Garlic Chickpea Soup

Welcome to post number two of the lost archives!  Today we have a lovely soup that works for any season.  In the fall or winter it could work for an entree, but in the summer it works for a nice side dish.  I always forget that soups make incredible sides!  A nice change up from salads and roasted veggies. 

You may remember me mentioning one of my favorite cook books titled “100 Best Fresh Soups.” Well this little beauty found its origins there! I love the fact that it has a hint of creaminess, but also that satisfying nature of chickpeas that you can sink your teeth into. Again, another grest reason it works for many seasons and occasions. You ready to jump on in?! Let’s do this!

So, here’s what you need:

• 1/2 C Grassfed Butter, or Coconut Oil (butter will taste better)
• 12 Cloves Garlic, minced
• 2 C Dry Chickpeas
• 10 1/2 C Water
• 1 tsp Cumin
• 1 tsp Coriander
• 2 Carrots, Very Finely Chopped
• 2 Onions, Very Finely Chopped
• Juice of 1 Lemon
• Fresh Cilantro, Chopped for Garnish

Note: you’ll want to read through the first few steps before you start because this soup does require a little planning ahead!

Here’s how you do it:

1) The night before you want to make your soup, put your dry chickpeas in a container covered with water so they can soak over night. You’ll want quite a few inches of water over the chickpeas, as they grow like craaaaaazy!

2) Heat half the butter over low heat in a large pot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add your chickpeas with the water, cumin, and coriander. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until chickpeas are tender; about 2 1/2 hours.

3) Heat the rest of your butter or oil over medium-low heat. Add your carrots, onions, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. If your chickpea mixture isn’t done boiling, then set it aside.

4) When everythimg is done simmering, stir the veggies into the chickpeas. Place about half of the soup in a blender, and blend until smooth. Return the blended mixture back into the pan and stir. Add half the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste, and adjust! Garnish with some cilantro and enjoy.

Peectures:

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So. Much. Garlic. Yayyyy.

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See?! So much!

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Melt half the butter, add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes.
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Add the chickpeas, water, cumin, and coriander. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and boil for about 2 1/2 hours.
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Melt the rest of the butter, add the veggies, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
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When both are done, stir the veggies into the chickpea mixture. Put half of it in a food proccessor and blend until smooth and creamy.
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Beautiful.
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Stir together with some lemon juice and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.

Here is how we enjoyed it. I did it as a side dish to this yummy chicken. And we had a nice romantic candle lit dinner. Mr.Rodgers even put a youtube video of a crackling fire up on the computer. It was the best. Great ways to make the mundane special with your honey.
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Butter Dill Beets and Carrots

I tell you what, I wish you guys could be here now.  What a lovely evening it is!!  I’m sitting here with a fuzzy puppy at my toes, the lingering scents of dinner in the air (seared pork chops and an awesome soup I can’t wait to share with you!), and my favorite part of all…Mr. Rodgers on the other side of the couch with his new “studious” glasses on, intently writing a beautiful song with his acoustic.  It is a wonderful day.  An unexpected day off, no less…considering there is a ton of snow out there and I work at an ice cream store.  😉  My tummy is full, but with healthy things.  And you know what?  My heart is full too…with healthy things.  I am so thankful for new years.  For people that inspire me to be better, and a God that gives me strength to pursue health and peace and loves me no matter how many times I screw up.

Sigh.  I am thankful.

Anywho…on from your glimpse into the Rodgers’ lives!  I hope all of you are enjoying this start to your year as well.  I pray you are blessed with new levels of HEALTH this year.  That is the mantra in our house for the year.  And if you let me, I would love to help you bring health to your house this year too!!  So let’s get started with some root veggies with a great flavor to boot!

Beets.  I don’t have much history with them.  I was always so scared of the smell that came out of the can when my mom ate the canned ones…so I never really gave them a chance.  Then came that one time Mr. Rodgers and I juiced for a few days after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  (Very interesting, you should check it out!!  It helped us on our journey, even though we decided to go a more protein-heavy direction.)   I drank beet juice then…and actually didn’t mind it!!  It was a different flavor, but I grew to love it.  The husband, not so much.  He was not a fan of the beet juice.

But then I made these babies.  He WAS a fan of these.  Great flavor, I tell you!  Not to mention all the benefits of beets…they are very good for detoxing (which we all need to do after the holidays, good gracious!), and house a ton of vitamins apparently!  And I don’t think I need to tell you that carrots have benefits as well…especially for your eyes.

So whether you are an avid beet lover, or are fearful of them like me…you should give them a chance.  And roasting them should definitely be that first chance.  Here’s a great way to try:

 

What you need:

  • 1 lb baby beets, or 2 bunches “normal” beets
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots (yes, I used the snack kind for ease.  You can also use 1/2 lb the bunch kind if you desire.)
  • 3 Tbsp Grassfed Butter, such as Kerrygold
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Dill paste, or fresh chopped (Warning: I have recently discovered that the herb pastes often have Dextrose in them 😦  So use at your discretion..they are great for when you are in a hurry or don’t want your herbs to go bad before you get to them…but fresh is definitely the better alternative health wise.  Sigh.)
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*
  2. Clean, trim, and peel your beets.  Chop into pieces all about the same size…some you will halve, some into quarters, some into eighths, depending on the size.  You want to have roughly one inch wedges.
  3. Place beet wedges and carrots on foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter and add dill and garlic.  Whisk together.
  5. Dump butter mixture over veggies and toss around till everything is nice and coated.  Share the love baby!  Add some salt and pepper.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and roast about 35 minutes, (stirring occasionally), or until the veggies are tender but a bit browned and crispy on the outside.
  7. Remove, and eat!!

Beets 1

 

Trim, clean, and peel those bad boys.  Chop into even sized wedges.

Beets 2

Look down and realize this looks bad…really bad.  I sent this pic to my mom and she got a good laugh about it.

Beets 3

Toss onto a lined baking sheet.  Add baby carrots.

Beets 4

Melt butter and add garlic and dill.  Whisk together.

Beets 5

Dump it all over.

Beets 6

Mix it allllll up. Add a little salt and pepper, naturally.

Beets 7

And roast!  About 35-40 minutes, or until starting to brown and crisp but tender inside.

Beets 8

Yeah baby.

Beets 9

And enjoy!!

 

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE asparagus.  Freakishly.  Last night I was shoving some in my face telling Mr. Rodgers “I could seriously eat this every day of my life!”  Because of said passion…I jump at every new way to prepare it!  This method seemed so simple, I just had to try it!  And I definitely was not disappointed…with taste or appearance!!  It was just so stinking cute!  It made me happy!  Did I mention it was simple?!  Beautiful.  You ready?  Here we go!

 

You may have guessed, but this is adapted from one of my favorites!!

Meditteranean Frittata 1

Yay for this book!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Lemon, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread the asparagus out in a single layer.  Spread the lemon slices over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus.  It should be tender-crisp.

 

 

And there you go!  Bingo zingo…super easy!!  Do you love it?!  I love it!!

 

Asparagus 1

See?  Lay it out nice and pretty…

Asparagus 2

Sprinkle with garlic…

Asparagus 3

Salt and pepper…and cook until tender crisp!

Asparagus 4

Yummy roasty toasty garlicky lemony goodness!

Asparagus 5

Asparagus 6

 

Spiced Rack of Lamb With Pomegranate and Honey over Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Sounds super fanc, right?  Well.  It is, haha.  And yes, I said “fanc” on purpose.  Apparently shortening your words when you speak is really cool, so I’m totes trying it out.

Wow.  I don’t know what just happened.  Let’s move on.

On to lamb.  I LOVE lamb. I had barely had it until this past year.  I can honestly say I only remember having it in one dish: gyros.  And even then it was not often, and usually mixed half and half with beef.  But then I made it for the first time with our Rack of Lamb with Garlicy Pesto…and my life was forever changed.  We were HOOKED.  However, because of the price tag, we don’t get to enjoy it often.  Well.  I had a little extra in the grocery budget this month.  So I bought a rack of lamb.  And did a little happy dance.  And discovered this little beauty from myfoodbook.com.  And did another happy dance.  🙂

Because of my crazy schedule, I had to wait a few days to cook this, and I almost went mad with anticipation knowing this beautiful piece of meat was waiting for me in the fridge!  But I tell you what, it didn’t disappoint!  I don’t know how I have gone without lamb for these past few months!  Yummy.

So let’s get down to it!  Just a little note….the original is served with a garlic yogurt sauce.  Mr. Rodgers and I aren’t huge fans of plain Greek yogurt.  But I mixed up the sauce in an effort to be brave and try it anyways…and then decided I didn’t want to be brave anymore haha!  Then I had an idea…which I am very thankful for.  I was already planning on serving this dish with mashed cauliflower…which I usually make creamy with sour cream.  So instead of sour cream, I just used my garlic yogurt sauce and BAM!  Garlic yogurt mashed cauliflower.  EAT IT!  No, really.  Eat it.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Rack of Lamb
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 – 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted Almond Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Mix together all you seasonings in a small bowl and rub all over your rack of lamb.  Set in the fridge until you are ready to cook, preferably about half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400*
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, with the coconut oil in the bottom.  We are going for a nice char, so I would make it closer to high heat than medium.  HOWEVER, if you don’t like the crispy dark crust on meat…go for more like medium.  🙂
  4. Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side, just till you get your desired amount of char…or “brown.”
  5. Slide the skillet into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop your cauliflower into florets and toss into a pot of boiling water until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Mince garlic and stir into Greek yogurt.
  8. Drain cauliflower and dump into a blender, in shifts if needed.  Add half a stick of butter or so, your yogurt mixture, salt and pepper, and blend till creamy perfection.  Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and butter.
  9. Put a pile of mashed cauliflower on each plate, top with a piece of lamb or two, then sprinkle with pomegranate, almonds, and honey!!  DIG IN!  Bam!

Peectures:

Photo (9)Gather your spices and combine in a small bowl.

Photo (10)Cover that rack of lamb with that rub!!  Set in fridge until ready to cook!

Photo (11)Preheat oven to 400*.  Melt 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Photo (12)Toss in your lamb and cook about 2 minutes per side until you have your desired amount of char/brownness.  We like ours crispyyyy!

Photo (13)See?  Yes, it looks pretty dark, but it turned out perfect!  Slide into your oven and cook about 20 minutes.

Chop your cauliflower into florets and toss in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender.  Meanwhile mince garlic and stir into yogurt.  Drain cauliflower and toss in a blender with yogurt mixture and about 1/2 cube butter, and salt and pepper.  Blend until creamy.

Photo (14)Creamyyyyy.  Picture doesn’t do it justice unfortunately.  Now plop a big spoonful on your plate…

Photo (15)Slice lamb between bones, and place one or two on top of the mashed cauliflower…

Photo (16)Sprinkle with pomegranate “seeds,” almonds, and a drizzle of honey.  Perfection!

Photo (17)I was so worried I had over cooked it, but it turned out just how we liked it!!  This was definitely a man pleaser!

Photo (18)What do you think?

Photo (19)This not only renewed my love for lamb, it also renewed my love for pomegranate.  I had given up on pomegranate because I kept trying to drink pomegranate flavored things and never liked it.  But I gave it a try for this recipe, and realized just how wonderful and not at all like the “pomegranate flavoring” it was.  I had forgotten!

Photo (20)Yums!  Enjoy!

Simple Grilled Garlic Dijon Salmon (Summer Grillin’!)

I am passionate about food…and because of that fact, I have no issue with taking time on it.  However, some nights, you just want to throw something together and be eating within 20 minutes, but still have it taste fantastic!  That was the case the night I tried out this beautiful recipe from skinnytaste.com.  It was just a wonderful recipe.  I didn’t change a thing!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon wedges

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your grill, about medium!
  2. Salt and pepper your fillets!
  3. Now…turn the rest of the ingredients into a paste!!  You can do this a number of ways…either toss them all into a mini food processor, use a mortar and pestle if you have them…or if you are cool like me and don’t have either of those…mince your garlic small, and using the flat part of your knife, smash it back and forth a few times until it starts becoming paste-like.  Then mix with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl!
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Flip it and spread some of the paste on the fish.  After cooking about 3 more minutes, flip again and spread the remaining paste on the other side.  Cook another minute or so, remove from grill, garnish with lemon, and serve!! 🙂

Note:  Cooking times will differ depending on the thickness of your fish.  It will turn opaque and flake easily with a fork when ready!  🙂

Another note:  You should really go check out skinnytaste.com, they’re awesome and I’m so glad I discovered this recipe from them!

Peectures!

Grilled Dijon Salmon 1

Salt and Pepper your fillets!  Preheat your grill to medium.

Grilled Dijon Salmon 4

Create a paste with all remaining ingredients, except the lemon.  You can do this with a mini food processor, mortar and pestle, or simply mashing the garlic as best you can and mixing it all together!

Grilled Dijon Salmon 3

Find a cute guy to grill for you!  Okay, so that is an optional step….but that’s how I like to do it 😉

Grilled Dijon Salmon 2

Grill for 5 minutes, flip and smear with half the paste.  Cook another 3 minutes, flip again, smear again, and cook another minute or so.  Remove from grill when opaque and flakey.  Garnish with lemon, and serve!! Enjoy it’s beautiful simplicity!

Grilled Dijon Salmon 5

Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!  So tasty!!!!!!!!!  You’ll love itttttt!!!!

Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

My husband had long ago decided that he did not like spaghetti squash.  No sir. Didn’t like it.   And then he tried this.

He changed his mind.  😀  I love it when I can change peoples’ minds about a food.  It makes me feel like such a success 😀  I’ve left my print on the world!!  Ohhh hey…that would be a good show for Food Network.  “I Didn’t Like….”  A competition to see which chef can change a picky person’s mind.  Ha!  I’m a genius.  Someone should hire me, haha.

This was a fantastic side dish for steak!!  It had that creamy, garlicy, cheesy satisfaction without the carb-filled pasta.  So tasty and quite healthy!!!  Yes it has a bit of cheese…but Parmesan is one of the best health wise! 🙂

One more fun thing about this recipe!!  I have never been too good at making sure spaghetti squash get cooked all the way.  Just being honest here.  Well, because of this wonderful book, Everything Gluten Free Slow Cooker Cookbook, I finally NAILED IT!  That’s right.  I cooked the spaghetti squash in a crock pot!!!  I love my crock pot, it helps me time things!!!  Yaaaay!!  I hope that thought will be a great tip for your kitchen too!!!!  You simply pierce the squash a few times, put it in the crock pot, and pour in a small amount of water, about 3/4 C and cook on low for 7 or 8 hours 🙂

Adapted from http://ahealthymakeover.blogspot.jp

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large or Medium Spaghetti Squash, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3/4 C Vegetable or Chicken Broth, Preferably Low Sodium
  • 1/3 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Grated Fresh Parmesan…my 1/2 C was generous 🙂
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

  1. Get your spaghetti squash cooked!! If you want to try my new method, start the morning of, poke a few holes and place in a crock pot with about 3/4 C of water.  Cook on low about 8 hours.  Cut in half and shred squash with a fork.  You can also cut in half and  bake cut side down in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or even microwave about 12 minutes if you’re in a hurry!
  2. Melt butter or coconut oil over Medium heat.  Saute onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook about a minute more.
  3. Toss in the cooked spaghetti squash and stir so your tasty garlicy bits are incorporated throughout.
  4. Add the broth and almond milk and stir in.
  5. Add the parmesan and stir in.  If it is too runny, let it reduce for a few minutes.
  6. Add parsley, salt, and pepper, stir, and serve hot aaaaaaand delicious!!

So simple, and yet such delicious, classic flavors!  Perfect mid week side dish!

 

Pour your water into the crock pot!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 1

 

Stab the squash and place it in.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 2

 

And cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4).  Cut in half, remove the seeds, and shred with a fork.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 3

 

Now this is where things got crazy and the pictures had to pause.  Hahaha.

Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat and saute your onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Then add garlic and saute for about a minute more.  Toss in your cooked squash and stir.  Add liquids and stir.  Then add parmesan and stir.  Lastly, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 4

Now serve!!  This is one of those great things that could be a main dish or a side dish!  It’s just…all around glorious!!  I hope you enjoy!!