Swiss Chard & Chickpea Curry


So I peeked in my fridge the other night and was saddened by the dire vegetable situation in my kitchen after a long holiday weekend. So I headed out to Trader Joe’s in search of some hope for my cooking situation. Lo’ and behold, the shelves were bare. So I headed down the block to the trusty local kosher grocery store, and amazingly, there was some beautiful fresh swiss chard. It being the beginning of the new year and time for healthy new year’s resolutions and better eating plans, swiss chard is the perfect healthy green to be that representative to ease us into this special moment.

Swiss chard is a fabulous, hearty green that can adapt to any situation. It’s somewhere in between kale and spinach in terms of durability? Can greens be durable? I say, yes. Anyhow, they cook down nicely and pair well with most flavors. It also cooks up quickly, so it’s great for those evenings where you get home at 6pm and dinner needs to be ready before the half hour episode of The Simpsons is over. Am I the only crazy busy mom who does that? I try not to, but to be honest, the occasional park the kid in front of a show moment is the only way that dinner will be cooked and bellies will get filled.

Curry is the perfect wintery dish. It’s comforting, warm, spicy and pretty healthy. And if you follow some of my other recipes on here and also my instagram, you’ve probably seen a fair amount of similar dishes. It’s such an easy meal to turn to as I usually have all of the base ingredients at home already.

I quickly set up some basmati rice to cook. Basmati rice also mostly babysits itself while it cooks.

I sauteed up some onions, garlic and ginger and curry spices. Next, I added in the chopped swiss chard and let that cook down a little bit. I then added some chickpeas, a small amount of broth and some diced tomatoes. I added in a small amount of salt. I let everything simmer for a little bit – five to seven minutes and I was ready to go. By the time the curry was ready, so was the rice.

I tried to keep the heat level on this dish more mild so my kids would eat it, and eat it they did! Hope you enjoy this as well!

Swiss Chard & Chickpea Curry
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • half teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 large bunch of green swiss chard, washed and chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • additional salt to taste
  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic and let soften for a couple minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices and cook another minute.
  4. Add in the swiss chard and let it cook down for a few minutes, stirring well.
  5. Add in the drained chickpeas, tomatoes and broth. Stir everything well.
  6. Let simmer for five to seven minutes, stirring every so often.
  7. Taste and add salt as necessary. If you'd like some heat, add in some cayenne or red pepper flakes.
  8. Serve with warm Basmati rice.
  9. Enjoy!

Fresh Green Garbanzo Beans

I love finding new treats in my local grocery stores. We went to HMart this weekend for a post-Passover stock-up of all things Asian. It’s one of our favorite stores, and when we have time, we love to wander the aisles. We love discovering new food territory for our tastebuds. My husband was browsing the produce area when he quickly ran to get me. He excitedly handed me this lovely plastic package and asked if I could do anything with it. The package held some beautiful, fresh green garbanzo beans. I quickly became excited with all of the possibilities.


Green garbanzo beans are freshly picked and harvested, unlike the traditional canned or dried yellow/tan chickpeas you can find at the store. These green chickpeas are much sweeter than the traditional variety.

greengarbanzos1What to do first? I rinsed off a bunch and plucked a few green chickpeas out of their shells and popped them in my mouth. Yum. They had a nice nuttiness and tasted very similar to fresh English peas.

I decided to sauté them in their shells and eat them like edamame. Spicing them with some sea salt, cumin and a bit of red pepper flakes. It definitely brought out the chickpea’s natural flavors and made it perfect for snacking. These were very addictive and would be perfect for serving with cocktails before a  meal.

I have a couple cups of the garbanzo beans left and looking forward to playing with them further.

Fresh Garbanzo Beans (Green Chickpeas)


2 cups Fresh green garbanzo beans in their pods
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cumin
additional sea salt – to taste


Heat up a large saute pan with olive oil.

Throw in the garbanzo beans and the spices and stir a bit. Let the beans char a bit.

Cook for a few minutes, stirring to incorporate the spices.

Remove from heat and transfer to serving dish to cool

Sprinkle with a bit more sea salt.

Squeeze the bean pod in to your mouth and eat like you would edamame, discarding the shells.



Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I was browsing through the grocery store the other day, and I came across an end cap that held rows and rows of Manwich. I haven’t had that stuff in years, if ever. A while back though, I made some homemade sloppy joes for the kids and they were a big hit, if a bit messy. I don’t know which part they liked more – the saucy hands or the taste of the saucy meat.

Anyhow, Sloppy Joes brings back some good food memories. Not eating meat anymore, I decided to turn it in to a vegetarian treat and use lentils as my base. It turned out really great!

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe’s


Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.

Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.

Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.

Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!

Yum! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
  • Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe's
  1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.
  2. Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.
  4. Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!
  7. Enjoy!


Lentil Sloppy Joes

Meatless Monday: Quinoa and Chickpea Loaf

I am always in search of easy recipes for dinners that require as few steps as possible to execute. So…when I found this recipe, it was very unlike me to snag it as possible option. When I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods website, I balked a little. I like things that require one dirty dish, one baking pan (maybe) and wham-mo. It should be done. This dish requires the extra step of whirring it in the Cuisinart. On a day when I had no time. I thought about taking various shortcuts, and I’m glad I followed through on this one. It was worth it.

Quinoa Loaf with Mushrooms and Peas (adapted from Whole Foods Market)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 container of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
ground pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup water
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
10 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 head roasted garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. mustard
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a loaf pan with some olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet. Saute the mushrooms, zucchini, garlic and onions.

Add salt and pepper. Saute until onions begin to brown.

Process the chickpeas, oats, red onions and water in the food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, mix up the processed bean mixture, the roasted garlic, the fresh herbs, the quinoa, the sauteed veggies, the peas and tomatoes.

Press the mixture in to the loaf pan or shape in to a loaf shape and place in baking pan.

Make a glaze with the ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar. Pour over the loaf.

Bake until firm and golden brown. Should take around an hour or so.

Cool a bit and transfer to a plate and slice.

It’s excellent when served with a mushroom gravy.  Enjoy!


Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Tamales

Every morning, as I walk to the subway, I walk by this little old woman selling fresh tamales from a big pot on a cart. It’s a very small set-up, most likely illegal. She is there every morning though, rain or shine. I am sure they taste amazing, and I always wish I could sample her goods.

I have been toying with making my own tamales for a while. I bought some dried corn husks a while back. Had been debating the filling for while. Finally came up with a plan. Very happy with the results and I will definitely make again. Tamales can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or steamer.

Vegetarian Tamales

Dried Corn Husks

1 tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
1/2 package of mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
chopped cilantro
1/2 cup broth
1 cup shredded cheese

Masa Tamale Dough:
2 cups masa harina
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick of Earth Balance shortening

Start by checking the corn husks. Check for bugs. My package didn’t have any, but these still should be checked. There was corn debris. Just what looks like dried strands of the corn silk. Brush off any shmutz on the corn husks. Soak them in a large bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes.


While the husks are soaking, you can prepare the rest of the components.

In  a large pan, saute the onion and the garlic in the oil. Add in the spices.

Mix in the zucchini and the mushrooms. Saute for around 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the chipotle pepper and the black beans.  Add the vegetable broth if the filling starts to look too dry. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheese. Set aside.


Now it’s time to prepare the the masa dough. Measure out the masa, the spices and the baking powder in to the bowl of a mixer. With the mixer going on low, pour in the vegetable broth.  Mix to form in to crumbly paste.  Add in the shortening. Mix for a minute or so. Everything should be incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.


Now it’s time to assemble.

Set yourself up with everything nearby.

Set up your steamer station. I didn’t have a steamer that fit my dairy stock pot for this, so I used a metal colander. Place water at the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Turn it to medium.

Make strips out of a few of your corn husks. These will be your tamale ties.


Lay out a corn husk and spread some masa dough down the center.

Place about a tablespoon or two of your filling in the center of your dough.


Roll up the corn husk like a burrito: Fold the bottom side up, and the sides in. Then tie it up.


Place upright in your steamer set-up.


Steam on medium/medium-high for around 90 minutes. Check your water levels throughout.

When done, the masa dough will be firm.

Remove tamales from steamer.  They will be extremely hot. Be careful when opening.


Serve with some salsa and sour cream. Or eat it just straight out of the package. These are great as a meal or a snack even! Enjoy!

Mushroom, Spinach, and White Bean Casserole

Recently, I have been on this casserole kick. Don’t know where it came from. I didn’t grow up with casseroles. When I hear the word “casserole,” I think of Paula Deen and her twang as she talks about adding mayonaisse and cream of mushroom soup to cans of green beans. Definitely not my kind of cooking. The other kind of casserole I kind of know are the hotdishes of the tater tot variety that I use to see at various Minnesota potluck dinners. Again, not my taste. Though I do love tater tots. One day I will turn tater tot hotdish in to a healthier me kind of dish.

This morning I cooked up some brown rice, and had a nice vegetable market haul sitting in my fridge. I decided to elevate the casserole and the brown rice in to a mighty tasty dinner. Behold, the healthy and hearty casserole!

Mushroom, Spinach, and White Bean Casserole (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

10 oz. chopped mushrooms (I used a mixture of crimini and white)
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.5 cups chopped spinach
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 handfuls of shredded cheese (I used cheddar and monterey jack)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup parmesean cheese
2 tsp. tarragon
2 tsp. thyme
ground black pepper
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a large pan saute the mushrooms in some olive oil. Add a bit of salt. Stir.

Add in the onions and garlic. Saute a few minutes. Add in the spinach and the beans. Let some of the liquid evaporate. Add in the rice mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and spices. 
Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.

Pour mixture in to baking dish. I used a 9×13 and a 9×9. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more or hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle some of the chopped tarragon, and the remaining Parmesan.


Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Rice Bowl

So the other night around dinner time, J suggested we go out and get Chinese take-out. Of course he said this after dinner was already prepared. He also knows that the kosher Chinese place in the neighborhood pretty much sucks and I always get food poisoning when I eat there. Of course I looked at him like he had two heads when he suggested it.

Don’t get me wrong – I like take-out as much as the next gal; but a: it’s not in our budget and b: I refuse to pay for crappy food.

I do still try to consider what J wants when making the meal plan. He mentioned being in the mood for a greasy bowl of teriyaki chicken or beef – similar to what you could hypothetically get from a crappy Chinese take-out joint.

I hemmed and hawed about this. I even considered  being a nice wifey and getting him some $5 dollar special. Gasp!

We do have all the ingredients though and I had a package of tofu sitting in the fridge. I decided to make some teriyaki tofu. I figured that I could make it better, cheaper, and definitely healthier than any neighborhood joint. And none of us will get sick after eating it! Yay!

Teriyaki Tofu & Veggie Rice Bowl

1 package of extra firm tofu
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 shallots
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small zuchini, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup green peas
scallions, chopped (garnish at the end)
red pepper flakes

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients:
4 tbsp. tamari (you can also use soy sauce or Braggs Amino Acids)
2.5 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. mirin
2.5 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1/2 tbsp. sriracha (or more)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. warm water

Cube up the tofu and press it down to remove all the water.

In a wok, stir fry the tofu in a small amount of vegetable oil mixed wth a small amount of sesame oil. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the ginger, garlic, and the shallots. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Add in the other veggies. Cook for a few minutes. Let the zuchini soften a little.

Mix up the teriyaki sauce ingredients.

Add to the stir fry. Cook for a couple more minutes. Add in the scallions and some red pepper flakes.

Serve over some white or brown rice. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

It’s been a hot summer.  The past few shabbats have been getting close to 100 degrees.  This does not make for happy campers in my house. We just want to zone out in front of the air conditioning vent and ignore the world.

Instead, I have things I have to do. I have kids I have to parent. I have guests I have to entertain. I do love both of those tasks. It’s just the stove/oven/blech thing that I despise on hot shabbats.

I have been making a lot of salads lately. Trying to get away with just a crockpot on for shabbat lunch. Seems to be working.  Make a bunch of assorted salads to go with my daughter’s beloved cholent. Everyone is happy.

One of the well-loved salads is a black bean and corn salad. Protein+crunch+veggies. You can’t go wrong!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 can black beans
1 can or white whole kernel corn or 2 cups frozen corn or about 3-4 ears of corn steamed and cooled down
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. olive oil
dash of cumin

This is the easiest recipe I might ever have on my blog.

Chop everything up and mix it all together. You’ve got a fantastic side dish! Enjoy!

Couscous and White Bean Salad

When shabbat comes, I like making a variety of salads. I love looking at the assorted colors on my table. It’s just pretty, and it tastes good too. I had the chance to get to the vegetable market during the day this week. It’s a rare opportunity. With the crazy weather around the world, the vegetables and pricing have been all over the place. Green peppers are $2/lb, while the usually expensive colorful peppers are now .99/lb. My favorite veggies were all pretty cheap this week. Love when that happens.

One of the salads we enjoyed with this past shabbat lunch was a couscous and white bean salad. It’s an easy salad to make. I prepare the couscous on Friday before shabbat starts and then add the rest of the ingredients Saturday morning when everybody is in shul. Like all of my dishes, it can be tweaked. Use the veggies that make the most sense to you.

Couscous and White Bean Salad
1.5 cups whole wheat couscous
1.75 cups boiling water
2 tsp. olive oil 1 can of white beans, drained
1/2 cup orange pepper, chopped
1/2 cup yellow pepper, chopped
3/4 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 tsp. honey
a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice
fresh ground pepper

In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the couscous and cover for 5-8 minutes. Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.

Sprinkle in the two teaspoons of the olive oil.

Mix in the various chopped veggies.

In a separate bowl, whisk up the dressing ingredients. Mix the dressing into the salad and let the salad sit for about an hour before serving. Enjoy!


Lentil Burgers

I have been on a vegetarian dinner kick. I am usually an accidental vegetarian, but lately I have intentionally been subjecting the family to vegetarian dinners. I don’t get too many complaints. A recent dinner was lentil burgers. I was inspired by a lonely bag of red lentils sitting in my pantry. They were waiting to be made into some type of dal recipe, but I had some other plans. I had a photo to go with this recipe, but it disappeared in the abyss of my computer. You will have to just trust me that they both tasted yummy and looked yummy.

I served the burgers with sweet potato fries and some brussel sprouts. Yum!

The burgers were served on a bun with lettuce, onion, and a bit of tzatziki. Yum.

The recipe is below.

Lentil Burgers

1 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup flavored bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. oil

Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils. Cook covered on low. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Let the lentils cool.

Once cool, add the rest of the ingredients, except for the oil.

Form the burgers into burger size patties. Do not make them too thick. Let the formed patties cool in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.

Oil a fry pan. Cook the patties in the oil, about 5-6 minutes each side, or until lightly browned.

Serve as you would a burgers, as suggested above, or however you feel lentil burgers deserved to be eaten.


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