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I’ll be honest and say this was my least favorite of my recent chickpea meals.  I prefer the creamier texture and richer flavors of the previous recipes.  But for those looking for a gluten-free or grain-free tabouli this is definitely a solid recipe.  The flavors are good and the taste is close to the same as a traditional tabouli.  I think my recipe would be great served in a pita sandwich, vegetarian or not.

We enjoyed this served over a salad of kale, sunflower sprouts, cucumber, and tomato.  I made a roasted garlic tahini dressing to serve with it.  I really liked this dressing.  We all know tahini goes great with chickpeas and I personally love how roasted garlic makes a dressing creamy.  So I figured I’d mix the two.  The end result was delicious.  Thick and flavorful – perfect for kale, and it complimented the chickpea tabouli.

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Chickpea Tabouli

  • 25 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • juice of 1 lemon, maybe more if they are small (~3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • s&p
  1. Rinse chickpeas well, drain, and lightly try with a paper towel.  Smash with a potato masher until most chickpeas are ‘flaked’.
  2. Add all ingredients and season with s&p.

Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing

  • 2 bulbs garlic roasted
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 lemon, ~3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • s&p
  1. Remove roasted garlic cloves from bulb and food process with all ingredients.  Season with s&p.

IMG_6449Zucchini boat ‘lasagna’ stuffed with ground turkey, mushroom, and ricotta cheese.  YUM!  This is the perfect no noodle version to a quick and easy lasagna.  I used round zucchini’s from our local farmer’s market, but you can easily use the ‘normal’ shaped variety instead.  I made this while cooking another meal, feeding Calen, and prepping a third meal.  Point being it’s a pretty simple recipe to make, one you can easily throw together on a week night.

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I browned the turkey with minced garlic, onion, carrot, and celery.  Then added chopped local mushrooms, fresh oregano and basil from our garden, and some tomato sauce.  I went the easy way out and bought a small jar of marina sauce, my favorite being Cucina Antica.  Meawhile I halved and hollowed out each squash with a spoon.  I left a good 1/2″ thickness and saved the zucchini innards to juice.  The seeds add a lot of moisture and I didn’t want a soggy lasagna.  I stuffed the zucchini’s with a layer of ground turkey mixture, then ricotta cheese, followed by more ground turkey.  I topped each with a tablespoon of the marina sauce and fresh grated pecorino romano.  Then baked and served, with more pecorino romano of course.

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ready to bake

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baked and ready to serve

Zucchini Lasagna

  • 3/4 lb ground turkey (I used both leg and breast)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped – any variety, I used shiitake and lion’s mane
  • 8oz marina sauce
  • s&p
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 large round zucchinis
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • pecorino romano
  1. In a large saute pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey and brown until cooked through.  Stir in mushrooms and 3/4 cup marina sauce.  Just enough sauce to coat the turkey mixture.  Add oregano, basil, and season with s&p.  Remove from heat.  I like a lot of fresh herbs but feel free to decrease the amount if desired.
  3. Half zucchini’s and scoop out seeds leaving at least a 1/2″ ring around.  Save innards to juice or bake with.
  4. Stuff zucchini’s.. turkey mixture, ricotta, turkey mixture.  I didn’t measure the amounts but had enough to fill each with a little leftover for Cia to enjoy on some pasta.  Place in a lightly oiled pyrex dish.  Top each zucchini with a tablespoon of leftover marina sauce and grate fresh pecorino romano on top.
  5. Tent loosely with foil and bake at 350º for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and cook another 10.
  6. Serve each zucchini boat topped with more fresh grated pecorino romano.

** I also made enchilada zucchini bowls, which I chose not to post as the pictures turned out horrible.  But it’s a great idea.  Make an enchilada filling – I used black beans, spinach, cottage cheese, zucchini innards, and seasoning.  Topped with grated monterey jack cheese.  The filling was slightly on the thin side so I added an egg to the mixture.  Shredded chicken in enchilada sauce would be delicious too.

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These days I try to avoid most grains.  My personal preference is to keep my diet low in carbohydrates.  Nutritionally I don’t feel my body requires them, and I feel better without them.  Of course I still enjoy carbs, but when I do, on occasion, I try to balance the meal with protein and vegetables.  

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This meal is based off a recipe featured in the latest Bon Appetit issue.  The dressing is exact but I switched the salad up a bit to fit my style.  I was surprised at how well everything came together.  The dressing contains fennel seed, coriander seed, and cumin seed.  It’s strong in seasoning but not overpowering like you might think.  Along with a few other tweaks I added in chicken sausage, using Dogfish Head Greek feta brats - chicken brat with feta cheese, mint, spinach, cumin, lemon and Midas Touch.  I’ve had these before and they are delicious.  The perfect substitute when I’m not at Whole Foods to buy raw sausage.

Everything in this dish came together really well.  It’s not heavy despite the barley and sausage.  I’m always trying to increase the veggie count in my dishes so I served this over a bed of broccoli sprouts and chopped pea shoots.  This adds to the lightness.  Just to note, I have found a really cheap source for organic pea shoots which is why they are currently in most of my meals.  Plus I love their flavor.  But you can leave them out or substitute a different sprout or leafy green.

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Snap Pea & Barley Salad

  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 8 oz snap peas, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 12 oz Dogfish Head Greek Feta Brat (or any other sausage/brat you prefer)
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin half moons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • s&p
  • 2 oz feta, to serve
  • grape tomatoes, halved to serve
  • sprouts or greens, to serve
  1. Cook barley according to package.  I rinsed mine, placed in a pot with 3 cups of water, brought to a boil, partially covered, and simmered over low until tender, about 40 minutes.  Barley makes the water foam up so be aware to prevent overspilling.  Once barley is cooked rinse well and place on a plate to dry.
  2. Heat up the olive oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan.  Add the snap peas and cook 5 minutes to barely soften and just brown.  Place in a bowl.
  3. Slice sausage into 1″ rounds and then into half moons.  Add to sauté pan and brown.  If you are using raw sausage cook whole and then slice.  Add to snap peas.
  4. Stir in the barley, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, and dressing.  Season with s&p.
  5. Serve over a bed of sprouts and/or greens topped with feta cheese and grape tomatoes.

 

Toasted Spice Vinaigrette (from Bon Appétit)

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon styled mustard
  • s&p
  1. In a dry skillet toast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Cool and chop.
  2. Whisk all ingredients, including chopped seeds.  Season with s&p.

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Check out these mushrooms!  I forgot to take a picture before I chopped them, but how amazing do they look?  When we moved to Boulder, just over six years ago, the farmer’s market was already in full swing for the season.  A quick time out to say I still can’t believe I’ve been living in Colorado for six years!  It’s been amazing- going to endless music shows, hikes, happy hours, and now transitioning to having a family.  Ah I have so much to be thankful for.

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But back to the mushrooms.  Our initial love at the farmer’s market was the mushroom stand.  The first season we were here we bought a bag of mushrooms every week.  I kid you not!  Sometimes even two a week (the farmer’s market runs Saturday days and Wednesday nights).  Of course we became good acquaintances with the ‘mushroom man’ who runs the stand.  These days we are still regular customers.  The mushrooms are grown in Fort Collins and are truly superb.  Shiitake, cremini, oyster, king oyster, lion’s mane, and cinnamon caps.  We tend to buy a mixed bag to enjoy the variety.  They run $6 per 1/2lb bag but many times we are charged $5.  This time we were offered a super deal, a whole pound for $5.  You know I was all over that!

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I decided to make a mushroom and tofu scramble.  Even though there’s a lot going on in the pan the mushrooms were still the star of the dish.  Tofu is mild in flavor and I didn’t use much seasoning.  Salt and pepper along with a bit of smoked paprika.  Onion and garlic too, which are a must in any tofu scramble.  Also a bunch of baby spinach.  So yum!

IMG_6008Tofu scrambles are great for brunch but also hearty enough for dinner, which is when I made this one.  To make it more than just a scramble I served this along with some smashed avocado toast, pea shoots, and sliced tomato wedges.  Avocado toast is a favorite in our household.  There’s nothing to it, smash an avocado and top it on some toast.  You can always get more exciting and add in some olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and/or seaweed flakes.  This night I went for simple seasoning with s&p.  And for a little extra something I topped the scramble with a heap of fresh grated pecorino romano!

IMG_6152Mushroom & Tofu Scramble

  • 15.5 oz sprouted tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • s&p
  • pecorino romano, to serve
  • tomato, to serve
  • pea shoots, to serve
  • toast, to serve
  • avocado, mashed
  1. In a large skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms.  Sauté for about 8 minutes until most of the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated.
  2. Add the tofu and season with paprika and s&p.  Stir well to combine, reduce the heat to medium low and and sauté for another 8 minutes or so.  The tofu will dry out some which is what I like.  Be sure to stir the pan often.
  3. Toss in the spinach and wilt.
  4. Make avocado toast: toast bread and layer with mashed avocado.  Season with s&p.
  5. Serve tofu scramble topped with fresh pecorino romano on a plate with pea shoots, sliced tomato wedges, and avocado toast.

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Ever since my recent chickpea salad post I’ve been thinking about making more.  I am still amazed at how delicious mashed chickpeas are.  I like chickpeas but have never been a huge fan of eating them as the main component of my meal.  That is until now.  Seriously chickpea salad is so good!  Josh shares in my excitement too, being just as surprised at how yummy these salads can be.

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Here I opted to make a mediterranean styled salad.  I always have typical Mediterranean ingredients on hand – capers, kalamata olives, and sun dried tomatoes.  I love the salty flavor of capers and olives.  As a child I would eat spoonfuls of capers.  I have vivid memories of using a small espresso spoon, since it would fit in the narrow jar, eating bite after bite.  For sun dried tomatoes I prefer to use oil packed.  They are softer in texture and add a bit of olive oil to my recipes.  Along with these three ingredients I used a bit of fresh lemon juice to add some acid and a bit of vegenaise for an extra touch of richness.  You can easily omit the vegenaise though.  And lastly some crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese.  I let the salad marinate in the fridge for a few hours before serving over a bed of greens, pea shoots, cucumber, and tomato.  This is a perfect summer salad!  Light with plenty of protein and fiber.
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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 4 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vegenaise
  • 2 oz feta
  • s&p
  1. Place chickpeas in a bowl and smash using a potato masher until they have a flaky consistency.  You could use a food processor for this too, just be conscious not to puree.
  2. Mix all ingredients, season with s&p, and chill until serving.  If desired use olive oil in place of the vegenaise, I was going for a richer flavor and creamy texture.