Tag Archives: vegan

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

11 Jul

Big news, and an easy recipe today. First with the big news, I am now officially a Foodie! I know, I know I have been a foodie for a while now but all of that foodie-ing has been non professional. That has changed, I am now a professional Foodie. My new job title is actually Foodie. What is a Foodie? Well, my job involves talking to people about food all day! I get to share ideas and tips, and help customers navigate the store. How great is that.

With the cooler temperatures we have been having in Austin (by cooler I mean 90 degree days instead of 100).  I decided I could finally try roasting chickpeas. I came across this recipe back in May, but decided today was the day to give it a try since I had some extra chickpeas in the fridge from hummus.

I could not stop eating these after they came out of the oven.  You could just serve them up in a bowl as a snack, toss them on salads, or even add them to a trail mix. A great combination of crunchy and savory to satisfy those cravings for unhealthy snacks. Also, the cayenne gives these a nice kick!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas


  • 3 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, use more or less to adjust spiciness


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degree.
  2. In medium bowl mix together all the ingredients, until the chickpeas are coated.
  3. Using a rimmed baking sheet pour chickpeas out in a single layer.
  4. Bake on the lowest rack for 25-30 minutes. Turn chickpeas halfway through to ensure even baking. Chickpeas will be done when they are golden and crispy.
  5. Remove chickpeas from pan to a paper towel lined plate and pat off excess oil.
  6. Store leftovers in a zip top bag or air tight container.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

28 Jun

Quinoa is fast becoming a staple in this house. Not only is it a complete protein, it is also loaded with fiber, iron, and calcium. And best of all quinoa is gluten free!

This salad tastes like summer. The inspiration for this salad is the abundance of red bell peppers and cilantro in my garden. I paired my peppers with fresh roasted corn and black beans.

The sauce for this salad is simply apple cider vinegar and olive oil. It perfectly enhances the flavors of the season in this salad.

I used half black quinoa and half plain quinoa, in an effort to increase the color appeal of the salad, but any quinoa will work.

Serve this salad hot or cold!

Mexican Quinoa Salad

serves 4 entree salads


1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cup water

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 cup fresh corn, roasted and removed from cob

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Cilantro, garnish

lime wedges, optional


  1. In a medium saucepan add quinoa and water. Cook uncovered until water is boiling, cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes; or until no water remains.
  2. In a deep saute or large saucepan add olive oil, heat oil on high heat until oil shimmers. Add onion and red bell peppers, cook until soft; around 4 minutes. Then, add in corn and black beans and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar over the veggie mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. When quinoa is done, add it to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Remove from heat, either serve immediately or chill for an hour and serve cold.
  6. Just before serving add cilantro and squeeze a little lime on top.

Orange Sesame Kale Salad

5 Jun

This salad will knock your socks off, and maybe change your mind about raw kale. The inspiration for this salad came from a kale salad that I tried a few months ago. The original salad though was way too sweet and had a bit too much oil. So this is a healthier remake of a healthy salad.

I choose fresh squeezed orange juice for the base of the dressing. To that I added minced ginger, Tamari, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, olive oil, garlic chili paste, and black sesame seeds.

The key to making this salad super tasty is to thoroughly coat the kale with the dressing. Top with roasted Pepitas, dried cranberries and raw blanched slivered almonds. Once combined the salad should sit for at least 30 minutes for the best taste.

Orange Sesame Kale Salad

makes 6 side salad servings


  • 1 bunch of Curly Kale
  • 8 ounces orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (toasted or white will work as well)
  • 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw, blanched slivered almonds


  1. Wash kale, remove the thick rib and tear into bite size pieces. Place kale into a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl add orange juice, sesame oil, honey, tamari, rice wine vinegar, garlic chili paste, minced ginger, and olive oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour dressing over the kale and toss until all the kale is coated.
  4. Top the salad with the pepitas, cranberries, and almonds.
  5. Let salad sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Spicy Spinach Dahl

4 Jun

This dish combines my love for beans, Indian flavor and some heat. Dahl or dal is a generic name for a stew made from lentils, peas, or beans. It can be prepared in an almost infinite number of ways. I have been working on this recipe for some time now and think it is just about perfect.

This particular recipe calls for chili powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, garam masala, cayenne, and salt to give it that warm and rich taste.

I used coconut oil instead of olive oil or butter, because it adds a richness to the flavor. After heating the oil up in the pan, I add the spices and let them cook until they are highly aromatic.

I love that this dish also has plenty of spinach! It not only adds color but also vitamins and flavor.

Spicy Spinach Dahl

(makes approximately 6 servings)


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (olive oil or butter can be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 12 ounces spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk


  1. Soak the lentils in water for 20 minutes.
  2. In a deep saute pan or large saucepan, bring water, lentils, turmeric, salt, and chili powder to boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate saute pan, add oil, garam masala, mustard seed, and cumin, heat until the spices are bubbly and highly aromatic.
  5. Add onion to the spices and add a pinch of salt.
  6. Cook until the onion is soft and transparent.
  7. Add the spinach to the lentils and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add onion and coconut milk to the lentil and cook until heated through out.
  9. Serve with rice.

Cabbage Salad with Mint and Garlic

8 Nov

This cabbage salad or what I call Lebanese Cole Slaw, is the traditional accompaniment to Mona’s Mjadara.  If you missed the Mjadara post you should really check it out. You can do it now, I’ll wait.


Back already? Cabbage salad is super simple and very tasty!

When I was taught to make this salad, I was taught to slice the cabbage very thinly by hand. I am not very good at getting it thin enough. Recently though I discovered that I could use a mandoline to shred the cabbage super fine, with little effort. This discovery is a HUGE timesaver!


Once the cabbage is shredded, it is time to make the dressing for the salad.

Mash three cloves of garlic with a mortar and pestle with plenty of salt.


Spoon the mashed garlic into a jar, along with olive oil. Squeeze in lemon juice and then add the dried mint. Put a lid on the jar and shake!


Apply the dressing to only as much cabbage as you will be eating that day. Save the additional dressing and cabbage in fridge for up to two days.


Serve with Mjadara!




Cabbage Salad with Garlic and Mint

1 head of green cabbage

3 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons of salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1-2 lemons

2 teaspoons of dried mint


  1. Quarter cabbage, shred cabbage very thinly using a mandoline or knife. Put cabbage into a large bowl.
  2. In mortar place 3 cloves of garlic with the salt. Mash garlic until it is a smooth creamy paste.
  3. Spoon garlic into a jar, add  olive oil and squeeze in 1-2 lemons (depending of how juicy they are).
  4. Add dried mint to jar.
  5. Place the lid on the jar and shake.
  6. Pour the dressing onto the cabbage. Using only what you will eat in one day.

Mona’s Mjadara

6 Oct

I was more than a little intimated when I first started dating Daniel, his mother Mona is an excellent cook. Born and raised in Lebanon Mona grew up cooking traditional Lebanese dishes that can knock your socks off. Daniel insisted that if I were to be a good Lebanese wife that I learn all of his favorite dishes. Although my cooking lessons with Mona were disastrous at first (she measures tablespoons with what ever spoon is handy), I have come to master certain dishes and Mjadara is one of my staples. Daniel insists that we have Mjadara a couple of times a month.

Mjadara is a lentil and rice dish that is hearty, healthy, vegan and easy to make.

Start by cooking the lentils, add 2 cups of lentils to 6 cups of water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are soft. Do not add salt to the water as it will harden the beans.

While the lentils are cooking, dice a large sweet onion. In a deep saute pan heat olive oil and then add diced onion. Cook onion on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, then reduce heat to medium till onion is golden and soft.

When lentils are tender and soft turn the heat off. At this point you have two options, use an immersion blender to puree the lentils in the pot or use a blender or food processor.Add the sautéed onions to the lentil puree and add basmati rice. Cook until rice softens, then bring to a boil. Add salt and serve.

Mona’s Mjadara

2 cups dry lentils (french green)

6  cups of water

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion

1/4 cup basmati rice

salt to taste

  1. Add lentils to water in large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer till lentils are soft.
  2. Dice onion and add with olive oil in a large saute pan. Saute till onion is golden and soft ( approx. 15 minutes).
  3. Puree lentils with Immersion blender, add sautéed onions and rice. Stir and cook till rice is soft. Bring slowly to a boil and then add salt.
  4. Serve with warm pita bread and cabbage salad .

I love to use the pita bread to scoop the Mjadara and eat without a fork. The leftover are great wrapped up in a pita to make a sandwich.