Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes

I’ve always admired the beautiful specimen that is a Hasselback potato. It is both fancy and homey, both elegant and comforting, both something you may find at a top-notch restaurant or in your mother’s kitchen.

I admire it…for I don’t have the patience to make my own. Ha!

The gorgeous sliced effect of the Hasselbeck potato takes a bit of effort and patience, and though I try to stay calm, my mind always runs at about a mile a minute. Sometimes, it takes wicked amounts discipline for me to complete more ornate cooking and baking tasks. Pie crusts? I smush them down with my fingers, because I don’t care if it’s pretty! I just want it to taste good! However, when it comes to food styling, I flip on a dime and get more zen and careful. Go figure.

Well, I took the time to slice some taters, and the result was worth the care and time put into it. Pretty lil’ babies, aren’t they?

This recipe can certainly be adjusted if you want to add butter; since I’m still on my dairy-free diet, I’m going a strict oil route here. I’m not complaining, because I’m a gal that loves her olive oil! (Vengo dall’eredità italiana!) I recently discovered a new brand, The Blue Olive, and I got a bottle of their Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.It’s…got a kick, to say the least! My bland palate got an education. Ha! But when you mix it with some cilantro and bake it into the potatoes, the heat is slow and low, leaving a lovely little tingle in the back of your mouth. It’s an amazingly comforting winter dish, perfect for these brick winter days…or even for these milder winter days that are a complete 180° turn from last weekend! (Hello, 50°F! Goodbye 10°F!) Even better, The Blue Olive has their main store up in Pawling – perfect for those north of NYC! It’s literally across the street from that town’s MetroNorth station. Shop local, y’all!

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NOTE: Thank you to Bryce from The Blue Olive for providing me with this olive oil for testing purposes!

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Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes
(Makes two large potatoes; serves 2 – 4)

Ingredients:

– 2 large Ruseet potatoes, skins scrubbed
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/8 cup Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (See Before We Get Started…)
– 1/4 cup cilantro, cleaned and minced
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Before We Get Started…

– If you do not have this specific brand of olive oil – substitute a spicy olive oil of your choice or add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder to 1/2 cup regular olive oil and thoroughly blend.

– The method I use to slice the potatoes is listed in Step #2. For other ways to slice potatoes, please look here!

– If desired, substitute regular olive oil with 1/4 cup melted butter; I am currently eating dairy-free as of the time of this recipe’s development, so please indulge, as I can not. Ha!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) To slice potatoes, place potato on a firm surface and place two chopsticks on either side. Use a large sharp knife to slowly and carefully slice down into the potato until the knife’s blade reaches the chopstick. This insures that the potato is sliced but the bottom remains in tact, allowing for the “fan” effect of the hasselback potato. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or roasting pan and set aside.

3.) Whisk together both types of olive oil, cilantro, garlic powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Using a food brush, carefully dab between each potato slice with the oil mixture. If necessary, add more oil and / or cilantro if you start to run low. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture on top of potatoes.

4.) Bake for 60 minutes; at the 30 minute mark, check on potatoes and baste / brush with any extra oil in the bottom of the pan.

5.) Remove from oven, top with additional cilantro, if desired, and serve immediately! If there are leftovers, refrigerate; to reheat, drizzle with a glug of olive oil and place in a 350°F degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes until warmed through and slightly crispy on top.

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rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries

I am that Millennial that proclaims “Rosé All Day!” Please don’t think any less of me than you already may. It’s simply my favorite kind of wine. It’s not as light as a white, but not as overwhelmingly bold as a red can occasionally be. Do I drink it at bars? At home? On the subway? Well, I do consume it at two out of the three! (I’ll let you draw your own conclusion as to where.)

For the past few weeks, I have been seeing cheap strawberries at my local grocery stores. The other day, I scored two pints for $1.99. I felt like I won the food lottery!

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Then I remembered that I actually had to eat them all before they went bad.

Shoot.

What to do?

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

I rarely roast fruits, saying my oven to roast up Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. I wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out, but decided to get creative. A bit of rosé in my fridge gave me further inspiration.

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

The result was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself!

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries
(Yields roughly 1 & 1/2 cup roasted strawberries)

Ingredients:

– 6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
– 1/4 cup rosé
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
– One or two cracks of fresh ground sea salt

Before We Get Started…

– I learned a valuable lesson in recipe testing: place strawberries on parchment paper. Otherwise, you’re going to have a gloriously sticky mess to scrape out of your rimmed baking sheet!

– Use maple syrup to keep recipe vegan-friendly.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Place strawberries in large bowl and set aside.

2.) In a small bowl, whisk together rosé, water, honey or maple syrup, vinegar of choice, and sea salt until combined; if using honey, make sure it is completely incorporated. Pour mix over the strawberries and toss until they are evenly coated.

3.) Spread strawberries in an even layer on the parchment paper-lined rimmed backing sheet. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet; if not using immediately, place in airtight container and place in fridge; strawberries should remain good to use for up to five days.

cumin garlic roasted carrots

Cumin-Garlic Roasted Carrots

Ahhhhh, it’s almost the big spring holidays! Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or just the long-awaited arrival of spring, it’s time to bring some colors and fresh flavors back into our lives!

cumin garlic roasted carrots

I recently posted a new recipe over at Yoga By Candace for Cumin-Garlic Roasted Carrots – be sure to click this link to get to the full recipe! Between the smoky sweetness of the carrots, the warm deep spiciness of the cumin, and the brightness of the lemon, this makes a wonderful side. It also saves well if you are meal prepping for the week; goodness knows I ate these carrots about three times last week alone. Ha! ‘Tis the season to eat like a bunny, after all. Hop to it!

cumin garlic roasted carrots

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

As my tastes have grown over the years, I have, at long last, because a yogurt fan. Well, to some degree.

Growing up, the soupiness and saccharine sweetness of so many brands of yogurt – Yoplait and Dannon come to mind – completely turned me off. Scooping a tart and sour liquid goo into my mouth made my stomach turn; how so many of my friends love those GoGurt sticks in my youth is beyond me. As I got older, I started to turn towards Greek yogurt; though I could never get into the tartness mixed with fruit, I still enjoyed the creamier texture mixed with savory things, such as dill, garlic, or cucumber. I became a fast lover of making cucumber and tomato salads tossed with plain Greek yogurt, or I could whip some spices into a few spoonfuls and top my baked chicken with it.

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

Eventually, I did discover the joy of eating fruit and yogurt together, thanks to Siggi’s. (I fell so hard in love that I am a Siggi’s Ambassador!) Their Strawberry & Rhubarb and Mango containers keep me full most work day mornings now. Still, it’s savory yogurt that has truly won my heart in the end. Luckily, Siggi’s also makes an excellent plain skyr (an Icelandic yogurt) that I use quite often. Where others top their yogurt with strawberries and granola, I opt for my roasted cinnamon chickpeas and a sprinkling of cumin and garlic powder.

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

Wow, reading back, I see that I focused on the yogurt a lot. Ha! Well, I have posted this chickpea recipe within an older recipe, and I wanted to bring more focus to it. Whether to top this savory yogurt with them or keep them in a baggie to snack on during the day, these chickpeas are amazing, a new favorite snack!

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt
(Yields roughly 2 cups chickpeas; yields 1 cup yogurt)

Ingredients:

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas:

– 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry (as best as possible)
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute other vegetable oil)
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1 generous shake ground cumin

Savory Yogurt:

– 1 cup plain skyr (I suggest Siggi’s, but of course!) or plain Greek yogurt
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 °F. If using coconut oil, melt in the microwave or on the stovetop and set aside.

2.) Place chickpeas on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with coconut oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon and cumin. Toss with hands until all chickpeas are uniformly coated. Spread evenly across baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 25 minutes; check chickpeas and shake baking sheet at 15 minute mark to ensure even cooking.

3.) While chickpeas are roasting, combine skyr or Greek yogurt with cumin, garlic powder, and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt to taste.

4.) Remove chickpeas from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Top yogurt mixture with roasted chickpeas. EAT.

Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas with Savory Yogurt

roasted broccoli sweet potato cinnamon chickpea bowl

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Cinnamon Chickpea Bowl

The creation of this recipe was a total accident that worked out so well! I’m giving myself so many congratulatory self-high fives for it. No shame, no shame.

In these cooler months, I roast vegetables en masse and save them in my fridge all week for mix – and – match meals. (I straight up feel like Shut The Kale Up when I’m roasting three baking pans worth of veggies; do you love her Instagram stories as much as I do?)  Over the past few years, I’ve mentally stored so many recipes from Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Food Network, The Kitchn, et al, that I have no idea of their origins at this point. I just know I love doing X, Y, and Z.

roasted broccoli sweet potato cinnamon chickpea bowl

One evening, I was rather upset; I had leftover baked chicken breast a friend gave to me, and I was excited to use the rest of that chicken for a couple day’s worth of lunches. I brought that chicken to work with me, had a little for lunch (supplemented with a sub-par salad from my office’s cafeteria), but left the rest of it at work in my haste to get out as fast as I could at 5 p.m. Shoot! I really had no desire to go to the grocery store to buy more chicken, so I looked through my vegetable bin to see what I could work with. I knew I could do better than just cooking up pasta and Rao’s marinara for roughly the 694,132nd time.

roasted broccoli sweet potato cinnamon chickpea bowl

I ran through the annals of roasted vegetable recipes within my brain. “Okay”, I thought, “I could roast my broccoli, add some red vinegar-soaked shallots to them after they’ve finished…hmmmm, I’ve got two cups worth of diced sweet potatoes that I never did anything with last week…wait, didn’t I see someone toss their chickpeas with cinnamon and cumin on Instagram recently?”

roasted broccoli sweet potato cinnamon chickpea bowl

What I love about this recipe is the complexity of flavors throughout. I often prep lunches that contain an overall similar flavor; if I make chicken with rice and roasted vegetables, I will usually douse it all in olive oil and garlic powder. I find it delicious, as I am an ardent garlic lover, but after eating that same meal for two or three consecutive days, my taste buds become dulled. This meal is different. The broccoli with its vinaigrette showcases a bright acidity, the sweet potatoes add a complementary sweetness, and the cinnamon-roasted chickpeas add a warm earthiness. Each bite is a little different. You will not get bored with this meal if you make it in a large batch to eat for a multiple lunches.

roasted broccoli sweet potato cinnamon chickpea bowl

If you eat it once or many times during the week, it’s an incredibly comforting and nourishing meal that you’ll want to make again and again.

Roasted Broccoli, Sweet Potato, & Cinnamon Chickpea Bowl
(Serves One)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 large sweet potato or yam, scrubbed and diced
– 7 ounces of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 cup broccoli florets
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– A generous dash of cumin
– 1/2 shallot, sliced
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
– Salt, to taste
– 1 cup grain of choice, cooked (e.g.: rice, quinoa, et al)

Before We Get Started…

– Double, triple, et al all ingredient amounts if you are meal-prepping for the week. i.e.: 14 ounces of chicken peas, 2 cups broccoli florets, and a whole sweet potato should be prepped if making two servings of this recipe. Conversely, since it’s just easier to roast everything at once than to save half a sweet potato and half a can of chickpeas, feel free to roast larger amounts and save the leftovers for additional meals.

– Two baking sheets are recommended for this recipe.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 °F.

2.) In a small bowl, combine shallots and red wine vinegar to create a simple vinaigrette. Set aside and let sit until vegetables are finished roasting.

3.) Add diced sweet potato to a large bowl. Toss with one tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Set aside.

4.) Add chickpeas, cinnamon, cumin, and one tablespoon of melted coconut oil to another large bowl. Toss until chickpeas are thoroughly coated. Set aside.

5.) Toss broccoli florets with olive oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

6.) Add all ingredients to baking sheets; I will usually add sweet potatoes to one baking sheet and allow the broccoli and chickpeas to share their own baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 20 – 30 minutes; as all ovens roast differently, check your vegetables after 20 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be slightly crisp, the chickpeas should be crunchy (or close to crunchy), and the broccoli should be browned by not burned.

7.) Add grain of choice, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes to a large serving bowl. Toss broccoli with vinaigrette and add to bowl.

8.) DEVOUR! Feel the power!