Tag Archives: chickpeas

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

The weekend before last, my dad threw my mom a surprise milestone birthday party. 75 people, fabulous food and an open bar… my dad sure pulled off a party, and my mom was completely surprised… what a good man!

Sadly, I couldn’t make it home for the Sunday afternoon bash, so I went home this past weekend for a long weekend. One perk of my job is that when the Federal Reserve is closed, I get the day off. And they like their holidays!

It was a gorgeous weekend. On Saturday, I went for a walk down along the water with my parents and the dog. It was great to feel that salty, sea breeze on my face; I’m a beach kid, what can I say. Later on, we had my cousins over for dinner. On Sunday, I went for a long hilly run, met my best friend for breakfast and then went for a hike up Bluffs Head with my parents.

Sunday night, I went to meet my cousins’ new puppy, Scout, he’s so cute. On Monday, I volunteered at the Branford Community Dining Room, the soup kitchen where I used to volunteer at though high school and my summers home from college. It was great to see the CDR Ladies! Then I headed back up to Vermont.

It was an awesome weekend home and just what I needed! I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out with their family and this sleepy puppy… 14 years young! Love that Dexter dog.

The other morning I made this curry recipe in my slow cooker. I just threw everything in, turned it on low and left it while I went to work. 5 minutes before we were ready to eat dinner, I added a few splashes of coconut milk and a few handfuls of chopped baby spinach and that was it! While I waited for the spinach to wilt, I cooked up some whole wheat couscous. It was pretty darn good and so easy!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup baby carrots, sliced 1/4 in thick
2 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Serrano chili, minced fine
1 can of chickpeas
1 russet potato cubed, peel if you want, I didn’t
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1 cup of water
3 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup light coconut milk
 

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add in onions and cook for 1 minute, then add in carrots and sauté for 4 more minutes. Add in curry powder through Serrano chili, and sauté for an additional minute. Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker and add in the remaining ingredients through the water. Stir and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6, stirring occasionally. Five minutes before serving, stir in chopped spinach and coconut milk. Serve over rice, couscous, or your desired grain.

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Falafel Stuffed Eggplant

 

I said last post that I had big plans for the farmer’s market haul I got last week… And I did. One night we had pasta with “creamy” pumpkin sauce and roasted delicata squash. Another night we had quinoa stuffed pattypan squash. And a third we had falafel stuffed eggplant. Mark asked if it was a mix from the store (code for “it tasted authentic”) and nope, I whipped it up in my food processor.

I also made Baked Chili Cheese Fries for the Pats game last weekend, recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker… and they were delicious. (Did you know Cabot Cheese is lactose free? I didn’t)

This week was interesting at work… I’m still riding the steep learning curve of a new job  and a new computer system. It’s a little overwhelming and it doesn’t help that my supervisor is not the nicest human on the planet. It’s all making me a better person, right? But the rest of my co-workers have been super nice!

Today, after I rode my bike to the Farmer’s Market (15 miles round trip), through gale force winds, Mark and I had a date day. We  picked apples at Shelburne Orchards and noshed on apple cider donuts, just beating the rain. The Orchard has views of Lake Champlain, so pretty! After purchasing 7 pounds of apples, 3 cider donuts and a pumpkin, we headed on over to Shelburne Vineyards for a tasting. Though they were a great little vineyard, we quickly realized that spending 4 years in Finger Lakes Wine Country has made us wine snobs. I MISS GENEVA!

I’m planning some apple treats with those 7 pounds of apples.

On to falafel, this recipe is adapted from Cooking Light Magazine. The pictures didn’t come out too well, with the sun setting earlier and earlier, it’s been hard to find good lighting in our apartment. The fact that the house was built in 1900, means there is a lack of overhead lighting.

Falafel Stuffed Eggplant

1 eggplant
Cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs ( I ground up Stacy’s Italian herb pita chips, you could use gluten free crackers to make it gluten free)
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Toppings

Chopped tomatoes
Sliced scallions
Lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and score the cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Bake for 8 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. I used the pulp in the couscous I prepared to go with the eggplant.

Combine onion, through chickpeas in a food processor and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between the two eggplant shells. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and top with tomatoes, scallions and a squeeze of lemon.

I served mine with couscous that had the same spices as the chickpeas, scallions, and the left over eggplant pulp that was scooped out.

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Fried Chickpeas

Happy Christmas Eve!

Do you still need an appetizer idea? This recipe requires a can of chickpeas, some olive oil, black pepper and your choice of spice. It’s so easy and delicious and when I say fried, I actually mean baked. The chickpeas get all crunchy on the outside but stay creamy on the inside and they pack a serious protein punch.

I used curry powder and cayenne but you can use whatever spices you like best. Rosemary would be nice.

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon of olive oil

black pepper

dusting of your favorite spice.

Preheat oven to 400. Pat the chickpeas dry with a (paper) towel.  Spread them evenly on a sheet tray, drizzle over oil and sprinkle with pepper and spice. Toss to coat and bake for 30ish minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes or so. They’re done when they are golden brown and crunchy on the outside

Also I’m super excited for Christmas Dinner… I’m making a spinach salad with radicchio, pears and parmesan and a balsamic, maple, dijon vinaigrette, spicy broccoli rabe and roasted parsnips, carrots, turnips and red potatoes. My mom is making her famous spinach lasagna and my dad is making baked stuffed shrimp (which I plan on passing on)

Also, if you’re still looking for appetizer ideas see this post by Mark Bittman (one of my favorite food authors)

Happy Holidays!

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Hearty Vegetable Soup

It was so nice to head home to my parents house for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it’s got all the great food of Christmas minus the pressure of gifts, so you can really focus on what matters… spending time with family. I was so caught up in everything that I only took a picture of the centerpiece. My mom picked it up at the Christmas market in Union Square in NYC when she went last week.

She gave me the centerpiece to take home for my table to make it a little more festive and seasonally appropriate.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself… now we just need some Christmas decorations for our fireplace and we’re all set for the holidays. (We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year since we’re headed home for a few weeks around Christmas, but next year we WILL have a tree)

This soup is “souper “quick to throw together in a big pot on the stove. It’s packed full of vitamins and protein and it’s pretty darn tasty… though, as Mark pointed out, the broth isn’t quite that photogenic. (Sorry for the lame pic this week, no good lighting or adjustment of shutter speed could make the broth look good, but I promise it does taste good). Anywho, after all of the overeating on Thanksgiving, this soup can set you right back on track towards healthy eating. I paired it with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on cheddar bread from Normal Bread, our local bakery… this bread is so good, it super cheesy tasting and it’s made with high quality ingredients, no preservatives and they slice it for you right in front of your eyes. Plus it’s always good to support local food.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium red potatoes, diced

3 cups veggie broth

3 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning

2-14 oz cans garbanzo beans

3-4 cups of kale, chopped

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, include juice

2 cups of broccoli

Black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. While they sauté, chop all the other veggies. Add in the potatoes and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Then add in the stock, water, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then add in beans, kale, tomatoes and broccoli. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then add black pepper to taste.

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Hummus turned Baked Falafel with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Not to brag or anything, but this past weekend, Mark and I spent 2 nights in the Adirondacks in this totally cute little cabin on Fourth Lake in Inlet, NY, population 600. We did some hiking, kayaking and grilling… all of our favorite things. And Mark even got a bit of sun which is good since his internship involves working full time in a cubicle financing loans.

I have 8 days of water quality research left… and an abstract to write on my findings (gulp)… summer vacation here I come (finally, well… minus my internship once a week). I’m heading home for a few days once research is over which I’m super excited about.

Ok, bragging aside… Hummus has been on my to make list (kind of like a to-do list of foods) for quite some time. I love hummus, but not necessarily the preservatives or plastic containers it comes in, hence my desire to make my own. Mark and I had this absolutely delicious hummus in Prague when I went to visit him at the end of fall semester this past year (little recap: I was in Australia and he was in Prague, so I flew ½ way around the world to visit him once my trip was over). We got this curried hummus from the BakeShop and I proceeded to make curried veggies with BakeShop bread and hummus and some mushroom cous cous… in the smallest kitchen you’ve ever seen.

It was my goal to attempt a similar hummus. And though mine was a bit smoother, I’d call it a success. I also noticed recently, while perusing recipes for falafel, that falafel is basically just a thickened version of hummus… so tonight I turned my left over hummus into some falafel, which I baked instead of frying Baking them left them a little more burger-shaped and a whole lot less greasy. I know this might not be entirely authentic but it was tasty… and I did warn you of the lack of authenticity.

Hummus

1 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed

½ carrot, grated (or 4-6 baby carrots)

¼ Vidalia onion, diced

¼ red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

black pepper, to taste

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon curry powder

Prepare veggies: rinse and drain chickpeas, grate carrot, dice onion and bell pepper. Add veggies to food processor then add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth.

Baked Falafel with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

makes about 8 falafels

½ of hummus recipe above

4 tablespoons of flour, plus extra for your hands to keep falafel from sticking

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon of cumin

Pita bread (optional)

Lettuce or spinach (optional)

Tomatoes, diced (optional)

Cucumbers, diced (optional, I did not have any)

Cooking spray

Heat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place hummus in food processor with 4 tablespoons of flour and baking powder. Pulse until well combined.

Coat hands in flour and take about 2 tablespoons of mixture out of food processor and pat/roll into a ball…. It can be sticky so use a fair amount of flour. Place the falafel on the cookie sheet. Then repeat, until all of the mixture has been used… I found it useful to wash and dry my hands then re coat with flour in between rolling each falafel.

Place in oven and cook for about 6 mins, or until bottoms are golden brown. Remove from the oven and flip each falafel with a spatula. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 6 mins, or until the underside is golden brown. Remove from heat

While the falafel bake, mix together yogurt, lemon juice and cumin. Dice tomatoes and cucumbers and slice open pitas. Fill each pita with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and as many falafel as will fit… I had mini pitas so that meant 1. Top with yogurt sauce or use it for dipping.

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