Chickpea Caprese Salad

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By Corinne

Little tastes more like summer to me than basil. I grow a large pot of it on my deck every year, and add it to everything.

This is a twist on the classic mozza, basil, and tomato salad. The addition of chickpeas makes it perfect for a light summer meal, or a lovely side at a BBQ potluck.

You will need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • about 20 bocconcini halved (about 7 oz)
  • 2 cups of delicious tomatoes – if you are using ‘juicy’ ones, seed them first. I halved mini san marzano tomatoes because I’m a bit obsessed with them
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp to 1/4 cup of finely minced red onion- depending on the ‘power’ of your onion
  • generous handful of fresh chopped basil. If you don’t have fresh basil- make another recipe!
  • about 1/4 cup of a good balsamic or possibly a balsamic reduction
  • generous grind of black pepper
  • salt if desired, I tend not to use any when using the canned chickpeas

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Taste your red onion. Sometimes they are VERY strong, in which case, less is more so to speak. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix! Will need a quick stir up before serving.

If you are using a “regular” balsamic, you may want to add a tbsp or two of oil in order for the ‘dressing’ to be thick enough and not too vinegary. The one I used was a rather sweet and thick balsamic and I didn’t need that addition.

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Lemony Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

By: Corinne

Inspired by Andrea over at Dishing up the Dirt. I came across this recipe when cauliflower was $6.99 each… I thought I would hold out and wait for the prices to come back down, but then it was up to $7.99 and held steady there for almost two months. I miraculously came upon some for only $3.99 and snapped one up. Cauliflower is not my favourite vegetable, but I do like it roasted and I love lemon anything. While the original recipe is vegan, if you happen to have some extra chicken around and want to use it up it works nicely here,  though this happily exists without any chicken (how I usually make it) as the chickpeas and the quinoa make it quite filling.

I used white quinoa as in the original recipe, but I think this would be even more delightful with whole wheat cous cous- perhaps because I just can’t seem to get on the quinoa train. I just don’t love it and there are some ethical issues surrounding it as well.

You will need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed, and well drained
  • 1 cup dry quinoa *update- or 1 cup whole wheat cous cous(though obviously cous cous is not gluten free)
  • a few tbsp of flat leaf parsley or cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 thai chili pepper)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil- do not use olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice- juice of about 2 lemons – really, don’t use the bottled stuff for this recipe
  • 2 tsp dijon style mustard
  •  1/4 cup canola oil or if you have a very light tasting olive oil that would work- otherwise the lemon will be overpowered
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely diced (I used two, but it was pretty garlicky… which isn’t a BAD thing necessarily…)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar – my lemons were quite sour, taste your dressing and omit as you see fit

Toss cauliflower and chickpeas with oil on your baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili flakes if using. Roast in 450F oven for 20-30 minutes, shaking and flipping around after about 15 minutes until browned on all sides.

Cook 1 cup of quinoa with two cups of chicken or veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Stirring every few minutes until quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is fluffy.

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Place some quinoa in a bowl, cauliflower and chickpeas on top, drizzle with a generous amount dressing and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

Update: Finally tried with couscous! As predicted, like it better 🙂

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Chickpea Soup

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By: Corinne

I love soups that simmer on the stove all day and fill your house with the smell of warmth and goodness to come. However, I don’t always have all day to wait for supper to be ready. This is a delightful, quick, easy mid-week meal. It comes together quickly and yet is full of flavour so tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day.  It’s vegetarian if you omit the bacon and use veggie bouillon instead (and will still be delicious).

Time: 20 to prep if you haven’t already cooked your bacon, much less if you already have. 30 to cook

Serves: 4

You Will Need:

  • 1 medium/large onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • about 4 slices of bacon crisped, drained, some fat reserved
  • 2 cans of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups of delicious homemade stock * I used frozen turkey stock * 6 cups water + 3-4 tbsp veggie bouillon  works just as well
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

Crisp bacon in oven or in the pot you’re going to make the soup in. Reserve a tbsp or so of bacon fat to cook the onions/celery/garlic. Chop the onion and celery and add to your pot with the reserved bacon fat. Saute about 7 min until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two, ensuring garlic does not brown. Crumble bacon and reserve for garnish.

Add stock and about 1 1/2 cans of the chickpeas. Reserve 1/2 can of chickpeas to add after blending the rest of the soup.  Add spices and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high. Remove from heat and using a hand blender, blend until smooth. Add the other half can of chickpeas – leaving them whole. Return to heat and simmer for about another 10-15 minutes- making sure you stir regularly as to prevent anything from burning to the bottom.

Ladle hot soup into bowls, garnish with 1/2 tbsp of crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.

*** yogurt garnish/dip for pitas

  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander

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