olive oil baked chickpeas + egg + spinach with sumac

olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking

Even though I am someone who loves to cook and spend hours and hours in the kitchen, recently I have been working on ways to simplify this area of my life. I have been challenging myself to use less pots and pans, less ingredients, and take less trip to the grocery store. I want to encourage myself to eat most of my meals at home (and not be tempted by takeout) by simplifying my day to day habits revolving food.

Since we are in deep winter, I loath trips to the grocery store where I have to lug back bags of veggies in whipping winds and freezing cold temps. So this winter I have been dedicated to using every single vegetable in my kitchen before making another trip to buy more. Even if that means I am down to only 1 onion, a couple pieces of kale and a half eaten banana. I will find a way to make it work.

I have to admit, I am often guilty of buying more than I need, and restocking before I need to, which means sometimes veggies and other things get thrown away. I hate wasting food, the guilt weighs heavy on me even if I am just throwing away a half-used bunch of wilted parsley. Because of this, I knew that it would be easy for to stick to using up what I have. The best part about this is that it has forced me to get even more creative in the kitchen, and I am loving the challenge of coming up with ways to use ingredients in new ways.

That was kind of how this simple, but extremely satisfying dish came to be. I always have both dried and canned chickpeas on hand, my favorite of the pulses. Pulses are delicious, sustainable, protein packed powerhouses that are ideal for stocking the pantry. I have been known to dump a can of chickpeas into a baking dish with olive oil and herbs and make that my dinner. Chickpeas and olive oil are definitely a winning pair …. so, one morning when I was craving those savory olive oil chickpeas, I decided to add those to a baking dish along with the last of my spinach. I cracked in a couple of eggs to make it more of a hearty breakfast meal, and sprinkled a little sumac (my favorite spice in my pantry) on top, and out came a breakfast that was destined to be a new favorite of mine.  This dish, with just a couple of basic ingredients, ones that can easily be interchanged based on what you have on hand, packs so much flavor …. and, if you happen make a little extra, the leftovers are even better the next day.

This post is by sponsored by USA Pulses + Pulse Canada. VisitPulsePledge.com for more recipes and information. Thanks for supporting the brands that support what’s cooking good looking.

olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking

OLIVE OIL BAKED EGGS WITH CHICKPEAS + SPINACH + SUMAC

You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients and cook it in a larger cast iron pan. Sumac is not necessarily easy to find, you usually have to seek it out in a specialty store or online. If you do not own it already, I will encourage you to find some (maybe on amazon) and add it to your spice rack. Otherwise, feel free to use any other spice that you like. Coriander or cumin would also work well in this dish. 

SERVES
2

INGREDIETNS

14-15oz of canned chickpeas rinsed (or about 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, if using dried)
a handful of spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
½ teaspoon of paprika
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
black pepper
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs

optional toppings: some additional sumac, sliced scallions, sliced avocado, a spoonful of harissa or pesto or another sauce if you choice

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.
  • Place the chickpeas and spinach into a small baking dish, add the sumac (if using), paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, and carefully crack the two eggs over the chickpeas and return to the oven. Bake for another 5-8 minutes. I like to check it at 5 minutes, and if they eggs are too jiggly and not cooked, return for another 2-3. You want the whites to be cooked, but the yolk to be a little runny. Serve right away, and top with any additional toppings you like. 

split pea + white bean chili

split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking

I am so excited to be back in this space, giving it some love after a little break to work on a super fun project that I will be sharing all the details on next week.

Because my workload has been full-force, I’ve being hygee-ing hard these past couple of deep winter weeks …..  if you’re not yet hip on hygee, it’s a Danish word that is used to describe all things cozy and comforting. A couple of months ago, when Michael and I went to Copenhagen, we decided to take a day trip to a quaint, lovely Danish city, Arhaus, a little over two hours from Copenhagen to visit my dear food friend, Sif. When we were there, Sif was so kind to give Michael and I a book that she loved and said was a great representation of Danish culture, and how they get through the very dark and cold winters, with a cheerful dispositions and big smiles on their faces. On the train ride back to Copenhagen, Michael and I thumbed through our gift, The Little Book of Hygee, and being the big-time homebodies that we are, we loved how this Danish word perfectly summed up living your best homebound winter life. It’s all about embracing those little comforts of home, the fireplace, the cozy blankets, the big mugs of warm tea, and the comfy stretchy pants.

Of course, for us especially, a big part about winter hygee is making food at home. Big bowls of simple, warming, delicious, comfort food. We also like to do this while taking minimal trips to the grocery store, which means keeping the pantry well-stocked with nutritious pulses such as lentils and beans. Recently I picked up some split peas to add to the pantry, and I was so excited to use them and make something beyond the typical split pea soup with ham. Split peas actually have a really wonderful texture similar to lentils when cooked, so I wanted to make something that emphasized that, instead of puréeing them like so many recipes do.

I have made chili with lentils before, I have also made it with white beans, but spilt peas I knew were going to be a refreshing way to make an easy, comforting bowl of this spicy goodness. Plus, why do darker beans get to have all the fun when it comes to chili? One of my favorite things about this chili is the contrast in texture between the spilt pea and the white bean, and with a little bit of spice and kick, it is the best kind of food to make when you are in full-on hygee mode.  

 

*This post is sponsed by sponsored by USA Pulses + Pulse Canada. Visit PulsePledge.com for more recipes and information. Thanks for supporting the brands that support what’s cooking good looking!

split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking
split pea + white bean chili | what's cooking good looking

SPLIT PEA + WHITE BEAN CHILI

SERVES
4

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 poblanos, de-seeded and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
14.5oz can of organic canned cannellini beans, drained
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of chili powder
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of dried green split peas
4 cups of vegetable, chicken, or bone broth
sea salt

for the cilantro yogurt (optional):
1 cup of plain greek yogurt (cashew or almond milk yogurt if you prefer)
2 green onions, white parts minced (green parts reserved as a garnish for the soup)
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of lime juice (or lemon)
a handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped

additional toppings: sliced avocado and the reserved green scallions

 

METHOD

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee or oil over medium heat and add the onions, and poblanos. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the poblanos are soft. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the cannellini beans, coriander, cumin, and cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Then add the spilt peas, vegetable broth. Give it a good stir, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook partially covered for about 30-40 minutes. The chili should start to reduce and thicken, and the spilt peas will become tender. Taste and add salt if needed (this will depend on how salty your broth is, and it might not be necessary).

While the chili is cooking, make the cilantro yogurt by stirring together all the ingredients for the yogurt in a small bowl. 

Divide the chili amongst bowls and add a spoonful of the cilantro yogurt and any other toppings you like. 

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking

If you've come over to my place for dinner in the past few months, it is likely that I've made this for you. It's been one of my favorite recipes for both small and large dinner parties, mainly because this is something you can make for eight people as easily as you can for one. But also because it has a fancy feel to it with out of control flavors. Actually, I will let you in on a little secret. What I really do is make this for myself, and make a double batch of the caraway paste (which is the base of the sauce) while in my comfy pants binge watching netflix. Then, when I make this for a dinner party, it's that much easier to throw it all together. 

I stumbled on this recipe several months ago when I had an unusual craving for salmon + spicy tomato sauce ..... so, of course, I did what you do when a specific craving comes on ...... I googled salmon and spicy tomato sauce. I came across a recipe on bon appétite that was exactly what I was looking for. After carefully reading through the instructions, I noticed that it was an Ottolenghi recipe. Of course it is. That is why it looked so flavorful and so delicious. I have so many internet recipes bookmarked, some I come back to more than once, but there are very few that I revisit over and over. This is one of those recipes. 

The thing that is great about this dish, is that this spicy tomato sauce can be paired with ANYthing. If you don't like salmon, or it's not in season, you can use a white fish. If you are a vegetarian, you can make this with cauliflower or broccoli. I cannot think of a fish/veg/meat that this would not go well with. You can make the caraway/garlic flavor bomb paste in advance, or, do what I do and make a double batch each time you make this, store it in the fridge, and then you can quickly throw this together in under 30 minutes. One more bonus is that this uses tomato paste, and only tomato paste to make the tomato sauce. I was kind of skeptical, since I do not really understand or love tomato paste. Mostly because when a recipe calls for a tablespoon of it, I put the rest in the fridge and find it months later, way in the back, moldy, and into the trash it goes. I bet that you've throw out a jar or two of half-used tomato paste too. This is a recipe that you can make to use up that half-filled jar of tomato paste, or if you're opening a new jar to make this, I bet it won't be long before you make this again and use up the rest. 

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking
salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce | what's cooking good looking

salmon + spicy caraway tomato sauce 

This recipe is adapted from THIS recipe on Bon Appétit by Ottolenghi. If you do not like salmon, or it is not available, you can use a white fish. A thicker version would be best, such as halibut. If you are a vegetarian, you can switch out the fish for cauliflower or broccoli. The method for cooking the vegetable would be pretty much the same as described here for the fish. Lastly, you can make the caraway/garlic paste in advance, and store it in the fridge until you're ready to use. 

SERVES
2-4

INGREDIENTS

for the caraway / garlic paste:
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
about 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil

2-4 8oz pieces of wild salmon
sea salt + pepper
about 3 tablespoons of sunflower (high-heat, neutral) oil


2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of filtered water
a pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sugar

optional toppings: a couple of minced scallions, a handful of chopped cilantro, a handful of microgreens

NOTES on serving: I always serve this with quinoa or rice on the side, since it asborbs the sauce nicely. 

METHOD

First, make the caraway / garlic paste:

  • Toast the caraway seeds for a couple of minutes on low heat in a dry frying pan. Grind the seeds using a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder, until FINELY ground (if using a mortal and pestle, this takes a bit of elbow grease).  
  • Add the ground caraway to a food processor,  along with the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon, and pulse a few times until combined. Add in the sunflower oil and run continuously until a thick paste has formed. Set aside until you're ready to use. You can make this paste ahead of time and keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container for at least a week (maybe two). 

Sear the salmon:

  • Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron over medium high heat (the pan should be hot enough so that the salmon sizzles when it hits the pan).  Add the salmon, skin side up, and cook for two minutes, flip, and then cook for about three minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate while you cook the tomato sauce. 

Make the sauce, and finish cooking the salmon:

  • Using the same pan and oil you just cooked the salmon in, add another tablespoon of the oil and lower the heat to medium low. Add the caraway garlic paste and cook for about two minutes, while stirring, until fragrant. 
  • Add the tomato paste and water and stir until everything is combined. Add the salt, lemon juice, and sugar, and stir again. Lastly, add the salmon back to the pan. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes (for medium rare) or 8 minutes (for medium well). Serve immediately with any of the suggested toppings. 

 

raspberry chipotle chocolate truffles

chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking

 

The holiday season is already in full swing here in nyc. There are christmas trees for sale on many of the street corners in my neighborhood, holiday music is playing everywhere, and there are several parties to attend every week. We picked out and decorated our tree this past weekend, we have the harry connnick jr holiday pandora station on continuously, I dusted off my pine tree scented candles, and I feel like I am living in a state of overindulgent exhaustion.

I don't necessarily mind the overindulgence this time of year, as long as I can balance it out with healthy indulgence in the form of warm salads, soups, and smoothies. Oh, and maybe a health-ish dessert thrown in there too. 

Dessert feels like the first and best place to make a healthier switch during the holidays, and each year I try to come up with a couple of recipes that I can make for us or bring to a party to lessen the dairy, gluten, and sugar load just a little. Last year I made THIS pie which I cannot wait to make again. This year, I am adding in these very easy to make 3-ish ingredient truffles, with Tabasco's raspberry chipotle hot sauce to give them a sweet little zing. I have always been into making super easy truffles, and I love it when chocolate-y things have a spicy kick to them, so this seems like the perfect treat to add to my repertoire this winter. 

This really delicious raspberry chipotle hot sauce by Tabasco is a must-have for your fridge! Especially if you're like me and you love when sweet gets together with spicy. This would go so well with so many things (I am thinking dessert, swirled into some vanilla ice cream), and would also make a great stocking stuffer. You can only find it online, but you can easily order a bottle of your own HERE.

**This post is sponsored by TABASCO, in conjunction with the #TABACSOtastemakers trip. All thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support WCGL! 

chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking
chipotle raspberry chocolate truffles | what's cooking good looking

raspberry chipotle chocolate truffles 

If you want to make these truffles and you do not have the raspberry chipotle sauce handy, you can simply omit it, and add a couple of extra pinches of cayenne (if you still want a spicy kick). 

MAKES
about 2 dozen truffles

INGREDIENTS

12oz of 70-80% dark chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup of canned full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
a dash of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of Tabasco raspberry chipotle hot sauce
a pinch or two of chipotle or cayenne (optional, if you want an extra kick)

toppings: 
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
a tablespoon of gogi or pomegranate powder (optional)


METHOD

  • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over low heat and add the chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has completely melted. Add the salt, cinnamon, and raspberry chipotle sauce and stir to incorporate. 
  • Remove from the heat and immediately transfer to small baking dish (I like to use a loaf pan). Refrigerate for a minimum of three hours, over overnight, until the mixture has solidified. 
  • Place the cacao powder, and any of the additional toppings (if you choose), onto a flat plate. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop the chocolate to form the truffles, roll them between the palm of your hands to make a smooth ball shape, and place them on the plate with the cacao and roll it in the cacao until covered. Do this until all of the truffles have been formed. 
  • Place them back into the fridge for another 3 hours, minimum, or until you're ready to enjoy. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container.

 

harissa + coconut milk baked delicata squash with lentils + toasted almonds

roasted squash + lentil coconut curry | what's cooking good looking

This recipe has a funny little story behind it. Last week, in the midst of writing and cooking for thanksgiving, I was in need of a quick, pantry staple kind of lunch. I had recently seen a recipe in Donny Hay magazine for a pumpkin, lentil, korma curry that was all baked together in one pan. I loved the idea of baking a curry-type dish the oven, while only dirtying one pan, so I thought, maybe I’ll give something like that a try. I had some delicata squash, lentils and coconut milk. I also had a red onion, some almonds and herbs. I did not have any curry paste, so I decided to add harissa for flavor and for a kick. I threw these ingredients into a baking dish and crossed my fingers. I had no idea how it would turn out, and I was so surprised, that out came a delicious, fancy-ish, healthy meal, loaded with flavor and texture, and filled with some of my favorite ingredients.

The next day I met up with my good friend Hetty for coffee and a pre-thanksgiving union square greenmarket run. As we sipped coffee and chatted about what we were going to make for t-day, she surprised me with a jar of harissa from her friends NYShuk. I laughed and told her about my semi-accidental, one-pan, pantry recipe success where the harissa was the star ingredient … and that I couldn’t wait to test it again with my new harissa (which is also now my new favorite now, btw).

Being the delicata squash lover that I am (it’s all about that delicious, edible skin) I am always looking for new ways (besides the classic, roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper) to enjoy my favorite fall veggie. I have also been looking to create more one-pot/dish/pan meals, because who doesn’t want less hassle and less dishes to wash. I have a feeling this recipe will become a new all-time favorite of mine for both a quick lunch, or a dinner party side dish. 

harissa + coconut milk baked delicata squash with lentils and toasted almonds

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I spotted in the most recent Donna Hay magazine for tray-roasted pumpkin and lentil korma curry. Feel free to use a curry paste instead of the harissa if you prefer. 

SERVES
4-6

INGREDIETNS

2 medium sized delicata squashes, seeds scooped and sliced into half moons
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
¼ cup of harissa (my favorite is NYSHUK )

13.5oz can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of lentils

1/3 cup of toasted almonds
A handful of chopped herbs of your choice such as: cilantro, basil, parsley

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425º.
  • In a medium sized, deep baking dish, toss the squash and onion with the harissa, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle the lentils evenly over the vegetables and pour the coconut milk and water over the top, making sure the lentils are submerged. Return to the oven and cook for another 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
  • Top with the toasted almonds and herbs, and serve warm.