Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lemon Chickpea Salad With Roasted Red Peppers

I love Sprouts.  Or actually any place that has bulk isles, but Sprouts in particular.  A few weeks ago, on a whim, I bought about 1 lb of dry chick peas and have been meaning to make something with them.  Of course, there is always yummy Indian food, but since summer is closing in, I wanted something light and summery.  I found this recipe online and decided to try it out.

Chickpeas are treated just like any dry bean, you have to soak them for a few hours (I soaked them overnight) and them cook them for about 2 hours.  Watch out for high boil, or you wind up with a marshmallow monster trying to get you:

The recipe is super simple, and the flavors are amazing.  The one complaint is that I was not able to slice the lemon thin enough for my taste.  When I make this again, I may just use the zest and lemon juice, not the slices.  

Lemon Chickpea Salad With Roasted Red Peppers

from Honest Cooking: Jessica Smith


2 large red peppers
1/2 a lemon, halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 cups cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained if using canned)
salt and pepper


  1. Turn on the oven’s broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut red peppers in half and discard core and seeds. Place red pepper halves, skin-side up, on the baking sheet, brush a small amount of olive oil and cook under the broiler until the skins blister and blacken, 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and fold and seal the foil around the peppers, allowing them to steam while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  2. Cut the lemon into very thin slices (the thinner the better, as these will be added directly to the salad), discarding the seeds. Combine the lemon slices, olive oil, garlic, parsley and basil in a large bowl and stir well.
  3. Remove the blackened skins from the red peppers and cut the peppers into long, thin slices. Add the peppers and chickpeas to the dressing and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving
We had this , plus the Tex-Mex Tabbouleh and some nice bread sticks for a very fulfilling vegetarian dinner :)  Too filling, as hubby couldn't finish (no worries, I did though!)

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Weight Watchers PP: 10

Calories 432
Calories from Fat 116
Total Fat 12.9g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 27mg
Total Carbohydrates 62.3g
Dietary Fiber 17.7g
Sugars 11.5g
Protein 19.7g
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 49%
Calcium 11%
Iron 37%

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tex-Mex Tabbouleh

Not only is this my first time making Tabbouleh, its also the first time to taste it.  So I'm not really sure what to base it of off, but its outstanding.  Loved it, will be making it many, many more times.  This recipes is based off a Weight Watchers recipes , but theirs called for bulgur, and I just happened to have couscous instead.  Hopefully a good replacement :)  I also substituted a regular cucumber for English because, even at Sprouts, an English cucumber was $2.99/ea and regular was $0.49/ea  Hmmm.  So I used a spoon to scrape out the seeds from the regular cucumber and it seems to have worked fine. ;)

Tex-Mex Tabbouleh 

1 1/2 cup water   
3/4 cup uncooked couscous   
1 cup tomatoes, diced   (I used Fire Roasted Hunts)
1 cucumber, diced   
1/3 cup cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped   
3 Tbsp scallions, sliced   
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice   
3 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin   
3/4 tsp table salt   
1/2 tsp ground cumin   
1/2 cup avocado, diced


  1. Bring water, couscous and 1 tsp oil to a boil in a small saucepan, and then remove from heat. Cover pan and let stand until water is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10-15 minutes. 
  2. Fluff couscous with a fork and let cool to room temperature or until just slightly warm. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, scallion, lime juice, oil, salt and cumin. 
  4. Add cooled couscous to bowl; toss to combine. Gently fold in avocado and let stand 10 minutes for flavors to blend. 
  5. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before serving. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

I should be updated frequently, as this weekend is a recipe laden weekend for me, and a lot of yummy and healthy recipes at that! :)

Nutritional Info:
Serving Size 2/3 Cup
Weight Watchers PP: 4

According to

Calories 136
Calories from Fat 39
Total Fat 4.3g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 299mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.6g
Dietary Fiber 2.6g
Sugars 1.8g
Protein 3.7g
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fusilli with Caramelized Onions and White Wine (and steak, yum!)

I made a brilliant (to me) discovery over the weekend.  One that I can't believe I hadn't thought of before.  Getting older issues of cooking magazines at the half price book store.  Duh. 

I love cooking magazines, and even though I really don't need any more (can anyone say pack rat?) I felt the urge to buy.  Not to mention they will make excellent reading material on our two day drive from Texas to California in June!

On a whim, I went to Half Price and found a HUGE selection of Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Rachel Ray, and so many more for as low as $1 per magazine.  Um, yes!  And the June issue of Cooking Light for only $1.98.  That's a deal to me!  I also ventured into the cookbook area and had to quickly leave before spending precious vacation money.  There are just TOOO many choices!

So that leads us to today's post, a recipe from Cooking Light, April 2011.  The recipe actually calls for Spring Onion, which I couldn't find, and says you can substitute with vidalia onion- which I also couldn't find at my neighborhood Kroger so I just used white.  Turned out fine to me :)

Fusilli with Caramelized Spring (or white) Onions and White Wine
Rori Trovato, APRIL 2011

(served with sirloin, just grilled with some seasoning)

Mmmm steak!
  • YIELD: 4 servings
  • COURSE: Main Dishes
  • 1/2 cup Italian Breadcrumbs (recipe originally called for panko, but I was out)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups thinly sliced white onions (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces uncooked fusilli (or other twisty pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated) 
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 2. Combine breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, and a dash of salt in a small bowl. Spread panko mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after 3 minutes. Cool.

  • 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onions to pan; cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and wine. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute. Add broth; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 4 minutes).



  • 4. Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain. Add pasta, remaining salt, and pepper to onion mixture; toss gently. Place about 1 cup pasta in on dish; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons breadcrumb mixture and Parmesan.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Sometimes there is no time to make a dish with tons of ingredients, as fun as it may be :) I have recently been introduced to teh wonders of whole roasted chicken. So easy and sooo yummy. And much lower in sodium than the store bought Rotisserie ones (as good as those can be)

All across the internet, there are several different opinions on temps and times to roast a chicken. I chose to go with Ina's way - I'm pretty confident she knows what shes doing :) I basically threw some veggies under the chicken and let loose. No real recipe here, just tossing items together to see what works. But here is the link that I used the times/temps for cooking the chicken. Everything else is just winging it. Har Har.

Fresh Veggies

Raw chicken not so pretty

Spices I used

About ready to roast this bad boy!

Whole Chicken
Veggies of choice
Seasoning of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Wash chicken, removing any weird stuff on inside (I have yet to buy a chicken with chicken parts inside thankfully) pat dry - put seasoning of choice all over (I used Greek Style as pictured)
Cut lemon in half and stuff in cavity
Chop veggies (I used onion, carrot and fresh green beans), place in roasting pan - place chicken on top.
Cook chicken for about 1.5 hours, check thigh/leg area to make sure juices run clear.

This is such an easy dinner to make, and a bonus dinner for later in the week if you have leftovers. I shredded the leftovers and combined with BBQ sauce, and served it with biscuits for some BBQ chicken Biscuit Sandwiches. Um, yum. Was sooo yummy, wish I had taken pics :) The possibilities for leftover shredded chicken are pretty endless.

What do you use shredded chicken for? I plan on making many more roasted chickens, and need ideas :)