Sea Salt, Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas

I’m not reinventing the wheel here people, but if you haven’t tried roasted chickpeas you probably should. The salt and oil measurements can be adjusted to your personal taste, as can the seasoning, plus a can of chickpeas is like what, a dollar? Hey-o to that!

Roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary Sprig

Sea Salt, Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas 

1 can chickpeas ( although I would highly recommend using two cans and doubling the recipe because we ate everything within 5 minutes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Sprinkling of sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, optional, but why not spice it up a bit, right?

Roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary Garlic Oil & Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl add chopped rosemary, minced garlic, and olive oil.

Drain and rinse chickpeas under lukewarm water and pat dry. If you’re patient, remove the skins. If you’re in a hurry, toss them in with the rosemary and oil mixture.

Toss chickpeas around in the bowl to fully coat. Add a pinch of salt.

Pour chickpeas out on a baking sheet and cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like ’em. After 15 minutes I shook the pan to rotate the chickpeas to ensure even baking.
Remove from oven, season to taste with more sea salt and red pepper flakes.

Roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary Garlic Oil & Sea Salt

Mediterranean Couscous Salad With Mixed Greens

Here’s a quick and easy couscous salad recipe. Mixing everything with fresh arugula and spinach stretched out the ingredients so we were able to get two delicious meals from the recipe.

This was a great meal for a hot summer night, and was even better the next day after the flavours had soaked in. Add some sliced avocado for and put into a whole wheat pita with humus for lunch the next day. Yummers.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 cup couscous
1 big clove garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup each of cucumber, red, yellow, and orange peppers, finely chopped
red onion, finely chopped (to your taste)
4-5 depitted olives and a splash of olive juice
a big handful each of arugula and spinach
juice from half a lemon. Garnish with extra lemon slices and/or zest
fresh feta, to your taste.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour 1 cup uncooked couscous into 1 cup salted boiling water. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with olive oil and fluff with a fork.

Chop tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, olives, and onion to similarly sized pieces. Add vegetables to couscous along with minced garlic, parsley, crumbled feta, and the juice from half a lemon. If you’ve bought bottled olives, adding a splash of the juices extends the flavour without having to use a lot of olives.

In a large salad bowl pour two tablespoons olive oil over arugula and spinach. Add couscous and mix. Salt and pepper to taste, garnish with lemon zest or additional lemon wedges.

I had every intention of making my own rosemary/garlic/thyme/lemon chicken, even bought all the ingredients… then I stumbled upon Jackson’s Rotisserie at The Public Market and everything smelt so good and it was all ready to eat … so I caved a bought a pre-made chicken. It was delicious, but next time I will make my own.

Roasted Tomato Garlic Marinara

If I could take a picture of how amazing my house smells right now I would, because it’s unreal.

This is it, the most delicious recipe I have ever made. I will never buy pasta sauce again, if I can avoid it, because this recipe from The Little Yellow Kitchen puts them all to shame.

The best part about homemade sauce? Knowing exactly what’s going into the food that’s going into you. Now that I’ve successfully made it once, and know how easy it is, I’ll be making it for years. This recipe is a great template for so many possible sauces.

Second best thing about the sauce: It’s soooo creamy, yet so light – and there’s not even a drop of cream involved! I would be lying if I said I didn’t eat it with a spoon straight from the jar. You will too, trust me.

The recipe makes one brimming jar of sauce. As you can see, I ate it down a bit.. 🙂

Fiery Roasted Tomato Garlic Sauce

adapted from The Little Yellow Kitchen

8 tomatoes, cut in half and then quartered (I used Roma)
4 big garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt (what the original recipe called for, however I used just shy of a teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 chicken stock ( or vegetable)
1/4 red wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes ( if you like it with spicy like I do)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350
1) Toss garlic and tomatoes into a large mixing bowl and coat with 1/4 cup olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
2) Pour contents of bowl onto a baking sheet and roast for 1 – 1/2 hours.
3) When tomatoes and garlic are almost finished, let simmer 1/4 cup red wine in a sauce pan.
4) In a food processor (or magic bullet!) add roasted tomatoes and garlic, red wine, 1/4 chicken or vegetable stock, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and the remaining oil. Blend mixture. Enjoy!

I think this sauce would work best over pasta, but I’m going to try it on a homemade pizza tonight!

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The Best Baked Spaghetti You Will Ever Eat

Yes, the recipe is that good. 

I spent most of my life hating baked spaghetti, a standard leftovers meal at our house I found dry and bland (sorry Mom!). My issue with baked spaghetti is there’s never enough sauce, and the noodles are always too squishy after being recooked. This recipe calls for a mix of your regular ol’ pasta sauce and Alfredo, double trouble baked spaghetti!  The result, a creamy flavourful and VERY saucy dish. To ensure sauciness only bake the casserole until the cheese starts to bubble on top. Happy Eating!

Double Trouble Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients: Tomato Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Pasta, Mozzarella Cheese ( or whatever you have on hand), grated Parmesan.
Optional: Red Pepper Flakes, fresh Parsley.

Preheat oven to 350.
1)  Cook pasta in slightly salted water until desired consistency. I used the ends of two bags of pasta – fusilli and rigatoni. It was about 3 1/2 cups in total and we had lots of leftovers. Or, use leftover pasta if you’re trying to clear out the fridge.
2)  Grate mozzarella – the cheesier the better!
3) When pasta is at desired firmness, drain and add to casserole dish. Mix in one jar of tomato sauce and one jar of alfredo. Stir until fully mixed, then cover pasta with cheese.
4) Bake in oven until you see the cheese starting to bubble, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and add grated parmesan.

EAT!

Easter Egg Nests

I came across this recipe accidentally during one of my many wasted  well spent afternoons surfing the web. I got the idea from The Pastry Affair, a blog about all things pastry, and became inspired to recreate these edible nests. They are so cute!


The first time I made a dessert with chocolate and chow main noodles was in Grade 2 when our class made Chocolate Spiders  to sell at the school talent show. They were an instant hit with parents and kids alike, I think more so with the kids because after getting your hands all chocolatey and marshmallowy, you got to eat them!  As soon as I saw this recipe I was transported down memory lane and knew I had to make them.

The Easter Egg Nest recipe involves peanut butter. I’m not a big fan of the chocolate-peanut combo so I was considering omitting it, however my entire family loves chocolate and peanut butter so I thought this would be a lovely Easter treat for them. Low and behold I liked them as well, mainly because the peanut butter didn’t steal the show and created an equal balance with the chocolate. Thanks Pastry Affair for such a great Easter treat!

Easter Egg Nests
Makes 8-10 nests, about 3 inches in size

3 cups Chow Main Noodles
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
30 Cadbury Mini Eggs (or whatever you’d like to fill your nest with)

Directions
Put Chow Main noodles in a mixing bowl.

Lay out a baking sheet covered with wax paper.

In a small pot melt chocolate chips and peanut butter. Stir until smooth, then pour over the chow main noodles. Stir noodles until evenly coated, then arrange your nests on the wax paper, sculpting out a place for the “eggs” to rest.

Let your nests cool for 30-40 minutes in the refrigerator before serving, and store in an air tight container.

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

So the Kale Chip bandwagon rolled by I thought, why not jump on and see what this ride is all about?

This immensely healthy vegetable is chock-a-block full of antioxidant properties, vitamins K, A, C and manganese (just to name a few). The leafy vegetable is sort of having a “moment” in the food fandom, with bloggers describe kale chips tasting  “just like potato chips!”. This is absurd and absolutely not true.

Consistency wise these were awesome, very light and flaky in your mouth, without inciting the guilty after effects of potato chips. Though kale absorbs the flavours you season it with, it does retain somewhat of a nutty earthy flavour, like raw broccoli.

Garlic and Parmesan Kale Chips

1 bunch of Kale
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Wash kale and thoroughly dry. Separate kale leaves from the stem, then using a bowl or seasoning bag toss kale leaves in olive oil, garlic, and Frank’s. 2 tbsp wasn’t enough to make them spicy, but the flavours were nice.

On an oven tray evenly distribute kale leafy side up. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and season to taste with parmesan cheese ( I also sprinkled some paprika).

Return to oven and cook for 2 more minutes.

NOTE: Burnt kale tasted very bitter, so keep a watchful eye on your chips!!!


Lemon Dill Dressing


Still trying to use up that fresh dill before it goes bad? Here’s a simple salad dressing recipe:

Lemon Dill Dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper

Whisk together ingredients and serve. I used this over couscous, very yum. To add some colour garnish your salad with grated raw beets, delicious not to mention beets are good for digestion and hinder garlic breath.