Tag Archives: easy

Chocolate Cherry Granola

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Sometimes I find that the actual writing of a blog post is the hardest part. This week, that is certainly the case.

I made this granola earlier in the week… I even managed to find the time to take some photos (hooray for nap time!), and got them processed and ready to go.

Since then, however, I’ve barely had a moment to even think about writing a few sentences and sharing the recipe. I’ve got a little girl who doesn’t want to sleep and wants to be held all day (which, while sweet, isn’t very practical when I’m trying to get things done!). And, I’ve also got a few other projects going on this week. It’s all good stuff, but sometimes I find that sitting down to write falls through the cracks.Continue Reading

Radish Dip with Cilantro and Queso Fresco

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I find it amazing the way my tastes have changed in the past few months.

Cutting back considerably on sugar and gluten has had a pretty profound impact on the way I eat and the food that I crave. When I used to plan a meal for friends and family, I almost always started with dessert. I could dream up wildly decadent desserts by the dozen. The only thing holding me back was my limited time in the kitchen.

Now, dessert rarely even crosses my mind. I enjoy a sweet treat here and there, but it’s not something I find myself dreaming up while I’m in the shower or out for a walk. It’s left me open to a whole new realm of inspiration when it comes to recipes.

I find myself giving our weekly CSA share a lot more consideration before I write things off as “just a salad” or eat the vegetables just to be done with them. Something as simple as a bag of fresh spinach or a bunch of spring onions will leave me dreaming up a zillion different ways to use them.

Last week’s box included a lovely bunch of fresh radishes. I previously didn’t care much for radishes, but this year I can’t get enough of them. After enjoying them in slaws and salads the past few weeks, I decided that I wanted to make a radish dip for the Mother’s Day picnic we were hosting over the weekend.  I had seen a few recipes online, so I bookmarked one that looked good and added the ingredients to my grocery list – sour cream, feta cheese, and dill.Continue Reading

Asparagus, Ham, and Pineapple Fried Rice

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Last fall, I bought a wok. I had gotten an Amazon gift card for my birthday and, after much careful consideration, I decided that I just could not live without a wok. Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit. But, now that I have it, I am surprised that I got by for so many years without one.

I always thought that a large skillet would work just as well for my stir-fries and such.  I used one for quite a while. And, if you don’t have a wok, you can get by with a skillet. But, I can tell you that my the wok has taken my stir-fry abilities to the next level. Along with that, I have started making fried rice. All the time.

If you’re in the market for a wok, steer clear of the non-stick ones and don’t worry about all the fancy ones you will see. I bought a carbon steel wok from the Wok Shop (via Amazon… that’s my affiliate link) for less than $25! (That meant that I could pick up a cookbook or two with the remainder of my gift card!) I gave it a quick seasoning one afternoon, and I’ve been cooking with it ever since. I’m still working on developing that coveted perfect patina, but it’s pretty much non-stick these days and it requires very little effort to clean and keep in tip top shape.

And, did I mention the fried rice?Continue Reading

Chickpea Curry

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Winter can be a tough time to cook… It’s particularly tough if you are someone who likes to cook with a lot of fresh and local produce.  I rely pretty heavily on our CSA and the local farmer’s market from April to December… But, once January rolls around, I’m on my own.

I like comfort food as much as the next person, but we can’t live on macaroni and cheese for three months.  This winter, I’ve found myself cooking a lot of beans. They are inexpensive and readily available.  I can add some rice just a few extra vegetables for a complete meal. And, there’s just something about dinner simmering away on the stove on a chilly day.

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This chickpea curry has become one of my go to weeknight meals this winter. It’s quite simple, and it smells absolutely divine. You can mix up the vegetables a bit, or even add a few more of your favorites, if you like. I’ve added some diced sweet potato and red bell pepper, and they are both great additions. I generally use the odds and ends of whatever I have on hand.

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Nervous about curry? I used to be terrified of anything with curry in the name. While I’m still not an authority on authentic Indian food, I have branched out and embraced a few curry dishes. For me, the key was finding a curry powder that I like.  My issue with curry was that I had only ever had a cheap curry blend from the spice aisle in the grocery store. I didn’t like it much, so I assumed that I didn’t like curry at all. Turns out, I love it… When I use the right curry powder (or blend my own). Right now, I’m loving this Maharajah Curry blend from Spices Inc. I try to keep it on the milder side since I’m feeding a toddler, but if you want to add a bit more heat, I recommend mixing in some cayenne pepper.

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Chickpea Curry
Makes 8 – 10 servings

  • 1 pound dry chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 4 carrots, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (approximately ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Cooked basmati rice (optional)

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Rinse the dry chickpeas and transfer to a large pot. Cover with 8 cups of water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have just started to soften slightly. Add the curry powder and continue to cook for an additional minute or two.

Add the chickpeas to the pot and stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock and the coconut milk. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer, partially covered for about an hour, until the chickpeas are tender.

Wilt the spinach into the curry and allow to simmer uncovered until the sauce reduces and thickens up a bit, an additional 15 – 20 minutes.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Serve over basmati rice, if desired.

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Smoky Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas

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It’s taken me a while, but I have finally jumped on the bandwagon… The roasted chickpea bandwagon, that is.

I’m sure you’ve seen them in magazines, on blogs, and in healthy cookbooks. They’re all the rage right now. After seeing them everywhere, I finally decided to give them a try last fall.  Unfortunately, the recipes that I tried didn’t exactly yield great results.  I was looking for a nice, crisp snack, but I was left with dry and chalky chickpeas or completely burnt chickpeas.

Since I’ve really been trying to clean up my act when it comes to snacking (in other words, stop eating chocolate chips out of the bag in the pantry), I decided to give the chickpeas one more shot, trying a recipe from How Sweet It Is.  The chickpeas came out crisp and delicious… And, I couldn’t stop snacking on them!

The original recipe is fantastic.  I recommend giving it a try!  Since I always enjoy playing around with different flavors, I thought I’d make a few different flavors of my own.  These spicy and smoky chickpeas are my favorite (so far).  I think they have just the right amount of heat with a nice smokey flavor that pairs so beautifully with chickpeas.  They’re great for snacking on their own, but they’d also be a nice addition to a savory snack mix, too.

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Smoky Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas
Makes about 1 ½ cups
(Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is)

  • 1 can chickpeas (preferably BPA free and organic)
    (or approximately 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Generous pinch of Kosher salt

Rinse the chickpeas well and spread them out on a paper towel (or clean kitchen towel).  Gently roll the chickpeas on the towel to dry them thoroughly and remove the skins. I like to let the chickpeas sit for about 15 – 20 minutes to make sure they are good and dry.

While the chickpeas are drying, preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Once the chickpeas are nice and dry, transfer them to a medium bowl.  Drizzle with the olive oil and add the spices and salt. Stir to evenly coat the chickpeas in the oil and spices. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Roast the chickpeas in the oven for about 35 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure they roast evenly.  Cool on the baking sheet.  Enjoy the chickpeas right away or store them in a paper bag or a loosely covered container.

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