toasted chickpeas & chorizo over spinach

I swear this man can make anything sound good. I love his down-to-earth, yet exciting recipes like the lentils with curried tarka I made a while back. I actually can’t believe I don’t have “How To Cook Everything” yet, but the vegetarian version is on my Amazon wish-list. I paged through a copy and loved the sound of the recipes as well as the idea of eating “vegan until 6:00 pm.” I strive to follow a similar mantra.

With that said, this recipe needed a major make-over. A bed of fried spinach topped with fried chickpeas and chorizo? Mark, please. I know that it may have never been your intention to claim this as a “healthy” recipe, but drenching everything in oil, does not a good dinner make. So I worked my nutritionist magic and revised the recipe to a bed of wilted spinach and red pepper topped with toasted chickpeas and chorizo. Just as flavorful and so much healthier. I promise.

Toasted Chickpeas & Chorizo over Spinach adapted from Mark Bittman at The New York Times

  • 2 links chorizo, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 bag of spinach (5 oz), roughly chopped
  • cilantro (optional)

Heat pan and add chorizo. Cook until lightly browned and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to pan and add chickpeas, cooking until lightly toasted. Set aside with chorizo. Add last 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to pan and add pepper and spinach. Take off heat once spinach has wilted. Season with salt & pepper and serve chickpea and chorizo mixture over spinach. Top with cilantro if desired.

california dreaming…

Hello Everyone!

I’m back from California and despite the perfect weather and sunshine, I have to admit that I was ready to be home, looking forward to my daily routine, reading all of your blogs and of course seeing the taster!

Expo West 2010 went very well. As with any big event, the glitches are quickly fixed and we served up more bread, tortillas and pizzas than I can even wrap my head around. After the show, I was fortunate enought to spend some time in LA with family and meet Lynn from The Actor’s Diet! (I had confused the dates and due to a last minute change Christy was unable to attend – next time Christy!) It was so fun to chat with her and meet the famous Julius. She is as beautiful as you can imagine!

I promised you some of the newest and most interesting products out there so here they are. Because we were so busy and the show is so huge I certainly didn’t see everything but here are some of my favorites.

Interesting & New Products:

  • Lara Bars: There are some new bar flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (there is a bit more added sugar with the chocolate) but unfortunately by the time I got to their booth they were all out of samples! I heard nothing but good things so am anxious to see them in the stores!
  • Coconut Water Sorbet: This coconut sorbet was delicious, sweetened with agave and will be so refreshing in the midst of summer – the lemonade flavor was perfectly tart, but I’m even more excited to try the Hibiscus variety.
  • Amazing Grass: I’ve been using the grass for some time but was explaining that I just can’t down it plain with water and would like to – enter in the newest variety that has a nice lime flavor and also contains matcha and mate in addition to the green goodness – trust me when I say you can drink it straight. They also have a new bar out, Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar that was delicious and I will be buying again.
  • Daiya Cheese: this new vegan cheese is out of this world. I obviously am VERY picky with vegan/dairy-free cheeses because I love cheese and refuse to eat mediocre cheese. With that said, it will be in my shopping cart this weekend.
  • Zhena’s Gypsy Tea: Coconut Chai with some almond milk and agave/stevia = perfection in a cup.
  • Hansen’s Natural Fruit & Tea Sticks: The natural version of Crystal Light – finally! These low-cal drink mixes are sweetened with truvia and are deliciously sweet – I know the kids at camp will love them!
  • YumNuts Naturals: Roasted, jumbo cashews with no added oils – perfect for afternoon snacking (Toasted Coconut was my favorite).
  • Hummus Chips & Dressing: I’ve had the hummus chips at other shows and always loved them but have yet to see them in the stores – this year they also had a new hummus dressing which is similar to a thinned-out hummus – perfect for any salad!

piña colada smoothie

After seeing a tweet from Luna & Larry’s about putting coconut ice cream in a smoothie, I knew something similar had to be done in my kitchen. And soon.

Piña coladas instantly came to mind – anything to bring up memories of beaches, sand and cocktails in the morning in the midst of the winter sounds heavenly and I can almost smell the salt water. This is definitely a healthier version, without the sugar, calories and of course the rum (which makes for not such a fun and relaxing drink) but one I can feel good about drinking at 10 AM on a Sunday.

Piña Colada Smoothie:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut ice cream
  • 2 drops Vanilla Cream stevia

duck confit pizza

I had one item in mind when a Groupon for Surdyk’s came through my inbox. Duck Confit. This seemingly quite-common creature is quite pricey and we’ve been eyeing it up for a few months now so I knew just what I wanted to do with it. A pizza was made, much like the one we had at Restaurant Nola and much like the one I’ve been thinking about ever since. Because I was getting ready for my trip, I didn’t make my own crust, but opted for a pre-made crust for the sake of convenience. It made the pizza come together all the faster.

Duck Confit Pizza serves 2

  • pre-made pizza crust
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • duck confit (1 leg), shredded
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 egg, sunny-side up
  • parmesan shavings
  • salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450°F. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bake for 5 minutes. Top with duck and bake another few minutes, until duck is hot. Top with arugula, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place the egg on the arugula and sprinkle parmesan shavings over top.

The ingredients are simple, but of the highest quality, making this pizza oh-so-flavorful and definitely unforgettable. Switch out the duck with caramelized onions for a vegetarian version.