Monday, December 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Greek Chili

The slow cooker is totally my husband's thing. He likes to throw bags of vegetables and cartons of broth in the vessel, turn it on slow and watch it go. I always feared the leftovers of slow cooking, lasting for days with a taste that won't go away. I've turned over a new leaf this Fall and started cooking chickpeas in the slow cooker, why didn't I start this sooner? The chickpeas always come out perfectly, without the hassle of mama bird hoovering tactics. So, I've always got a ton of chickpeas on hand, why not throw some more back into the slow cooker?

Do you know one of those people that always brags about their chili recipe? Does he swear by that test on Facebook that confirmed he really should have been a fireman? Does she bring chili to every social gathering, talking it up beforehand? I don't know anyone like that, either, but I've got something to talk about with him or her if I do.

Greek Chili
1 red onion, diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can or 16 oz of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can or 16 oz of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of 32 oz of diced tomatoes (if you can't find the Greek kind, the Italian version will do)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey

For the top
Kalamata olives
Pomegranate arils
Fresh Greek oregano

Put all chili ingredients into the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours. Top with feta, kalamatas, poms and fresh oregano.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin Soy Hummus

Oh, hummus! It's perfect for every season and occasion.

Having recently survived ACL knee surgery and off my feet for a few weeks, I longed for the days when I could do simple stuff on my own, like make my own hummus and wear normal shoes. Once I got my legs somewhat back, I reached for my trusty food processor.

Can we talk about pumpkin? The level of pumpkin-ness has reached a whole new level of pumpkin this year. And I love it like I love Facebook, other people's selfies and Christmas music. I love perusing the pumpkin selection at Trader Joe's, scoffing at the sorry days when it was just a lonely can representin' for this time of year. I talked myself out of carving up my sugar pumpkin for Halloween, only to roast it with olive oil and salt a few days later. Just beautiful. And too beautiful to blend up for hummus, this time. However, the seeds were salvaged and roasted for hummus decor.

Chickpeas, I'm giving you a Plays Well With Others T-shirt for whirling so well with pumpkin and soy. You made a delicious, rich, festive dip that I'm ready to groove to all season long.

P.S. This is the hummus that gives you an excuse to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Crack open that can for hummus, finish it with cookies. You're welcome.

Pumpkin Soy Hummus

2 cups chickpeas of 1 16 oz can
1/3 cup pumpkin, pureed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons walnut oil (olive if you don't have it)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon or less sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
Roasted pumpkin seeds (Roasted mine in sesame oil and gochugaro) for decor

Blend everything but the chickpeas ad pumpkin in a food processor for about 20 seconds until all incorporated. Toss in chickpeas and pumpkin and blend until smooth, or to your desired consistency.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten Free!)

Plum explosion happened in the hood triggering a public meeting (ahem, me and my two neighbors) about what to do with all these purple beauties. Some signed up to get their jam on, other harvested more to form large piles, I infused vodka by night and made muffins by day.

Poppy seeds are the best, and they worked fabulously (say it out loud in your best Lynne Rossetto Kasper voice!) with the plums. I added almond flour to give a little of that almond-poppy seed memory. So good. 

Gluten free has been the theme of my summer (I think my allergies are getting better?) and Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose flour has been my trusted homeboy throughout this wheat-free journey. You could probably just add regular AP flour and these muffins would still turn out a-ok. 

BUT, I still have tons more plums. What to do with them? 

Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins

8 plums, pitted and chopped up
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix liquids and sugar together until well blended. Mix flours, baking powder, and salt together. Combine liquids with dry until just combined, then add diced plums. Pour into muffins cups and bake for about 18 minutes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Eggplant, Feta and Corn Salad

One of my favorite cool dishes of summer is a simple salad of roasted/grilled eggplant with feta. It was too boring to post back in 2011. Until now, thanks to America's favorite past-time: corn.

Yay, corn! 
Poor corn, getting a bad name for making people fat and miserable. 
Well, corn, I'm giving you another chance, and you have surely redeemed yourself. 
You add sweetness, texture and color. 
You make me nostalgic. 
Come back in my arms, corn.

There are hundreds of reason why I should love corn.
And why eggplant and feta should love corn. 

I'm celebrating corn like I'm celebrating the rest of Summer. It's hot and amazing while it lasts.
This salad hits the spot for a hot summer dinner. Throw in roasted red bells, olives, fresh chopped mint, lentils - maybe even some fancy nuts -  and you have really outdone yourself. Your face is sweating and it's time for you to drink something cold and eat this salad. 

Eggplant, Feta and Corn Salad

1 eggplant
2 ears of corn
Heap of greens - I used home-grown kale and butter lettuce
Fresh mint
Roasted red bell peppers
Extra - lentils/cooked beans, olives, capers, something spicy, nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Slice eggplant into 2 bite discs, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast or grill until tender. Roast, cook or don't cook your corn. Slice it off on the ear. Prepare your greens in a big bowl, throw on your toppings. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Greek Fava Hummus with Saffron Flowers

Public Service Announcement: Greek fava isn't actually all that fancy. The asterisk at the bottom reveals: contains no actual fava beans. Nope. Just yellow split peas boiled down and served with raw red onion. Greeks call this fava and actual fava beans koukia. Fava is the paradosiako or traditional thing to order a meze at a classic Greek Taverna and usually served with crudely chopped red onion, which has always been a little daunting to me.

Sometimes, the fava can come out almost chalky like and sometimes it's like butta. But it's even better made into a creamy hummus. Greek fava blended down with tahini and olive oil turns this simple staple into something luxurious. Plus, Greek fava is SO easy to make. I've been really into turmeric these days, so added some as well as some saffron flowers not to be confused with expensive saffron stigmas. Raw onion always throws me off kilter but not when in the form of tiny little gems on a dip with fresh mint to counterbalance. If you like hummus, I hope you try this version! If you like Greek fava, I hope you try this hummus!

Greek Fava Hummus with Saffron Flowers

1 cup of Greek fava (make a batch of Greek fava for the week) 
2 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon (throw in some lemon zest if you like!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon saffron flowers
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped mint

In a food processor, blend all ingredients except for onions and mint until ultra smooth. Pour into a bowl, top with onions, mint and more olive oil!