I ever told you about the story about the husband’s cooking skills? Or rather, his lack of cooking skills?

My senior year of college I lived in an apartment with the husband and his best friend {and a random third roommate that I never, ever, saw…but that’s a different story}.

I forget now how it came to be, but the boys decided they were going to cook me dinner. Thoroughly excited, I kicked off my shoes, propped my feet up on the coffee table and sat back prepared to relax.

I heard some mumblings from the kitchen and then the questions started. Sooo how do you cook spaghetti? {Umm you boil a pot of water and put the noodles in?} How do you boil a pot of water? {I’m so serious}.

Needless to say it was eye opening. Then I learned how the husband “cooked” grilled cheese and I realized any dream of having dinner cooked for me was officially over. {Toast bread. Put cheese on bread. Microwave. <– Not grilled cheese in my book}

As you can imagine, having the husband help with meal prep is really not helpful at all. The idea of him cooking dinner while I take care of the baby is just absurd. For some reason I got it into my head the other day that I had to have chana masala. The only problem is the husband doesn’t like it. So I dug through the pantry and came up with what I thought was an acceptable alternative.

balsamic chickpeas

I took advantage of my motivation to cook and got things rolling: I had the rice and water boiling; I’d minced the garlic; I’d chopped half an onion.

cutting an onion

And then the inevitable happened: it was time to feed the baby. I had two choices: kiss dinner goodbye as it burned away on the stove, or enlist the husband’s help.

I think the only reason he agreed was because he was starving and I don’t exactly cook much these days.

So there I sat on the couch, shouting explicit instructions into the kitchen.

Open the can of chickpeas. Rinse them. Open the cans of tomatoes. Don’t drain them! Have you checked the onions? You’ll need a spoon. Turn the temperature down.

easy one dish meal

I knew better than to tell him to put the spices in, so I carefully avoided mentioning them. I’d sneak them in later when I had my hands free.

This ended up being the perfect dish to tag team. It’s pretty hard to mess up {ok, the rice might have burned to the bottom of the pan} and it doesn’t matter how long you cook it. Translation: it can sit simmering away on the stove while you give a baby a bath and put him to bed. Although the smell of dinner waiting downstairs is rather tortuous when bedtime is a multi-hour event.

balsamic chickpeas recipe

And with that, I present you with the following: balsamic chickpeas!

Balsamic Chickpeas

easy chickpea dish


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans {drained & rinsed}
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • black pepper to taste


Sauté onions and garlic until onions start to brown.

Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes.

Add in balsamic vinegar, cumin, cinnamon, and pepper.

Simmer ~20 minutes or until ready to eat.

Serve over brown rice.

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