All About Me, Chickpeas

I cook to please my family nearly everyday. I make them the breakfasts, lunches and dinners they love because I love them, and I want them to be happy. But some days… some days I need to cook for myself. And sometimes they eat what I make for myself and call me the next Julia Child. And sometimes they do not. Sometimes they complain and grimace over what I serve them… (sigh)

The other night I had a craving for something “exotic”. Coconut milk, warm Indian spices, ginger and garlic. Throw in some chickpeas and serve it over brown rice— yummm! This combo sounded absolutely perfect to me, like soul satisfying food. I was going to make it and who knows, maybe it would actually end up appealing to my family as well. Maybe they would discover that exotic was delicious. Maybe.

I’m happy to say that it was great (well my husband and I thought so anyway). The kids weren’t exactly on board with curried chickpeas, but ya know what? That was okay with me. Sometimes making a dish purely for my own enjoyment is gift enough.

Curried Coconut Chickpeas
This can be served as a side dish or a meatless meal. I often eat it with brown rice, but it’s also delicious with a couple of eggs the next morning or even over salad greens.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. Indian curry powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can lite coconut milk
cilantro, for garnish
brown rice, for serving

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, ginger and garlic for 8-10 minutes, until the onion is transparent.
  2. When the onion is ready add the spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until they become fragrant.
  3. Add the coconut milk and bring to simmering. Then add the chickpeas and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  4. When cooked allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and serve over brown rice.

*adapted from vegan dad

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A Side of Broccoli (with a Twist)

We eat a lot of veggies around here. Some, such as broccoli and sweet potatoes, everyone will generally eat without complaint. Others, like string beans or cooked carrots require a bit of cajoling. But even I, the broccoli lover of all broccoli lovers gets tired of the same old steamed version week after week.

Faced with the prospect of another boring broccoli side dish I took to the internet to find something better. It turns out that roasting was the answer I was searching for! I discovered that most every celebrity chef seemed to have a roasted broccoli recipe; including Martha, Ina and Alton, but that no one recipe seemed quite perfect. So as I am known to do, I did a bit of tweaking, took a little something from each recipe and came up with a version of my own.

My Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon was delicious! It turned ordinary broccoli into something fresh and interesting. Roasting really mellowed the broccoli flavor, the finely minced garlic caramelized and became mild and sweet and finishing the dish off with the lemon juice and zest really gave it a fresh clean bite.

After this tasty version I’m not sure my family will never settle for plain ‘ol steamed broccoli again. But then I guess I only have myself to blame…

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
My family is crazy about garlic so I added quite a bit. However if yours
is not, feel free to cut back on it.

broccoli4

2 pounds broccoli crowns
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the minced garlic and salt. Let the garlic seep and flavor the oil while you prep the broccoli.
  3. Cut the broccoli florets from the large stalks and separate into bite size pieces. Peal the remaining stalks and cut them into bite size pieces as well.
  4. Place all the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil/garlic/salt mixture. Spread the broccoli out on a sided sheet pan large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of of the florets have begun to brown and caramelize.
  6. While the broccoli is roasting quickly toast the Panko crumbs in a skillet, being careful not to burn them. Set aside.
  7. When the broccoli is finished roasting sprinkle it with the lemon zest, grated cheese, Panko crumbs and lemon juice. Give it a gentle toss and serve.