Spiced Chickpeas with Mixed Greens

When I made roasted tomato coconut soup last week, the recipe called for two tablespoons of tomato paste. Unfortunately, tomato paste comes in a 6oz jar. As a result, I’ve had 6 ounces (less 2 tablespoons) of tomato paste sitting in my fridge for the last few days. I also had about half of a 12oz bag of mixed greens, so I decided to use these two ingredients as the basis for a dish. Wanting to involve a protein, chickpeas seemed like a good fit.

On my roommate’s recommendation, I checked out a Spinach and Chickpeas recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Referencing Smitten Kitchen’s spices, I made up my own recipe. *full recipe below

Heat 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and 6 ounces tomato paste (less 2 tablespoons) in a skillet:

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Stir to combine and add one can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed:

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Add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala, stir to combine:

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Add 6oz mixed greens (this is an approximation as I used about half of a 12oz bag):

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Continue to mix until the greens cook down:

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This entire recipe look less than 15 minutes to come together. I divided it into two tupperwares with some roasted potatoes to bring for lunch during the week:

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Ingredients
- 6oz can of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 6oz mixed greens
Method
Combine water, vinegar, and tomato paste in a skillet. Stir to combine.
Add garbanzo beans, paprika, and garam masala. Stir to combine.
Add mixed greens and cook, mixing constantly, until the greens wilt.
Serve and enjoy!
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Easy Tuna Bean Salad

Sorry for the hiatus in posting – I was out of town last weekend for a work related trip. While away, I managed to get in a couple workouts at the hotel fitness room. I did one 5-mile run:

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And I also got in a 45 minute elliptical workout. I was staying at a Hilton, and the fitness center had the essentials but nothing fancy: two treadmills, two ellipticals, two bikes, and some dumbbells.

When I got home, I was very ready to return to normal eating (food on vacation is fun for a little, but I like to return to my regular routine). I decided to make some tuna bean salad for lunches during the week. This recipe was really easy, took about 10 minutes to put together, and will provide healthy and delicious lunches all week! This is all you need:

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One large can of cannellini beans, one can of tuna, plain greek yogurt, dijon mustard, and capers. I drained and rinsed the beans, drained the tuna, and combined them in a bowl. I topped them with about 1/4 cup of chobani (generously portioned), one tablespoon of dijon mustard, and approximately 1.5 tablespoons of drained capers:

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Mix it all up:

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Divide into four lunches (I put my tuna salad over spinach):

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Top with tomato:

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And eat yummy lunches all week! When I bring these to work, I’ll also bring some pita and hummus to eat with.

Oat Bran Protein Pancakes

Earlier this week, I looked outside and was sad to see that it looked like this:

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Little did I know, that only a few short days later it would look like this:

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What?!?! #Minnesota in mid-April #WTH

There is a silver lining though. While the weather gets worse, my protein powder pancakes recipe is getting better! A few days ago I posted about these protein pancakes made with rolled oats. They were good, but I wanted to keep experimenting. Today, I tried basically the same recipe but with oat bran instead of regular rolled oats.

First, mix 1/3 cup oat bran with 1 teaspoon ground flax:

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Add one egg and 1/3 cup cottage cheese:

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Add one scoop protein powder (I used Tera’s Whey chocolate):

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Mix all together:

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Cook on the skillet for about 3 minutes on each side:

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I am getting so much better at flipping the pancakes! I think that was partly because the oat bran held these pancakes together better than the rolled oats did. I topped my pancakes with walnut butter and a couple teaspoons maple syrup:

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These were very good, but I definitely want to experiment more with other pancake varieties. Anyone know some yummy, quick, and healthy pancake recipes?

Honey Wheat Quick Bread and Birthdays

Depending on what time zone you’re in, either today or tomorrow is my roommate’s birthday. To celebrate, she hosted a potluck at our apartment over the weekend. It was really classy, see?

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What do I wear to such a classy party?

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A black sequined dress, obviously.

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Since it was a potluck I couldn’t just show up empty handed, so I made a quick bread. I found inspiration from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book (copyright date: 1985), but I ended up making my own recipe.

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I like this cookbook because
1) the recipes are good and,
2) I think it’s slightly comical that it’s advertised as a special high-carbohydrate cookbook.

High-carb, of course, to maximize health. Here is a quote from the back cover:
Jane Brody’s nutrition book…demonstrated the dramatic health benefits of a diet that relies on complex carbohydrates – foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, beans and bread.

In case you didn’t notice, those are EXACTLY the foods that are most vilified in mainstream diet culture today. I think it’s a great illustration of how ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods are more a product of diet fads and marketing rather than a reflection of what is actually best for our bodies.

Anyway…I made some quick bread inspired by Brody’s honey health bread (p. 590 if you have the book). My recipe was as follows:

Ingredients
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups coconut creamer
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Method
Mix all dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. 
Combine the wet and dry and stir until one consistency. 
Pour into a 9x5x3 bread pan and cook at 325° for one hour.

Tada!

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The bread was thick, chewy, and had a mild flavor. Since the whole loaf didn’t get eaten at the party, I decided to be creative and make french toast for breakfast in the morning! For the batter, I combined one egg with a few shakes of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and a generous splash of coconut milk. That amount of batter was enough for two full slices (which would be four of the half-slices pictured above), plus a little extra. On the skillet:

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I’m a lot better at flipping french toast than I am at flipping pancakes. Go figure.

All done – plated and topped with walnut butter, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and a banana:

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Yum. This sort of french toast is so much more satisfying than the white bread kind at most restaurants.

 

Curried Onions and Eggs

I have been really into eggs lately. Specifically, soft-boiled eggs. They are a great protein source for lunch or dinner, they are SUPER easy to make, and they are incredibly versatile. Since eggs last a long time in the fridge, they are especially convenient for keeping around to use when there’s not a lot of other food in the house. Last week, I was preparing to leave town for 8 days (more on that to come), so I didn’t want to buy any meat or other protein that would go bad if I didn’t finish it. So, eggs were the obvious choice. 🙂 Here is how to make the perfect soft boiled egg:

Bring water in a saucepan to boil. You will need enough water to fully cover whatever number of eggs you want to cook:

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Once water is boiling, add in the eggs. You will want to use a spoon to place the eggs into the water. If you just drop them, there is a chance they will crack by hitting the bottom of the pot:

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Cover the eggs and simmer for 5 minutes (timing is important, so set a timer). Once the eggs are soft-cooked, drain the hot water from the pot immediately and refill with cold water. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for a few minutes:

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Once the eggs are cool, peel and eat or store in the fridge. These particular soft-boiled eggs were made to be served with…brown rice, curried onions, and spinach!

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The curried onions were also an “I don’t have a lot of food in the house and don’t want to buy more” concoction, and they turned out great. All you need is one yellow onion, a little butter, and some curry powder. Heat the butter (I used a couple teaspoons) in a skillet:

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Once the butter is melted, add in a few shakes of curry powder, adjusted to your spice preference:

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Add in the chopped onion:

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Cook until translucent and beginning to brown, stirring frequently (it took about 10 minutes for me):

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Put everything together…

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Delish! Also, as a side note, the brown rice I used here was the quick cook kind. But, instead of using regular water to cook the rice, I used coconut water with a tiny bit of coconut cream. This gave a really nice flavor and a touch of creaminess that I enjoyed. I would recommend it as a pairing with curry and other similarly spiced foods.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Soup

The crock pot made an appearance in my kitchen last night. Or, more specifically, all night. One joy of the crockpot is that it’s okay to put it up right before bed because nothing bad will happen when you leave it to cook all night long. I made chicken soup that followed the Hungry Chick Chunky Soup recipe from Hungry Girl pretty closely. full recipe below

Preparation for the recipe consists of compiling all ingredients, throwing them together in the crockpot, and letting them cook for hours. Simple, right?

First, slice chicken and chop carrots and onion:

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Gather chicken broth, cannellini beans, stewed tomatoes, cabbage, seasonings, and frozen peas:

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Combine in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours:

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Wake up in the morning to a delicious smelling kitchen:

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Crockpot Chicken Soup
serves 5
Ingredients
- 1.25 lbs chicken breasts
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2.5 cups chopped coleslaw mix
- 14.5 oz can cannellini beans
- 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- several liberal shakes thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken broth
Method
Combine all ingredients plus 1 cup water in a crockpot.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred chicken before serving.

Kidney Bean Patties

You really can’t go wrong with a veggie patty for lunch or dinner. They’re yummy, nutritious, high in protein, and easy to grab in a pinch if you make a big batch at the beginning of the week. I decided to make some kidney bean patties for the week since I had a big can of – you guessed it – kidney beans. (full recipe below)

The necessary ingredients: kindey beans (I had a 25oz. can, but two 15oz. cans would work), oats, whole wheat flour, ground cayenne, oregano, and an egg.

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Plus one chopped onion and garlic:

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Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but still textured:

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Form the mixture into 6 patties (I used a spatula to do this since the mixture was quite sticky) and bake at 425° for 15 minutes on each side.

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These patties held together really well, and I enjoyed the little kick provided by the cayenne. I served with couscous, spinach, and salsa, but they would also go great on a bun as a burger substitute.

Kidney Bean Patties
serves 6
Ingredients
- 25oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1 egg, beaten
Method
Preheat oven to 425°

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until combined but still textured. 
Use a spatula or large spoon to form mixture into 6 patties on a baking tray. 
Bake for 15 minutes on each side.