How To: Quickie Meal – Spice Roasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Bowls with Tahini Sauce

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I feel like I deserve a medal.

Not for my epic gymnastics floor routine or super fast back stroke (Olympics on the brain much?), but for braving this heat and turning on the oven to roast these vegetables. All in the name of the blog. #dedicated. 

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Can we just talk bout this heat for one minute – the other day I was out for lunch on a patio and I was actually dripping in sweat just sitting there. It was kind of gross but the food was so good it made it worth it. See? Sometimes you just have to sweat it out in the love of food, and these bowls are just another example of that sacrifice.

These are my favourite kind of meals – roasting up a whole bunch of vegetables, picking a protein, adding a delicious sauce, and calling it dinner. Here I’ve used broccoli, red pepper, and kale as the veg du jour, but cauliflower, eggplant, or zucchini would also be delicious.

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If you haven’t had roasted kale before, well then you also need to sweat it out and roast some up this instance. And definitely try our kale chips while you are at it. Sweet potatoes add the carb factor, but you could also serve these bowls over a bed of quinoa or millet (you all must have some leftover form our last post ;)).

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The crispy chickpeas add the crunch factor which all good bowls need. And don’t get my started on tahini sauce – I think if I could I would bath in this stuff it’s that good.

It may be so hot that I am literally drenched in sweat the second I step out the door, but these bowls of goodness are totally worth sweating buckets.

Dara

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Spiced Roasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Bowls

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 large broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 red pepper (cut into strips)
  • 2 Large handfuls kale (chopped)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and dried)
  • 1/4 Tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp coriander
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2-4 Tbsp water
  • salt (to taste)

Note

You could easily sub other veggies for the ones I've used here - red onions, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus would all work great. If you are making the sauce ahead of time, you may need to add a little more water as it tends to thicken up with time. I like this dish warm or at room temperature.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes, broccoli, and red pepper with 1.5 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper and spread the sweet potatoes on one, and the broccoli and red pepper on the other sheet.
3. Toss the chickpeas with the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, and salt and place on the baking sheet with the broccoli and red pepper.
4. Bake both sheets in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove the broccoli pan and place kale on top and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt and brown.
5. Remove both sheet pans from the oven and divide vegetables and chickpeas evenly among four bowls. Drizzle with as mush sauce as desired and dig in!
6. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, adding as much water as necessary to make a pourable sauce. I needed about 3 tbsp.

 

How To: Recipe Makeover – Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

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We have to talk about these crispy chickpea croutons.

You are going to want to make a double batch and eat them by the handful they are that good. I was going make our delicious and one of my ‘go-to’ salads the other night – our curry roasted squash and chickpea salad with an addictive tahini dressing, but I was craving a caesar salad. And no, I am not expecting again. Just sometimes you want to ditch the old vinaigrette and load up a salad with a creamy dressing and boat loads of cheese.

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But, being a “healthy” eating blog and all, I swapped the usual dressing for this bright and lemony version, kept the cheese, because cheese, and created these addictive crunchy chickpeas in lieu of the usual crouton toppers. Not that I have anything againts those mind you, and I do love our other kale caesar version, but with a can of chickpeas staring me in the face I wanted something different.

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Can we talk also talk about my mini food processor? I love it and highly recommend it for whirling up small batch recipes, like this dressing. It saves you from lugging out and cleaning the big gun.

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Back to the chickpeas – make them! And this salad!

We had it topped with a piece of simple olive oil and salt and pepper roasted salmon, but this salad would stand alone as a delicious lunch or turn it into more of a substantial dinner with a some grilled chicken, steak, or salmon.

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A craving for the classic caesar? Give this updated version a whirl!

Dara

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Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

Serves 4-6
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted From Mountain Mama Cooks

Ingredients

  • 1 large head kale (stems removed, leaves shredded)
  • 1/2 Pint grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • grated parmesan cheese (to garnish salad)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tsp worschershire sauce
  • 1 Tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

While this salad is great on it's own, turn it into more of a substantial meal by topping it with a piece of grilled chicken or salmon. The heartiness of the kale stands up to the dressing, making leftovers just as delicious the next day.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place chickpeas on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to chickpeas and toss to evenly coat. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until browned and starting to get crispy. Set aside.
3. Place kale and tomatoes in a large bowl. Top with chickpeas and dressing and toss to evenly coat. Top with additional parmesan cheese before serving.
Dressing
4. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined. Taste and add salt and pepper. If dressing is too thick, add a little bit more water.

How To: Healthy Side – Kale and Apple Salad with Havarti, Almonds, Dates, and Avocado

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I find I normally have recipes I reserve for fall/winter and recipes I use for spring/summer.

Sure, I try to cook with seasonal ingredients, but mostly find I crave heartier stews, soups, and casseroles in the colder months and lighter salads and bbq meals when the weather turns warmer. But sometimes, you just need some green to brighten up a dreary winter day. And a kale based salad is a hearty way to satisfy your cold weather cravings AND get your 7 servings of fruit and veggies in your belly.

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This is no ordinary salad – loaded with cheese, almonds, dates, and avocado – it’s a party in your mouth! With all these fancy shmancy ingredients, a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil is all that is needed.

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Arla Dofino generously gifted us with the havarti cheese used in this recipe. I love the subtle creaminess it adds and anything with cheese in it is a winner in my books!

Arla Dolfino has generously offered to donate a prize pack for one lucky reader that features a beautiful cheese board and coupons for Arla Dolfing cheese. Simply leave a comment on this post telling us your favourite way to eat cheese and a winner will be chosen at random. 

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IMG_7591Turn this salad into a main with a piece of seared salmon or a can of chickpeas, and you have a delicious lunch or light dinner. Unless of course you would prefer to just throw in some extra cheese – by all means I wouldn’t object!

Dara

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Kale and Apple Salad with Dates, Almonds, Avocado, and Havarti

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of kale (chopped)
  • 1 apple (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup havarti cheese (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 1 small avocados (peeled, pitted, and chopped)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

This salad is great as a starter or side and can also be turned into a main course with the addition of some chickpeas, grilled salmon, or chicken. It also holds up well as leftovers for the next day.

Directions

1. Place kale in a large bowl and pour lemon juice and olive oil over top. Toss thoroughly to evenly coat and let stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
2. Add dates, avocado, cheese, and almonds and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

 

How To: Quickie Meal – Penne with Tomatoes, Kale and Hazelnuts

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You know those weekends where they come to an end and you feel like you need ANOTHER weekend just to recuperate from the previous one? Well, this was one of those weekends.

Non stop rain meant trying to find non stop activities for my almost two year old daughter to keep her busy. Summer is usually so easy – walk, park, pool, repeat! But rain is a whole different ball game. Driving from location to location, activity to activity had me wishing that Monday would magically become Friday. Oh and you better believe meal planning was non existent. Enter the quickest of quickie meals – pasta.

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When all else fails, I always have a box of pasta in the pantry for a quick and healthy meal. Today’s version? A twist on one of the recipes featured in the Catelli Pasta Boost cookbook found on their Facebook page. These recipes were developed by top chefs and local athletes in Canada and are part of Catelli’s feed the hope campaign. Catelli will donate a serving of pasta to a family in need each time a person likes their Facebook page or shares the cookbook.

This recipe uses Catelli’s whole wheat penne, loads of veggies, and heart healthy olive oil – energy boosting indeed.

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And energy was definitely needed this past weekend as we braved the Ontario Science Centre with what seemed liked every other family in Toronto. This easy and healthy pasta dish was definitely appreciated after this busy weekend.

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And what better reward for surviving a rainy weekend than a giveaway? Catelli has generously donated coupons to purchase the Catelli product of your choice. Simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me your favourite quick and healthy meal for your chance to win!

Dara

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Penne with Tomatoes, Kale, and Hazelnuts

Serves 6-8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from the Catelli Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 box Catelli whole wheat penne
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 6 roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 4 Cups kale (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts (toasted and chopped, divided)
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed)
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Note

This pasta is great as a vegetarian main or a side for chicken or fish. You could substitute the kale for any other leafy green - swiss chard or spinach would work great. Another short pasta, like rotini or fusilli, could be used in place of the penne.

Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to package direction. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and heat the olive oil and garlic until they start to lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and salt, reduce heat to medium low, and allow it to gently simmer for about 3 minutes.
3. Add the kale and hazelnuts and turn the heat back up to medium high. Cook until the kale has wilted. Add your pasta and mix until heated through.
4. Remove the pasta from the heat and add the lemon juice and mix. Top with remaining hazelnuts and some grated parmesan cheese, if using.

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Catelli. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

 

How to: Quickie Meal – Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

IMG_4285Your doctor is gonna thank me.

More importantly, your taste buds will.

This is where healthy and delicious become BFFs.

IMG_4227I’m normally not a huge fan of whole grain pastas.  I find them too dense and their flavour too overwhelming when pairing them with tomato or cheese based sauces.  I find they can work with bold flavours and textures, though. Pesto for instance.

IMG_4254Also, anchovies!

WAIT. DO NOT LEAVE.

For those of you who think anchovies are nasty, this recipe will make you a believer. And I promise to the moon and back that no one will know there are anchovies in this recipe.

They lend a meaty, savoury undertone when used in small amounts.

You can banish this blog for all time if you try it and hate.

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While the prep work for this recipe is rather minimal, I get that shredding and de-stemming fresh kale can be a pain in the A.  Feel free to use frozen kale for this, too.  I love the Cooking Greens brand.  You can also opt for broccoli rabe or even rapini if you’re feeling feeling especially bold.

IMG_4267If using frozen kale, defrost first and skip the steaming step.  Just toss with the oil mixture and ensure it’s warmed through before adding the pasta.

IMG_4272Reserving the pasta water is a non-negotiable.  I do this for nearly every pasta dish I make now.  It’s a life saver when you need to loosen up the pasta after it has cooled.  When I pack up leftover pasta for lunches, I always add a couple of Tbsp to my container just before packing it away.  Do not mix it in!  When you go to reheat, stir your pasta halfway through cooking time, your extra pasta water will loosen things up and rejuvenate your lunch!

You probably won’t have leftover for this one though.

Erin

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Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g whole grain whole wheat pasta
  • 1 bunch kale (stems remove and chopped or torn in to bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets (about 2 tsp - minced)
  • 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add 2 tsp salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 10 minutes for while grain pasta depending on the brand). Strain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add kale to sauté pan and reduce heat to medium-low. If the kale is no longer wet from washing, add 2 Tbsp water to the pan. Toss kale with oil mixture carefully to ensure it is well dispersed. Cover sauté pan with a tight fitting lid and allow kale to steam for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add pasta and white beans to the sauté pan with the kale mixture. ¼ cup at a time, add the reserved starchy pasta water as you toss everything together until a light sauce covers everything. You will probably only need ¼-½ cup of the pasta water if serving immediately. Keep the remainder if you plan on reheating later.