Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing; Spicy Shrimp

By Ira

You can make this salad the day before. It’s very satisfying because of the chickpeas and feta, and it has a bright flavor because of the lemon, cilantro, and mint. The spicy shrimp is a nice addition and very easy to make.

You can start by marinading the shrimp, then making the salad, and finally cooking the shrimp.

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing

Serves 5-6 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, or 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, then add the dressing, and gently stir to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add extra salt accordingly. You can serve it immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Spicy Shrimp

Serves 4

  • 24 uncooked shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper

You can halve this recipe, or use just 18 shrimp where you can still use the same amount of marinade like I did.

If the shrimp is frozen, defrost it according to package directions, and dry it with a paper towel.

In a medium bowl, combine the grapeseed oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sriracha sauce, salt, and pepper.

Add the shrimp and let it marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp one at a time without the marinade.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, turn each one, and cook on the other side until pink.

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Chickpea Saute with Greek Yogurt

by Jennifer

This recipe, from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty, is fantastic.

Swiss chard is one of my favorite vegetables, and this could be my new favorite way to eat it.  I made a few changes:  I used more Swiss chard than he called for, as I had a plethora from our CSA, I did not have caraway seeds nor did I feel inspired to buy them, and I doubled up on the mint and cilantro.  Serves 4, with challah on the side.

  • about 1 lb Swiss chard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 TBS, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh mint
  • 2 TBS chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon, depending on how juicy it is
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

Separate the stems from the chard leaves but don’t throw them away.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the stems for 3 minutes, add the leaves and cook for another 2 minutes, then drain.

Rinse chard with cold water, then squeeze dry and chop roughly.

Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add chickpeas and chard and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 – 6 minutes.

Add garlic, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper, stirring well, then remove from the heat.

In a bowl, stir together yogurt, 1 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper.  To serve, divide saute among 4 plates, top with yogurt mixture, then drizzle with olive oil.

Chickpea and Potato Hash with Cucumber, Tomato and Yogurt Salad

by Jennifer

This dinner was quick and tasty;  I adapted the hash from Eating Well.  Serve with warm pita bread or whole grain flatbread, if desired.

Chickpea and Potato Hash – Serves 4 – 6.

  • 6 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBS fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 1/2 TBS curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 large eggs

In a large bowl toss together the frozen hash browns, spinach, onion, ginger, curry powder and salt.

Heat the oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat;  add the potato mixture and let cook, in one layer, for 5 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas through the top layers, then make 6 indentations for the eggs.

Crack eggs into the indentations, lower heat to medium and cover the skillet;

cook for 5 – 10 minutes, or until whites are set and yolks are the way you like them.

Cucumber, Tomato and Yogurt Salad – Serves 4.

  • 1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (slice in half crosswise, squeeze out seeds, then chop)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl;  chill until ready to serve.

Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon; Sauteed Swiss Chard

by Jennifer

Continuing my current crush on Meyer lemons, I made preserved lemons a while back, and this is my first recipe using them.  The lemons are delicious.  You use only the peel, and make sure to rinse off the salty lemon juice before using them.

Serves 4.

  •  1 lb. orecchiette
  • 14 – 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped preserved lemon rind
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente;  drain.  Transfer pasta back to the empty pot and stir in the olive oil.  Add chickpeas, feta, mint, preserved lemon and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Serves 4.

  •  2 bunches green swiss chard, stems and thick ribs removed, torn into pieces
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add the swiss chard in batches, tossing with tongs until it wilts.

Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice.  Toss again, then serve.

Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes, Braised Chard with Cilantro

Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes, Braised Chard with Cilantro

by Jennifer

This dinner takes about an hour to make, but most of that time is cooking time during which you can do something else.

Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes – from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Serves 4 as a main dish;  would serve more as a side to grilled chicken.

  • 2 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1 15.5-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 3 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 1 1/2 TBS in a 12” skillet over medium heat;  add the millet and let it toast, stirring occasionally, for 4 -5 minutes.  Transfer millet to a bowl and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.

Heat the remaining 1 TBS oil in the skillet over medium heat;  add the onions, basil and saffron and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the millet, chickpeas, can of tomatoes, paprika, salt and boiling water.  Cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 35 minutes.

Fluff with a fork, then stir in the parsley, Parmesan and black pepper.

Braised Chard with Cilantro – adapted Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

If you know someone who is hesitant to eat Swiss chard, make them this dish.  It’s absolutely delicious and very different from eating sauteed chard.  This would be wonderful, on its own, with cornbread to soak up the “pot liquor”, the savory juices in the pan.  Your house will smell amazing when it’s finished.

Serves 4.

  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, about 2 lbs., leaves sliced into 1” ribbons and stems trimmed and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a heavy, wide pot, and set over low heat.  Cook, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.  There should be plenty of moisture in the pot;  if anything is sticking when you check it, add a couple TBS of water.

Chickpea Soup with Arugula, Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Oregano; Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake with Fresh Berries

Chickpea Soup with Arugula, Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Oregano

by Jennifer

Chickpea Soup with Arugula – adapted from Gourmet magazine

Serves 4 – 6 adults.

  •  1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained from 2 15.5-oz. cans (use the remaining chickpeas in a salad or mixed with hummus)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 oz. baby arugula
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat;  add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the bay leaf, salt, broth, chickpeas and black pepper to taste;  cover, lower heat to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Discard bay leaf.

Use a hand-held immersion blender and blend briefly, leaving most of the soup chunky, or remove 1 cup of soup and puree in a blender, then return to the pot.

Stir in the arugula and cook until it wilts.

Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top.

Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Oregano

It is actually pretty easy to make homemade ricotta cheese, and you don’t need to buy anything special if you already have an instant-read thermometer.  Use the left-over ricotta in lasagne, cheesecake, as dessert (or breakfast!) with toasted walnuts and a drizzle of honey, or to make Ricotta Gnocchi….stay tuned!

Serves as many as you like!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese – from Al Capone of Capone Foods, Somerville, MA

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Cheesecloth (you can find this in most grocery stores)

Combine the milk, cream and salt in a large, heavy pot set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 185 degrees.

Add the vinegar and stir for 15 seconds;  let sit on heat for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 15 – 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth set in your sink or over a bowl.

Let the cheese drain for several hours or overnight, until it stops draining (mine stopped draining after 4 hours).  Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge up to 12 days.

For bruschetta:

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (mine was from Panera), thickly sliced
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Olive oil

Pour a very generous amount of olive oil into a 12” skillet, enough to reach at least 1/4” high.  Heat over medium-high heat until quite hot but not smoking;  a drop of water should sizzle immediately.

Fry bread slices until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove from the pan to a paper-towel lined plate;

smear with a generous amount of ricotta cheese (which gets all soft on the hot fried bread) and sprinkle with oregano.  Serve immediately.

Moroccan Chickpea and Couscous Stuffed Peppers

By Jennifer

You can assemble this dish ahead, if you like;  reheat peppers, covered with foil, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.  This would pair well with warm pita bread, too.

Serves 4 – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 15.5-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 4 TBS mango chutney
  • 4 TBS chopped fresh mint, divided

Slice peppers in half lengthwise, discarding seeds and membranes.  Place peppers cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water;  cover with foil.  Cook on HIGH in the microwave for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  (You’ll need to do this in batches.)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat;  add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.

Add spices and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add chickpeas and water;  bring to a boil.  Stir in the couscous, cover the pan, and remove from heat.  Check the pan 5 minutes later;  the couscous should have absorbed all the liquid.

Off heat, stir in the cheese, chutney, and 2 TBS of the mint.  Fill the pepper halves and sprinkle with the remaining mint.

Serve with The Best Challah.