Super Food: Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Sweet meets Savory

This healthy & hearty salad made in one pot is hard to beat. It takes maybe 30 minutes to prepare and it’s a delicious vegetarian meal packed with protein which comes in handy for lunch. Non-vegetarians can enjoy it for dinner served as a side along roast chicken or fish. 


  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetarian broth (or water)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup finely diced flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup sliced toasted almonds


  1. Add coconut oil to a large pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot add in onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the following spices: turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and salt and pepper; cook for 30 seconds more.
  2. Next add in broth (or water) and quinoa; bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  3. Stir in chickpeas, cranberries and parsley to the quinoa and mix until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with toasted almonds and extra parsley. Serves 4.
  4. To serve: Place in mason jars or meal prep containers for lunch throughout the week. Garnish with extra toasted almonds.

Quinoa: with 8 grams per cup, this gluten-free seed-like grain is a fantastic source of protein, magnesium, antioxidants, and fiber.

Recipe & Photo:



Food: Flu Fighting Soup

Winter Veggie Soup for flu & cold seasonsoup1
I made a whole batch of this soup and ended up freezing most of it.  The name of this recipe was formerly called “anti-cancer” soup because of the goodness of all the wholesome ingredients but I changed the name to anti-flu soup.  In general, it’s just a great overall recipe that tastes really good. I just unfroze a container and added brown rice macaroni which made it a complete meal (especially for lunch).
Serves: 12-16 servings (almost feeds an army!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper, to preference
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or other dried herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley)
  • 12 cups (or 3 32-ounce cartons) of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup lentils (any kind will work; rinse first)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped finely
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1-2 cups frozen green peas
  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Season lightly with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to your preferred heat level), and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and lentils. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (slight bubbling), stirring occasionally. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add all other vegetables except frozen peas (zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach) and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in frozen peas and turn off heat (or turn to low), so they don’t overcook. Remove bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. If you like, serve with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and/or whole grain crackers or crusty bread.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze: 
Fully cook and cool the soup. (Do not leave soup out on counter more than 2 hours.) Divide soup into freezer bags or containers and freeze.

To thaw and reheat: 
Thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Then reheat gently over low heat on the stove or in a crockpot. Another option is to put the frozen soup block over low to medium-low heat on the stove top or in a crock pot. Add about 1-2 cups of water or broth over the top. Gently warm over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.




Food:  Onion Pie

This delightful dish that’s very similar to quiche comes courtesy of our friend Ruth.  IMG_20150208_184532She brought it over for a Grammy party and everyone raved about how amazing it tasted so it was only right to ask her to share the recipe.  She said she didn’t have one (don’t you hate it when people say that?) but thankfully she wrote down the steps:

For the Pastry:

To make one 9” pie crust:

1 cup of *pastry flour (either whole wheat or white)

½ tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter

3 Tbsp. cold water

Directions:  Cut cold butter into small cubes.  Then with a knife cut cold butter into sifted flour/salt mix.  Add water until you have a workable dough.

Roll out and line pie plate.  Place in freezer until the filling is ready.  Doing this helps to make the crust flaky.

For Filling:

1 ½ cup finely chopped onions or combo of onion & mushrooms – sauté onions until caramelized.  Ruth sautés the onions and mushrooms separately.

½ cup of grated sharp cheese like Cheddar or Gruyère

½ cup milk

1 Tbsp. of **non-instant powdered mik

2 Eggs

¼ tsp. salt

1-2 Tbsp. fresh Thyme

2-3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbsp. Oil (your choice – olive, avocado, coconut or grapeseed)


Mix milk (both wet & dry), eggs, salt, thyme, nutritional yeast and oil in blender.

Layer onion (then mushroom if using), then cheese in pie plate.

Pour blended mixture over top.

Bake at 375F for 10 minutes then turn oven temperature to 350F.  Bake an additional 15-30 minutes until brown.  Check with a toothpick inserted in the middle to make sure it’s not too wet.


*make sure it’s pastry flour & not all-purpose

**There are two basic kinds of powdered milks, instant and non-instant or “regular”.  They are processed a little differently so the end results are not the same.  The texture is also different. Some instant powdered milks look flaky but the non-instant is definitely “powdery”.  Non-instant milk is denser and more concentrated. Maybe not as easy to find as regular.


Food – Roasted Heirloom Tomato Sauce


Looking at my photos from Italy got me thinking about the simplicity of good, fresh, local ingredients.tomato

Many of the farmers markets are open until the end of October so you can pick up a nice selection of fresh tomatoes.

This is a quick, easy, and delicious basic tomato sauce that can be dressed up with spices and herbs for pasta, stews and pizzas.  Although the recipe calls for heirloom, you can use any kind of tomatoes you like – it will make an array of prettily colored sauces.


  • 4lbs tomatoes quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup of fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Pimenton
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
  • Selection of sterilized jars with tight fitting lids

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large ceramic baking dish and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.
  3. Remove from the oven and take out the bay leaves. Rest the tomatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce the oven heat to 250°F.
  5. Place the tomato mixture in the blender and working in batches, turning the tomatoes either either smooth or slightly chunky depending on your preference.
  6. Pour the sauce into the prepared sterilized jars leaving a ¼” space and screw the lids on. Tap the jars on the counter top to get rid of air pockets and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Place in the oven for 30 minutes to seal.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You will hear a pinging sound as each lid seals. Check to make sure that the center of the lid is concaved. (If a jar does not seal store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)
  8. Label and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Valerie Aikman-Smith for

Simply Italian: One-pan Orecciette with Chickpeas and Olives

getting started
getting started looks almost like soup

Here we go again….cooking with chickpeas.  Chickpeas (otherwise known as Garbanzo beans), like most legumes have long been valued for their fiber content. Do you know that people who consume garbanzo beans on a regular basis have better blood fat regulation including lower levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides?

Orecciette pasta is much easier to find nowadays (I don’t remember how many stores I went through trying to find it years ago) – it has a tiny ear-shape look to it.  It really means just that:  from orecchio (ear) + etto (small).  There, now you can speak some Italian!

This recipe is from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart and it is a very simple but tasty dish.  So very Italian!

Then it becomes more
Then it becomes more

Ingredients to Serve 4:

12 ounces Orecchiette

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup of Kalamata olives, pitted

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 6-inch sprig of Rosemary

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 ½ ounces), plus more for serving

2 cups baby arugula (about 2 ounces)

Combine pasta, chickpeas, olives, tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, oil, pepper flakes, and 4 cups of water in a large straight-sided skillet.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and liquid is reduced to a sauce that coats pasta, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, discard rosemary, and stir in arugula until just wilted and cheese to coat.  Add more water only if needed to thin out sauce, a few tablespoons at a time. Divide pasta among bowls and serve immediately, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and pepper flakes.

Finished Product.  I added Truffle Oil

buon appetito!








simply satisfying: Indian Sour Chickpeas

This is what I made for a “celebration of life” pot-luck dinner last Saturday.

adding the reserve mixture
adding the reserve mixture

Edna (the lovely woman who passed away) had quite the reputation for her love of cooking, doing it amazingly well and of course, she had a repertoire of recipes, many of them Indian.  We were requested to cook & bring one of her recipes.

rinsed & waiting
rinsed & waiting

I love Indian but hadn’t made a vegetarian Indian dish in a long time.  I must admit that this one didn’t sound especially appealing at first but trust me, the end result was so delicious….especially when all the flavors from the spices melded together.  The end result was more like a chickpea stew and you could taste the ginger and lemon which I love. It’s healthy too! I served it alongside cut up pieces of Naan bread.  I didn’t change a thing about the recipe (as I wanted to re-create it exactly as she had) but I think it would look nice with a few sprigs of cilantro sprinkled over top for garnish. Oh, when I went back to the buffet table for a second platter (remember, they were mostly her recipes) it had vanished.  So Enjoy!

After a bit of research I found out that the origin of this recipe is Delhi street vendor style.


Use either ¾ lb. of dried chickpeas or 1 x 16 oz. can.  If using dried, cover them with water and bring to a boil, and let sit for an hour.  If using canned, rinse well and soak them overnight.

3 pints water (6 cups)

3 or 4 very finely chopped onions

2 ½ tsp salt

1 finely chopped hot chili

3 or 4 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

4 tbsp lemon juice (from two small lemons)

1/3 cup cooking oil (preferably coconut, or canola)

2 or 3 chopped tomatoes

1 ½ tbsp ground coriander

1 ½ tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

3 tsp garam masala (see recipe below)

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Bring peas and water to a boil, and let simmer till beans are tender, approx. one hour.  This is for both dried or canned.

It should look like this
The reserve mixture should look like this.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tbsp chopped onion, ½ tsp salt, chili, ginger and lemon juice in a small cup or bowl.  Set aside.

Heat oil in heavy pan on medium heat and add remaining onions, stirring and frying till they have reddish brown spots (about 10 minutes). Add tomatoes, stir and fry another 4 or 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir and cook for about half a minute. Add drained chickpeas, about a cup of the cooking liquid, 2 tsp. salt, the garam masala and cayenne, stir and simmer very gently for about 20 or 25 minutes.

Add the reserved onion mixture and stir to mix. Serve hot or lukewarm.chickpea1TIPS:  onions should be soft & nicely browned.  It should turn out quite lemony & very well cooked.  I used a 19 oz. can of chickpeas for this and 1 red thai chili (but you can use any hot chili).

I made my own blend Garam Masala (a warming spice mix) from an Indian cookbook so I used that, but of course they sell it already packaged.  I just thought it would be cool to make my own.  Should you feel so inclined I’ll share the recipe:

Garam Masala from scratch:

8 Cardamon pods (remove the seeds from the cardamon pods).

2 Indian bay leaves (cassia leaves) – break them into small pieces.

1 tsp. black peppercorns

2 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsp. coriander seeds

5 cm. (2 in.) cinnamon stick

1 tsp. cloves

Put everything into a spice grinder (or pestle and mortar) and grind to a fine powder.  Store in a small airtight container until needed.

Now make something to go with it.

Food board on Pinterest: