Chilled Curry Chickpea Salad

This was so fun!  I rarely do cold side dishes, but now I am thinking I should do them more often!  Not to mention…I am in LOVE with chickpeas!  And there are tons of benefits in lentils!  And Mr. Rodgers loves curry!  Basically I am saying…this is a win win win WINNNN!  Such an explosion of flavors and textures!  Great!

 

So here’s what you need:

  • 1 Can Chick Peas (Garbanzos), or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1 Can Lentils, or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1/2 C Red Onion, Minced
  • 3/4 C Celery, Diced
  • 3/4 C Colored Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!  (It’s REALLLY hard <–sarcasm!)

  1. In a bowl, combine chick peas, lentils, and veggies.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Drizzle the “dressing” over the bean/veggie mix, and stir to coat.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.  Eat and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Stir together beans and veggies.

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Mix together your “dressing” ingredients.

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Drizzle dressing over veggie mixture and stir to coat.

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Put in something pretty!

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And eat!

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Serve along side some yummy protein!  This is beside some amazing ribs…that I am crying inside because I didn’t write down my recipe for and can’t remember 😥  Woe is me!  But!  That’s okay because at least we got this fantastic side dish!!

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Sauteed Onions and Asparagus

I have discovered a deep love for asparagus in the last few years.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it.  But asparagus.  Is.  Amazing.  I love it to the point that, at family gatherings at my pastor’s house (I love having an adopted New York family!), they occasionally make asparagus.  And usually after all the boys clear out from the dinner table to go watch the game…I am left chatting with Carolyn and eating the rest of the asparagus.  No matter how much is left.  It’s happened I tell you!  So I am on a quest to see how many different ways I can discover to eat it!!  If you have a good recipe please send it to me!!

This one came completely out of my brain.  I wanted something a little different for my asparagus but still warm and full of flavor.  This is what I came up with.  Sautéed Onions and Asparagus!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped (I used red, but either will make a lovely flavor)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Kerrygold Butter (We use Kerrygold because it is made from the milk of grass fed cows, and is recommended by Abel James, “The Fat Burning Man.”)
  • 1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 C Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Melt your butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir, cooking until tender starting to brown.  It will take a while, so don’t rush it!  My red onions were done in about 10 minutes, but white or yellow will take longer.  But the slower you cook it out, the better the flavor will be.
  2. Add garlic and stir in, cooking for another minute or so, until fragrant.
  3. Add Asparagus and integrate into the onions.
  4. Add Chicken Stock to deglaze your pan.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking, stirring often, until asparagus is bright green and tender crips…8-10 minutes.
  5. Heap on a plate, making sure you have some onions on top.  And enjoy!!

 

Peectures!!

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Caramelize your onions in the butter…

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Add asparagus.  Deglaze the pan with chicken stock, and stir in other liquids.

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Continue cooking, stirring often, until asparagus is tender crisp and liquids have reduced.

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Yummy!!!!

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Asian Almond Butter Broccoli

Sounds interesting, right?  Well…it was!  Kind of fun and strange and wonderful!  I never would have thought of putting almond butter on a veggie…other than dipping carrots in it, of course.  That is addicting…

But almond butter and broccoli?!  Yes, yes….it works, and I am thankful for the genius of Abel James, The Fat Burning Man, for coming up with the idea!  For this recipe, I left the ingredients alone, just because the recipe was so out of the box for me that I didn’t want to try something and mess it up.  HOWEVER, I did change how I cooked the broccoli!  See…originally it was intended to be grilled!  However, our days around here are struggling to stay above zero degrees.  So I didn’t feel right about asking the man to go outside and grill.  Plus…I have heard in those temperatures that often times grills won’t be able to heat up enough to cook your food anyways!  So I went with my favorite method of cooking veggies.  Oven roasted, crispy, and delicious!

Which reminds me.  We must pause so I can rant.  What.  The.  Heck.  Is the deal with restaurants boiling their veggies?!  SUCH INJUSTICE!  I mean, come on!  Mr. Rodgers and I splurged on a fancy dinner two nights ago.  The steak was delicious.   His chicken parm was bigger than my head and oh so crispy!  The Shamrock martini was amazing.  Atmosphere…awesome.  Candle lit.  Delicious.  And then you get to the pile of veggies.  Tasteless.  Squeaky.  Rubbery.  Boiled.  WHY?!  It makes me want to cry.  THIS IS WHY SO MANY AMERICANS HATE VEGETABLES!  Because people like you mistreat them, fancy restaurant!

Okay.  Rant over.  I’m sure they have their reasons.  Sigh.  Poor little broccoli never had a chance.

Eh hem.  Back to our fun ROASTED broccoli recipe 😀  Let’s get down to it!

 

Here is what you need:

  • 1 Large Head Broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (Mr. Rodgers’ favorite!)
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini (I used my daddy’s home made version)
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here is how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425*
  2. Chop your broccoli into florets.  Toss in a bowl.
  3. Add first 2 Tbsp of Sesame Oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss so that broccoli is coated.  Dump on a foil covered cookie sheet and slide into oven.  Roast until crispy on the outside but becoming tender, turning at least once.  Should be 15-20 minutes.
  4. While waiting for broccoli, create your “dressing.”  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
  5. When broccoli is done, dress it with the almond mixture, and enjoy!  Yay!

 

Peectures!

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Chop your broccoli into florets and place in a bowl.

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Add first 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.

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Dump onto a foil lined baking sheet and plop in your 425* oven.  Roast until crispy and tender…15-20 minutes.  Turn at least once for even browning.

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Meanwhile, dump the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

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Whisk together till creamy!

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Broccoli is done!  (Honestly…this was so good I could have eaten it as-is!)

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Put it on a plate and dress it!!

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Bam!!

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Sweet, tangy, protein-y, delicious!!  Let me know what you think!  What would be another great vegetable to use almond butter with?!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

To all my friends doing a Daniel Fast this month…if you leave out the eggs and cheese, this is a PERFECT recipe for you!!  Quinoa is full of protein so it will help you function, and it is crammed so full of good stuff that it will fill up your tummy.  Plus, it just looks like a normal, delicious meal.  So you will be thinking “meal” instead of “pile of veggies.”  And it will still work great and taste fantastic without the eggs and cheese…they’re both optional anyways!!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and have never heard of a Daniel Fast…this is just a great meal either way!!  Great for the body, tasty, and a wonderful way to sneak in veggies!  Really, you can use whatever veggies you want, but I will explain what I used just for an example.  I kind of went with the “more is better” philosophy with this one. 🙂

Adapted from the lovely joandsue.BlogSpot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 6 Large Bell Peppers of all Colors (Note: YOU WILL HAVE FILLING LEFT OVER! It is perfect to work into other recipes, or if you have picky eaters in your house that don’t like bell peppers.  If you don’t want left overs, then use a few more bell peppers.)
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 C Cooked Black Beans (or canned)
  • 1 Sm Onion, Diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 C Peas, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1/2 C Corn, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1 Can Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1 Sm Can Mushrooms, Sliced (My fresh ones went bad so I used a can!  Feel free to substitute with fresh.)
  • 2-3 Eggs (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cheddar Cheese to top (optional)

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  2.  Rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.
  3. Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.  (Quinoa package should have directions…but if all else fails, simmer it in water for about 12 minutes covered!)
  4. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan! Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and cook until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.
  6. Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.  Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.
  7. Make a well in the bottom of the pan and crack in your eggs.  Whisk and scramble until cooked, fried rice style!! Break into bits and stir throughout mixture.
  8. Fill each pepper generously.  Top with cheese if desired.
  9. Slide into preheated oven and cook until peppers are browned, cheese is melted, and everything is heated; about 35-45 minutes for tender-crisp peppers.

 

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First, preheat your oven to 350*.  Then, rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.

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Repeat with all your peppers.

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Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers 2

Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan!

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Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and heat until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.

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Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.

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Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.

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Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.

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Create a well in the middle.

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Crack in your eggs…

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Scramble until cooked…

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Break up the bits of egg and stir it alllll up.  Cook until heated through.

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Fill each pepper generously with the mixture…top with cheese if desired.  Obviously I started shredding my cheese, then decided it would work just as well with slices and would take less time, haha.

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Bake in 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, until peppers are starting to brown and cheese is melty!

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Now pick your color, dive in, and enjoy!!  Mr. Rodgers LOVED these!!  He even texted me the next day when he was eating one for lunch just to tell me how good “those peppers” are.  😀  Which, if you are reading this and you are a wife…you know how good that made me feel!

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Look at that warm, overflowing goodness!

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Don’t you just want to dive in?!  Make them so you can!!  And let me know how you like it, and how you adapt it yourself!  Next time, I’m thinking…hot sauce!!!  You know me and Sriracha.  Well maybe you don’t.  Here’s a hint.  I LOVE SRIRACHA!!  Okay, there you go…this is Mrs. Rodgers, over and out!!

 

Crispy Kale Chips

I had heard my sisters in law rave about the kale chips they would make, and how yummy yummy they were.  Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first.  (Sorry girls!).  It didn’t help that my first experience with kale was juicing after Mr. Rodgers and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead.  I was not a big fan of raw kale juice…even if it was mixed with a little bit of apple haha!  But if you are one of my original, faithful followers you will remember how I did a 180* turn around on my opinion of kale as soon as I made Kale Pesto and put it on a Cauliflower Crust Pizza.  Best meal ever!!  Still…the idea of a kale chip was a little scary for me!

Then I went home for a visit to be with my family when my grandmother died last month.  As we sat down to a usual Family FEAST…(Kirkwoods don’t make meals, they make feasts!)…they began to pass around the kale chips made by my beautiful sister in law Becca, who I lovingly refer to as “Jim.”  Yeah, it’s a long story.  So, I decided to try a few.  I tasted them.  And tried a few more.   And a few more…and was really sad when I realized the bowl was empty because everyone else was enjoying them as much as me!  😦  But even still, I am so happy for the experience, because now I know…I LOVE KALE CHIPS!  I am a “salty” lover, and the crunchiness along with the fantastic flavor that only comes from roasting something in an oven…man!  It was fantastic!!

I am back home now.  And still loving kale chips.  I made them just a week or so ago to go with some Garlic Bacon Butter Fish I made.  (Recipe coming soon!)  So I shall share with you the beauty of these crispy little flakes of loveliness, haha!  They are super easy as well!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bundle Kale leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chile Powder (Just cause we like them with a kick!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the kale and separate the leaves from any large pieces of stem, tearing into slightly-larger than bite size pieces.  Use a salad spinner to dry, or lay out on paper towels and dab, getting as dry as possible.  It will prevent mushiness!  If you are brave and trust the whole “putting it in the oven will kill any germs” thing, you could skip the rinse part.  🙂
  3. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss so coated.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder…and really any extra seasonings you may desire if you want to toss in a little garlic or something tasty!
  5. Line a large cookie sheet or two with foil.  Lay out kale chips in a single layer and do not over crowd!
  6. Bake until they reach your desired level of crispy brownness.  I probably got mine darker than most people would enjoy, but I wanted a stinking crunch!!!  Haha!  And they were lovely!!  Start with about 10 minutes and go from there.  🙂

Peectures!

Photo (12)Remove stems, rinse, and dry thoroughly!

Photo (13)Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chile powder, and whatever seasonings you crave!  Simple is delicious…but maybe you will discover something wonderful as well!

Photo (14)Place in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and slide into your 350 degree oven.  NOTE:  I overcrowded my pan!  Most of them turned out crispy but I had a few mushy ones because they were too close together.  IF IN DOUBT, USE TWO COOKIE SHEETS OR ROAST IN SHIFTS!

Photo (15)Remove from oven…this picture really doesn’t do them justice…they were deeeelish!

Photo (16)Enjoy as a snack, or a side to compliment a lovely protein!!!  Yummy!!!!  Enjoy!!

Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Boom.  It’s not often that your veggie side is the hardiest part of your meal.  We ate these along side a nice light soup…the crunch was fantastic, the garlic was so satisfying (since I always grew up eating garlic bread with soup…but I try not to eat bread much if ever…so this filled the little hole so I wasn’t disappointed!), and it really was something you can sink your teeth into!  Not to mention the fact that cabbage is awesome for you!  I don’t even really like raw green cabbage, but shoot…slathered in garlic butter and roasted till crispy and brown…I LOVED IT!  And so did Mr. Rodgers!!   I ever tossed the leftovers back in a hot oven a few days later and they were still good to accompany another meal!  Perfect 🙂  You should try!!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Raw Green Cabbage
  • About 6 Tbsp Butter (You could use Olive Oil too, I’m just weirded out about heating olive oil because of some studies I have heard!  I don’t mind a little fat in the butter, but it’s up to you!!)
  • 2-3 tsp Garlic Powder, depending on your love level
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tbsp Powdered Parmesan (Optional)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove outer leaf.  Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the cabbage head into inch thick slices, starting at the top of the head and cutting down to the “stem.”
  3. Lay “steaks” out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter in the microwave and whisk in the garlic powder.  Baste the top side of your steaks generously with half the mixture.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip cabbage steaks, baste fresh side with garlic butter, sprinkle on salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and return to the oven for 30 more minutes, or until crispy, brown, and to your desired tenderness.  Remove from oven and enjoy!!

 

Peectures!!

PhotoCut cabbage head into approximately 1 inch thick slices and lay out in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.

Photo (2)Baste generously with garlic butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400* for half an hour, then flip and repeat basting, salt, pepper, and add Parmesan this time!  Return to the oven for another 30 minutes and BAM!  You’re done.  Easy as that!

Photo (3)Yummmmyyyy

Photo (4)I want one right now.  I’m kinda hungry!!  🙂  I hope you simply love this!!  What is your favorite cabbage recipe?