Tag Archives: #lmdconnector

Chickpea Avocado Salad

Chickpea avocado salad

We’re a month into 2014 – are you one of the ones who resolved to eat better and work out more? Not me. I’m all for being fit and healthy, but resolutions don’t work for me. I’m usually off the bandwagon a week in, because no matter how hard I try I just can’t keep myself out of the chicken wings and beer. I still try to do the best I can, though, and this week I made myself a lovely little salad inspired by one of my favourite delis. There’s a delicious chickpea broccoli salad there that I just can’t get enough of, with a sweet and creamy dressing. I’m sure it’s full of mayonnaise and other not-so-healthy stuff, so I decided to give it a go with an avocado dressing.

Chickpea avocado salad

This is a nice, reasonably healthy recipe that fits well into any new year resolution – full of healthy fats and loads of fibre. And even if you didn’t make a resolution to get healthier this year, this is a good salad to make just because it’s so damn tasty. A note, while this keeps well in the fridge, it may discolour a little. It doesn’t affect the flavour, it’s just that the avocado can turn brown as it oxidizes. Still delicious, it just doesn’t have that lovely green colour anymore.

Chickpea avocado salad

Chickpea Avocado Salad

1 ripe avocado
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups cooked chickpeas {2 cans}
1/2 large bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Whisk in honey, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Combine chickpeas, bell pepper, onion and parsley in a bowl. Pour dressing over top and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Chorizo, Kale & Garlic Pizza (and the Perfect Pizza Crust)

Chorizo Kale Garlic Pizza & Homemade Pizza Dough

With two kids, pizza is a staple meal around these parts. In fact, if they could eat it for every meal, they probably would! Take-out and delivery always manages to fall short of my expectations, so we do the homemade thing a lot. For a while it was part of our regular meal rotation – Friday night pizza! It has fallen out of favour lately, but I think it’s about time to bring that tradition back. Pizza, board games, and hanging with the family – that’s a good Friday night.

Chorizo Kale Garlic Pizza & Homemade Pizza Dough

Chorizo Kale Garlic Pizza & Homemade Pizza Dough

This recipe was one of those fridge-dump ideas, partly inspired by my friend Julie’s Crispy Lamb, Kale & Garlic Pizza, in which Boursin cheese takes the place of a traditional tomato sauce. I keep roasted garlic in my freezer, so one thawed head of that spread over the crust along with a generous sprinkle of chevre made up the base ‘sauce’ layer. Next I piled on some lovely fresh kale, caramelized onions, and thinly sliced spicy chorizo. It was topped off with a generous sprinkling of mozzarella, and voila – a perfect pizza. You can make this pizza with any of your favourite toppings, and I’ve shared my perfect pizza crust recipe below. This dough is even better if you make it the day before, and you can even make it up to four days in advance and keep it in the fridge.

Chorizo Kale Garlic Pizza & Homemade Pizza Dough

Perfect Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp honey
2 heaping teaspoons traditional yeast
8 ounces white bread flour
8 ounces whole wheat bread flour
3.5 ounces semolina flour
1 tsp sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix together warm water and honey. Most recipes will suggest lukewarm water for working with yeast, but I find that if I use the hottest tap water I can get, by the time I have measured, poured, and mixed with the honey, it has cooled sufficiently. Sprinkle with yeast and let sit for a few minutes until it begins to bubble.

Once the yeast has begun to bubble, dump in the remaining dry ingredients and mix with the dough hook until it forms a smooth ball. If the dough is too dry, add a sprinkle of water to help it come together. Conversely, if the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for a few minutes, or if you like to do it the old-fashioned way, dump it out on the counter and knead it by hand.

In a large bowl, add a dash of olive oil, and tilt to grease the sides. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and roll to coat. Cover with a tea towel and place in an oven {off!} with the light on to rise for 1.5 hours, or until doubled in size. Shape by hand or roll out, top with your favourite ingredients, and bake as desired. For the perfect crispy crust, I shape by hand on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel {you can use a cutting board or rimless cookie sheet}, slide onto a pizza stone and bake in a hot oven {475-500F} until golden and crispy {~17 minutes}.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils #LMDconnector

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Now that we’re in the midst of winter, my mind has turned to hot, filling, comforting meals for every time of day. I’ve been up to my ears in soups and casseroles lately, and while that’s all well and done, this month I wanted to share with you one of my favourite breakfast recipes. Oatmeal is one of my go-to winter breakfasts, and I love it in all its forms (except instant, blech!). Usually at this time of year I gravitate towards apples and maple syrup, but I always keep a stash of frozen fruit from summer’s bounty, and decided that this would be the perfect use. This baked oatmeal is the perfect combination of a little summer freshness (to remind you that winter won’t last forever, even when it seems like it will!), and the hearty warmth that a winter morning requires.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

When my friend Julie first posted this recipe, I had to admit, I was skeptical. Lentils? With oatmeal? Is that girl crazy? I have to assure you, she most certainly is not. Truthfully, while the lentils are a nutritional boost, you don’t even notice them in there, which is perfect for picky eaters. They absorb the flavours of everything else around them, and blend in perfectly with the oats.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

The best part about this recipe is that it reheats beautifully. I just don’t have time to make myself a hot breakfast on mornings when I’m rushing out the door to get to work, so I toss a little container of this in my bag and take it with me. A minute or two in the microwave as soon as I get to work followed by a drizzle of milk, and I have the hot, delicious, comforting breakfast I so crave on cold winter mornings, especially after standing out in the cold waiting for the bus. Pair it with a cup of tea and that little bit of happy first thing can really start my day off right (and maybe even stave off a case of the Mondays).

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils
(adapted from Dinner with Julie)

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup lentils
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup blueberries {fresh or frozen}
1 cup peach slices {fresh or frozen}
1 banana, sliced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

All in an 8″ square baking dish, blend together the oats, lentils, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Scatter with blueberries, peach slices and banana slices.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour this over the oats, and give it a bit of a stir to make sure it’s all combined.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown all over and the oats appear done. Scoop out a bowlful and drizzle with cream {or milk}, and enjoy your perfectly heavenly bowl of breakfast lentils.

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

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