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.


Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

by Jennifer

My husband declared, “This dinner is great!”, and it was.  Even better, the soup is so easy, and you can make it earlier in the day and reheat for dinner if afternoons/evenings are crazy.  I love caramelized onions in grilled cheese sandwiches;  my son prefers to eat his with a fork on the side.

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup – from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 4 – 6.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 3 slices soft sandwich bread (they recommend white;  I used soft whole wheat bread), crusts removed and torn into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups vegetable or no-chicken broth (or chicken broth, if you prefer)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Heat 2 TBS oil in a large pot over medium-high heat;  add the onions, garlic and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, using a potato masher to crush the tomatoes into small chunks.

Stir in sugar and bread;  bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and

cook until bread is completely saturated, about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and discard.

Add 2 TBS oil before pureeing the soup, either in batches using a blender, or using an immersion blender.  Add broth to pureed soup, and freshly ground black pepper to taste; heat over medium heat until hot.

Serve each bowl with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of chives.

Grilled Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

Nothing could be easier or so good-feeling inducing.  Make as many as you want (there are five in my family).

  • Whole grain/whole wheat bread, two slices per person
  • Your favorite good-quality cheese – I used aged raw milk cheddar, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil per onion
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter, margarine, or butter-flavored cooking spray

Slice onion very thinly;  for every onion you use, heat a TBS of olive oil in a large pan over low heat, then cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 40 minutes,

until it is tender and browned and your house smells delicious.  Season with salt and pepper.  You can make these ahead, up to a day, then reheat in the microwave for 30 – 60 seconds before making the sandwiches.

Prepare sandwiches with cheese – enough so it’s gooey, but not so much that you don’t get good melting in the middle – and if you’re using the onions, layer the onions between two layers of cheese.  Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat.

Butter the top slice of bread, then arrange sandwiches, buttered side down, on the griddle.  Butter the top slices of the sandwiches.

Check after a few minutes;  if the bottom is golden, flip, and cook until both sides are golden and cheese is melted.