Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Spinach

The husband was sad that he was called out here for coming home late yesterday. But I had wanted to go to the gym earlier – my shows were on! He redeemed today by starting this while I worked late today.

I saw a recipe on for a coconut curried chickpeas over sweet potatoes (theirs is linked at the end of post). That did not appeal totally. So this is what I came up with, it is sorta Moroccan-Mediteranean in flavor profile, like southern Spain in the cold mountains or something like that.  And while I don’t normally post calories, this whole ginormous plate clocks in at 670. So healthy, low cal, check and check. Oh and it is super speedy, other than baking the potatoes. Super tasty too.


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Vegetable Chickpea Bake

I happened upon this chickpea casserole over on and it looked promising. I`m finally getting around to trying it, though with some modifications. For one, it really had no veg in it and was veering towards kinda unhealthy and higher fat than I would have liked. When I saw it, I knew it definitely needed some spinach and artichoke hearts. Leeks would be good too. I added the former, but not the latter, I added additional shallots instead. I would add some diced red pepper for more color the next time as well. I added breadcrumbs, but this could easily be made gluten-free by wither omitting, or subbing with a gluten free product, like fried onion or shallot on top for crunch, or gluten-free breadcrumb.


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Spinach and Sundried Tomato Spaghetti Cake with Kale Caesar Salad

Since it is New Year I am starting with something I found at the beginning of 2011 when I started my ban on take out. Of course it is a Jamie Oliver recipe because he was my starting point for finding new recipes. Prior I was only cooking from my head and looked at cooking blogs as inspiration, but to follow a recipe – I thought that it meant that I couldn`t cook. Yeah, it is stupid. To pair, I am doing a bit fancier than my standard simple salad and making this kale caesar that my friend David made for xmas eve dinner that I thought was pretty great. Luckily he texted me the recipe – a term I am using loosely here – about a half hour before I was about to start.

We also have a 1993 reserve Veuve Cliquot to drink that we have been holding and it is time. I was too sick to drink it on xmas, and last night we stuck with reserve cava as we were going out drinking at the bar with a friend so it seemed wrong to open at 8:30 and slug prior to going out. Our pre-night out meal was cheese plate, spanish almonds and the cava which we shared with my friend Delphine who we spent the holiday festivities with us.

I admit to making an almost total error in making this tonight, but luckily quickly caught it and was able to correct. Also, I modified it to lighten the calorie load by using skim milk. I also swapped 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg, but that was only because I had used 2 yolks in the dressing and didn`t want to trash them.


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Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Potato Spanish Tortilla

I had this super amazing caramelized onion tortilla in Madrid at Juana la Loca a couple years ago and had to recreate it. My first attempt was a fail. It tasted good, but I had never caramelized onions before and did not realize how much they would shrink. The original recipe is all caramelized onion bound by a bit of egg. I only used 2 onions. Ok, so it was more of a tortilla with caramelized onions instead of a caramelized onion tortilla. It was still good and it was my first time at the caramelized onion rodeo, and luckily I had done a test run fail prior to making it right for my big recreation of Madrid tapas at a subsequent dinner party I had planned. To get this right, you need at least 1 1-1/2 onion per egg. At least.

Fast forward 2 years and caramelized onions are a sorta pantry staple. You can make a whole mess of them when you have a couple hours and freeze them. Use them in this, make a fast soup, pizza, a tart – wherever – they are that good.

This tortilla is not a recreate, it is a riff. I decided to add a bit more veg – spinach and potato – and some cheese. I also did not flip it nor did I mix it all together like a traditional tortilla, for the Juana la Loca version, I did mix all together.  Anyhoo.  Feel free to leave the cheese out if you want it dairy free.



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Vegetable Pasta Bake

I made it my mission today to clean out the fridge of all perishables prior to vacay. I made a new on deck and emailed it to myself with a new plan:

Things on hand:
1 bunch spinach + 3 mixed salads
1 bunch asparagus
Crimini + Shiitake mushrooms
2 pint containers grape tomatoes
2 yellow summer squash
Brussel sprouts

Monday: Mushrooms – use up – saute with the onions, garlic tomatoes,
spinach and squash – use up remainder 1/2 package of
pasta and bake with some parm and whatever cheese – manchego?
cambezola? until done. serve with a salad.

Tuesday – Roast the brussel sprouts along with the asparagus and half
the tomatoes + garlic. Roast all veg on Monday
Put the tomatoes/asparagus on polenta. Eat with a salad

Wednesday: Roast acorn squash and add the leftover tagine. Eat with a salad

Thursday: eat brussel spouts with leftover pad thai that I made Saturday and grilled cheese sandwiches (there is only enough pad thai for 1)

Friday: grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Yes, I am aware this list and the combos are perhaps bizarre. But it will work.



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Mushroom Eggs Florentine

ZOMG! Seriously. Make this. This has been on my deck for a while now. I had something similar in Buenos Aires in August that I wanted to recreate. I really really like trying to recreate food had while traveling. While I will never ever attempt or try or claim my Arzak items, I’ve been pretty ace with spanish tapas and Spanish Moroccan food, particularly stuff had in Madrid. I think that is why I like going there so much. It always leaves me with something or two to recreate at home.

Anyhoo, so I wanted to make this starter dish I had at Demuru. It really was all I could eat even though it was a starter and I left my main virtually untouched. It was all creamy mushroomy goodness with an egg baked and poached inside. I can make that!

But first I needed individual baking dishes. That was harder than it sounds. I just wanted nice ones that were not fugly. And then what size? 6 oz, 8 oz, gah. I no know! I settled on these from Crate and Barrel . They were well priced and at least white. Then I just put off making for fear I’d do wrong. Dumb.

So yeah, I finally made it and it was super. This would also be a great easy starter for a dinner party done in small ramekins with one egg. It looks fancy, but is way easy.


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Fall Mushroom and Spinach Pasta

Supposedly it was national pasta day, though I only know this from an email I got from somewhere. I didn’t pay attention where. I took it as a sign to make some pasta.

I had some mushrooms and found a recipe on serious eats for a wild mushroom pasta which I linked in the last post. I made some changes though, like adding spinach. It was super aces. Make this.20111017-101046.jpg


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