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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lately I’ve been looking for ways to both cook healthy, and cook cheap, and this is the perfect solution to both. All I didn’t have in the fridge for this Kale and Chickpea Saute was the kale! Plus, kale is a favorite food in this house, so I’m going to ride the kale wave as far as I can.

Apparently I forgot to take pictures of this dish in progress, but that’s probably because it is so simple that no real explanation is needed! Sautee the garlic and shallots (finally, I’m using shallots in a recipe that actually calls for them!), then add the chickpeas until they get browned and crispy, add the red pepper and kale until it wilts down, and zest and juice the lemon over the top!

A few stray observations: My chickpeas never got browned or crispy, really, at least not as much as I was hoping. I’m pretty sure this is because I had a really heavy hand with olive oil at the beginning, and also because I kept changing the temperature on the burner, since I didn’t want the garlic and shallots to burn. Next time, I’d use less oil (I’d just use the recommended amount of oil!), and keep the heat constant. Next time, I’m also going to double the recipe! Since it’s probably meant to be a side dish (my partner mentioned how good it would be with steak…), there was just enough for both of us – we probably both could have eaten more! I wish I had some for lunch today, too. But I served it with freshly-baked Honey Beer Bread (recipe coming soon!), and it was a really filling, satisfying pantry-clearing meal.

Kale and Chickpea Saute (Originally from Live To Eat)

1 can chickpeas
1 bunch Kale
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes to taste
salt to taste
1 tbsp Olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I used the zest of the whole lemon and juice from half, because I had a particularly juicy lemon)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and saute the shallots and garlic till soft. Add salt and the chickpeas and saute till the chickpeas turn golden and crusty, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper and mix well. Add the kale and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well. Season with more salt if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I recently mentioned to my mom on the phone that I was really excited about getting an immersion blender, and would probably ask for one for Christmas, or, failing that, put it on my wedding registry. Well, my mom is a wonderful woman who loves giving gifts, so I was pleasantly surprised when UPS dropped off a box with an immersion blender in it not too long after! Whatta great lady she is. I decided my inaugural use of the blender would be this White Bean Hummus Soup I’ve been eyeing from Keep it Simple Foods for a little while now.

The soup is really delicious and flavorful for how simple it is! You sautee your onions and garlic, add the beans, broth, lime zest and juice, and cilantro, and let it go for 5-10 minutes!

I am still trying to figure out how to photograph soup, since the steam fogs up my camera’s lens!

Once that’s done, you run your immersion blender through the soup – or, if you don’t have one, you can definitely just add it to the stand blender and puree. And you’re done! The original post recommended making some French bread crostini, which I did as well:

There is basically nothing better than bread and olive oil, seriously.

The soup was a great success – light, but still pretty filling for early autumn! Unfortunately, my cilantro had partially gone south since I bought it, so there wasn’t as much in as I would have liked, and I think I would add some crushed red pepper flakes or even a little bit of hot sauce in the future for a little bit of heat. A really simple, delicious soup with pantry ingredients, what more can you ask for?

White Bean Hummus Soup (from Keep It Simple Foods)

3 cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)

2 limes (juice and zest)

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup chopped onion (I used shallot, as always)

a good handful of cilantro (chopped)

salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, on medium high heat, combine the oil, onion, and garlic. When onions and garlic cook down a bit, add the beans and lime zest. Cook for another minute or two.  Add in the veggie stock, then add in the cilantro and lime juice.

Cover with a lid and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make the soup creamy and smooth.  Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

 

So, I’m not officially participating in the Vegan Month of Food – partially because I only found out about it yesterday, but mostly because I’m not actually vegan – but I figure there’s no time like the present to focus on the vegan recipes I’ve been meaning to try, which means sifting through my Pinterest feed and dredging out a ton of cookbooks. Thankfully, those are some of my favorite things to do. To start it off, here’s a delicious vegan meal I had the other night at V-Note on the Upper East Side.

I had the Crispy Pinenut and Basil Seitan, which came with roasted tomatoes, potatoes, and artichoke slices, along with a few slices of grilled pineapple and a creamy white wine sauce. It was delicious! The potatoes were almost too garlicky (for me, that’s saying something), but the seitan was AMAZING, and the sauce was great, too. My friend had the Seitan Piccata, which I got to try and was equally tasty. I was even too full for dessert, which never happens to me! It’s a little pricey, and a little far from my Brooklyn digs, but I would absolutely go back to V-Note for a special dinner.