Spicy Chickpea, Chorizo, Tomato, Spinach & Goats Feta Brunch Bake
This is a breakfast of champions! Chickpeas, chorizo meatballs, spinach, tomatoes & goats feta all baked together. It packs a serious flavour and spice punch! It was one of those “make it up as you go” meals that really worked. In fact it worked so well that I think my husband would hate me if I forgot how I made it, so I’m quickly writing this post before I do. Luckily I took some pics for Instagram : )
I have just been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and it is like the missing puzzle piece has finally been found. Along with the normal PCOS issues of fertility & cycle issues, exhaustion, excessive hair growth, etc, the weight side if it has caused me the most problems. I have spent 20 years trying diets, diet pills, exercising, seeing dietitians, nutritionists & personal trainers and yet my weight keeps going up.
I was eating healthy most of the time and training with a trainer 3 times a week, sticking to the advised 1800 calories a day, yet I’ve gained another 12kg in 10 months. I always feel like everyone thinks I’m secretly binging on McDonalds & cake every day, and I keep being told that it’s calories in / calories out, and no matter how much I stuck to the calories, my weight keeps going up. Which then makes me just give up and give into unhealthy habits that make me feel absolutely terrible & sick.
It turns out that with PCOS I can’t break down sugar & carbs properly and it gets converted to fat, plus it makes my metabolism so slow I should be having only 1200-1400 calories a day and that is with exercising.
From my research I’ve found that a low carb, sugar free diet is really important, and funnily enough gluten & lactose free diets are highly recommended because it causes inflammation. Soy free is also recommend due to fertility issues. So now I have something I can work with, it’s like I knew which foods made me sick but was missing the final piece.
I’m annoyed that it has taken until I am almost 39 to be diagnosed, after going to doctors for 20 years with the various symptoms, and finding out that an ultrasound from 6 yrs ago clearly said in the report that my ovaries are polycystic, it was ignored by my doctor. Instead of looking at the underlying issues, I was offered diet pills and surgery options.
I had day surgery last week to see what is going on with my ovaries & have a couple of polyps removed, and I go back to the specialist in 5 weeks to start on medication & hormone treatment. But I really want to do as much as I can naturally so I don’t have to have as much medication, so I’m sticking to the sugar, gluten, lactose, soy free diet and keeping it low carb/high good fats & protein. I feel so much better already! And have started slowly losing weight.
Trying to come up with delicious meals that cover the bases plus my egg allergy has been interesting, but funnily enough, I actually enjoy them more. This dish was unbelievably good! And I added eggs over the top of my husbands which he loved.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 400g can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- Middle eastern spice mix (I used Herbie’s Baharat Lebanese 7 spice blend pictured)
- 3 chorizo sausages (the soft type not the cured ones), skin removed and rolled into 12 balls. If you are using the cured ones, just slice them up instead.
- 2 good handfuls of chopped English spinach or baby spinach
- 1/2 cup passata (tomato purée)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- Optional – Marinated goats or cow feta if you can have it. (Goats is low lactose)
- Caramelised balsamic vinegar & chilli oil to drizzle
- Parsley leaves
- Optional – Eggs to crack over if you can eat eggs
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
- You can use individual oven proof dishes or a large combined one. Add the rinsed chickpeas and the spice mix, and put into the oven while you are browning the chorizo, it makes the spice mix stick to the chickpeas better.
- Brown the chorizo balls in a frypan and then put to side.
- Remove the chickpeas from the oven, add the spinach, passata, the chorizo balls & a handful of cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of caramelised balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If using eggs, crack them over the top. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 mins depending on how you like your eggs (they shouldn’t be fully cooked at this point, they still have 5 mins to go).
- Add some marinated feta scattered and a drizzle of chilli oil, and put back in the oven for 5 mins.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle over some parsley and you are good to go
Check out my Instagram page @thesensitivefoodie for more food posts, I’m more active over there : ) or my personal page @chards77