Where has the time gone? Somehow, it’s already September. And already two weeks since my last post! Disaster.
The good news is that September is a month for fresh starts. I’m not in school anymore, but I still feel shiny and new by the time September rolls around. I think it’s the combination of changing seasons and deeply-discounted office supplies that does it for me. September just feels like a time to set goals and get focused.
I signed up for a 5K to kickoff my seasonal renewal. Even though five kilometers is a pretty short distance, I decided to train hard for the race anyway and shoot for a really solid time. Naturally, two days into my regimen, I managed to do something that made my knee very unhappy with me. I had to skip the treadmill for a few days.
…I think you know what I did with all that extra free time.
I had some cooked chickpeas hanging out in the fridge, so I decided to toss them into the oven to make a protein-packed, healthy snack. I seasoned the chickpeas with an Asian-inspired mix of agave nectar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and tons of garlic powder. These chickpeas are everything I love in an afternoon pick-me-up: savory and salty and sweet, all at the same time.
These roasted chickpeas are way addictive. Proceed with caution. Read more… →
There was a big potluck at my office this week. Now don’t get me wrong: I love potlucks. But I have to admit that they definitely give me a little anxiety. Sure, I’m a decent cook, but the stakes are raised when you’re making food for other people. Plus, I have a food blog! I can’t be making just any old thing! The dish needs to be both tasty AND interesting. I mulled over the options for days before I decided what to make: chickpea salad.
It was perfect — simple, no need to reheat, and a little unexpected. What’s the twist? The dressing. It features tons of cinnamon and cumin. The spices combine with the agave nectar for a warm, sweet flavor and aroma. The salad has great textural variety too: tender chickpeas, chewy raisins, and crunchy almonds.
I have a feeling this chickpea salad is going to become my go-to potluck dish this summer. Keep reading for the recipe. Read more… →
Spring is officially here. Since today was still windy and cold enough for wool coats to be in order, I’m guessing no one mentioned this to Mother Nature. I’m hoping that I can summon warm weather with kitchen optimism. Case in point? These roasted baby artichokes.
Artichokes, like asparagus and sugar snap peas, are a sign of springtime. They require a little bit of work to trim, but the preparation is definitely time well-spent. Take some fresh baby artichokes, cut to them to their tender middles, and toss them with some olive oil and herbs. After a few minutes in the oven, it’ll hit you: that delicious, fruity aroma as the chokes caramelize on the pan.
These roasted baby artichokes are a beautiful side. I think they pair especially nicely with fish, like tilapia (my favorite budget fish) or sole. For an extra treat, you can shave a little parmesan or pecorino romano on top. Here’s how I put my roasted chokes together. Read more… →
I’m happy that Brussels sprouts are finally getting some of the love and respect they deserve. They’ve popped up on restaurant menus all over the place. Of course, there are some stubborn holdouts that want no part of this Brussels sprouts business. Just means more delicious sprouts for me.
Anyway, this Asian-inspired recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. Sautéed in a healthy oil infused with garlic, onion, and chili flakes, the sprouts take on big, bold flavor. Sugar-free orange marmalade is the key to this recipe. It adds bright, citrusy sweetness without adding a ton of extra calories. A few drops of fragrant, nutty sesame oil are the finishing touch. All together, the sauce is similar to the one you find on takeout-style orange chicken. Needless to say, this version is a lot better for you.
These spicy orange Brussels sprouts are an easy, delicious dish for meatless Monday. Most people will prefer this recipe as a side (try it with steamed fish or chicken satay), but I really like it as a main over rice or noodles. Recipe after the jump! Read more… →
I have some version of this strawberry salad for lunch almost every day. I love salads like this for a couple of reasons.
1. Size matters: This thing is ENORMOUS. It’s not some piddling side salad that will leave you feeling even hungrier than you were before you ate. This is a salad mountain, my friends. After this meal, you’ll feeling full and satisfied — not deprived.
2. Looks matter too: Honestly, what a gorgeous meal. You’ll get compliments on it, I promise. And guess what? Those colorful veggies aren’t just pretty. All those beautiful colors mean nutrients. This strawberry salad will do nothing but good things for you.
3. Simple and convenient: Like I said earlier, I make a salad like this for lunch every day. I’m a working woman, so that means I have to make it travel. It’s super easy. In the morning, I toss the dressing ingredients together in a little bottle. I put the mixed greens in one container and the chopped vegetables in another. Done and done. When I get hungry, I plate it. It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper!) than that.
I really like this version because the strawberries and chopped almonds make the salad just a little bit special. In spite of the cold weather, it makes me feel like spring is just around the corner. The lemon-basil dressing is the perfect complement to the flavors of the salad. It’s bright and clean and subtly sweet — just the thing for those juicy strawberries.
Here’s the recipe. Read more… →