Risotto Primavera

I can’t believe we haven’t talked risotto.

Ok that’s a half truth. I did make that amazing farro and cauliflower risotto and share it with you. But we haven’t had a chat about basic simple amazing risotto.

Risotto primavera. Great use up all those spring veggies dish.

(I added the above picture so you realize what a MESS I make when I am cooking. Yes my pictures may be pretty but know there is chaos behind the lens)

If hard pressed I would say my true foray into the world of becoming a better cook began way back in 2005 when Hell’s Kitchen first aired. The premise of the reality show is Gordon Ramsey (swoon!) take a bunch of wanna be chefs, puts them through the ringer, eliminates them one at a time, then eventually crowns one a winner and gives them their own restaurant. I only watched that first season but I learned on huge thing- none of them could make risotto.

Terrified I might wind up on the show someday (completely rational I know) I decided if Chef Ramsey was going to yell at me for something it wouldn’t be for my lack of ability to make risotto. My Joy of Cooking cookbook and I had a date in the kitchen and I taught myself how to make it. The best part? I had never even had risotto. I was just fumbling through trying to figure it out.

Risotto primavera. Great use up all those spring veggies dish.

What did I learn? It is absurdly easy. All it takes is time, patience, really good ingredients, and lots and lots of tasting. In the course of cooking a batch of risotto I probably taste it 10-15 times, each time biting down on a grain of rice looking for that perfect al dente softness and crunch.

We have discussed good ingredients on here so many times I feel I have beat you over the head with this subject but here it goes again. When you have a recipe, like risotto, that uses so few ingredients use the very best you can afford. Pick up a GOOD cheese and a bottle of wine you would enjoy drinking. I also feel arborio rice is a must. It is fairly inexpensive (comparatively) in the bulk bins at my grocery store. Use your own homemade chicken stock or something with a very short list of ingredients.

Risotto primavera. Great use up all those spring veggies dish.

So back to Chef Ramsey. If I were to be on Hell’s Kitchen tomorrow I would make a mean risotto. I promise. It would be cooked perfectly as well as properly seasoned.

Now my ability to cook steaks might get me in trouble but risotto will not.

Risotto primavera. Great use up all those spring veggies dish.

Risotto Primavera (serves 4-6 depending on if it is a side or entree)
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking- essentially a basic risotto with veggies.

Note: Risotto is not an exact science but is rather based on feel. As stated above taste taste taste then taste some more. Some days your risotto will take 4 cups of chicken stock then the next take 5. Channel your inner chef and trust your instincts.

4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
6 oz green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
6 oz zucchini chopped
8 oz asparagus end removed and chopped in to 1 inch pieces
1 tbs olive oil

Place the stock in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Keep at a simmer while cooking the risotto.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat till hot. Add the asparagus, beans and zucchini and sautee for about 5 minutes until they are bright green and just starting to soften. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, the sauteed veggies and salt and pepper to taste.

Risotto primavera. Great use up all those spring veggies dish.

Baby Bok Choi and Mushrooms

We are completely devoid of a passable Chinese food in my town.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

I am a super picky restaurant person to start with. I am not trying to brag but most of what I get in restaurants in my price range I can make better and cheaper here at home. The restaurants out of my price range have incredible food but I struggle dropping what amounts to a week worth of produce on one entree- which if given a recipe I can most likely replicate at home with very similar results.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

So when I was chatting with friends the other day and mentioned the lack of good Chinese food  and they all agreed with me I knew I wasn’t being picky.

Want to know how bad it really is? Our local paper just released a “best of” list. The best Chinese restaurant? P.F. Changs. That’s how bad things are around here.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

Thai food is another story. We have lots of great Thai. And Mexican. But for now in order to get a good Chinese food fix I have to make it myself. You know what? I don’t mind.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

This simple yet satisfying vegan dish is a great first step into Chinese food. It requires little to no prep work (other than some chopping) and cooking takes less than 10 minutes. It is start to table in 15 minutes flat.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

And veggies! Look at all the veggies you would be chowing down on. That alone should be enough reason for you to make this. Oh and it is yummy. There’s that too.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

Baby Bok Choi and Mushrooms (serves 4)
My own

1 lb mushrooms (Any mushroom will do. The more flavor the better. I used cremini.)
1 lb baby bok choi
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 tbs soy sauce
1/3 cup beer or rice wine (hoppy beer is best but that is also my stance in life)
1 tbs corn starch
Rice for serving

Place your wok over your largest burner and set the heat to medium. While the wok is heating separate the bok choi steams and leaves. Chop in to bite size pieces. Place in two separate bowls. Chop up the mushrooms. Once the wok is hot add 1 tbs olive oil and then the bok choi steams. Cook for about 2 minutes then add the leaves. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Remove to a plate. In the same hot wok add the last tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for about a minute. Add the soy sauce, beer or wine and mushrooms and cook for another minute. Mix the corn starch with 2 tablespoons of cold water making sure it all dissolves and then add to the mushrooms. Stir till the sauce if thick, about another minute. Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the bok choi. Serve with rice.

Baby bok choi and mushrooms. Filling, healthy and vegan!

Rye Caraway Scones

This is the last recipe in my scone making blitz. Most scones I have had in life have been sweet (like the orange poppy seed scones I made) but some reason I have much preferred the savory versions of late (like this recipe or the roasted red pepper and feta ones).

I hold a very special place in my heart for rye. I know it is a love/hate thing for most people and I am decidedly in the love camp. Hands down the best sandwich bread out there has to be dill rye bread. Yum.

Rye Caraway Scones

While perusing other scones recipes I stumbled on this one. The small paragraph at the top of the page suggested filling these scones with ham, cheese, and spicy mustard for mini sandwiches. Sold.

While the scones themselves are incredibly tasty, as mini sandwiches they are superb. Please, please, please do NOT put plain yellow mustard on these though. Either find a big flavored robust mustard or make your own. Because that’s what we do around here.

Rye Caraway Scones

Can we all just take a second and look at how incredible the above picture is? I didn’t even take it! My sweet friend Kristen did on that fun Friday morning food photo shoot.

And now I need another sandwich.

Rye Caraway Scones

On another note….

We are quickly approaching one year on this little blog. I have learned so much and come so far this past year. All I really want it to hang out with YOU. If I promise to make these sandwiches (and some other sweet treats) and serve up a classic style tea will you come over?

Mark your calendars. May 18th. Details to follow.

Don’t worry. I’ll remind you as we get closer but I am ridiculously excited about it and can’t wait to see you!

(now I need to go dress shopping….)

Rye Caraway Scones

Rye Caraway Scones (makes 8)
Adapted from Simply Scones cookbook

1 cup flour
3/4 rye flour
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives cut the cold butter in till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk till just combined. Dump the mixture out on to the floured counter and kneed briefly to bring it all together. Pat in to a 8-10 inch wide circle and cut in to eights. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. They will brown slightly. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Rye Caraway Scones

On Delivering Dinner

Hopefully we have been friends for a bit. If not no worries. I’m always happy to make new friends.

If we have been friends for a awhile one thing you will know about me is my reaction to pretty much any major life event is to throw food at it. Not literally but figuratively. You moved? Had a death in your family? New baby? Generally speaking an awful week? Birthday? Anniversary? I’m there with food in hand.

On delivering dinner

Over the years I feel I have become a bit of an expert on what to take to people. There are a few things I try to take into consideration:

1. I never make anything for a someone I wouldn’t feed my family. Good food but also good for you (well besides the cookies maybe). This means whole grains, locally sourced meats, as much organic produce as I can afford, little or no refined oils

2. Aim to include veggies. So often I feel when people drop off dinner the dishes are rich and calorie laden. I always pick main dishes that are chocked full of veggies.

3. Include something for breakfast. Ages ago I read a post about delivering dinner to a new mom and it suggested to take breakfast foods along with the dinner. I tend to make something like muffins or scones for an easy next day breakfast.

4. If you can just bring along some plain fresh fruit- apples, watermelon, grapes, strawberries. you know- whatever is in season. When we are in the midst of a life changing event I don’t think we tend to eat well. Wash and cut up the fruit for easy, mindless snacking.

5. Always ALWAYS ask about allergies, aversions, preferences before deciding on your menu. I don’t like blue cheese but you wouldn’t know that unless you asked. Or know me well.

6. Don’t break the bank. The reason I have such a deep repertoire of recipes is I cook and deliver based on what is in season, on sale, or on hand. Most meals I deliver cost me less than $10 to make. The entire meal- fruit, breakfast, and entree.

7. Only deliver on dishes and in tupperware you don’t want or need back. The last thing these people need is to keep track of your stuff. Make sure they know they don’t need to wash or return anything.

Do you ever make and deliver food to friends and family? This little blog has a long list of recipes that are perfect for delivery. Here is a list of my favorites:

Casseroles:

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas– Healthy and hearty. I actually delivered this to a new mama yesterday.

lighter tuna noodle casserole

Tuna noodle casserole– First reference #5 above. Not everyone loves tuna casserole BUT if they do this lighter version is packed full of veggies and is sure to please!

chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie

Chicken or turkey biscuit pot pie– A twist on pot pie that is a bit quicker to prepare. Still a showstopper and again loaded with veg.

Baked penne bolognese

Baked penne with bolognese– This dish packs a veggie punch without you realizing it. Plus there isn’t anything out there as hearty or heartwarming as homemade pasta sauce.

Baked mac and cheese

Baked mac and cheese– This recipe offers two ways to make it- both with veggies! And who doesn’t love homemade mac and cheese? Fascists that’s who.

Easy to reheat dinner:

Easy veggie curry

Easy veggie curry– Perfect vegan or vegetarian dish. Make brown rice for an extra hearty fiber punch.

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard

Lentils, sausage and swiss chard– Yes this sounds a bit unusual but make it and I promise the recipient will be impressed. This basic dish has so much flavor.

Soups:

Broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli cheese soup– Loads of veggies in this lighter version of an all around classic. Be sure to include bread for dipping!

Beef barley stew

Beef barley stew– Veggies, meat, barley. Yum. Stick to your ribs soul food.

Saffron chicken veggie soup

Saffron chicken veggie soup– Did you know saffron is a mood booster? Ideal dish if someone if having a particularly hard time.

Leek and potato soup

Leek and potato soup– One of our standby faves for weeknight dinner. Simple mild soup made with nourishing chicken or veggie broth. A must make for anyone recovering from illness.

Sweet potato quinoa chili

Sweet potato quinoa chili– Another great recipe for the vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to make cornbread (suggested recipe below).

Breakfasts:

Banana bread

Banana bread– Does this really need an explanation? A classic favorite.

Cranberry orange muffins

Cranberry orange muffins– Perfect around the holiday season or if you have frozen cranberries lurking in your freezer.

Homemade granola

Homemade granola version one or version two– Cereal lovingly made by someone else is always a welcome treat.

blueberry-muffins

Blueberry muffins– I make this recipe so often I have it memorized. First time I made them was to deliver to a friend at the hospital right after she had her baby.

Sides (to go with soups or casseroles!):

Brown butter rosemary cornbread

Brown butter rosemary cornbread– I think this would go great with the sweet potato quinoa chili. Just sayin.

Artisan bread

Artisan bread– This bread is no effort at all on your part and is a stunner. Sure beats spending $5 on a loaf at the store.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits– Ridiculously cheesy and flavorful biscuits. Goes great with the saffron veggies soup.

 

I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration. What are your favorite recipes to deliver?

 

 

Pina Colada Cupcakes

I heart cupcakes.

 Pina Colada Cupcakes

I haven’t been making them very much lately. I’m not suite sure why. Probably the all consuming obsession with biscotti and mexican food had something to do with it.

Anyways it was high time for cupcakes so here they are.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

In addition to loving cupcakes I love coconut. While making these I happily discovered Little will shovel toasted coconut in his face as fast as I will. Proud mama moment right there.

Decorating these lovelies was also the first time I had toddler help. Tiny mister has developed an opinion and a I’ll do it myself attitude. The MOST interesting thing in his world is whatever mama is doing at that moment. Thankfully sprinkling cupcakes with coconut is an easy Little friendly task. Even if one cupcake wound up doused.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

It was loads of fun. Tiny moments I store away in my heart for when my house is someday empty.

However I am a mean mean mama and Little didn’t get one of these cupcakes. You see… they are bit boozey. And by a bit I mean a lot.

Please don’t let the ingredient list deter you. I liked the flavor of the dark rum and coconut rum in frosting and cake. If you don’t have any, and don’t see this as a great excuse to visit the liquor store, feel free to sub extra coconut milk in the cake and just use whipping cream in the frosting. I think they would be equally tasty.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

In case you are wondering I had both coconut rum AND dark rum in liquor cabinet. That’s how we roll around here. Dark rum is kept on hand for when the craving for peaches/bananas/whatever fosters strikes. Coconut rum lives in the cabinet because…. yeah no excuse. It’s delicious. I like it (if you have leftover juice from the crushed pineapple add a shot or two of coconut rum. Thank me later).

So here you go. My first boozey cupcakes. I promise they wont be my last.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes (makes 18-20)
Cake adapted from Paris Loves Pastry and frosting from Glorious Treats

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut rum (or any rum you have on hand or coconut milk)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the drained crushed pineapple)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded baker’s coconut
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

In a small bowl, combine rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and the rum mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in the coconut and pineapple. Fill cupcake liners nearly full- this recipe rises very little. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter room temp
8 oz. cream cheese room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum (or whipping cream)

Directions:
Place butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the rum. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut (Spread coconut in a pan and bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes stirring often)

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Is it just me or do two thirds of the recipes on pinterest call for shredded chicken?

Over the past year I have become more conscious of how the meat I eat was raised. I only buy what I call happy meat. This is meat from animals that have been raised humanely, without the aid of antibiotics and growth hormones, and met their end in the best way possible. Watch Food Inc or Forks over Knives or read In Defense of Food. While I used to buy factory farmed chicken at rock bottom prices now the chicken I will eat costs closer to $3 per lb. For the whole chicken. Lets not talk about what chicken breasts cost.

IBlack bean and spinach enchiladas

With our new meat eating habits we are eating a wider variety of meat (more beef and pork) and the meat we are eating is generally raised within 100 miles of my home. Meat is rarely an entree for us anymore and is used as an ingredient instead.

What does this all have to do with black bean and spinach enchiladas? I love enchiladas but rarely have shredded chicken for making most of the recipes I see. When I saw a recipe for vegetarian enchiladas I was thrilled. And then things got better. She made her own enchilada sauce too.

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Be still me heart.

I could barely wait to make this recipe! I made my own tortillas too so this was truly 100% homemade. Well… you will have to excuse the fact that I bought shredded cheese. Who makes their own tortillas and enchilada sauce but is too lazy to grate their own cheese? This girl.

What can I say? I hate grating cheese. Alot.

This recipe makes a huge batch. I put four enchiladas each in three 8×8 pans. We ate one for dinner that night, cooked one for dinner two nights later, and the third is still in the freezer.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas (serves at least 6)
Adapted from The Garden Grazer

Sauce:
4 cups tomato sauce
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. + chili powder (to taste)
Salt/pepper

Enchiladas:
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used beans from the freezer)
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
3 cups shredded 3 cheese blend (or pepper jack, etc.)
12 homemade flour tortillas

Make the sauce: in a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add flour, 2 tsp. cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute, whisking. Whisk in tomato sauce, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook until slightly thickened about 8 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Place spinach in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Microwave for 1-2 minutes till slightly wilted. Drain excess water.  In a large bowl, combine beans, 2 cups cheese, spinach, corn, green onions, 2 tsp. cumin, and cilantro. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 (or three 8×8) inch baking dish, and pour a small amount of the sauce to coat the bottom. Generously fill tortillas with mixture, roll up tightly with ends tucked in, and place seam side down in dish. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas, coating evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top. Bake about 20 minutes, and garnish with cilantro and/or green onions (optional).

Black bean and spinach enchiladas

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sorry things are quiet around here. It has been a sad week as my father-in-law passed away peacefully on Sunday morning. This will be the only post this week as we are slowing the pace of life way down and spending time with loved ones. See you next week.

This was yet another case of starting to follow a recipe, realizing it wasn’t going to turn out the way I wanted, and improvising (AKA throwing things in the pot).

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

It was so incredibly good. Healthy? Eh. I can’t decide. It is a lot of veggies and when you divide all the cream and cheese between each serving I don’t think it is THAT bad for you. I feel my adaptation of it is infinitely healthier than the cream laden version I based this recipe off of.

The best part? It is incredibly comforting. Hearty food that feeds your soul as well as your tummy. Exactly what we are needing these days.

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup (makes 6 servings)

1 onion,diced
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 cups chicken broth
3 bunches of broccoli cut into florets
3 cups grated cheese (I used white cheddar)
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes till translucent, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Whisk to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk and half-and-half whisking all the while. Add the broccoli, chicken stock, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Taste seasonings and adjust if needed. Puree well either in a blender or with your immersion blender. Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top.

A lighter version of broccoli cheese soup

Easy veggie curry

I love curry. LOVE curry. I don’t really discriminate against types of curry either. I like them all. Thai, Indian, red, yellow, green. All of them- yum.

So far in my cooking repertoire I had some moderate curry soup success, one really great green curry recipe, and complete incompetence when it came to all the rest. All I wanted was to be able to make a simple curry. Like the ones I get as take out from the local Indian restaurants.

Being on a budget means take out is off the list of possibilities. Once again Pinterest came to the rescue with what looked like a super simple veggie curry recipe. I barely followed it. Really all it served as was a bit of confidence for me to throw things in a pot, stir, and serve over brown rice.

It was amazing. Next time I would love to add a little something sweet like golden raisins or even currants.

Easy veggie curry

I think what has failed in past curries has been the actual curry powder. Our local grocery store has bulk spices and I took time to open three or four different curry spice jars to find one with the smell I was craving. Buying spice this way, particularly at a store with lots of spice turn over, guarantees that your spices are fresh, fragrant, and flavorful. Come on we all have that four year old jar of something lurking in our spice cupboard. Yuck. I think for me it is a jar of thyme.

As with all recipes I encourage that you taste, taste, and taste again. I added salt three separate times and corrected the spices twice. What I really hope is that this recipe serves as a bit of inspiration and confidence for you to make curry too. If you follow the recipe great, if you don’t even better. Curry is easy. I promise.

Easy veggie curry

Easy Veggie Curry (4-6 servings)
Wildly adapted from My Recipes

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 peeled and diced sweet potato
1/2 cauliflower cup up in to small florets
1 yellow onion thinly sliced
2-3 carrots chopped
2 + teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk ( or organic vegetable broth)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté till it starts to soften. About 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onion, sweet potatoes, carrots and curry powder; cook 2-3 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Add coconut milk, cinnamon, salt, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve  over rice and top with yogurt.

Easy veggie curry

Ps. Sorry if these pictures are boring. I had to bribe a cranky toddler with a cookie to get these few photos taken.

Avocado and chickpea salad

Can you handle two chickpea recipes in a row? You see, I make up a whole pound of beans at once then freeze them. When I defrost them it is about two and half cans worth of beans. Thawed. Needing to be used. Hence the plethora of chickpea recipes.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

True, I could just put them in soup (I can’t believe I haven’t share my chorizo chickpea soup yet) or toss them on salad. But, they are so much tastier roasted or smashed up in to a yummy sandwich spread.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It seems to be the only place I find recipes these days. In fact, it looked so delicious, I had actually pinned it twice (does it bother anyone else that Pinterest doesn’t tell you when you have already pinned something?). I love that it is a vegetarian (actually vegan!) alternative to those mayo filled sandwich “salads.” No egg or chicken or mayo here. All wholesome good for you ingredients.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

I frequently buy too many avocados at once and have one or two threaten to go bad on me before I can get to them. Making up this salad is a quick way to use them up in something besides guacamole. Take two slices of  whole wheat bread, stuff it full of this salad and you will have the most satisfying lunch ever. Besides- look at that sandwich. It is gorgeous. Remember how I love pretty food? Well this is pretty food that doesn’t take any time at all to fix.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

Avocado and Chickpea Salad (makes enough for 3-4 sandwiches)
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans (or about 2 cups cooked beans)
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice (I use Dave’s Killer bread)

Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a medium bowl, using a potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste (I add at least 1 tsp of salt).  Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings.

Chickpea and avocado salad- YUM!

Ps. This would also make a spectacular dip.

Pps. Little will eat this by the spoonful for dinner.