Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
I don't really remember what the first warning sign was.
The fact that Anu grabbed the bag of chickpea flour from the pantry thinking it was all-purpose?
Or maybe it was the cup she grabbed to measure out the flour?
(And no...I don't mean measuring cup. It was a cup. One that you would come home after a long day at lab and pour
Either way, it was at some point in between the two that I started watching with hawk-eye intensity the goings on in my kitchen.
And then when she actually took the glass, filled it with flour, and started tapping it on the side as if to "measure" it....that was when I intervened.
It had become apparent that this pancake-making expedition was going nowhere fast (and by "nowhere" I mean that it was headed straight down the road to inedible), and I just couldn't bear the thought of bad pancakes being produced in my kitchen.
(And if we're being honest, I was also a little scared as to what kind of hell would break loose if I did just let her carry on. Images of ruined pans and blaring fire alarms ran through my head.)
My roommate and her boyfriend had sat me down the night before and informed me that the next morning, they were going to be making pancakes. For the first time. Ever. And what did I think they would need?
Of course, their morning coincides with my lunch, so though I kind of hoped that I would miss the entire extravaganza while I was at the gym, part of me knew that we would inevitably end up in the kitchen at the same time. Me, stirring my quinoa chowder, silently from my corner of the stove...them arguing about the interchangeability of baking soda and baking powder from theirs. (Don't worry...I quickly set them straight.)
Trust me. It was for the best that I was there.
And after explaining to them at least three times that a "teaspoon" was not the same as a spoon that one stirred tea with and doing a flying leap across the kitchen to prevent a metal spatula from adulterating my nonstick pan.
After they were safely tucked away in Anu's room. Eating. Happily.
I got to dig into my chowder. And maybe it was the fact that by this point, I was hungry enough to eat my own hand...but it was all the comfort I needed after that trying kitchen experience. There are no crazy innovative flavor combinations in here, just tried and true favorites that you can depend on to taste good.
Quinoa Chowder with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Feta and Scallions
Serves 4, adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 bunch scallions, including an inch of greens, thinly sliced into rounds
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 lb feta cheese, finely diced
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- Put the quinoa and 2 quarts of salted water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it's cooking, dice the vegetables and cheese. Drain, saving the liquid. Measure the liquid and add water to make 6 cups if needed.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile. Cook for about 30 seconds, giving it a quick stir. Add the cumin, 1 tsp salt, and the potatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Don't let the garlic brown. Add the quinoa water and half the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer for 3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper.
Friday, January 27, 2012
The only thing worse than having an old Chinese food container full of caramel pecan pie filling in your fridge without an intended destination or life purpose (other than Grey's Anatomy-induced stress eating on a Derek Shepherd-full Saturday night)....
...is finding a boom box on top of a filing cabinet in lab. With a CASSETTE tape in it that is probably as old as the beginning of time.
And not having a dance party in the middle of lab on a dreary Thursday-that-felt-like-it-should-be-Friday morning.
Don't worry. My labmates and I are totally on the same wavelength when it comes to such things.
So we pressed play on that cassette tape, with the reckless abandon of people who have already been pipetting for three hours straight. And we partied like it's hot.
In the tissue culture room.
Lab coats and all.
(Well, except me. I refuse to wear a lab coat. I'm quite rebellious.)
We made it five minutes before the head of our lab came out of his office to inform us that whatever was coming out of that antiquated piece of technology was not, in fact, music after all. But someone with a very nasal voice trying to pretend that he was not born tone deaf.
Actually, I think what really happened is that he stared at us with all the solemnity he could muster for a good thirty seconds. And then said, "Uh, guys. This isn't going to work."
Back went the boom box to it's filing cabinet, left to collect dust and be discovered again in two decades when no one will even remember that cassette tapes ever used to exist in this world.
But what does this have to do with pumpkin cake, you might wonder?
Well. Sometimes you just have to take life by the horns and dance to bad music in the middle of lab on a random workday just to get through the week.
...you have to resist the urge to eat caramel pecan pie filling all alone in your room.
You have to take a chance on a pumpkin cake recipe that, by all means, seems boring but is actually revelatory in its simplicity.
You have to swirl that filling into a streusel as if your life depends on it.
And then you have to bring it into lab and share it with your coworkers. Because though your dance partying
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Pecan Pie Streusel
Serves 12, adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook and Food and Wine
- 3 cups AP flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 batch caramel pecan pie filling
- Heat the oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Place the sugar, oil and pumpkin puree in a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat well on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift and fold the dry ingredients into the batter.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop the pecan pie filling on top of the batter in the pan so that it is evenly distributed around the pan. Add the remaining batter to the pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking the cake after 1 hour. Let cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Thank you to Hunt’s for sponsoring this post and encouraging my culinary skills!
Visit Hunt’s Signature Recipe Collection to find tons of delicious ideas
for using Hunt’s tomatoes in your meals.
Last night I had a run-in with the law.
And by law...I mean a bag of a certain chocolatey-delicious shell filled with a peanut butter/confectioner's sugar mash-up also known as the only chocolate candy worth eating EVER.
Umm yeah. Same thing.
It was a make or break kind of moment.
Like when you're driving and you hear those sirens go off behind you. And you're like uh, not me. So in that moment as the panic creeps up, you can either speed away as fast as you can and hope that no one decides to chase you or send a SWAT team or open fire.
Or you can pull over like the complacent citizen you are, listen to the officer try to tell you that you went through a stop sign that you know for sure doesn't exist. Bat your pretty eyelashes, say you'll never do it again, and get away with a warning.
You know...one of those moments.
So I had a stare-down with that bag of orangey gold foil covered chocolate treats.
I stared them down as I unwrapped 8 ounces worth of them. And then I stared them down some more as I chopped those 8 ounces into itty bitty pieces. And then again as I swirled them into a peanut butter banana bread batter.
And then, right when I couldn't possibly stare them down anymore without some sort of short circuiting in my brain and/or olfactory bulb (really...you start to smell them as soon as you open the bag. It's intoxicating.) The moment happened.
I had a choice.
I could either eat the other 11 ounces of peanut butter cups in that bag. Or. I could not.
It sounds easy, but in that second, it's the hardest choice to make. All you can feel is hedonism and the intense to desire to coat your entire being (especially your tastebuds) in a chocolate/peanut butter mix.
And all you can hear is alarms going off in your mind screaming NOOOOOOOOOO.
And then a knock at the door tells you that the peanut butter cup police are at your door, and what are you going to do?!?!?!?
We're reaching the point in January where resolve starts to waver and these forks in the road seem to be coming at us at an increasingly breackneck speed.
But maybe it doesn't have to be so binary. Maybe we can have one peanut butter cup. And then put the bag down.
Maybe it doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Because this isn't about one day. It's about a lifetime. And a lifetime without peanut butter cups...that's just unrealistic. But so is a lifetime of eating entire bags of them in one sitting. It's your choice.
So when Hunt's sent me a few of their products and told me to go forth and create! I knew I wanted to make some kind of fusion between the Italian fare we usually think of when we see tomato sauce and tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes...and the Indian flavors that I crave almost constantly.
After spying a recipe for zucchini "meatballs" in one of my Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks, I knew the direction I wanted to take. Gingery zucchini meatballs, bound with chickpea flour for an extra dose of fiber and protein, paired with a tomato-curry sauce and all served atop of a creamy yet creamless polenta. Though Jaffrey's "meatballs" were fried, I baked mine with excellent results, making this a delicious meal that you can feel good about.
Really. We have enough of those forks in the road to health to contend with. Let's not make dinner one of them.
For more Eat.Live.Be. inspiration, check out Sarah's, Cate's and Patsy's blogs!
Zucchini Meatballs and Curry-Tomato Sauce over Polenta
Serves 4, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking
- 3 medium zucchini, about 1-1.25 pounds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 hot green chili, seeded and minced
- 3 tbsp finely minced onion
- 1/2 tsp peeled and very finely grated ginger
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely minced
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and very finely minced
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 14 oz can Hunt's petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup polenta
- salt, to taste
- Wash, trim and grate the zucchini. Put it into a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside for half an hour.
- Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the zucchini by pressing handfuls of it between your palms. Save the zucchini liquid for the sauce. Dry off the bowl and put the zucchini back into it. Add the chili, 3 tbsp onion, grated ginger, and parsley. Sift the chickpea flour over the vegetable mixture. Mix well and form 16 balls.
- Preheat oven to 400. Spray zucchini meatballs with cooking spray. Place on a silpat or parchment paper on a large baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- While zucchini balls are cooking, make the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, put into the minced onions. Stir and fry for 7-8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn brown at the edges. Take the pan off the fire for a few seconds and add the turmeric, cayenne, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Stir once and put the pan back on the flame. Stir for another 5 seconds. Add the tomatoes. Stir on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini juice (about 1 cup. Add water if there is not enough.) Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and let the sauce simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Add the almond milk, garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, and salt to taste. Mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Cook polenta according to package directions. I usually just use cornmeal when I'm feeling lazy, which cooks up in 5 minutes.
- Spoon the sauce over the polenta and serve topped with zucchini meatballs.
Thank you again to Hunt’s for sponsoring my post. Find more ideas for cooking with tomatoes at Hunt’s Signature Recipe Collection. I was selected for this opportunity by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own. #HuntsRecipe #spon
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Parsnips may be the less vibrantly hued cousins of carrots, but anemic in anything other than color, they are not. For a delicious and healthy way to prepare them, check out my post about this soup on Marcus Samuelsson's blog!
I am submitting this to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays as well as to the Allergy-Free Wednesdays Blog Hop!
Monday, January 23, 2012
Let's just call a bad hairpiece a bad hairpiece.
This mac and cheese looks like it has a chia pet growing on it's head.
I tried to convince my roommate's boyfriend that it was just growing an extra coat of broccoli-basil breadcrumb hair for the winter, to keep warm, as he stood over the tray with his fork dubiously poised.
(He's one of those vegetarians for whom vegetables are like extra-terrestrial entities that should be encountered with caution. Pizza and the infamous blue box are more his style.)
He remained skeptical. Gave me a look that said "geez louise, everyone knows mac and cheese doesn't really have hair follicles".
And then dug in.
Yes, sometimes even the future doctors of America need to be cajoled in to eating their vegetables. It happens.
And while this mac and cheese has quite a few healthy surprises stuffed into it, it's vastly different from one of those Jessica Seinfeld-esque concoctions in that it's not pretending to be something that it's not.
It is unapologetically good for you. And it tastes nothing like it's neon orange counterpart. So if that's what you're hoping for - some kind of health food miracle that turns cheddar, gruyere and butternut squash into something akin to velveeta - this is not it.
But if what you're craving is a dish that hits all those cheesy comfort food cravings while still allowing you to feel like you can conquer the world afterwards (or at least shovel a few inches of snow). Then take off those fuzzy boots and your hot pink marshmallow puffy jacket and come on in. I'll grab you a plate.
So, I'm going to take a detour from mac and cheese heaven to ask you a question. If you could eat peanut butter and jelly bars to help find a cure for cancer...would you do it?
Guess what....now you can! My friend Amanda from Tales From A Kitchen Misfit is training for her FIRST marathon (the Boston Marathon!!) with Team in Training, and is having a virtual bake sale to help her meet her fundraising goals and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I've done three seasons with Team In Training so I know it's a worthy cause. The money that Amanda raises from the bake sale will go to cancer research (some of the work that I've done in labs has actually been funded by LLS so YES this is going to REAL research) as well as to help patients cover costs of treatment and hospital care.
Along with a number of other treats, my peanut butter and jelly bars are up for grabs! If you've ever wanted to have an Eats Well With Others treat delivered straight to your door, this is the time. You can bid here. And if anyone has any kind of peanut allergies, I'd be willing to make them with sunbutter or soybutter so don't let that stop you from bidding!
Broccoli-Basil Mac and Cheese
Serves 6, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 small kabocha or butternut squash, seeded and cut into tiny chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch basil, stems removed
- 2 slices good brown bread, stale or dried out in the oven
- 1 small head broccoli, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp nonfat greek yogurt
- 3.5 oz grated white cheddar cheese (I used Cabot reduced fat sharp cheddar)
- 3.5 oz grated gruyere
- large handful of yellow cherry tomatoes
- 3 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
- Preheat oven to 400 with a rack in the middle. Set a large pot of water to boil.
- Place the squash on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is cooking, pulse half the basil, all of the bread, the broccoli, and a bit of water in the food processor until there is a fine crumb. It may be a bit damp. Transfer to a small bowl and rinse out the processor.
- In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and grated cheeses.
- Place the cherry tomatoes in the food processor with the remaining basil. Pulse to break things up a bit, then add it to the cheese mixture.
- Boil the pasta in well-salted water until it is slightly undercooked. Drain, reserving a cup of pasta water for later use. Put pasta back in pot and add the cheese mixture to it. Add the squash and stir it. Add pasta water until the sauce is thinned to the consistency of cream. It's okay if it's a bit runny, as the pasta will absorb the liquid in the oven.
- Transfer everything to large casserole or 9x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the green breadcrumbs across the top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until topping is crunchy. Remove from the oven. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers
Baked Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese
Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic and Rosemary Mac and Cheese
I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted by Emma of Souperior.
Friday, January 20, 2012
We need to have a talk. THE talk.
You see, when a man and a woman love each other and are in a caring, committed relationship.
Sometimes...they do things. For each other. With each other. To each other.
For instance...they might pick a day. A random day. A day that means nothing.
(Usually somewhere around, oh say, February 14th.)
And they'll mutually agree that on that day, the man will buy the woman flowers. And chocolate. And she'll giggle and throw things at him and accuse him of trying to make her fat.
And then they'll take to the streets and pervade our restaurants with their cooing and their googly eyes and their hand holding.
Finally, when all the cooing and hand holding and weird eye stuff is over. They'll go home and do more stuff. More special stuff.
Maybe. If the man is lucky.
And us single ladies?
We are also going to be doing special things.
We are going to be pounding tequila shots like it's our job. Getting tattoos that say "LOVE SUCKS" across our lower backs. Putting all of our cookbooks into bed with us so that it seems like, maybe, for just one uncomfortable hard-covered-book-edge-in-our-back night, we are not quite so alone.
Maybe we'll just celebrate our single-lady-ness.
Toast to ourselves on a champagne cupcake.
Make a wish on a sparkling wine star.
Or just be grateful that, not only can we make ourselves happy, but we can also whip up a pretty damn fine cupcake. We are serious catches. And anyone would be lucky to have us.
The best thing about these cupcakes is that they can be enjoyed on just about any occasion, by single and non-single ladies and gentlemen alike. I know because I tested them amongst my family on New Year's Day, when we had a single lady, a single man, a married couple, and a 15-year-old-who-thinks-she's-28-and-spent-the-whole-evening-
They were dubious of this whole champagne cupcake filled with champagne pastry cream and topped with champagne buttercream business. But they were pleasantly surprised.
I used a pink champagne for my cupcakes and I really liked the fruity notes it added to the buttercream. You can use whatever champagne you want, but just make sure it's something that tastes good because the flavor will come across in the pastry cream and buttercream.
For more addictively delicious baked goods, check out my guest post on Pham Fatale! If you're looking to wean yourself off of a lemon poppyseed Costco muffin addiction...or even if you're not...these are the cookies for you!
Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes
Makes 17, adapted from SprinkleBakes
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup champagne, prosecco, or any sparkling wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1/2 cup champagne or prosecco
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp champagne or prosecco, divided
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Champagne Pastry Cream Filling
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (mixture will fizz and bubble a little). Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.
- Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.
- Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture in the stand mixer. With the stand mixer on, slowly pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook. Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
- Cut a divot into the top of each cupcake and fill with pastry cream. Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to make a "lid" and place on top of the filled divot.
- Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.
- Frost the cream-filled cupcakes and decorate.
For the filling:
For the frosting:
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
A recurring theme on The Biggest Loser (and, I'm sure, other weight loss reality tv shows) is that most of the participants will tell you that they never realized just how fat they were. They knew they were large, and they weren't happy at their weight, but they just assumed they were "big boned". The number on the scale during that first weigh in is usually a shock to them. Because they felt lighter than they actually were.
And then you have me.
I actually truly believe I am one of those people who weigh more than they look. And I know it's due to muscle, which isn't something I should feel bad about. It's something I should embrace, in fact.
But I feel what the scale tells me. I feel every ounce.
Unlike The Biggest Losers, I know exactly how fat I am. And I say that slightly tongue in cheek because I'm not really fat. But I know this because it's what other people tell me and not because it is what I see or feel.
My physical therapist gave me kind of a wake-up call this week in that regard.
I went to see him because of this weird discomforting feeling I was having in my stress fracture area during my runs. It wasn't pain, it didn't get worse as I ran, and it abated almost as soon as I stopped. But I trust that man with my life and most certainly my legs, and so I went to get it checked out.
We started talking about my goals for going back to running, especially with regards to the NYC Marathon in November. And I told him I wanted to run a sub-4 hour marathon.
I finished my first marathon in 3:35 and my second in 4:34, so 4 hours is not really so unrealistic.
He looked surprised and said, "Why not aim for for the 3:34?"
I said, "Well, you know. I don't think I could do it again. I was really tiny then."
And as he dug his elbow into my iliopsoas, which is unfortunately close to my ovaries. He said, "You're pretty tiny now."
I'd be lying if I said I didn't come thisclose to crying on his exam table. (Okay, maybe part of that was how much his elbow in my abdomen just flat-out hurt, but still.) Or that I didn't cry when I got home.
I may never be able to really truly see what I look like when I stare into a mirror. But for the rest of that afternoon, and every time I think back on it, I can. Even if it's just a flicker. I can.
Now, I'm not writing this to garner any compliments or reassuring comments. I'm writing it because I know that for most people, we are so hard on ourselves and on our bodies. We talk trash about ourselves all the time. And most of it is unwarranted.
We need to give ourselves a break. We need to believe in ourselves.
We need to say "I can" more than "I can't".
Two days after that conversation with my physical therapist, I ran. I ran 6 miles. At an 8:40 minute mile. Is it a far cry from my 8 min/mile marathon time? Yes. But it's also faster than I was when I had to stop running due to my stress fracture in October. And this is three weeks out from an injury. I. CAN. AND. I. WILL.
And so can you.
For more healthy living inspiration, check out these Eat.Live.Be. posts from Sarah, Cate, and Patsy!
Speaking of believing, I BELIEVE you should make this dish. Now. Immediately.
I proclaimed this on Twitter to be one of my favorite lunches in a long time. And I still stand by that.
There's a perfectly seasoned and slightly spicy smoky tomato sauce with chickpeas and swiss chard mixed in, topped with feta and an egg that you crack on top and then "poach" in the oven. And let me tell you, the only thing better than a slightly spicy smoky tomato chickpea swiss chard sauce topped with feta...is the same thing topped with a runny egg yolk. Truth.
Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas, Feta and Swiss Chard
Serves 4, adapted from Bon Appetit December 2011
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 bunches swiss chard, leaves removed from the stem and coarsely chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 28 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup coarsely crumbled feta
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 425. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the chard. Cover pan and allow to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Add crushed tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If serving to a large group, sprinkle feta evenly over sauce. Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, evenly apart. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 7-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley..
- Since leftover eggs are just weird and I was the only one eating, I put 1/4 of the tomato chickpea sauce into a 14 oz ramekin, topped 1 oz crumbled feta and broke the egg over the top. Then, I transferred the ramekin to the oven and baked for 7-10 minutes as per the previous instructions. This way I could refrigerate the remaining sauce and make my eggs fresh each time. This also makes for a great presentation!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
A healthy lunch and a way to appease your mother's desire for you to be "more Italian"? This quinoa, fennel and pomegranate salad does it all. For the recipe, check out my post on Marcus Samuelsson's blog!
I am submitting this to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.
Monday, January 16, 2012
We may live in a democracy with equal rights and all, but I just think you should know that no matter what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, all green goddess dressings are not created equal.
Sure, they're all green, but so is pistachio ice cream. Which, though amazingly delicious, is certainly not health food.
(Moral of the story. You should never judge a condiment by its verdant hue.)
And I suppose they'll all turn you into some sort of divine entity...
...but while some versions of this herbalicious dressing will turn you into a legit goddess, hourglass figure and all.
Others will inevitably push you more towards the Buddha side of the celestial being spectrum. Um, yeah. Undesirable. At best.
To clear up all this confusion (or to just add an oxymoron to the mix), I present you with green goddess enchiladas. Traditionally greasy drunk hangover food...that's good for you?
You better believe it. Mexican detox food. Right here.
With their spicy chickpea tomato chile filling and green goddess sauce topping made with KALE and GREEK YOGURT (!!!) these enchiladas are comfort craving food that you can feel good about eating.
And with each delicious bite we'll be one step closer on the road to goddess-ville.
Rumor has it there's good-for-you pistachio ice cream there. And lots of baked brie. Eat up.
We've got to get a move on.
Green Goddess Enchiladas
Serves 5-6, adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled in salted water until tender
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and chilis
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese (I used Cabot)
- 10-12 corn tortillas
- 1 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed
- 1 (4 oz) can green chiles
- 2 scallions, chopped
- In a large nonstick skillet, spray with cooking spray and, over medium-low heat, saute chickpeas, onion, Ro-tel, corn, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Saute 5-6 minutes over medium-low heat or until all liquid from tomatoes has evaporated, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetable broth, Greek yogurt, kale, chiles, and scallions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 casserole or baking dish. Lightly cover bottom of the dish with 1/2-3/4 cup of the sauce.
- Heat corn tortillas by wrapping the stack of them in aluminum foil and placing them in the preheating oven for 5-7 minutes or by microwaving them covered with a wet paper towel for 30 seconds.
- Stir 1/2 cup of cheese into the chickpea mixture. Add heaping 1/2 cups of filling to one end of each tortilla and roll up or fold in half placing each one seam side down in the prepared casserole dish.
- Pour kale sauce evenly over top of enchiladas. It will be very liquidy, but don't worry, it will thicken as it cooks. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the enchiladas. Bake for about 25 minutes until bubbly all over. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving.