Welcome back foodments!

Hello there, Fall friends! It has been kinda crazy here at COTR. Lots of new and exciting changes are coming my way (hint: big move, anyone?) For now, my lips are sealed.

we're moving, mah!!

we’re moving, mah!!

In the meantime, here are a few special “foodments” (food moments) from the last two months:

1. Quinoa Rice Bars. Hello, future dinner of mine. These babies are easy to freeze and easy to devour.

perfection

perfection

Packed with protein and goodies: quinoa, rice, egg, tomato, spinach, swiss cheese, and any other veggies you’d like to add. Don’t forget to salt and pepper these biddies. Add a touch of red pepper flakes. Magical.

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1a. Quinoa Rice Patties Leftover. Holy heaven in a hand basket. Well, not really, but you catch the drift. I had a ton of leftover rice and quinoa from making delicious #1. So, I used the same ingredients, made small balls, and smushed them into patties while frying beautifully in the saute pan. Seriously. Best brunch idea ever. Healthy. Delicious. Savory. Mouth watering. Recipe to come soon.

#idie #sogood

#idie #sogood

2. Coffee…in a new Keurig. I belong to this cool review site called Influenster. The nice people there sent me a brand new Keurig on the market to test. WOW.

#HelloKeurig

#HelloKeurig

It was great and I’m not just saying that because they sent it to me. The Keurig 2.0 makes single servings, but now comes with a carafe! I wasn’t a huge fan of the plastic carafe that the Keurig 2.0 comes with, but you can buy a stainless steal version separately. The touch screen is an added plus!

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3. Almond Chocolate Chip “Crack” Cookies. Okay, so I don’t really know what crack is like, but I’d imagine that it makes you feel like these cookies do. They’re like macaroons…with chocolate chips and a slight hint of salt.

#ahhell #crackcookies

#ahhell #crackcookies

Just out of control goodness. Recipe coming soon!

4. Kombucha in training. I’ve been attempting to make kombucha from scratch over the past two months. I’ve failed…twice! Making SCOBY followed by kombucha is HARD!

SCOBY

SCOBY

hey there scoby - #youlooklikeabooger

hey there scoby – #youlooklikeabooger

 

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You have to be really careful not to contaminate the fermentation process. I may not have succeeded, but I’m not giving up. Once I find the easiest and best way to make it, I’ll share amazing kombucha here on COTR.

5. MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED. I couldn’t be prouder of my brother and his lovely new wife. I hope the man I marry someday looks at me the way Justin looked at Kelly.

Justin and Kelly <3

Justin and Kelly <3

A beautiful day for two beautiful people – congrats guys!

6. Paleo-Friendly Buffalo Chicken Chili. I hit the motherload with the one.

#healthy #chili #paleo

#healthy #chili #paleo

I can’t take credit for the beauty of this recipe – that goes to my fellow blogger at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I removed the corn and green pepper from this recipe and used chickpeas instead of cannelini. Delicious. Add a dollop of plan greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute and/or have it on the side with some chopped celery sticks. I’m not going to lie, this recipe is HOT. If you’re not huge on taking the heat, cut back on the 1/2 cup hot sauce. I liked the heat and when you heat this up as a leftover, it becomes more of a smoky hot than having it fresh off the stove. Stick with the 1/2 cup and be a champ! 🙂

Be on the lookout for more exciting things to come from COTR very soon!

oh hai :)

oh hai 🙂

 

A date with myself

Taking myself out on dates is tricky. When I think about a self date, I think about loads of junk food and this sweet location called the couch.

#addict

#addict

While this is appealing, I decided to take myself “in” on a healthy date. There is something really gratifying about making yourself a healthy meal…especially when you’re cooking with a big glass of wine.

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Well, I hit the jackpot ladies and gents. I made the salad of all salads. Sometimes, it’s the simplest of ingredients that make a masterpiece. Basil, garlic and olive oil. There’s your dressing. Easy, right? Check it out.

Basil and Garlic Summer Squash Salad (Serves 2)

1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, cut into half moons

1/2 red onion, diced

1 romaine head, sliced into strips

1-2 tomatoes, diced

1 small ball of fresh mozzarella, diced

7 large leaves of fresh basil, rolled up and sliced into thin strips

So fresh

So fresh

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed

2 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

Add oil to a medium sized pan and warm on medium heat. Add garlic and let simmer until you get a kitchen-full aroma of garlic and the garlic is beginning to golden. Add the squash and saute on medium to med-high until the squash is lightly golden.

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Flip the squash often in the pan like a master chef. Be sure that you have enough oil in the pan as this will become the salad dressing. Add a dollop more if necessary. Add the basil to the pan and flip a few times to coat the squash.

Can I just eat this?

Can I just eat this?

While waiting for the squash to cook, chop up all of the other ingredients and add to a large bowl. Once you’ve finished the squash, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add to the salad bowl and gently mix to incorporate the basil-garlic oil.

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Of course the night is not complete without some Hershey’s Nuggets. A girl has got to live a little 🙂

#truth

#truth

Get me to the green

When something isn’t right for you, you feel it in your gut. Well, my gut was screaming to Sunday and back. New York City was not my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong. I love the food and all of the culture, but the past few months have been all consuming with work. Add an already anxious Dana to a high stress, fast paced environment and you get some pretty obnoxious panic attacks in public places. Thank god for the plethora of parks in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

During a visit to my parents’ house, my mother looked at me biting my nails with a perpetual frown on my face and said: “Dana, your job is not God. Is it really worth it when you’re this unhappy?”

Moms are always right, especially when you need them to be. So, I quit my job. I moved out of New York City. I’m on, what I affectionately refer to as, “my sabbatical.” So, it’s time to get back to the things I love most. Running, cooking, spending time with family and sharing new and fun recipes right here 🙂

On my first official weekend back in Upstate New York, I realized a few things:

1) It’s quiet. Quiet as in wind chimes and crickets. No sirens and car horns at night.

2) IT’S SO GREEN.

The outdoors - brilliant photo taken by Mr. D :)

The outdoors – brilliant photo taken by Mr. D 🙂

3) oh yeah, and these guys.

Charming fellas

Charming fellas

Outside of the above, I really missed cooking fresh and healthy foods. In the NYC dynamic, I found myself cooking less and less. That makes for one cranky Dana. Mrs. D and I decided to start my return to cooking off right by making a mediterranean feast with my favorite…PITA! This makes for a perfect summer dinner and great cold lunch leftovers over a bed of greens.

Let's get started, shall we?

Let’s get started, shall we?

Mediterranean Pita with Falafel and Roasted Chickpeas (Serves 4)

Roasted chickpeas (<our recipe, minus the rosemary for this pita dish)

Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

1-2 tomatoes, sliced

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 package falafel mix

1 package fresh pita, cut into halves for pockets

Canola oil

tzatziki sauce, for dressing

Prep the falafel mix according to package directions. Most mixes will require combining the package with water to sit and harden for 30 minutes or so.

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Once the mixture has set, form into thin patties.

Formed by chef Linda

Formed by chef Linda aka Mrs. D

Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet. You’ll want roughly 1/2 an inch to an inch of canola oil in the pan. Once the oil is ready, add the patties to sizzle.

Whoa there

Whoa there

Remove once the falafel is a golden brown and let cool. Now, for the fun. Assembly line! This is my favorite part of prep in the Diamond household. With a meal like this, we create our own dishes. Petite little pocket for me, whereas Brett will make a pita the size of a small child. This is the beauty of the assembly line. To each their own.

Don't forget to add your chickpeas!

Don’t forget to add your chickpeas to top

Top your creation with some tzatziki and enjoy!

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Turning errands into training miles

Weekend time disappears in the blink of an eye. Before I knew it, I woke up Sunday morning with lots to do and only 1 day to do it. I wanted to fit in a run so I made a plan to fit it into my day of errands. Since I had to head over to Union Square, I plotted a run on Map My Run and used it for directions and tracking mileage.

Running this way is a great way to explore…

Farmer’s Markets.

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Beautiful buildings.

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And of course, a reminder that we’re headed into March Madness. Go Orange!

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After a great 3 miles, I couldn’t wait to make a new recipe jam packed with veggies. I based this meal off of a fabulous recipe from Herbivoracious. I used fresh, chopped peppers instead of roasted peppers and added radishes to the mix. Radishes are a great to add to any salad – an abundant source of vitamins and minerals. Plus, it adds that essential salad crunch – love that! I prepared this dish right in my tupperware containers to save myself some after cooking cleanup *pat on back*

Quick and Fresh Chickpea Veggie Salad (Serves 4)

4-5 radishes, washed and diced into long strips

1 large cucumber, rinsed and chopped

Half a red onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1-2 fresh peppers (I used red, orange and yellow)

1 can chickpeas (no salt added), rinsed thoroughly

A few handfuls of fresh basil, chopped

Half a lemon, for juicing

1/4 cup EVOO

6 oz feta

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with lemon juice and EVOO.

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Though this dish was out-of-this-world amazing freshly made, I found that it was even more mind blowing after sitting over night in the lemon-EVOO-basil mixture. This is officially a new staple in my weekly meal plan…WIN! 🙂

helllooo dinner

helllooo dinner

Plant week

I am sick of being sick. Colds, allergies, flus – be gone with you! For the past two months, Brett and I have gone back and forth taking care of one another.

Brett: “You’re sick. Go to sleep.”

Me: “You’re sick. Want some soup?”

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Fred: “Stop spreading your germs!”

…and so on and so on. We decided to try a week of plants. Instead of planning for meals, we purchased a TON of greens (mixed romaine, spinach, kale) for smoothies, salads and soups. We have a pantry stuffed with beans, and some tofu and tempeh ready in the fridge. In-between meals would be fruit, vegetables and/or nuts/seeds. How is this different from how we’re currently eating? Brett and I are notorious for not getting enough vegetables into our day. Not this week. If our plant week experiment keeps us sick free and full of energy, we’ll be seeing a lot more green in our lives. Helloooo, green giant.

So, a day during plant week is going to look something like this:

Breakfast: Kale, pineapple smoothie

Snack: 1 orange

Lunch: Kale white bean soup aka “Dana’s Sick Haze Soup”

Snack: 1 ounce almonds with shredded unsweetened coconut

Dinner: Tempeh hash on a bed of spinach

For more daily plant ideas, check out our weekly meal plan.

So, in my sick stupor over this past weekend, I somehow managed to make a tasty soup…without a recipe and on a lot of medicine. Surprised? Yeah, me too! Try it – it’s packed with lots of healthy proteins, thanks to the kale and white beans. If you followed our Keeping the basics post, you should have most of these ingredients on hand. This is helpful when you’re a sniffling zombie covered in 5 layers of clothing attempting to feel your  fingers and toes in the kitchen. Trust me.

Dana’s “Sick Haze” Soup (Serves 6)

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1 container vegetable broth plus 1 cup water

1 smal onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2-3 cups kale (to be honest, I just scooped several humongous handfuls)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp rosemary

Salt and pepper

1 Tbs coconut oil

Heat large pot on medium high heat. Add the coconut oil and begin sautéing the onions, celery and carrots, 5-7 minutes or until cooked. Add the beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, water and spices. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. Add the big handfuls of kale, pressing down with the back of a spoon.

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hard to believe this magic happened with a fever – who knew!

Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

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Enjoy and stay healthy, friends!

 

Keeping the basics

Since buying Samantha, Brett and I have been trying to structure a tight budget. We’ve had questions from many of our friends about this. How do you save money while eating fresh, healthy food? It adds up so quickly on the grocery receipt. That’s why we refer to WholeFoods as WholePaycheck.

I thought of another great money saver (and life saver) when cooking last night. I got home, looked at what I had planned to cook and thought….

“Mmmmm…that’s a lot of chopping and prepping and ‘3 burners on the stove’ type work. How about less work and more wine?”

So, instead of making the planned Tuesday night dinner, I grabbed some of our “basic kitchen essentials” and made a quick, easy dinner without spending the extra money on take out. Plus, I had wine. There are a lot of wins in the past few sentences.

What do I mean by basic essentials? There are certain items that we try to keep stock of no matter what we have planned to cook. These come in handy when you want to make something simple and save the extra dollars. Here’s our essential list:

  • Beans (Black, chickpea, adzuki, cannellini)
  • Lentils (green and red)
  • Pasta (We keep a few different kinds of brown rice pasta on hand)
  • Vegetable broth (Soups are super easy to make with this on hand)
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Frozen fruit and veggies (if your fresh ingredients are growing furry creatures, it’s nice to have a frozen alternative to defrost)
  • Brown and white rice (hey, white rice is DELICIOUS once in a while)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, chia, flax, pepitas, sunflower, walnuts, etc.)
  • We grow a couple fresh herbs, but dried works just as well (thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, etc.)
  • Though we mostly avoid dairy, we do keep a block of parm in the fridge to add some light flavoring for pasta

With our stock of essentials and some fresh items we had for another recipe, I was able to put together a tasty and quick meal to pair with wine. Ahhhh, bliss.

Linguine with a Mushroom Chickpea White Wine Sauce

1 Tbs fresh or dried oregano

3 Tbs unsalted butter (divided into 2 and 1)

Half of an onion, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

Optional: 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (if you’re in the mood for some heat)

Optional: 1/2 cup white wine (if you’re not a wine person, you can always substitute with a broth of your choice)

1 package brown rice linguine, cooked according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of hot pasta water

1 can chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed

1 lb mushrooms, sliced (we were using these for another recipe…I think I saved them from furry monsters just in time)

Parm, grated over top to serve

Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the water before draining.

On medium high heat, melt 2 Tbs of the unsalted butter. Sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent. Add salt and diced jalapeño if desired. Add the mushrooms and cook down until browned.

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Add in the chickpeas and stir for 1-2 minutes to heat through.

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Pour in the white wine and let simmer until wine has reduced. Reduce heat to low and add the last Tbs of butter. Stir to melt. Add cooked linguine to mushroom mixture and incorporate pasta. If there isn’t enough sauce to coat, add in some reserved pasta water and mix. Serve pasta and top with oregano and shaved parm.

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…something is missing

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MUCH better 🙂

 

zipping the wallet, eating the beans

Well, I’ve been dreading this moment for a long time. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, listening to my good shoulder angel side. Needless to say, I gave in. We’re now the proud (and anxiety-ridden *cough* me) owners of a 2014 Subaru Forester.

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I think I’m going to call her Samantha. Classy and sleek. I can always shorten it to SAS for Samantha the Subaru. She is quite sassy. Brett wanted to call her Bertha. I’m trying to forget that came out of his mouth. Anyway, I’m open to other (reasonable) suggestions.

With buying a new car comes a lot of financial responsibility. That means we’ll be zipping up our wallets wherever we can to lessen the blow to our bank accounts. I don’t care what other people say. You CAN eat well on a budget. Brett and I will be posting tips here and there as to how we’re cutting back without negatively impacting our nutrition.

So, here we go. Numero Uno: BEANS

Beans are a protein-rich source filled with fiber and antioxidants. They’ve been shown to help aid in weight loss on a healthful diet. Can’t afford to pick up a grass-fed steak on your grocery trip? Buy a can of beans…89 cents. If you do buy canned, be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before using. You can buy dry beans in bulk as well. Brett’s been using our slow cooker to cook them and it’s working great! On a plant-based diet, we’ve been incorporating beans quite a bit. Beans are delicious for soup, chili, salad, and can be easily incorporated into breakfast. That’s right, breakfast. My friend Jon passed along this delicious recipe as a breakfast staple he makes frequently.

Jon’s Bean and Avocado Breakfast

  • 1/2 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh (not canned) diced tomatoes. 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1 whole avocado, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, diced (or more if you’re spicy)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice. Or lime juice.
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Optional
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced (As Jon mentioned to me, he favors this breakfast on the weekend so he doesn’t scare people away with his breath)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh mozzarella

I have yet to try Jon’s version, but it sounds delicious. I made a variant for lunch that I pretty much attacked face first. I’m serious. It was that good.

Chickpea and Avocado Salad with Jalapeño Lemon Dressing (Serves1)

A bowl full of mixed greens (Don’t be shy, stuff that bowl full!)

6-10 halved cherry tomatoes

Half of an avocado, diced (Easiest way to do this is: 1) Half the avocado, 2) Slice the half both ways to form cubes, 3) scoop out with a spoon)

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slice and scoop!

1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly

Dressing:

1 small jalapeño, minced

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs EVOO

1 tsp dijon mustard

sea salt and pepper

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

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Combine the salad ingredients in a serving bowl and add the dressing to your liking.

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Thanks, Jon!

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Dive in 🙂

 

C’mon Fall, I’m waiting

I hate this time of year. I want the chill in the air. I want to wear boots and scarves. I want pumpkins and squash. This 90-degree weather thing is killing my mojo.

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Fred dislikes it, too

On top of it being an “I’m sweating and I’m barely moving” kind of day yesterday, I fell on my face. Yup. Flat. on. my. face. I’m not exactly the most graceful person offstage. The worst part? I didn’t trip over anything. I tripped on myself. Good job, Dana.

Bruised knee and scraped palms aside, I needed to blow off some steam. Even a short run would do. So that’s what I did: leashed up an overly excited Fred and went for a run. It’s amazing how much clarity can come from fresh air and the sound of your feet hitting the ground. Forty-five minutes later, I had an epiphany. Just because it wasn’t fall outside, didn’t mean we couldn’t have fall in our kitchen 🙂

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash (Serves 4)

 2 halved and seeded acorn squash

1 diced large onion

1/3 cup cooked quinoa

1/3 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup spinach (or kale)

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

10-12 halved cherry tomatoes

sea salt and pepper

EVOO (or butter if you prefer) to brush on the squash, 1 Tbs for cooking

A handful of chopped raw almonds

Heat over to 400. Brush each squash half with oil (or butter) to coat then add sea salt and pepper. Place the squash flesh side down in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

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Heat 1 Tbs EVOO in a saute pan on medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 6 minutes or so, until translucent.

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Add the garlic, jalapeño and herbs, stirring for another minute. The spinach (kale), beans and tomatoes go in next. Sauté until the greens wilt down, a few minutes.

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Remove the squash from the oven.

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holy goodness

Fill each acorn squash half with the spinach (kale) mixture. Put squash back into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and serve

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hello, Fall. Nice to see you 🙂

 

Eggs and rice, namaste

You’d be surprised at how willing Brett is to try new activities. For a while in Boston, I got him to go to yoga with me at 8am on Saturdays. For Brett to be up at 8am practicing his “happy baby” on a Saturday means one of two things:

1) He really likes yoga

2) He REALLY loves me

or both 🙂

I’ve been going off and on since moving to Virginia, but Brett has steered clear of yoga. Since I have two options for exercise with my injured knee and I don’t get to see Brett as often with our schedules, I really wanted him to go to class with me tonight.

Me: “Come to yoga with me tonight!”

Brett: “Not interested.”

Me: “Why not?”

Brett: “I’ll go to the gym instead.”

Me: “Go to the gym, then come take yoga with me!”

*silence*

Me: “Puuuuuuhhhhhhhleeeeeeaaaaaseeeee!”

*silence*

Me: “You went to Hawaii without me…”

Brett: “I’ll meet you at class.”

As one of 3 males in the class, I’d say Brett did rather well…minus the part where he thinks he looks like this…

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but was really more like this…

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guy on the left…fail.

Heh, just kidding. In all honesty, whenever we take a class, Brett usually has the best core strength out of anyone there. He’s that guy off in the corner balancing on his head. No joke.

After a lot of sweat and sticking our tongues out at each other during awkward moments in class (yes, we’re childish), we were ready to shower and eat.

Sometimes, what you planned for dinner doesn’t always happen. In our case, we accidentally forgot to soak our black beans last night, which means we couldn’t make our new Cuban beans and rice dish.

One of the many reasons we buy so much produce every week are for times like this…when we forget something in a recipe (usually my doing). Instead, we prepped a salad for tomorrow’s lunch with mixed romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas.

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In the morning I’ll put together a simple dressing of 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbs lemon juice, 1 Tbs EVOO, salt and pepper.

For tonight, we made a quick, old classic. Fried eggs with roasted garlic over rice, served with Nori (or roasted seaweed), which you can pick up at any Asian food store, Whole Foods or Wegmans.

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Begin by frying 2 cloves sliced garlic in a pan. Cook until golden brown and crisp, remove. Fry eggs (I usually have one, Brett will have 2 or 3 depending on how hungry he is). Serve over 3/4 cup rice and break up Nori over top. If you’ve never had Nori, this is probably the best way to try it. It goes nicely with the crunch of the garlic and the flavor of the egg. Drizzle a little sesame oil on top (optional) and enjoy!

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Random acts of kindness and sun-dried tomatoes

Bum knee, no running and no Brett. Hmph.

I know I just said the other day that there are “no excuses for being lazy,” but today is a good reason. By the end of the day, I was ready to crawl under my desk and go to bed. So, I decided to go home, ice my hurting knee and snuggle with Fred.

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…for obvious reasons

You know how I said that one moment can completely turn your mood around? Well, when I arrived home to an unfamiliar package, I was excited. My parents loathed Christmas when I was little because I stopped at nothing to snoop for gifts. To this day, Brett likes to torment me with surprises or gifts…knowing very well that I HATE not knowing.

After a long day, a random act of kindness left me with a big smile. It’s amazing how far a thoughtful gesture can go. Our close friend, Dana, sent us a copy of one of our favorite books: Born to Run

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Thanks, Dana – we miss you terribly!

If you’re a runner and you’ve never read Born to Run, shame on you. You know what the best part about this book was? It wasn’t the fact that it’s become a cult classic or the humor or the amazing characters (though, those were good, too!). Born to Run reminds us of the simple pleasure of running. The Tarahumara don’t run for a medal. They don’t run to break a record. They run because they enjoy it and it’s always been that way. They drink their pinole (a maize flour mixture with water) and run for hours – in leather sandals, mind you. I read this again when we first moved down here to Virginia. Struggling with anxiety and leaving all of my wonderful friends, I forgot about those simple pleasures. Reading this inspired me to get back up again. Dana, you have perfect timing and Brett thanks you (I can stop stealing his copy now).

After digging into the first few chapters, I realized it was time to make dinner. I made a variation of Brett’s mom’s recipe and I believe it will be a hit when hungry Brett gets home from work.

GF Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Chickpeas 

 1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (which I didn’t do, whoops!)

1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional for my vegan friends)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly

10oz fresh spinach, chopped

1/2lb dried GF pasta

1 cup veggie broth

sea salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: 3/4lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

In a large skillet, stir-fry garlic (and chicken, if using) over medium high heat until garlic is golden (or chicken is cooked throughout). Add the raw spinach, chickpeas, chili flakes, tomatoes and veggie broth; cover and simmer over low heat until spinach is wilted and sauce becomes a little thicker.

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look at those whole tomatoes 😉

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to sauce. Mix and season with salt, pepper and cheese (if using).

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Toss and serve!

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Eat your heart out, Brett!