Lazy woman’s Roasted Chickpeas with Broccoli and Cauliflower

This past Friday I was having one of those tiring weeks where, when  I finally made it Friday, I just wanted to plant myself on the couch and not move an inch unless a fire broke out. So when dinner time rolled around, I decided to chop up some veg, season some chickpeas and throw them in the oven. I was back to the couch in no time!

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For the chickpeas I used canned because, of course, this was the lazy woman’s edition of roasted chickpeas but I usually soak the dried ones overnight and cook them myself. I rarely have digestive issues but dried beans make a world of difference. After 13 years of vegetarianism, I’m used to the cheap and easy protein that beans  provide and have become immune to the gassiness that it causes in other people. If you’re really concerned about that, try out the old trick with the strip of seaweed that they do in Japan. I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve read that it does help make the magical fruits more digestible.

Now, enough of the bean talk. For the seasonings, I grabbed the half a jar of sundried tomato pesto that I had in the fridge and coated the chickpeas in it. Anything with pesto makes the flavour of the food pop, and combining that with roasted vegetables, I was sure to get maximum flavour. My love for pesto has no bounds, whenever possible, I try to put it in as many dishes as possible.

Set aside the chickpeas in a bowl. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet (one less thing to wash later, yay!) toss the broccoli and cauliflower in olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, oregano and italian seasoning. Make friends with these wonderful cruciferous vegetables,which also include cabbage, bok choy, kale and brussels sprouts. Why? They contain large amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins. Studies show that they can lower the risk of cancer so eat your damn veggies!

Pop the beauties into the oven, plop yourself on the couch and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until it’s golden brown and crispy.

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You can serve with quinoa or rice, but it’s perfectly filling on it’s own. I personally couldn’t be bothered with it.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar Sundried tomato or Basil Pesto
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • 1 head Broccoli
  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Paprika, a pinch
  • Italian seasoning, to taste

This dish happens to be vegan, Gluten-free, peanut-free, low-carb, low-calorie, sugar-free, air-free, grass-free, etc, so no one is left out. Even the gluten-free fad dieters who I don’t usually cater to. So, enjoy!

Cheers,

L.K.D.

 

CSA Post: Spicy Oyster Mushroom Barley Risotto

Last week when we received a package of Oyster mushrooms in our share from Herbivor (actually from a different farm in Quebec), I immediately started brainstorming for ways in which I could use the mushrooms. Maybe a soup? Nah, that’s been done before. A salad? Meh. I was thinking bigger and more inventive, so after a couple of hours of wracking my brain, I had it: Barley risotto! I wanted it to be spicy, because, why not? And I wanted to give it an Asian influence with rice wine since, apparently I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

I couldn’t find any rice wine at Loblaw’s but life went on and I proceeded with good ol’ white wine instead. So it goes.

And without further ado, let’s get to it!

 

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Barley, rinsed
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth (depending on serving size, mine was for 2 people)
  • 1/2 cup White cooking wine
  • 1 package Blue Oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 package Button mushrooms, chopped
  • Sugar snap peas, a handful
  • 1 tbsp Gardenia Lebanese Red pepper paste
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

We start off with some minced garlic (from Herbivor!) and butter and olive oil in a large pot, letting it cook for a minute or two.  Then add a cup of the Barley and a cup of the Arborio rice. Lower the heat and stir.

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Then we move on to the star of the show: the oyster mushrooms. Grab those and chop them up, add them to a pan with oil or butter on medium heat.

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Chop up some button mushrooms and add those to the pan as well.

Now, back to the pot of rice/barley. You should be adding vegetable broth if you haven’t already, one cup at time until the rice/barley absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, you can add a 1/2 cup white wine, stirring occasionally.

And here’s the moment when I just remember that I have sugar snap peas (From Herbivor) in the fridge. Let’s add those!

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Now that we’ve got everything added to the pot, it’s time to spice things up a bit. I wandered down the “Asian food” aisle (Anything remotely ethnic goes here)  at Loblaw’s and came upon a jar of Lebanese Red pepper paste. I decided to take a chance on it and I wasn’t disappointed.

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All we need is a tablespoon of this stuff and the risotto is complete.

Yay, now it’s time to eat! Enjoy, my friends.

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Vegan braised Red Cabbage

I’ve been in love with red cabbage lately, and have been in the habit of picking up a head of this anti-oxidant rich vegetable every other week and using it up for side dishes, slaws and in salads.

My favourite way is braised cabbage. The aspect of it that has always bugged me is that almost every recipe I’ve found for braised cabbage involves bacon, lard or some kind of animal fat. I just find that totally unnecessary. Braising involves cooking with some kind of liquid, of course, but the options are endless.

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Most people use vinegar: Apple cider, balsamic, white, with extra virgin olive oil  or butter and sugar. Others use broth or apple juice, or a combination of both. As you can see in the cast of characters above, I chose Apple cider vinegar, olive oil and orange juice to substitute for the apple juice I didn’t have on hand. I also mixed things up with dashes of kosher salt and fennel seed.

I only used half  a head of cabbage and used the other half for apple and cabbage slaw (Recipe coming shortly after the break). If I used the whole head for this, it would be way too much for two people to eat. Sure, I love cabbage but I don’t want to drown in it for weeks.

Ingredients

* 1/2 1 red Cabbage, chopped into irregular chunks

*2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

*3/4 cup Apple cider vinegar

*1 tart Apple, peeled and diced.

* 1/4 cup Apple or Orange juice

* Kosher salt to taste

*1/4 tsp Fennel seed

 

So here we go, grab that cabbage, remove the outer leaves and slice it in half.  Remove the cores, and cut into quarters. Chop those quarters into irregular chunks a la Jamie Oliver. You can go the traditional shredding route, but I find this way much more fun and it gives it more texture.

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Place a pan over medium heat and add the oil and the fennel seeds.  Add the cabbage, and pour in the apple cider vinegar. Stir it around and let it cook for a minute or two. Add the juice and stir.

After a few more minutes of cooking, add the chopped apple and salt.  Cover and let simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until it gets that delicious, tart and not-so vinegary taste.

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This side dish pairs well with stuffed peppers (recipe coming soon!) quinoa casseroles, veggie burgers or a sweet potato topped with black beans and cheese. Yum! Mark and I are having the latter tonight, smothered with leftover black bean soup alongside this gorgeous cabbage concoction! He doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll like it anyway. He always does.

If you ever come across a low-maintanence dude, snag him right away and you won’t regret it.

Happy eating!

Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

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I made this divine little heart-warmer sometime last month during the most brutal stretch of -30 degree weather all winter. We stayed inside, curled up under a blanket and devoured this stuff. It’s safe to say it did its job.

I decided to whip this up one afternoon when I found I had 3 bags of dried lentils to use up and a desire to have dinner completed quickly so Mark wouldn’t starve to death when he got home. I decided to make an Indian-inspired chili, rather than the typical Mexican version, and picked up some sweet potatoes to go with the lentils. The presence of garam masala, cumin, and coriander also gives this update of the vegetarian classic a boost.

You can also swap the sweet potatoes for butternut squash and pair it with kale, chick peas or black beans instead of lentils. The world is your oyster.

*1 cup dried brown lentils, cooked and drained

* 1 onion, diced

* 2 cloves garlic

* 2 sweet potatoes, roasted or cooked in the microwave and chopped into cubes

*1 cup vegetable broth

* 1 can diced or plum tomatoes

*1 tsp coriander (crushed seeds or ground)

* tbsp cumin

* 1 tsp garam masala

* 1/2 tbsp chili powder

* salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils according to the directions on the bag and drain. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place them in the microwave and cook them for 10 minutes or until soft and tender. You can also roast them in the oven, which is more socially acceptable, but I had a hungry husband on his way home who skipped his lunch so I had to be quick about it.

Once the potatoes are cooked, scoop them out of their skins and chop them into bite-sized cubes or chunks. Heat the oil in the pot and add the garlic and onions. Once they’re translucent, add the vegetable broth and tomatoes and lower the heat.  Let it simmer for a few minutes and add the lentils and sweet potatoes. Add the cumin, garam masala, coriander and chili powder to taste. Keep adding the spices and stirring until it gets the desired taste: Preferably a sweet, curried spicy flavour.

This would be wonderful served with a side of Naan bread (of course we didn’t have any) or Basmati rice. Voila! Enjoy, and feel this chili warm up your soul!