Tag Archives: chickpeas

What’s the Plan?

It’s been a while since I posted anything about what I’ve been eating (or planning to eat) so I figured I’d give you all and update!

It really has been quite the transition from basically being a homemaker to working not only nearly full time, but also an unpredictable and odd schedule. I’ll be honest, it’s sucked. Some nights I get home at 9pm or later. Some days I leave the house at 6am. It’s kind of all over the place and I’ve really struggled to figure out not only what to eat, but how and when to eat. Mix in trying to get back into some sort of fitness routine and well…like I said before, you parents are amazing. Multitaskers to the MAX and I am so impressed.

That said, I’ve been really trying hard to eat at least 4 times a day. Breakfast, a shake, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast has generally been a couple of scrambled eggs with a piece of toast. I’ve experimented with having loaded oatmeal but it just doesn’t hold me like eggs do. Oh, and coffee. I love my coffee. I don’t feel like a zombie without it, but I really just love the smell, taste and the ritual of coffee.

Lunch has been a bit harder since on most days, I start work at 2pm. Often I’ll sip on my smoothie for a couple hours, then go to my lunch around 4pm. Different types of ‘loaded’ salads have been great. Romaine, edamame, almonds and cabbage with carrot-ginger-miso dressing. Spinach with feta, cranberries, almonds and chickpeas with a balsamic or orange vinaigrette. Kale with black beans, tomatoes, baked yams, corn and bbq tofu with a homemade tofu ranch. They are filling and have really worked!

But. I’m getting bored. What do you do for lunch?

Dinners are the hardest thing. I’m so used to cooking at night. I love it. I love the time spent making nutritious food but getting home after 8pm just…doesn’t work. So I’ve had to really be better about meal planning and preparing recipes that my husband can help with so that I don’t turn into a hypoglycemia-monster when I get home at 8:30pm.

SO! Without further rambling – here is the plan for this week:

What’s on your menu? Do you have any favorite fast-and-furious meals that you can toss together in an instant? 

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My new BFF – Tahini (NaBloPoMo 5)

My friend Diane reminded me today, as she put one of my favorite recipes into her mealplan, that I am in the middle of a seriously torrid love affair. With tahini.

I’m serious. I LOVE the stuff. I’ve always had it on hand and have used it, but lately I seem to be making everything I can with it. Coleslaw with tahini dressing? ON IT. Warm rice bowls with tahini sauce? YOU BETCHA! Let’s just say I use it a lot. Thing is, it is actually really good for you. Really! Look here!

What IS tahini and what do I do with it? You ask? Well, tahini is just a paste made of ground up sesame seeds. Not all brands are created equal and I don’t really have a favorite. I like the more liquidy ones as they are just easier to deal with but they all have worked for me for most applications.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that involve tahini.

Source: Dinner with Julie

Stir-Fried Chickpeas & Asparagus with Brown Rice and Lemon Tahini Dressing – Oh you guys. This recipe. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this, or shared this and each time it’s a hit. My Mother in Law has shared it with her work, my Mom has taken it to school and to family dinners. Really, it’s a winner. The trick really is cold or refrigerated rice.

I love Dreena Burton‘s Kale Slaw (I know, I know, KALE. Trust me. Use Lacinato/Black/Dino kale and give it a shot.), but I use her Citrus Tahini Dressing instead of the one she uses. I have tried both, but just prefer the tahini one! I’ll be honest though, I’ve never tried a dressing from Dreena that I haven’t liked.  (Just a side note – I LOVE Dreena. Even if you aren’t vegan, check out her recipes. They are wholesome but still delicious and most, if not all are kid friendly as she has three little ones of her own! She also has a series on raising Plant Based Kids which is great too.)

I have been making this Sweet Tahini Dressing quite often too! I love it on regular cole slaw mix and would really love to try this whole salad recipe combination.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Oh, and I can’t forget these Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowls. Aren’t they gorgeous? The dressing on these is what re-ignited my love affair with tahini. So creamy, rich and stands up to the heavy vegetables and rice.

Do YOU like tahini? Have you ever used it? What is your favorite recipe that uses tahini? 

An Unintentional Dinner

I am absolutely famous for the unintentional dinner. You know the ones. You are tired, mildly crabby and you don’t really know what to make for dinner. You don’t want to order out and you want something relatively healthy so you don’t fall off the wagon. Oh, and your pantry is minimal. You drag yourself into the kitchen and just kind of, start going.

Then bam.

It’s amazing.

It always stuns me when that happens and I end up talking about it for ages, but can rarely recreate that kind of magic. Until tonight! Dinner tonight was so delicious (and easy, and quick) that I thought some of you might really love it. So what you’ll find below is not quite a perfect recipe but more a set of loose instructions or suggestions. It’s kind of how I work in the kitchen and I hope it works for you.

This recipe came about as I attempted to recreate a dish from a local chain restaurant here called Chickpea. I had it just a couple days ago and the base to their dinner was a deliciously roasty-toasty bulgur. I nearly licked the plate and vowed to try and recreate it. I don’t think I did too badly, if I do say so myself!

Toasted, Tomato Bulgur with a Warm Chickpea, Corn and Tomato Salad

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1. Toast bulgur in a dry pan until lightly brown and nutty smelling. Add appropriate amount of water (or broth, according to package directions), substituting about 1/4 of the liquid, for tomato sauce. Or paste. Cook according to package instructions, fluff with a fork and set aside.

2. Saute half a red onion (chopped) in a good glug of olive oil until translucent. Dump in a can of chickpeas, a teaspoon of crushed garlic, oregano and some chili flakes. Toss it around a bit.

3. Throw in a bunch of halved grape tomatoes and a cup or so of frozen corn. I used the roasted corn from Trader Joes. Saute this until the tomatoes begin to soften up and the corn is warm.

4. Turn off the heat and give it a good dose of GOOD balsamic vinegar and another glug of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. You could also give it an extra squeeze of lemon if the balsamic is too sweet.

5. Serve the salad ontop of the bulgur and sprinkle some feta cheese on top. Serve with salad and avocado on the side. I would have loved some hummus and pita as an appetizer, or fattoush salad on the side!

***

Really guys. This one is worth recreating. It’s full of plant based protein. You could use quinoa instead of the bulgur if you wanted even MORE protein too! It’s got healthy fats from the olive oil and the avocado. I’m just not sure what more you could want! Oh, right. This also takes about 15 minutes. What are you waiting for?

Please let me know if you try it or play around with the recipe. I’d love to hear your thoughts or creative additions! Bon Appetit!

Get In Mah Belly!

Guys. I apologize. There has been entirely too little food up in here! Those that know me must be wondering who I am and where I’ve put Sarah. Well, with all the struggling, moving, settling in and what not I’ve been doing in the last few months I’ll be honest and say there hasn’t been a ton of cooking. What there has been, is a whole lot of slipping up, eating crap and laying around bemoaning my state of affairs. I think for a while it was okay, (Can we say STRESS much?) but now that I have a kitchen I am growing happy with I am ready to settle back in and buckle down.

I HAVE been reading food blogs and following all of you friends who have given recommendations for recipes this whole time though! I figured I’d share a bit of what I’ve been anxious to try, some articles that have been thought provoking for me and a few staples I am looking forward to putting back in rotation. Firstly, let’s go for the recipes I am eager to try.

The New

Double Greens & Orzo Soup – Everyday Maven
Orzo Soup from www.everydaymaven.com
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A friend sent me this recipe and while I’m not quite ready for a hot soup, I can’t wait to try it this fall.  It’s a hearty, nutritious and vegan soup to boot!

Miso Butter – Food52

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I realize this isn’t really a recipe, but the link does give you six meals that use miso butter in them. For some reason I can’t get over the thought of salty, flavorful butter melting into veggies or on pasta. YUM. I need to source some miso and get blending. Seems like a pretty nice ‘condiment’ to have in the fridge that would add so much flavor to a simple dish.

Palak Paneer – Pinch of Yum
Homemade Healthy Palak Paneer - Pinch of Yum
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There are not words to describe how much I love Indian food. The combinations of spices, the depth and richness, the complexity of flavors. All of it. It also doesn’t hurt that it is quite easy to find vegetarian and even vegan dishes at Indian restaurants. I’ve made plenty of Indian recipes, but I am looking forward to trying this recipe for spinach and cheese.

Note: Paneer is actually really easy to make if you have a bit of extra time. I use a recipe from my Vij’s cookbook, but it’s all over and barely takes extra work.

 

Food for Thought

11 Trillion Reasons – Mark Bittman, NYTimes
Eating more fruits and vegetables could save the country money and reshape our policy.

Should We Eat Meat? – Karen Weintraub, Boston Globe
Evidence shows that cutting down on meat could be good for us.

I Tried Mark Bittman’s VB6 and Here’s How It Went – The Kitchn
I loved this honest look at Bittman’s new book and eating plan. I’ve been interested in VB6 and was happy to see this review. I feel like I’m similar to the author and am ordering my copy soon. This just furthers my love of Mark Bittman.

Old Favorites

Bal’s No-Butter, Butter Chicken

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Guys. I LOVE this recipe. Honestly. I have passed this link on to so many friends and make it many times a year. It’s really the perfect recipe, even for those that don’t love ‘curry’. I increase the spices and I blend/puree the onion/tomato/garlic before tossing in my chickpeas or tofu chunks. I often double up the sauce ingredients too because I’ll keep the extra for a quick dinner later. If you try it – let me know what you think!

Stir-Fried Chickpeas & Asparagus with Brown Rice and Lemon Tahini – Dinner with Julie
Chick+peas+%26+asparagus Stir Fried Chickpeas and Asparagus with Brown Rice and Lemon Tahini Dressing
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This is another old favorite that gets passed around a lot. It’s a great way to use up leftover brown rice and is super quick and easy. I double up on the veg and chickpeas to make it less about the rice. Leftovers are even better, I promise.

Mac & Cheese Style Cauliflower – Vegetarian Times
Mac-and-Cheese-Style Cauliflower
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Every year I forget about this one, then get SO EXCITED when I find it again. It is so satisfying and I think even cauliflower haters might like it if you cut up the florets small enough.  There is never enough in the casserole dish for us because we keep picking at it. Maybe some day I’ll double and see if it freezes.

So what are YOU eating or thinking about eating? Have you read anything interesting lately? Please – share! I’m always looking for new recipes and great info!