Tag Archives: from the pantry

Snow day and some chickpeas

In case you haven’t heard, it is really snowing today in Seattle. Weather reports are predicting that two back-to-back snow storms will dump anywhere between 7-15 inches on snow on this hilly city. It has been snowing on and off since last weekend, but today is really the first true snow day, complete with fishtailing cars, trapped metro buses, and very quiet offices. Yesterday, I stopped by QFC to pick up some toothpaste and it was packed with people sweeping the shelves clean of water, milk, and bread.

(Apparently this happens every time it snows. The Queen Anne Counterbalance is thankfully already closed.)

I wish I had a super cozy, hot chocolate recipe to share with you all today, but truthfully, I usually just heat up some chocolate almond or soy milk (on hand for a post workout treat) on the few occasions that I want some hot chocolate. But! Here is a “recipe” that I make all the time and I wanted to share after asking for more quick, healthy recipes.

Roasted chickpeas! These spiced up chickpeas are completely worth the ten or so minutes of cook time. I like to make roasted chickpeas as high protein nibbles, use them as a salad topping, or as a component for a rice or grain bowl. Most recently, I made this harissa (a North African chile mixture) spiked version. I can’t even really call this a recipe, but more of a technique. Many, many flavor combinations are up to your own imagination, but in the past I have made a  cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper version, a lemon, pepper, and garlic version, and soy sauce/tamari and sesame oil version. Curry spiced chickpeas also sound delicious!

**You still have one more day left to comment and win some homemade jam here!**

Roasted Harissa Chickpeas

2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed. Or, cook your own.

1/2 – 1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp harissa or more if you like it spicy

1 tsp smoked paprika


Preheat the oven to 350. Shake out as much liquid as you can from the chickpeas and dump them out onto a clean kitchen towel or dishcloth (my favorite ones, often on sale at the end of each season)

Dry off the chickpeas as best you can. This ensures that all of the seasonings stick. Carefully dump the dry chickpeas into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. If using canned chickpeas, you may or may not need to add the salt. Transfer the seasoned chickpeas to a large baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer. Roast for about 8 minutes or so, until the chickpeas are a bit crunchy on the outside, but still relatively moist on the inside. Serve hot or at room temp.


Leave a comment

Filed under from the pantry, healthy, legumes, roasted


In celebration of a new year, another year of blogging, and to bring back a taste of warmer weather, I wanted to offer up a giveaway for anyone who reads this little food blog. If you have been following me for the past summer, I have started preserving and canning a lot of jam. So, as a thank you, I will send two half pints of jam, chutney, or fruit butter (your choice) to a random commenter! Please leave a comment about what you would like to see more off here on sustenancespace and next week I will chose someone and ship away some very small batch, PNW preserves.

*US only, sorry to those living abroad!


Filed under jam

bulgur and tomato salad

Here is a simple, quick salad that can be eaten warm or cold. This salad straddles the seasons, using the last of the ripe tomatoes before the fall sets in completely and some of the first sweet fall carrots. Bulgur or cracked wheat is perfect for a quick supper because it only needs to be rehydrated with some boiling water. In addition to eating it plain, I stuffed this mixture inside of swiss chard leaves and baked it for 20 minutes under a blanket of smoked mozzarella. As always, you can easily swap out or omit whatever the vegetables, cheese, or herbs, but I like to always include the golden raisins and a couple of handfuls of freshly chopped parsley and basil.

Bulgur and Tomato Salad

adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

1 cup of dried bulgur

2 cup boiling water

1 large sweet onion, diced fine

3-4 small carrots, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 chile pepper, minced

3 tomatoes, diced and peeled, if you chose

1 lemon

herbs: big handful of parsley or basil. Other good choices (in smaller amounts) include mint or oregano

1/2 cup golden raisins or currants

cheese of your choice. I used a light grating of smoked mozzarella, but crumbled feta would be very tasty. Or use diced avocado for vegans.


Rehydrate the bulgur by pouring the boiling water over the dry bulgur. Cover and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium high with a bit of olive oil and start to saute the onion and carrot. When soft, add the garlic and chile pepper and saute for another minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the juices start to bubble. Pull off the heat and add the zest and juice from the lemon. Stir in the herbs and raisins or currants. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add the cheese or avocado, if using. Season to taste and enjoy.

Leave a comment

Filed under from the pantry, grains, quick, tomato, vegetables

apricot fig bread

Oh no! It has started to rain here. And from what I have been told, will not stop until sometime next June. In defense, may I suggest some fresh apricot fig bread and a mug of hot tea? I have made this bread a few times and, as with most quick breads, it is best the first day. This bread is easy to throw together with whatever dried fruit you have on hand, but I really liked the combination of dried figs and apricots. It is whole grain, potentially vegan, and not too sweet.

Apricot Fig Bread

adapted from fannetastic food

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or spelt flour

1/3-1/2 cup cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, or sucanant

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup applesauce (I have used a combination of applesauce and yogurt before and it has turned out fine)

1 large mashed banana (or 1/2 cup yogurt)

1 egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with three tbsp water, set aside to thicken)

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup dried mission figs, chopped (I have used prunes instead and it is also delicious)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the applesauce, mashed banana, and flax egg or real egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold until everything is just combined. Fold in the dried fruit, and pour into a greased and floured pan. I used a 8″x 8″ pan, but you can also use a loaf pan or make muffins. Sprinkle on a bit of coarse sugar and rolled oats to make it look pretty. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. For the 8″x 8″ pan, it was about 30 minutes; a loaf pan will take 45-50 minutes.

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, from the pantry, fruit, quick, sweets

apricot blackberry jam

Summer after summer, I have wanted to start canning. I didn’t want to can in our small kitchen here in Seattle, afraid that it would be too messy or there would not be enough room to work. However, all of these worries were uncalled for and I have been making lots of jam and pickles this summer. One of my favorites so far is this apricot blackberry jam, which, I think is better than apricot or blackberry jam. I used half apricots and half black diamond blackberries with a split vanilla bean and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I also prefer to make a low sugar jam and, as a result, need to use a commercial pectin to thicken it up a bit. There are some rules that you need to follow if you want to actually can, be sure to read some general guidelines from the ball canning site or book.

I have been baking the jars to process them, instead of using the traditional water bath because my biggest pot is not quite big enough to accommodate standing pint jars with an inch of water on top. This method definitely is much easier and less intimidating, but I found the results a bit less reliable than the traditional water bath. Whichever  you chose, you will hear little “pings!” as the jars cool and the lids get vacuum sealed.

Preserving is much easier and less intimidating than most people think it will be. You don’t need to can 20 pounds of fruit in order to can. All you need is a couple pounds of apricots and berries to stretch the August into winter.

Apricot Blackberry Jam

2 cups mashed apricots (about 1 pound)

2 cups mashed blackberries (about 1 pound)

2/3 cup apple juice or white grape juice

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

1/2 large lemon, juiced and zested

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

low sugar commercial pectin (i used the ball low sugar pectin, 3 tbsp)

Prepare the fruit. Pit and slice the apricots, no need to peel. Rinse and mash berries and apricots together. In a wide mouthed pot, like a dutch oven, Combine the apple juice, mashed fruit, lemon juice and zest, and the split vanilla bean and bring to a boil, constantly stirring. I usually cook this down until the juices are a reduced. Stir in the pectin and bring the jam back up to a boil. Stir in the sugar and boil hard for about a minute. If you wish to process and can this jam, follow the standard process. If not, spoon into clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator (eat soon) or freezer.

1 Comment

Filed under breakfast, fruit, gluten free

white bean, pea, and mint

It is definitely summer. summer, when it is 90 degrees before 10 am and all you want to do is sit out by the pool instead of job hunting. summer is when it is acceptable to eat ice pops for lunch and ice cream cookie sandwiches for dinner.  due to my recent acquisition of a mini food processor, i am able to procrastinate on the job hunting by pureeing everything in sight. this white bean “hummus” is great for social gatherings, eating on top of salads, or used as a spread in sandwiches. i have been cooking my own dried beans but canned beans would work very well here. peas (i used frozen) lighten up the dip so you can eat a lot more of it and the mint is surprisingly refreshing. if you do not like mint, any green herb will do; parsley, basil, and dill would be great.

white bean, pea, and mint hummus

2 cups white kidney beans, cooked. or just use one can drained and rinsed.

1 cup peas, thawed if frozen

1 small garlic clove, peeled

2 or 3 sprig of fresh mint, destemmed

olive oil


combine everything but the oil in a food processor. start to process everything together and drizzle in oil until everything starts to come together. puree until smooth or a bit chunky, depending on your textural preferences.


Filed under dip, vegetables

homemade (vegan!) samoa cookies

it is still girl scout cookie season here in houston and while i like to indulge once a year, i feel like the girl scouts still have nothing on a homemade cookie.  samoa or “caramel delites” (depending on where you are in the country) have always been my favorite due to the combination of coconut and chocolate.  you can take or leave the shortbread base, but the coconut and chocolate makes the cookie.  i also try not to look at the nutritional label or ingredient list of girl scout cookies.  making your own (and these are super easy) lets you control the quality of ingredients (65% dark chocolate and organic coconut).

next time i might add a tiny bit more flour to these so they are a bit more cookie-like instead of macaroon like and (if feeling especially indulgent) drizzle with a bit of salted caramel.  i like that this recipe uses coconut oil instead of butter to intensify the coconut flavor and uses toasted coconut (my most very favorite dessert type flavor in the world).  these cookies take about 10 minutes to mix up and 8 minutes to bake so you can on your way to girl scout cookie heaven in no time.


vegan samoa cookies

adapted from the baking stone

2 cups shredded UNSWEETENED coconut (i usually get it in the bulk bins at WF)

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted

1 cup brown sugar or sucanat or 1 1/2 cups if you like it sweeter

1/3 cup non dairy milk (i used soy, but i think you can use dairy milk)

1 tbsp ground flax (if you do not need these to be vegan, i think 1 egg can be used in place of flax)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (generous)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (i used 65% dark chocolate)

1 tbsp coconut oil

preheat oven to 350.

in a large skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut.  watch it and stir frequently!  when it smells very delicious and golden remove from the pan. and cool slightly.

meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, sugar, milk, flax, and vanilla.  sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.  fold in the toasted coconut.

drop tablespoons of dough on a well greased cookie sheet.  bake for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just starting to get brown.  the cookie should be very soft when it comes out.  use the end of a spoon or chopstick to poke a hole in each cookie when it comes out.  cool for a few minutes of the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

when the cookies are cool, make the chocolate drizzle my melting together the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  i just used the microwave in 30 second bursts.  place the cookies of a rack over a sheet pan and drizzle with chocolate.  allow the chocolate to set (in fridge or other cool place) and feast!



Leave a comment

Filed under sweets