Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Parsley Tahini Dressing

When Cooking Light Magazine reposted my picture on Instagram to their 118,000 fans, it was a proud blogging moment for me :) The photo depicting my Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Parsley Tahini Dressing received 1409 likes. There was just one problem: the wanted recipe wasn’t on my blog!

The inspiration for this salad concoction came from a restaurant in a food court at a mall in Boca Raton, Florida. I never thought I’d find inspiration in a food court, but this upscale mall had some really delicious and healthier options. The Mediterranean spot offered salad bowls with kale, grilled veggies, falafel and tahini and tzatziki sauces. After having such a tasty lunch in Florida, I came back from my trip craving something similar. The Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Parsley Tahini Dressing was born. We’ve already made this salad several times and each time it really hits the spot. Although this salad is not difficult to make, there are a few steps involved. Cut up lots of lettuce/kale and veggies and enjoy this salad for a few days to make the time worth it.

Follow me on Instagram @glorioffood!

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Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Parsley Tahini Dressing

Yield: 3-4 salads

Salad dressing adapted from Epicurious.com

What You Need

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry whole wheat couscous
  • 1 romaine heart, chopped
  • 4 large lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 2 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place paper towels on top of a jelly roll pan and place chickpeas on top of paper towels. Using an additional paper towel, dry chickpeas until no moisture remains. As you rub chickpeas dry, remove any outer skin from the chickpeas that comes off. I try to get off as many of the skins as possible, but its not necessary. Toss chickpeas with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chickpeas on the oven for 30-40 minutes, until chickpeas are golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package direction. Once it is cooked, set aside to cool. Additionally, clean and chop lettuce, kale and veggies.
  4. To make the dressing, place parsley, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more lemon juice or a sprinkle of water to achieve desired consistency.
  5. To assemble, distribute lettuce/kale, carrots, red pepper, couscous, cucumber, and chickpeas evenly among bowls. Drizzle with salad dressing and enjoy.
http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/30/crispy-chickpea-salad-with-lemon-parsley-tahini-dressing/

Almond Butter Chicken Satay

I own an array of kitchen gadgets and tools, most of which are multipurpose and not too specialized. For example, I don’t own an ice cream maker, but I do own two different types of blenders, two different food processors, and two crockpots! While some of those very specific kitchen gadgets interest me, like a vegetable spiralizer, I’ve had my sights set on a grill pan for much longer. For one reason or another, a grill pan has never made it’s way into my repertoire of kitchen accessories…until now. And it was Cooking Light’s recipe for Almond Butter Chicken Satay that really pushed me over the edge. I pined after this recipe for a while and finally I bit the bullet, and went out and bought a grill pan with Almond Butter Chicken Satay on the brain. I did this fully knowing that I could just as easily make this on our outside grill. However, I will find many other uses for this new pan.

Thankfully, the recipe did not disappoint. With the coconut milk, lime, and fresh garlic, there were some flavors in marinade that I knew would make this a winner. Plus, I loved how the recipe took traditional peanut satay and added a twist by using the almond butter for the dipping sauce. The combination of the grilled chicken, which cooked perfectly on my new pan, and the dipping sauce, were exactly what I had hoped for!

I’d love to know, what kitchen item have you had your eye on?!

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Marinade ingredients

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Dipping Sauce ingredients

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Almond Butter Chicken Satay

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light coconut milk, divided
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided + lime wedges for serving
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 12 slices
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

What To Do

  1. 1. Combine 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer if you have the time.
  2. Bring remaining 2 tablespoons coconut milk, 1/3 cup water, almond butter, hoisin, and Sriracha to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon juice.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread 2 chicken pieces onto each of 6 (8-inch) skewers. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with sauce and lime wedges.

Notes

The original recipe called for 24 slices of chicken, but I did not want to thread that many. If you want true satay that is thinner pieces of chicken, slice into more pieces and thread onto a few additional skewers.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/19/almond-butter-chicken-satay/

Green Goddess Avocado Dip

Anyone who knows my husband knows his obsession with Costco. He gets a rush when he flashes his membership card and walks through the parting glass doors of this warehouse club store. I don’t know what it is about the fluorescent lights, never-ending isles, and excessive amounts of merchandise, but for him, Costco is his happy place. For me, it just makes me itch. It used to anyway. The mobs of people, giant packages, and the fact that you have to buy 57 of one item makes me crazy. I have to admit though, I’m coming around to Costco. With their increased selection of fresh and frozen organic foods, I’m starting to become more on board. By the way, this post is NOT sponsored by Costco!

On one of my husband’s weekly, yes weekly, trips to Costco, he picked me up a bag of avocado. With so many avocados and such little time before they went bad, I brainstormed ways I could put them to good use. I came up with this Green Goddess Avocado Dip that I whipped together in a matter of minutes, thanks to my NutriBullet. The tangy dip stayed fresh in the fridge for a couple of days, and it was a delicious way to encourage us to take down some raw veggies!

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Green Goddess Avocado Dip

What You Need

  • 2 ripe avocados, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons, depending on how lemony you like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

What To Do

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Scoop dip into a bowl and serve with fresh vegetables and pita chips.
http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/17/green-goddess-avocado-dip/

Quinoa & Kale Salad

I come bearing no statistics, but I do know that food allergies are so prevalent, I’m willing to wager that everyone knows at least a couple of friends/relatives/co-workers who have been handed this misfortune. Since my friend’s daughter has an egg allergy (one she’ll likely grow out of), she asked me to bake an egg-free smash cake for her 1st birthday party. While this was a huge compliment, I’m no experienced cake-baker. Since I do love to bake, and want improve in this area, I agreed to the task! Yesterday was the party, and of course, I saved the entire process for the day of. I spent all morning mixing, baking, cooling, frosting and more frosting. I had no idea that a tiny two layer cake would take me so long. The finished cake was no where near professional looking, but my friend’s little girl dug into that cake like a champ!

While I was waiting for the cake to cool before frosting it, I prepared this Quinoa & Kale Salad for Meatless Monday lunch. The salad consisted of quinoa, chopped kale, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries and raisins. While I normally don’t gravitate toward salads with fruit, there was something about this combination that made think that the sweetness was exactly what this salad needed. I did a little dance in my head when even my 1 year old son enjoyed eating this for lunch…thanks to the raisins. I recommend taste-testing this salad while making it and tweak it accordingly; with just the right amount of lemon, salt and pepper, this salad is healthy and delicious.

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Quinoa & Kale Salad

Serving Size: 3-4 servings

Recipe from The Family Cooks by Laurie David, with a few of my own additions

What You Need

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins, or a mix (no sugar added, if possible)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped (I used shredded because I had them on hand)
  • 4 large kale leaves, stems removed, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, set aside and let the quinoa cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sunflower seeds, parsley, dried berries, celery, carrot, and kale in a large bowl.
  3. When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the large bowl and toss to combine everything. Distribute olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss and then taste and adjust with more lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning as needed.

Notes

Tips: If the lemon and olive oil is too light in flavor for you, try adding the zest of 1 lemon for a heightened lemon flavor. Or, instead of the olive oil and lemon juice, try using a mild Italian dressing such as Garlic Expressions for more flavor.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/09/quinoa-kale-salad/

Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

I grew up in a household with parents who ate very healthfully. My mom always cooked nutritious, well-rounded meals, and to this day both, parents almost always shy away from foods that are bad for the waistline and body. Not to throw my dad under the bus, but recently I found out that he doesn’t eat refried beans because they’re fried. I tried explaining to him that refried beans aren’t actually fried in the sense that he is thinking, and often times they can be purchased vegetarian and without a lot of or any fat at all. While the name is definitely misleading, I thought my explanation cleared things up; but it had been too deeply engrained in his head and there was no changing his mind.

Similar to refried beans, fried rice gets a bad rap. When dining out it can be made with tons of oil and sodium, so I don’t completely disagree here. However, fried rice doesn’t have to have get a bad name. With a few tweaks, and making it yourself versus ordering it at a restaurant, you can almost guarantee a healthier version of a “fried” dish. I’ve made a few lighter fried rice recipes in the past, but they lacked flavor and didn’t warrant repeating. However, when I came across this particular recipe for Vegetable Fried Brown Rice, there were a few extra ingredients that I thought would help take this from tasteless to tasty. If you’re in a time crunch, you could use all frozen vegetables; just don’t forget the fresh garlic and ginger! I also loved that this sauce had teriyaki sauce and sesame oil, in addition to the soy sauce.

I consider my husband to be my biggest food critic because he’ll say it like it is, and he complimented this dish to be restaurant-quality! Put any preconceived notions aside and give this dish a try…I’m looking at you dad :)

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Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

Serving Size: 3-4

Recipe adapted from CookingForKeeps.com

What You Need

  • 1 cup brown rice (or 2½ to 3 cups leftover cooked brown rice)
  • 1 ½ cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 scallions (white and some green), chopped (reserve a little for garnish)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Sauce:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil

What To Do

  1. Bring brown rice and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked through. Refer to package directions for exact cooking time. Once cooked, remove from heat.
  2. Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes. Add scallions (reserve some for garnish), garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the brown rice. Stir-fry about two minutes. Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes.
  4. In separate pan, scramble eggs until almost cooked but still slightly runny.
  5. Make a well in the center of the brown rice, pour eggs in and finish scrambling. Note: you can skip the step of scrambling the eggs in a separate pan and do the entire scramble in the well in the center of the rice.
  6. Add in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through. Distribute into bowls and add remaining scallion as garnish, and serve with additional soy sauce if desired.

Notes

In a time crunch? Use frozen carrots, onion, and pea mix.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/05/vegetable-fried-brown-rice/

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