Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew with Quinoa

Feb 5, 2013

I've been eyeing this stew for about a month now, ever since I saw it posted on A Couple Cooks, and recently got around to making it. And, boy, am I glad I finally did! It's quite simple and brings together lots of vibrant flavors. A wonderful mixture of spices adds a bit of an exotic flare, while the yogurt, lemon, and cilantro keep it light and fresh.

I love that each of the ingredients not only brings a unique flavor to this dish, but also that they each contribute their own big nutritional punch. There's lots of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins in that bowl up there. This is one of those dishes you can not only enjoy for its great flavors, but also for its powerful nutritional offerings. 


Notes: Obviously, fresh chickpeas are best, but canned will also be delicious. This stew can be served with brown rice or quinoa. A quick note on the quinoa: I prefer to sprout my quinoa whenever possible, to increase the nutritional and digestive benefits, but non-sprouted quinoa will also work just fine. The directions for this are the same as I have written below, just exclude the "day before" instructions. The stew itself is fairly flexible. I can imagine that a number of diced vegetables would make a great addition; feel free to throw in some of what you have on hand.  

Adapted from A Couple Cooks
Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew with Quinoa

sprouted quinoa
2 cups dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons yogurt

3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teasoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper

2 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 large (about 1 3/4 pounds) sweet potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups spinach
Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Zest of one lemon
Plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt

sprouted quinoa
(The day before...) In a glass bowl, mix together the quinoa, the first two cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Cover and place in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook the quinoa, strain the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well, until the water runs clear. Add rinsed quinoa to a medium pot with the salt and the last two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 additional seconds.

Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Stir for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then add sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Simmer the stew for 25 - 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach and fresh lemon juice in the last 2 minutes.

Serve stew with quinoa. Garnish with cilantro, lemon zest, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Nov 23, 2012

Cookies, cookies, cookies. They're just about everywhere this time of year. 

Unfortunately all those cookies can mean refined sugar and refined flour over-load. These cookies are a nice break from all of that because they actually provide a hefty dose of nutrients. They're made with only wholesome ingredients and don't leave you feeling that yucky inevitable sugar crash associated with refined foods.

So let's take a look... We've got whole grain flour and oats; fresh carrots; healthy fats from the coconut oil, flaked coconut, and pecans; good-for-you-tasty spices, and some natural sweetness from maple syrup. Yum. I just love healthy snacks.

I've been making these cookies for a couple of years now and they've remained a family favorite to this day. We usually have the ingredients on hand and they're quick to throw together. No waiting for ingredients to come to room temperature or creaming involved - just two bowls, a whisk and a spoon. 

Convinced yet? You should be.

Notes: These cookies are easily adaptable. For example, you might experiment with different nuts, oils, flours, or even adding a little lemon zest. In the cookies pictured, I didn't add the optional raisins. Sometimes I throw them in, sometimes not. They're a great addition if you like baked goods with raisins. Enjoy!

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups chopped pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup finely grated carrot
1/3 cup raisins or currants (optional)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the oats, pecans, coconut, and carrot. Stir to combine.

In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and ginger. Add the maple mixture to the dry ingredients and gently stir just until combined.

Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheets, one tablespoonful at a time. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set and slightly golden.

Yield: about 32 small cookies

Pumpkin & Feta Muffins

Nov 6, 2012

Now that our garden is literally overflowing with pumpkins, we're taking advantage of the bounty and trying to use as many as we can. Pumpkin is making its way into lots of things lately: bread, more bread, tarts (like this one), gnocchi, on dinner plates simply roasted with butter and salt, and now in these tasty little muffins.

I've had my eye on these guys for a while. I quite enjoy savory baked goods and these muffins do not disappoint. You'll notice a few interesting ingredients but I assure you that they are wonderful complimenting flavors. The squash lends a hint of sweetness, the feta a bit of salt and creaminess; the mustard is not overpowering, but rather hints in the background, as does the black pepper and Parmesan. Really, these muffins are a great way to use up a little more of that wonderful winter squash. I can imagine they'd make a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving meal, too! I hope you enjoy...

Notes: The first time I made these muffins I could tell the had a lot going for them... Unique, savory, wonderful flavor combinations, yada yada. BUT the only thing was that they were quite dry. Interestingly enough, the original recipe doesn't call for a speck of oil. Not one drop. I'm not sure why this is, but on my second batch I decided olive oil was definitely making its way into the mix. Cha-ching! That was all these little muffins needed. The olive oil adds the perfect amount of moisture and compliments the other earthy/savory flavors perfectly. I also increased the amount of pumpkin from 2 cups to 3, because pumpkin is delicious. Two more things: As noted in the recipe below, butternut squash may be used in place of the pumpkin. And, as usual, feel free to use exclusively all-purpose flour in place of the whole-wheat pastry, if you prefer.

Adapted from Martha Goes Green, as seen on 101 Cookbooks
Pumpkin & Feta Muffins

3 cups cubed pumpkin (or butternut squash), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup sunflower seeds kernels
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2/3 cup crumbled feta
1 large handful spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or cilantro)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously grease a 12-hole muffin pan with olive oil and set aside. (I always have a little bit of batter left after filling the 12 muffin holes, so you can choose to also grease 2 additional muffin holes in another pan, or grease a little loaf pan. I do the latter.)

Place the cubed squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and add a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the squash and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, olive oil, and mustard. Stir in the sunflower seed kernels, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the feta. Add 3/4 of the roasted squash cubes, then gently fold in the spinach and parsley.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold just until the batter comes together; be careful not to over mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan(s), filling each muffin hole 3/4 full. Top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack.

Yield: 12-14 muffins

Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini Sauce

Oct 25, 2012

A little sweet and a little savory at the same time, butternut is easily my favorite winter squash. I love that it can prepared so simply and be so delicious on its own.

This recipe dresses the squash up a bit, and pairs it with a wonderful lemon-tahini sauce, toasted pine nuts, and caramelized red onions. The flavors in this dish compliment each of the others fantastically... not that you'd expect anything different from the incredible chefs behind Ottolenghi. (I've sung my praises of the London-based Ottolenghi in the past, here.) 

This squash is a great main dish for two, or a wonderful side dish for about four. Enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or in between. It is a simple one to prepare and I think you'll love it as much as I do!

Notes: If you don't have butternut squash around, sweet potatoes will substitute well. Also, za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that can be a little hard to come by, so if you can't find it I've included a substitute blend in the recipe below.

Adapted from Jerusalem by Yottam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi also seen here
Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini Sauce

roasted squash & red onion
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), cut into 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch wedges
2 medium red onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper

tahini sauce
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 small garlic clove, crushed

1/4 cup pine nuts
Sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon za'atar (To substitute: 1 teaspoon each of sumac & sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram, & oregano, and a pinch of salt. Whiz in a spice grinder for a few seconds.)
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
A few handfuls of arugula to serve over (optional)

roasted squash & red onion
Preheat oven to 475°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Put the squash in a medium bowl, add about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Toss well. Spread squash on one of the baking sheets.

In the now-empty bowl, toss the onion with a tablespoon of the oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a little black pepper. Spread the onions on the other baking sheet.

Place both baking sheets in the oven. Roast the onions for about 15-20 minutes, until they are tender and caramelized. Remove onion sheet from the oven and set aside. Allow the squash to continue roasting for an additional 10-15 minutes (for a total time of 25-35 minutes) until the
vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. Remove squash sheet from the oven, add the squash to the sheet with the onions, then set it all aside to cool.

tahini sauce
While the vegetables are roasting, place the tahini in a small bowl along with the lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini if necessary. Set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium-low heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir often, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts to a small bowl to stop cooking.

To serve, spread the vegetables out on a large serving platter over a bed of arugula (if using) and drizzle the tahini sauce over top. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top, followed by the za’atar (or substituted spice blend, if using) and parsley.

Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side

This post shared on The Nourishing Gourmet

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

Oct 23, 2012

quin·tu·ple  [kwin-tuhp-uhl]   
1. fivefold; consisting of five parts.

Yes, I managed to put five different kinds of chocolate into one brownie. Why? Um.... Because chocolate is obviously the best food group ever invented. And also because brownies are obviously the best vehicle for consuming the aforementioned best food group. Obviously.

Let me explain...

Last spring my mom and I got to spend 10 days in England. We went in celebration of my graduation from college and it was one of the best trips ever. We had such a blast and loved every minute of our time there. It was wonderful to be back in the stunning country that we grew to love so dearly when we lived there years ago. It is our second home, you might say, and I daydream of it often.

While out in the country one day, we stopped at a little tea shop and had lovely lunch. After our yummy sandwiches were gone and the meal had been paid for, I stopped to oodle at the glass case full of delectable baked goodies. 

And then... She brought them out. From the back kitchen with a plate full of warm, deep, dark, eat-me-now-and-you-will-never-love-another-brownie-quite-like-me-again brownies she came. 

I just couldn't not. So I asked for one ("...without an edge, please."), paid for it in pounds, and walked out into the crisp England air. 

It has been since that very day, that very first nibble outside of Collington's Tea Shop on the  cobblestone street of Brampton, England, that I declared that I would recreate that exact brownie.

And now, over a year later, and... 20-ish (?!?) pans of brownies... Here they are. 

Oh my goodness. These are the most chocolatey brownies. (Remember the quintuple part?) They are so moist and rich. They are also perfectly thick, hefty, and not-too-gooey-but-still-gooey brownies you will ever meet. They are the brownies that remind you why the chocolate food group was ever invented in the first place.

A simple word of advice: I think the brownies are at their peak approximately 1.5 hours after being removed from the oven (but who am I kidding, they're insanely wonderful any time...) because then they've set up nicely, are still warm and oh-so-rich, and the milk and white chocolate chunks inside stay soft and melty.

Mmmm... Chocolate seriously doesn't get any better than this.

Go make yourself a batch of Quintuple Chocolate Brownies and you will never love another brownie quite like these again. 


Notes: First thing: Use really high-quality chocolate (I prefer Callebeaut or Scharffen Berger). It definitely makes a difference. Second: Of course I had to create these brownies with whole-wheat flour, and yes, it works absolutely wonderfully here. I made a slight adjustment to the original quantity of flour because I added the whole-wheat, so if you are using all-purpose, increase the flour to 5 ounces. Third: I also found that, because of my addition of white and milk chocolate chunks, these are best with  slightly less sugar in the batter than the original recipe called for, so the recipe below reflects this adjustment as well (the original calls for 8 3/4 oz (1 1/4 cups) sugar). And one more thing: I bake these in a 7x7 baking pan so that they're even more thick, but an 8x8 also produces a hefty brownie just fine. Other than that... Enjoy your chocolate-loving hearts out!

Inspired by the brownies at Collington's Tea Shop in Brampton, England
Brownie base adapted from Cook's Illustrated's Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa

3 eggs, at room temperature
7 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 ounces (1 cup) whole-wheat pastry flour
3 ounces high-quality white chocolate, cut into 1/4-1/2 in. pieces
3 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, cut into 1/4-1/2 in. pieces

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 7x7 in. (or 8x8 in.) baking dish, then line the dish with parchment so that there is an inch or two of extra parchment hanging over the sides (to help you lift the brownies out). Butter the parchment. Set aside.

Place a medium glass bowl over a pan of almost-simmering water. Melt bittersweet and
unsweetened chocolates with the butter, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture, then stir in flour with a rubber spatula until just combined. Gently fold in white and milk chocolate pieces until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread batter into the corners and level the surface with the rubber spatula. Bake brownies until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, about 33-38 minutes.

Allow brownies to cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove brownies from pan using parchment overhang. Cut into 9 or 12 squares and serve.

Yield: 9-12 brownies, depending on the size you cut them
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Flour Sack All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger