Tag Archives: quick

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

salt

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.

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Filed under from the pantry, healthy, legumes, roasted

Borscht

We are solidly in soup season here in Seattle. There is a Russian cafe tucked in Pike Place Market that serves delicious salads, pelmeni, and soups, including a tasty Borscht. I took home a bunch of beautiful beets from the farm the last week and was inspired to recreate this Borscht. The flavors are very clean and light, but the root vegetables make it pretty substantial. Be sure to have some sour cream or Greek yogurt on hand to swirl into the soup to add some richness. Unfortunately, I ran out when I got the chance to photograph this for lunch the next day. Keep tasting this soup as you are cooking and adjust the seasonings so it is a good balance of sweet, salty, and sour.

Simple Borscht

adapted from food52

10 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium-large onion, diced

3 medium carrots, chopped small enough to fit easily on a soup spoon

3 large beets, peeled and chopped

1 large or 2 smaller potatoes, chopped

3 small turnips, chopped

1 celery stalk, sliced thinly

1 small bunch of dill, chopped

1 lemon’s juice

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

salt, pepper

10 juniper berries, optional

sour cream or greek yogurt for serving

Set the pot of water over low to medium heat. Add the juniper berries, oil, and 1-2 tsp of salt. Add the onions, beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips, and celery. As the vegetable soften, skim the foam off of the broth. When you can easily pierce the vegetables with a fork, add the lemon juice and dill and taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the thinly slice garlic right before turning the heat off. Serve hot or cold, with sour cream or yogurt.

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Filed under gluten free, quick, soups, vegetables

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.

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

watermelon gazpacho

Summer melons are finally starting to come into season here in the PNW, after a cold spring and late summer. On the three days of the year where it gets somewhat uncomfortable in your third floor apartment, cold blended soups come to the rescue! I usually make a greener, veggie packed gazpacho, but last week I had a quarter of a small watermelon left and a huge, fat heirloom tomato sitting on my kitchen table. This combination of watermelon and tomato seems to be popping up in salads everywhere these days, and is justifiably delicious. Whenever I come across sun ripened tomatoes, I usually eat them simply on toast with a slathering mayonnaise and basil leaf. But! now, at this time of year, there is quite an abundance of heirloom tomatoes and I can afford to blend some farmers market seconds up into gazpacho.

This version of gazpacho is sweeter than the traditional soup and does not use stale bread to thicken. I usually use a cup of cooked white beans to thicken the soup and add some protein. In this case, I did not have any cooked beans on hand and just used some xanthan gum. This is a powder that is used a lot in both molecular gastronomy and in gluten free baking. Just be sure not to use too much or your soup will become really, really thick and gummy. Avocado can be blended into the soup or simply diced and scattered on top and provides both something creamy and something to chew to the soup.

Watermelon and tomato gazpacho

adapted from herbivoracious

2 cups cubed red, seedless watermelon

2-3  cups cubed, very ripe (and most likely, expensive) heirloom tomato

1 small sweet white onion, roughly chopped. (I used a fresh walla walla onion)

1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup of cooked white beans (optional) OR

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

small handful of basil or cilantro

juice of one lime

1-2 tbsp good olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

garnishes: diced avocado, tossed in lime juice, or plain yogurt, more herbs to garnish

 

In a blender, combine watermelon, tomato. pepper, onion, beans or xanthan gum, herbs, lime juice, olive oil, and seasoning. If you are using the gum, let the gum hydrate for a bit and reblend. Taste and adjust seasoning; I usually have to add more salt and acid. Chill and let the flavors meld. Serve in small bowls or cups and garnish with avocado or plain yogurt and scatter some herbs on top.

 

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Filed under drink, fruit, quick, soups, summer, tomato

shredded zucchini salad

Hmmm… Doesn’t this look familiar? I was hesitant about posting this because this salad is quite similar to the one that I made last summer. However! This zucchini salad is tossed in a tangy Greek yogurt based dressing and diced avocado, two of my favorite things. Summer was slow to start here in the Pacific Northwest, but this week looks awesome. When the sun is shining and you can leave the house without a rain jacket, everyone in Seattle seems to stand taller and smile a whole lot more.

This (very) easy salad is easy to adapt to whatever you have in your pantry. Add some shaved cheese, change out the herbs and nuts, use different types of squash, etc. One note: the dressing and salt do break down the squash a bit and release some liquid. If serving fancy people, drain it off before eating. Serve with tomato sandwiches for a complete summer experience.

Oh, and those bay leaves in the background are from a garden that I have been volunteering at. A garden with blackberries, marionberries, raspberries, and strawberries that I have been studiously consuming while I am suppose to be weeded. And! yesterday I was given 8 perfect basil starts of all types! Wish I had a p-patch here to plant them.

Shredded Zucchini Salad, part two

2-3 small or medium zucchinis, julienned on the mandoline

1/4-1/2 cup finely mined fresh green herbs (parsley, basil, dill are all good options)

1 large avocado, diced and tossed with a bit of lemon/lime juice

1/3 cup Greek Yogurt

2 tbsp(ish) sherry vinegar or red/white wine vinegar or lemon/lime juice

2 tbsp olive oil, good quality preferred in this application

salt/pepper

handful of almonds, toasted and chopped

Whisk the dressing together in the bottom of your serving bowl. Combine yogurt, vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil. and salt and pepper until smooth. Toss with the shredded zucchini, herbs, and avocado. Taste and season well. Right before serving, top with the chopped, toasted almonds. Enjoy!

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Filed under gluten free, quick, summer, vegetables

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

salt/pepper

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.

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Filed under dip, vegetables

my morning oats

if you come over for breakfast, most days (like 5/7) i will be stirring a pot of oatmeal.  i would much rather have a huge breakfast and smaller lunches and dinners and i find that oatmeal really holds me over until lunch.  for breakfasts i will usually be craving something hot, sweet, and creamy which is just the way these oats turn out.  obviously there are infinite ways to top, mix, and swirl into a plain bowl of oatmeal, the bowl here is something that i make typically every morning.  i can’t think of anything more delicious or nutritious!  if i go more than 3 days without my morning oats, i have a serious craving.

in regards to the type of oatmeal, i typically use rolled oats (not quick or instant) on most days, steel cut oats on long weekends, and ground steel cut oats (also known as scottish oats) when i remember to grind them.

for some delicious variations, look here.

some easy ways to mix it up:

stir in a big spoonful of pureed pumpkin for festive fall oats

vary the fruit topping (i really like berries in the summer, pear slices in the fall, and bananas year round)

adding crunch with granola or crispy cereal of your choice

crumbling part of a scone or muffin on top

pouring the hot (but cooled slightly) oats into a nearly finished nut butter jar for oats in a jar!  very portable and easy for travel.

 

everyday, anyday banana oatmeal

adapted from kath eats

this serves one hungry girl, increase or decrease if needed

1/2 c rolled oats (i do find that quaker oats make a creamier bowl but i usually use what is in the whole foods bulk bin)

1/2-3/4 c water (depending on if you like oats more liquid-y or not)

1/2 c milk (soy, almond, cow all work fine)

1/2 a banana sliced thinly (or sometimes i use a whole small banana)

1/2- 1 tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds (optional but add some extra protein, fiber, omega 3’s and make for a fluffier bowl)

pinch salt

spinkle of cinnamon, splash of vanilla

toppings and mix ins of your choice (in this case, the rest of the banana, shredded coconut, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, and almond butter)

in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the liquids up to a boil and add the oats, banana, salt, flax or chia, and cinnamon.  when it starts bubbling, stir very vigorously and sort of smush up the banana.  lower the heat a bit and keep stirring regularly until the liquid is all absorbed.  if the oats look a bit raw still, add some more liquid until the mixture is creamy and at your desired consistency.  the active cooking time is something like 8 minutes, from the moment you turn on the stove. stir in the vanilla (if using) at the end.  transfer to your favorite bowl and top with whatever you desire.

 

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Filed under breakfast, grains