Chana Masala with Spinach

Chana Masala with Spinach

So I guess it’s chickpea week! No, it’s not #nationalchickpeaweek (that hashtag doesn’t even exist) but this week on my blog chickpeas are making an appearance two posts in a row. Check out Monday’s Broccolini Chickpea Pizzas if you haven’t yet – it’s a tasty one.

I don’t know if I’ve said it before but I LOVE chickpeas. They’re such a healthy, versatile plant-based protein and they’re so easy to keep on hand in my pantry. Actually, aside from the fresh spinach, this entire recipe is pretty pantry friendly.

Chana Masala with Spinach

As always, when I post an Indian-inspired dish, I want to give you the disclaimer that this might not be the most authentic version (remember Aloo Gobi-ish?). I love chana masala when I go to Indian restaurants and I think this at-home version tastes really good without using hard-to-find ingredients.

You likely have many of these spices on hand, although for this recipe, I recommend that you check and make sure your spices are pretty fresh. Dried spices don’t really go bad, but they do lose their potency over time, so if your spice drawer items are over a year old, you might think about refreshing them.

(Note that I’ve shown cardamom powder in the spice photo above, but this recipe is actuallly best with whole cardamom pods).

Chana Masala with Spinach

Chana Masala isn’t supposed to have spinach but, hey, I like to pack in green vegetables whenever I can.

Serve this with steamed basmati rice and/or naan.

Chana Masala with Spinach

Jenny’s Broccolini Chickpea Pizza

Jenny's Broccolini Chickpea Pizza

It’s fall, which really means 2 things. It’s not only pumpkin season, but it’s also cookbook season! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing recipes from some of my favorite new cookbooks. Today’s recipe comes from How to Celebrate Everything, by Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner a Love Story. I’ve been reading her blog for years and I had the pleasure of meeting her (and having a total fan-girl moment) a few months ago.

I have to say – I love this book because it’s one of those cookbooks that you want to snuggle up with and read from cover to cover. For starters, I just love her writing. Reading this book is like having coffee with a good friend. Jenny talks all about how she creates family food rituals not just for the big holidays (although there are recipes for those too) but for the smaller life events that are no less important. Events like a weekend walk to the farmers market that ends with tomato sandwiches, an end-of-the-school-year celebration with a neighborly “bus stop social”, birthday breakfasts, pizza Fridays, etc, etc, etc.

Reading her book inspired me to create some new rituals of my own because I realized how many rituals I actually don’t have… that is unless you count Jack’s birthday carrot cake, the butternut squash soup I make on the first day of fall, or the wine I drink to celebrate 5pm. But, hey, I guess those DO count, but there’s always room for more!

Jenny's Broccolini Chickpea Pizza Jenny's Broccolini Chickpea Pizza

Now on to the recipe! In the book this is an apres ski meal. Since we don’t have mountains (or snow) in Texas, I just decided that broccolini + chickpeas + pizza (with lots of lemon zest) sounded like a delicious way to celebrate Monday.

Jenny's Broccolini Chickpea Pizza

I took a big shortcut and baked my pizzas onto pre-made mini naan breads – see her recipe below to make a big rectangular pizza using real dough :)

Jenny's Broccolini Chickpea Pizza

Next on my list – these popovers! How good do they look?

How to Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach Click here to get the book! We’re also giving away a copy – to enter, leave a comment below telling me about one of your favorite family food rituals. The giveaway will close this Friday. Open to U.S. residents only.

Super Seedy Crackers

Super Seedy Crackers

Jack and I spent about a week in Norway on vacation this past summer. On the first day, we did my #1 favorite travel activity – visiting grocery stores in other countries. I don’t know why, but I’m so fascinated by what other people eat, how things are packaged, how stores are organized… all of it. That day, I picked up a package of crackers that ended up being my favorite snack of the week. They were thick seedy crackers – I smashed avocado on them for breakfast and slathered cheese on them as a snack later in the day. They were hearty and filling, and I felt good that I was getting a little bit of protein and fiber in every bite.

Super Seedy Crackers Super Seedy Crackers

Fast forward to now – I finally got around to making a similar cracker at home. They’re easy to make, gluten free and I just love snacking on them at any time of the day. They’re made with brown rice flour (that’s what makes them crispy), almonds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds.

Super Seedy Crackers Super Seedy Crackers

Most nights, Jack and I eat dinner pretty late so we like to share a little pre-dinner snack. How cute is this mini cheese board?? I filled it with a few crackers, Alouette’s Le Petit Fromage cheeses, figs and a few grapes. We like Alouette’s Parmesan Basil and the Cucumber Dill Flavors – the creamy cheeses pair well with the nutty seedy crackers. They’re the perfect snack portion (only 40 calories each!), all natural, and made with no preservatives – just cheese, a touch of yogurt, fresh vegetables, and delicious bold spices. A weeknight happy hour treat could not be tastier and easier!

Super Seedy Crackers

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Too soon?

I was originally planning to post this recipe in October, but we finished it early and I just couldn’t wait. Fall or not, these cookies are SO good! Oats, pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, and chocolate baked into big soft pillowy cookies – what’s not to love? These babies are vegan, gluten free, and will be so perfect for lunch boxes because they’re nut-free(!) as well.

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know so many of you have asked how to make these carrot cookies without nuts. That recipe really needs the almond butter to bind them but THIS recipe holds together beautifully because pumpkin puree is a terrific binder. It’s also easier than grating carrots which means that you’ll make these so much more often, but I’m warning you – they’ll disappear even faster.

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heidi’s Spicy Green Soup

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

I’ve made this soup three times in the past week and a half.

I know – it’s not quite soup season yet, but you probably still have bunches of summery herbs and this recipe is such a wonderful way to use them. This one comes from Heidi Swanson’s book Near and Far, which has been a favorite in my kitchen since it came out last fall. I just love Heidi’s recipes because they’re so unique and usually very very simple to put together. This one take no longer than 15 minutes and it packs a bright punch of flavor.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

Basil, cilantro, ginger, almonds, lemon… all my favorite things. :) The only slight change I made to the recipe was using lemongrass instead of mint because it’s what I happened to have on hand. This recipe is such a great base for whatever toppings you want to add, see Heidi’s suggestions in the recipe below. The first time, I added brown rice and sliced almonds, the second time a poached egg (heavenly), and this time – soba noodles, green onions, and tofu.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

The book is organized into two sections: recipes that are inspired by Heidi’s home (in Northern California), and those that are inspired by her travels to places such as Morocco, India, Italy, France and Japan. I’m so drawn to this book because we’ve traveled to many of the same places and I just love the way she translates these cuisines so simply and beautifully. All the recipes, by the way, are vegetarian.

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

Next, on my list is to try her Pozole recipe, how gorgeous does that look?

Spicy Green Soup from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson Get the book! (click)