Coconut Lime Roasted Chickpeas

It’s been one of those weeks that seems to crawl by at the speed of light – the days go quickly but I wake up expecting it to be Friday when the calendar says Tuesday.  I’ve been spending a lot of time at a desk due to my full-time job and the void that is photo editing so suffice it to say, my diet hasn’t been as stellar as I would like.

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My workday meals are  great since I pack all of my food in advance and dinner is also good.  My downfall is the time between when I come home from work and when I eat dinner. I get stuck in a snack rut of an apple + peanut butter or edamame since I like snacks that are protein rich, quick, and require little prep. On top of that, I usually can’t decide if I want something sweet, something salty, or something savory.  Yesterday I finally found something, other than salted chocolate, that solves that problem and fits my snack requirements.

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Enter roasted chickpeas. They’re not new, the blog world has been buzzing with them for awhile now.  They’re not fancy, after all, it’s just a humble legume.  But they are most definitely are amazing.  During a particular fit of indecisiveness (who am I kidding – I’m just incredibly indecisive all the time), I decided to change up my usual roasted chickpeas and give them a flavor boost.  Healthy coconut oil gives them a faint sweetness while lime juice and zest give them a bright, energizing flavor.  Give them a sprinkle of good sea salt and it’s salty, sweet, sour, crunchy bliss.

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Coconut Lime Roasted Chickpeas
Yield: depends on serving size

1 cup chickpeas, patted dry
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
zest of one lime
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375Fand line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Using a paper towel, pat your chickpeas dry. In a medium bowl, toss chickpeas together with melted coconut oil, lime juice and lime zest. Spread evenly on your baking sheet.
3. Roast for 15-25 minutes – it’s a bit of range but I find that it really depends on your oven. Turn your baking sheet half way through and giving them a quick shake to move them around. Shake a few more times if you oven has hot spots.
4. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

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Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

This week was very hectic, very busy, and full of issues and this weekend has been super busy.  There are only 13 days to our wedding which means that things are in ultimate turbo-gear around here.  I love seeing everything come together and secretly thrive off of hectic energy so I am enjoying this crazy time of wedding planning.  It’s exhausting but exciting.  The weather has also been absolutely gorgeous which is really solidifying the fact that fall is here which means it is time to to break out all of my favorite fall recipes!

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It’s pretty obvious that I love all things fall, especially pumpkins.  While pumpkins may dominate my fall baking, there is another fall vegetable that dominates my savory cooking – brussel sprouts. Yes, brussel sprouts.  I can safely say that my household may be responsible for 90% of the brussel sprout consumption in this city. They are our go-to side for comforting fall dishes when we cook for others and we have them at home at least once a week. You can imagine my excitement when I found this giant brussel sprout stalk at the grocery store today.

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Brussel sprouts are such a polarizing little cabbage relative – people either love them or loath them. They have gotten a bad rap as little wrinkly grey, sulphuric balls of nastiness but in reality, they can be delicious when they are cooked properly.  My favorite way, fool proof way to prepare this controversial vegetable? Roast them with maple syrup.  I can proudly say that this recipe has converted some former brussel sprout haters into brussel sprout lovers.   Roasting really brings out the delicate cabbage flavor without producing bitterness or that strange after taste that brussel sprouts sometimes get.  The addition of maple syrup helps caramelize the outer leaves and provides the perfect amount of sweetness. They get soft and creamy while still retaining some crunch from the caramelized leaves.  So if you’re hesitant about brussel sprouts, give this recipe a try.

 
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Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Yields: 1 package of brussel sprouts

 

1 package of brussel sprouts

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp. good quality real maple syrup

salt + pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 375F.  Rinse your brussel sprouts and remove any damaged outer leaves.

2.     Cut the bottom root of your brussel sprouts and then cut in half.  Transfer to a medium bowl.

3.    Add olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to bowl and toss until the brussel sprouts are evenly coated.

4.    Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip over (use a spoon, much easier!) and roast for another 10 minutes.

5.    Serve and enjoy!

Wine Roasted Chicken

Doesn’t roast chicken just sort of scream Sunday supper to you? It is such a comfort food that is easy to make, fairly inexpensive, and makes the best leftovers ever. It is however, more definitively a cool-weather dish than a warm weather one simply because your have to crank your oven for a good hour or so. This small fact didn’t stop me from roasting a chicken this Sunday though. It was a had to have it or else kind of situation.

Why was I in need of roast chicken? Two words: Dorie Greenspan. We bought one of her books, Around My French Table, a few days ago and ever since I flipped through the pages I could not get the thought of roast chicken out of my head. The book is a huge collection of every type of delicious recipe imaginable and the photos…well, you can pretty much smell the bouquet garni and taste the onions drowned in butter. It makes me want to hop a plane to France, buy some red shoes, and practice my broken and awful French at a cafe. Je veux un verre de vin, s’il vous plait. I figure knowing how to ask for a glass of wine is pretty much all I need to know since French food is notoriously difficult to eat gluten-free.

Anyways…about that chicken. In her book, Dorie Greenspan has several roasted chicken recipes but one recipe for chicken caught my attention. It was called “m. jacques’ armagnac chicken” and basically the chicken is roasted/steamed with a French liquor similar to Cognac. Althought I didn’t have any Cognac, I had wine (obviously) and the recipe promised to be super simple and delicious. I was sold. I pretty much planned my whole day around making this dish. First, breakfast and making a list of things I need from the store. Next, run with the pup – try not to get caught 2 miles away from home in a downpour and thunderstorm with your prissy pitbull who is scared of everything (failed this one). After that, shower, bathe your stinky dog, and prep the chicken. When chicken is done, impress your fiance, pour some wine, and dig in.

This chicken recipe really could not be any easier. Essentially, you chop up your veggies, toss with some white wine, place veggies and chicken in a roasting pan. Cover with a cake pan because you don’t have anything oven-safe with a lid and bake for an hour. The result is the juiciest, most fall-off-the-bone tender chicken I have ever had. The skin is miraculously golden and crispy and the smell is out of this world. Nothing smells more homey than the smell of a roasting chicken in the oven; it is one of my favorite scents ever. If someone made a roast chicken candle, I might buy it. Maybe…that’s a bit weird…but not ruling it out.

The best part of roasted chicken? The leftovers! If you don’t finish it all, keep some chicken with some juice for leftover roasted chicken salad the next day. This was my plan but unfortunately, there was a potential issue with the leftover chicken (cross contamination issue) so we threw it out, just to be safe. Much rather be safe than glutened. I may just make another one simply for leftovers because it really is that easy.

Wine Roasted Chicken
Yield: 4-6 servings
Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan,
“m. jacques armagnac chicken” Around My French Table

1 roasting chicken, organic and free-range please (3-4lb should be fine)
5 small red potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced on the diagonal
1 small onion, thinly sliced*
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup white wine or Cognac (or chicken stock)
salt + white pepper

*My plan was to use a white onion but then I cut into it and it was nasty. I was out of white onions so I grabbed a red to substitute. I ended up loving the red onion, it wasn’t bitter or strong in any way. Just sweet and delicious.

1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Rub salt + white pepper over your chicken and place in roasting pan. Wash your hands (raw chicken = nasty).
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, chop and prep all your veggies. Once heated, add veggies and stir until veggies begin to glisten, around 3-5 minutes.
3. Add herbs and bay leaf to pot and stir. Add in wine or liquor and heat just slightly, another 2 minutes or so.
4. Pour veggies and wine over chicken in roasting pan (I poured directly on the chicken so it would get some of the delicious wine). Adjust veggies around the sides of the chicken. Place another pan on top of the chicken or place foil over pan. If you have a dutch oven, use this instead and just put chicken in with the veggies.
5. Bake undisturbed for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, check to see if your chicken is done by piercing the thickest part of the thigh. When the juices run clear you are good to go. Also, if you like your skin super super crispy, uncover and let it cook for another 3-5 minutes at most.
6. Carefully remove the cover (away from your face unless you want a super painful steam facial…you don’t) and marvel at the golden crispy skin and the amazing smell.
7. Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before you cut into it. You can serve directly from the pan or you can remove veggies and liquid and place them in a big pot and simmer slightly to reduce.