Category Archives: Recipes!

Favorite Ingredients: Chickpea & Arugula Salad

I’ve been wanting to find a way to incorporate some of my go-to recipes for awhile now. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it’s not so much the recipes, but the ingredients I re-visit time and time again.

Initially, my goal was to feature a specific ingredient each month, with a new recipe using that ingredient posted each week. But given the fact that I can barely muster one post a week, that may be ambitious. For now, we’ll start with one ingredient and one recipe!

Chickpeas.

I love me some chickpeas. They’re a bit of a super food, being high in fiber and protein and being a “healthy” carb. And as a frequent eater of “unhealthy” carbs, chickpeas are my savior.

One of my new favorite recipes is adapted from the one and only Mark Bittman and his cookbook, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Warm Chickpea Salad w/ Arugula

A couple bunches of Arugula
3 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Fresh Ginger (I use a refrigerated tube of it that I bought at my grocery store. Lasts long since I rarely use it.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. Honey
1 T. Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

While these are the recommended measurements, I typically eyeball everything and haven’t had it turn out wrong yet!

First, rinse your arugula and throw it in a bowl. Then, add your olive oil, garlic and ginger to a skillet on medium heat. Let the garlic soften and add the chickpeas. Add a little salt and pepper and let the chickpeas get hot, stirring occasionally. After about 3 minutes, remove the pan from heat and add the honey and red wine vinegar. Stir and begin to mash the chickpeas against the side of the pan. They should be soft, and you don’t need to mash them all, it’s more about roughening the mixture up a bit. Add the chickpeas to the arugula and toss. You could also add other salad toppings (onions, hard boiled eggs, etc.), but I never have.

This salad may require a stove and a pan, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard. The arugula gives it a bitter taste, but it’s softened with the sweetness of the chickpea mixture. By warming the chickpeas, the salad is comforting, making it great for every season. Last but definitely not least, because you’re essentially marinating the chickpeas in the dressing, the salad has just the right amount of dressing. I *hate* overly dressed salads, and this is simply perfect.

Served alongside an equally easy pork loin that I’ll have to share, too.

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A lasagna that might change your life

A few posts back, I mentioned a spectacular lasagna recipe. It’s my go-to meal when I have folks over for dinner because I’ve finally perfected it and can guarantee that it will turn out fab. Now that I’ve gotten it just right, I want to share it with you!

A sidenote — my camera died just as I went to take photos, and the iPhone photos did not turn out as expected. I promise to do better next time.

White Lasagna with Spinach, Artichokes, and Mushrooms
Adapted from a yoga magazine I picked up in 2006.

TO 

The ingredients
Lasagna Noodles
4 Cloves Garlic
1 T. Butter
2 to 3 C. Ricotta
16 oz. Mushrooms (white or cremini)
1 can (14 oz.) Artichoke Hearts
10 oz. Frozen Spinach (you can use fresh if you roll like that)
3/4 C. dry white wine
1 Bag Shredded Mozarella
Parmesan

The utensils
Pasta pot
baking dish — 9×13 works, but I use one that’s a little smaller because I’m just one person!
Non-stick skillet or pan
Chopping knife, regular knife, spatula, stirring device
Garlic mincer (optional, but AMAZING)

The How-To

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cook lasagna according to package directions
  3. While that’s going, mince your garlic and chop your artichokes and ‘shrooms. A rough chop is fine, and don’t forget to drain the artichokes. No need for all that extra liquid.
  4. Throw a tab of butter and the minced garlic into a nonstick pan on medium heat. Let the butter melt and the garlic cook — but don’t let it burn!
  5. Throw in the artichokes and ‘shrooms. Let the concoction cook down a bit (maybe 3 minutes), allowing the mushrooms to darken/soften.
  6. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes more so the liquid reduces slightly.
  7. Add the frozen spinach. If you’ve thawed the spinach, or you’re using fresh spinach, you can also wait and layer it in when you’re building the lasagna. I don’t do this for two reasons: I’m too lazy to actually thaw the spinach, so cooking it with everything else allows it to thaw a bit, and I make sure I don’t forget it, which I’ve been known to do when I add it on its own.
  8. Buy this point, it’s time to drain the pasta. Here is where the wheels usually fall off the wagon. If you’re not careful, the noodles will rip apart. So, I’d suggest draining them and then running cold water over them so you can pick them up by hand instead of using tongs.
  9. Now, fill your baking dish with a bottom layer of noodles and spread ricotta on top. I still haven’t found a good way to spread ricotta, so I just kind of glop it on the noodles. Then, add half of your spinach, mushroom, artichoke mixture. Don’t worry if a little of the cooking liquid makes it into the dish, it’ll just maximize the taste! Finally, top the layer with some Mozzarella and Parmesan.
  10. Layer another set of lasagna noodles and the rest of your Ricotta, veggie, Mozzarella mixture.
  11. Add the final layer of lasagna noodles and top with the remaining mozarella.
  12. Cover with foil and put in oven for 20ish minutes. Since you’ve already cooked the lasagna noodles, you’re really just melting the cheese and melding all the good parts into one fabulous dish.

While it’s getting all bubbly and ooey-gooey, go ahead and clean up the kitchen, throw together a quick spinach salad, and open a great Cabernet. You’ve got the time.

When the cheese is nice and bubbly, remove from oven and serve immediately, but not before adding a bit more Parmesan. After all, you’ve got so much cheesy goodness going on already, why not add a bit more?!

When I make a pan, I can typically eat it for several days (again, I’m just one person and it makes a lot). I’m also a notorious bring-my-lunch employee, so a pan of this ensures I’ll have lunch for at least part of the week.

Enjoy!

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