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!

curried coconut roasted almonds

Curried Coconut Roasted Almonds

I’ve never been much of a nuts girl, and that still hold true. I loved shelling peanuts growing up, and I loved peanut butter as much as the next kid…well, as much as the next kid that wasn’t allergic to them, at least. Heh. However, cashews, walnuts, almonds, and the like were not even close to landing on my list of favorite foods. Over the past few years, especially since living in NYC, my love of nuts has grown. Actually, I should say my tolerance for nuts has grown. It ain’t quite love yet. Ha! That being said, almonds and I have become more friendly in the past year or two. Honestly, I love them straight up, unsalted, and unroasted. Every now and then, however, a shot of flavor is appreciated.

curried coconut roasted almonds

I’ve never roasted almonds before, but decided that roasting them in some coconut oil would give them a great flavor. I wanted to add something else that wasn’t necessarily straight up sugar; I was originally going to go the sweet route, as I do love cocoa-dusted almonds on occasion. Sorting through my horrendously unorganized shelf of spices, i came across my trusty beloved Jamaican Curry, and visions of hot bowls of vegetable coconut curry popped into my head.

curried coconut roasted almonds

I had to give it a shot!

curried coconut roasted almonds

It took some trial and error, but I think…I think…I think this might be it!

Curried Coconut Roasted Almonds
(Makes 2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 2 cups whole almonds, unroasted
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
– 1 teaspoon Jamaican curry powder
– 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (see note in Before We Get Started)
– Dash of salt

Before We Get Started…

– As I mentioned in the prologue, there was a lot of trial and error when making these almonds. I can say two things assuredly:

– Do not use roasted almonds! After cooking, they will taste distractingly smoky, even a little burnt.

– Do not use Sugar in the Raw or any other type of course sugar. I made my first batch using Sugar in the Raw, and the sugar’s coarseness causes it not to stick to the almonds well. I ended up scrapping a lot of burnt sugar off of the bottom of my baking sheet. A refined sugar (if you don’t mind using it!) or a liquid sweetener (agave, et al) is definitely your better bet.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until coated.

3.) Place on lightly greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, checking almonds and shaking at the 15 minute mark to make sure they aren’t over-roasting.

4.) Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating; extra almonds can be stored in an airtight container.

NOTE: Please forgive the quality of these photos. My camera’s card went kablooey for a few days, so I was taking the best iPhone photos that I could in the interim. Ha! A reshoot of these photos is due in the future…

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale

Autumn just came out of nowhere, both chronologically and atmospherically. I swear, it was May just a minute ago, and social media reminded me that this past Thursday, at 10:21 a.m., was the autumnal equinox. Two, I was walking around the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy on Thursday night, sweating in a pair of shorts at 8 p.m., enjoying the extension of summer weather.

Less than 48 hours later, I was tromping to the Inwood Greenmarket in leggings and a sweatshirt, teeth chattering a bit as the temperature hovered around 56°F at 9 a.m.

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season. However, when the temps take a drip quick, it’s more than I can handle sometimes. Yeah. I’m a big baby for a day or two, guilty as charged. Ha!

However, I welcome the return of my two favorite sub-seasons of autumn: oven season and soup season! Turning the oven on will no longer cause my apartment to swell to temperatures close to 95°F! Also, I will soon start making soups en masse and freezing them in my freezer for future work lunches. I can only hope my roommates forgive me for the amount of space I’ll be usurping soon. (Then again, after more than a year of living with me, I am sure they are used to me annexing our fridge and freezer with many of my culinary creations.)

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Backtracking to my local greenmarket, the peaches and berries were sparser this morning while the fall squashes and gourds have been pushing their way through to the larger tables. Most of them were begging me to cook them. How could I deny their request to become my dinner?

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Needing some greens, I could not help but buy some crisp kale before I headed back home.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

And yes, I’ll be drinking some chardonnay along side it, thank you very much.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

Soup:

– 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds removed or 20 ounces pre-cut butternut squash (I use Earthbound Farm Organic butternut squash)
– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 1 carrot, chopped
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (I used a Macintosh, but a tart green apple also works well within this recipe)
– 3 cups broth / stock of choice
– 1 cup water
– 1/4 cup chardonnay (optionalI used the 2014 Chardonnay by Louis Jadot)
– Dash of grated nutmeg
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Roasted Kale:

– 1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves cleaned and roughly torn
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started:

– The amount of roasted kale made will likely eclipse the amount you’d put on top of your soup. Leftover kale not used for garnish can be stored in an airtight container. (It makes for a great snack!)

– Keep this recipe vegan-friendly by replacing butter with oil and using a vegetable-based broth or stock.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

2.) In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add butternut squash, apple, broth, and water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and continue simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and apples have softened; add chardonnay 20 minutes into simmering time.

3.) While the soup is simmering, prepare the kale: Add kale to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Thoroughly massage kale with olive oil. Toss with salt, to taste. Spread leaves out on baking sheets evenly; leave enough space around the leaves for them to bake and dry out. Place in oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until dark green with roasted spots, but not completely brown! Remove from oven and allow to cool.

4.) Using an immersion blender, purée the soup inside of the pot; if you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches to purée the soup in a blender.

5.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with roasted kale.

– – – –

Editor’s Note: This recipe has been entered into Louis Jadot’s Modern Meals contest. I would like to thank Louis Jadot and Elayna from EVINS Communications for their generosity towards this post!

butternut squash soup roasted kale

curried whole roasted cauliflower

Curried Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Easter is getting closer, I’m prepping my menu more by more, and I’m realizing that I may have a vegan or two to feed that afternoon. I had already planned on making a slew of roasted vegetables for the meal, but I’m trying to figure out a way to make one of the vegetables a main dish, rather than just a side.

curried whole roasted cauliflower

Hmmmm…

curried whole roasted cauliflower

There is something very fun about slathering oil and spices onto an entire head of cauliflower and rubbing it all in. That being said, I’m a very sensory-oriented person.

curried whole roasted cauliflower

A constantly wonderful blank palate, various combinations of spices would work for this dish. However, I started simple with a garlic and curry base.

curried whole roasted cauliflower

In addition to carving up a ham or a lamb this Easter, a head of roasted cauliflower makes an excellent accompaniment.

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curried whole roasted cauliflower

Curried Whole Roasted Cauliflower
(Serves 3 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish)

Ingredients:

– 1 head of cauliflower
– 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower, taking care to keep the head in tact. Discard leaves and stem.

3.) Drizzle oil over cauliflower and rub in until coated.

4.) Combine spices in a small bowl; apply spice to cauliflower and rub in until coated.

5.) Place cauliflower in greased baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes; remove foil and cook for an additional 60 – 75 minutes, depending on how roasted you prefer the outside of the cauliflower to be.

6.) Remove from oven and test doneness; if a knife slices through the cauliflower with no resistance, it is finished. Serve as is or with additional toppings.