Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a safe and festive entrance to 2014.

You all knew I was going to fall victim to the peer pressure, didn't you?  It's time to crank out the healthy recipes for all those folks heading to the gym.  January is the standard month for everyone to descend up any gym within sight.  I am just cringing thinking of signing up for my workouts for the next few weeks.

Oh well, since I'm sure all of the classes I want to take will be full, I'm going to focus on eating better.  Here I am bringing you more vegetables.  I can't seem to stop myself, so I'm just embracing this.

My love of hummus extends from my love of garbanzo beans, which is...interesting, considering that I hate most beans.  The only beans I care to eat are these and edamame.  Everything else can just back it up.  These beans happen to be curried, though.  That is a new phase I'm entering as well.  I love curry.  I think I get that from my momma.  Oh, and there's spinach and tomato sauce.

Wow, I'm sure you're excited to see what I'm going to bring you in 2014!  We're kicking it off with garbanzo beans and I'm talking about spinach and curry...  I'm pretty sure I'm losing followers as I type this.  Yup yup.  I promise I'm going to make it up to you with some decadent goodies soon, but for right now I've thrown together some curry, chickpeas, and spinach juuuuust for you.

By the way, this recipe is super quick, so you can get back to working on your fitness in no time!

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Farro Salad

I never thought I'd be one of those grain-loving hippies.  But here we are.  Eating farro salad on the real.  I should also tell you that I never envisioned myself eating a cold salad (as in a salad that was once warm and is now cold).  But let me tell you that this salad is excellent either cold, room temperature, or warm.  It's amazing how versatile this dish is.

In case you've never heard of farro, here's the quick low-down.  Farro is a grain that has quite a nutty flavor.  If you want to make things really simple, one could say that farro is very similar to brown rice.  Before this recipe, I had never tried farro before, although I saw numerous favorable reviews of it on the food blogs that I follow.

When Shutterbean originally made this salad, I was finally sure I needed to recreate it myself.  I think I was "wooed" by Tracy's description of Giardiniera-like ingredients and the addition of feta cheese.  I have a newfound obsession* with Giardiniera and we all know how I feel about cheese.  Yes, I would be making this dish.  Just watch me!

* I am quite aware that I have a new obsession every other week.  Let's not be judgmental in these parts.  Thanks.

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Oven Roasted Corn with Honey Chili Butter

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I'm always thinking of ways to make this blog better.  I'm also always thinking of ways to make it easier for readers to access these posts.  Recently, one of my friends said that she would read my blog more often if the posts were emailed to her.  Sooooo, I set up this snazzy new email feature which you can find in that box over to the right of the screen.  Sign up now!

OK, now on to this corn situation we seem to have here...


I love when I find a new way to make or serve corn.  It gets me all excited and I can't wait to share it with you!  You ready? Here we go...

  • Buy fresh corn.
  • Throw corn in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  • Done.

Why am I just finding out about this cooking methodology now?  The corn is roasted in its own husk and is slightly firm and sweet once done.

Oh, and Beth also recommended that I make a honey chili butter to go along with this corn.  Why yes, Beth, I think I shall.

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Corn, Asparagus & Green Bean Salad

Maybe you've figured this out by now.  If not, I'm about to tell you:  I have begun an obsession with vegetables.  This means that you can expect to see a few veggie-related dishes on this blog in the near future. Just a heads-up.

Corn.  Let's talk about it.  There's nothing like a fresh ear of corn.  Or, in my case, fresh corn kernels.  I have an aversion to eating corn on the cob, even though I become obsessed with fresh corn kernels all summer long.  I have this burning desire to put corn in everything.  The end of corn season is a sad sad time in my kitchen.  (Although that means that Fall is right around the corner and that's my hands-down favorite season!)

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Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Back in March, I went to a couple of shows at City Winery in New York City. While sipping my Cabernet and waiting for the show to start, I found myself getting a bit hungry. Now this is a common occurrence for me when drinking, so I also found myself searching out my favorite cure for this issue. French fries. City Winery happened to have Rosemary Fries. (To be honest, I can't remember if that is the actual name of the side dish, but essentially the dish consists of fries with a rosemary flavor). I discovered my love of rosemary that day. And I "rediscover" it every time I returned to the restaurant since that first night.

Lately though, I haven't been spending any quality time with City Winery. Since I've been denied my rosemary fries for a few months now, I decided it was time to recreate these flavors at home.

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Broccoli Gratin

I've been on a personal quest.

I have a subscription to the Food Network Magazine, yet how often do I make recipes from the magazine? I'd prefer not to answer that. But if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I've recently been trying to rectify this situation.

So when I wanted to make a quick side dish one day, I shirked my trusty computer's Bookmarks folders and instead picked up my Food Network binder. This happens to be exactly what it sounds like: a binder where I've gathered Food Network Magazine recipes that I want to make. I ran across a Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe that called for a few non-standard items I already had on hand: heavy cream and breadcrumbs. And who doesn't love using up items that are already in the kitchen?

Unfortunately, I have come to realize that in spite of my repeated attempts to like brussels sprouts, this just may not happen. In light of this, I quickly swapped in broccoli for the sprouts and all was right again in my world.

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Sauteed Kale

I have a new love affair.

It's with kale.

Not just any version of kale, but with sauteed kale.

A few weeks ago I churned out some Kale Chips, but unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan. I ended up trying sauteed kale at the suggestion of my roommate. She said I should try sauteing the kale with some onions and garlic. At first I wasn't really on board with the idea, but I still had some leftover kale and I hate throwing away food, so why not?

Besides, who doesn't love onions and garlic? (I know.... I'm disgusting!)

And the rest was history, as they say.

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Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Garlic. Butter. Roasted Mushrooms.

Deb from Smitten Kitchen really knows how to lure a girl in. When I saw this recipe posted on her blog back in December, I knew I'd need to make these myself. I love mushrooms and if we're going to add some butter and garlic to these puppies then let's throw down here and now.

Reading through the recipe, I realized that this was going to be a quick and easy dish to make. Bonus points! These mushrooms were quickly bumped up to the top of my "Food To Make" list, which is really just a semi-organized jumble of bookmarks on my computer. They will clean themselves up if I leave them alone long enough. I swear.

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Potato Chickpea Salad

Aarti Party is back for Season 2! I'm so excited. I watched her season premiere last Sunday with my roommate and we just can't wait for more episodes to come.

A few weeks ago, I got a hankering for some Indian food so I turned to an Indian-inspired potato salad that I saw Rachael Ray make on "30 Minute Meals". This recipe had been hanging out on my "To Do" list for a while, so I decided it was time to get serious with it.

I knew the first thing I had to change about Rachael's Lentil-Potato Salad was the lentils. They've gotta go. Lentils are something that I try out every year or so and then realize that I still dislike them. Since I did make an attempt to eat them a few weeks ago, I can check that task off my annual To-Do list. Still awful.

Interestingly enough, I'm (very slowly) beginning to conquer my aversion to beans. Beans have also been on my "naughty" list since I was a kid. But in the past few years, I've begun to enjoy soybeans (aka edamame) and chickpeas. I don't know if there's room in my culinary repertoire to add any more beans, but we'll see. In the meantime, I decided to replace the lentils with chickpeas in my version of this potato salad.

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Spinach & Feta Quinoa

I like to think that I'm pretty successful at Food Blogger stalking. If it was a sport, I'd at least get to Nationals. One of my favorite blogs to stalk is "Closet Cooking". Kevin, the mastermind behind it all, posts almost daily and always pairs pretty simple ingredients together to make an interesting meal.

As I was making my daily visit to his page a while ago, I noticed that he had made a quinoa salad with spinach and feta. I love the Greek-style combination of spinach and feta and I had always wanted to try cooking with quinoa. I bookmarked the page and I finally got around to making it, albeit several months later! Of course I changed the recipe a smidgen, since I'm not a huge fan of the parsley that Kevin uses. I compensated with feta cheese and some crushed red pepper, for a little kick.

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