turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | and, how to make chicken bone broth!

turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | what's cooking good looking

I thought I would start this year off with posting a healthy boosted twist on one of the first classic recipes that ever made it’s way into my repertoire. Chicken soup is one of the first recipes I committed to memory, and it’s something I love to make and keep steadily stocked in my fridge and freezer all winter long. So is bone broth, and this recipe, that is kind of a two for one, is one of my favorite food projects for a lazy, chilly Sunday.

I hardly post any non-veggies recipes on this blog which I realize is kind of weird because I am not a vegetarian ......  and it often confuses people. People very often assume that because I post so many vegetarian recipes that I am a vegetarian. And, when I tell people that I am not a vegetarian, but vegetarian food is the food I love the most ... I think that confuses people even more. There is no label for my mostly veg, avoid dairy and gluten, and a little bit of meat and fish, diet ... and when you don't have a clear label to put on it, people might not always get it. I find people can be most perplexed by why I choose to focus so much on vegetables when I still eat meat. I find much more creativity in with working with veggies recipes vs. meat recipes. I only have about 7-ish meat focused recipes that I make over and over again.... (one being this chicken soup) and, if I were home cooking for myself, and not my husband or anyone else, I would almost always make myself something veg. I just really really love my vegetables.

SO, since the new year is here and it feels like a good time for fresh starts, I decided that I would be sharing more of my classic meat recipes ... because, this is how I eat, and the handful of meat recipes that I do make I love and I have been making them for a long time.

I am very very picky about my meats. I am very picky about all the food that makes it’s way into my kitchen, but meat especially. I am lucky to have a butcher nearby that I am friendly with, where I can 100% trust the sourcing of their meat, and that it is not only grass-fed, organic (and all those buzzy things) but also that it’s sustainable. That they are sourcing from a local farm and that they are using all the usable animal parts. I, too, like to continue to make sure that I am being a responsible meat consumer while at home, and the best way I can do that is by making bone broth from leftover bones. In this chicken soup that means you actually get double bang for the bones. First with the actual broth from the soup, and second from the leftover bones, which then get simmered for 12-24 hours to make that magical bone broth.

I am sure you are already well acquainted with bone broth. I’ve got to be honest, I totally rolled my eyes at this trend when it first started. Of course broth is nourishing, we’ve been sipping on it for hundreds of years, our grandmas and moms always made us broth or chicken soup when we had a cold. It’s no secret that it’s nature’s medicine, someone just decided to repackage it and give it a new-ish name. It wasn’t until a broth shop (a storefront that sells JUST broth in a coffee cups) opened in my neighborhood that I started to give it a try, and then started to drink it on a regular basis, that I started seeing what the real fuss was about. Bone broth is seriously powerful healing stuff when sipped on consistently, and even more so in the winter when we need that extra nourishing boost. I began to see a noticeable difference in my nails and hair, they were stronger, healthier looking. I felt a more calming feeling in my gut, and you know if our guts are calm and happy, we are calm and happy. So, I am a total broth convert, and advocate. It was last year that I started on my bone broth kick, and I decided that I needed to start making it myself because it’s wayyyyyy less expensive, and you can make it in big batches and freeze it, so it lasts a long time.

So, this here is my method for making my favorite chicken soup, followed by chicken bone broth. This is a more labor-intensive process than most of my recipes, but if you are as into making things ahead of time that make you feel good as I am, then it’s well worth this labor of love. To do this, you will need two heavy-bottomed large soup pots, and I will guide you how to do the most efficient, and least dishing washing way possible. 

turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | what's cooking good looking
turmeric-chicken-soup-WCGL-03.jpg
turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | what's cooking good looking
xturmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | what's cooking good looking
turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | what's cooking good looking

turmeric + ginger + shiitake chicken soup | and, how to make chicken bone broth! 


This is a two-part recipe, but if you don’t have the time or you aren’t in the mood to make the bone broth, then you can always skip it or freeze the leftover bones and make it when you have the time. This recipe is very forgiving in terms of ingredients. Feel free to add (or subtract) whatever veggies you have on hand or what you are in the mood for. That goes for the bone broth too. I usually keep mine very basic, and leave out the add-ins, but if you want a more flavorful broth to sip on, feel free to add as much as you like.  Lastly, you are going to need two large, heavy-bottomed soup pots if you’re going to make both the soup and bone broth, and I will refer to them as pot #1 and pot #2.

 

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken soup:

4lb (ish) organic whole chicken
10-12 cups of water  (filtered preferably)
2 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds (optional)
2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 large carrots, diced
5+oz (about 25 mushroom caps) of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
8-10 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon of minced (fresh) turmeric
1 tablespoon of minced (fresh) ginger

optional add-ins: a couple handfuls of spinach or kale, rice or quinoa, chopped fresh herbs such as dill or cilantro

For the chicken bone broth:

The leftover bones from the chicken soup
10-12 cups of water (filtered preferably)
1-2 tablespoons of sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

optional ad-ins: bay leaves
any kind of whole spices such as peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds
veggies such as carrots, onion, garlic
 

METHOD

Make the broth for the soup:

  • Place the whole chicken into a large, heavy-bottomed pot (#1) and add enough water so the chicken is covered (leaving about 1-2” from the top so it doesn’t overflow. Add the salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and bay leaves, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook for an hour.
  • Turn the heat off, and carefully remove the chicken from the broth and place it onto a large cutting board. You can leave the broth in the pot for now.  Allow the chicken to cool completely before removing the meat from the bones. I also like to give it a rough chop with a knife to help speed the cooling, and so that it doesn’t keep cooking. When you are ready to pull the meat off the bones (I usually do this a littler later when my soup is simmering), you will peel off and discard the skin, remove the meat, and place it onto a large plate until you’re ready to add it to the soup. Reserve all of the bones, if you’re making the bone broth. You can freeze the bones in an airtight container or plastic bag if you want to make the bone broth another time.

Make the soup:

  •  In pot #2, heat the ghee over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 7-10 minutes until all of the veggies are very tender. Add the mushrooms, and cook while stirring (to prevent the mushrooms from sticking) for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and cook, while stirring for 2 more minutes. 
  • Place a strainer over the pot, and pour the broth from pot#1 into the pot with the veggies (pot#2). Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes. When you've removed the chicken from the bones, you can add it to the soup. 
  • If you're adding spinach or kale, I like to do this at the very end or right before serving. If you plan to make this ahead and store it, I would wait to add the greens until you heat it up. 
  • If you want to add rice or quinoa, I add about 1/2 a cup and cook for about 30 minutes, until the grains are cooked through. 
  • You can store any leftovers in the fridge, in glass airtight jars, for about 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Make the bone broth:

  • Clean out pot#1, and then add the leftover bones, water, salt, and vinegar (and any other add-in you like). Place the pot over a very low flame, cover, and simmer for 12-24 hours. 
  • When you are done simmering, ladle the broth into the vessel you plan to store it in. I like to store a portion of the broth (whatever I will drink over the next day or two) in a large mason jar in the fridge, and the rest I ladle into silicone ice cube trays, freeze them, and then transfter the broth cubes to a plastic bag for longer-term storage. 

     


    miso sesame shortbread cookies (gf)

    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking

    I am not a big cookie person. I can't say that I am that into cookie swaps, and I would much rather eat a giant piece of pie over snacking on a plate full of cookies. All that said, there are a few cookies that I makes exceptions for .... cookies that I love and can't get enough of.  Like shortbread. Shortbread cookies are are hands down my #1 favorite kind of cookie. There is something about that buttery sweetness that I just cant resist. 

    The past few month, I have been trying to cut back on my grain intake. I am usually a big fan of grains in their whole form, and even more so the gluten-free grains, however, after a recommendation from my acupuncturist to make a significant cut back on grains overall to help me reduce some problem causing inflammation I've been having, it has caused me to rethink a lot of the staples in my pantry and my recipes. And when it comes to baking, cutting out grains cuts out a lot of the wholesome flours that I have grown accustom to using. It pretty much leaves you with almond flour, coconut flour, and garbanzo bean flour. On the one hand it can feel extremely limiting, but on the other, there is still lots you can do with these flours. Even though this is a short-term cutback on grains for me, I am determined to make the most of it, and maybe even discover and develop some new and exciting recipes because of it. 

    Well, I am excited to report that these grain-free shortbread cookies are my first victory in the grain-free baking department. While these are not dairy-free (I needed to sneak a little indulgence in there, it is the holidays after all) they can be easily made so by subbing a sustainable palm shortening or a vegan butter. And, let's talk about the miso, because miso is, in my opinion, the best thing to happen to desserts. You know that miso and butter, when combined, create a bomb of flavors that makes anything, sweet or savory, that much more delicious. So, it's only natural that adding miso to a buttery cookie would take the cookie to a whole other level. If you haven't tried adding miso into a sweet dessert, these cookies are a great place to start .... everyone will be asking you why these tasting so addictingly good, and you can either let them in on your miso secret or keep it all to yourself. 

    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking
    miso sesame shortbread cookies | what's cooking good looking

    miso sesame shortbread cookies

    MAKES
    about 30 cookies

    INGREDIENTS

    1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup of maple syrup
    2 tablespoons of sweet white miso
    2 1/2 cups of almond meal (flour) 
    1 cup of tapioca starch
    1+ tablespoon of sesame seeds


    METHOD

    • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. 
    • Place the butter and maple syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and mix on high for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Then, add the miso and mix on high for another minute. 
    • Stop the mixer, add the almond meal and tapioca starch and mix on low just until incorporated (do not overmix!). The mixture should be a doughy consistency, but it will be on the wet and sticky side. 
    • Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the center of the parchment, and place another piece of parchment over the top. Using the palms of your hands, press the mixture to form a rectangle (by pressing into the top piece of parchment). You want the dough to be about 1/4" thick all around. You can use a rolling pin or the back of a measuring cup to smooth/even out the top. Don't worry if it is not a perfect rectangle, you can trim the edges later on. 
    • Place the dough into the fridge, and allow to rest for a minimum of 1 hour, or overnight. 
    • Remove from the fridge and peel off the top layer of parchment. Sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly over the dough, and then cut the dough into squares. You might want to trim the edges along the outside so that you have nice, perfect squares. You can discard an extras or just cut them into little bite sized pieces and bake them with the squares. Alternatively, you can cut these into any shape you like using cookie cutters. 
    • Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the tray 180º halfway through baking. They are done when the outside edges are a light golden brown. When you remove them from the oven, they will still be quite soft. They need to cool down in order to harden, so leave them on the baking sheet to cool for at least 30 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cooled, you can serve, or store them in an air-tight container for later. They can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or in the freezer for a month+. 

    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup

    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking
    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking

    I've talked here before about how our family has a tradition of eating out for Thanksgiving. It's one that I VERY much enjoy .... and one that I really look forward to. Since I am not doing any cooking or dish washing, it feels like a day off. I will wake up on Thursday morning, go for a long run, decide what to wear, and my responsibilities are done for the day.

    Last year I thought that I missed cooking for Thanksgiving, so we went back to it .... and at the end of the meal when we were cleaning up, the whole family unanimously decided (with me leading the charge) that we would go back to our tradition of eating out for Thanksgiving.  And now two days out, when I don't have to be strategically planning my shopping so I am not waiting in absurd lines at various grocery stores with overflowing shopping carts all around, I am so happy we decided to do so. Eating out for Thanksgiving isn't so unusual for NYers, and last year when I was juggling cooking a giant turkey and all the sides in my tiny city oven, I remembered exactly why. 

    If I were cooking for Thanksgiving this year, I would be keeping things simple. I might serve a soup as an appetizer, and then for the main a turkey (of course) with  two sides, and a pie for dessert. The soup would be something very simple, and something I could make in advance. Something like this cauliflower soup with flavors of roasted garlic, shallot, and tahini lingering in the background with lots of crunchy bits to top it off. 

    I like to call this a sheet pan soup, and sheet pan soups are totally my thing. What I mean by sheet pan soups are that all the veggies are tossed in a spice mixture and roasted on a sheet pan in the oven until tender and caramelized ... then thrown into the blender with some other ingredients to blend it and balance it out. It's the lazy lady soup, but also can be made to impress by reserving some of the veggies for toppings and adding in some other fancy bits like nuts and seeds to make it pretty and give it texture. This is a soup that I would make if I wanted a quick home-cooked meal, but only had about three-ish things with soup potential in my fridge. But this is also a soup that I would make for a dinner party or a festive occasion (hello, thanksgiving) as an appetizer because you don't need to spent lots of time on it, but it still makes a really nice first impression. 

    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking
    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking
    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking
    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup | what's cooking good looking

    cauliflower + roasted garlic + tahini soup 

    SERVES
    2 as a main, 4 as an app

    INGREDIENTS

    1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
    3 large shallots, peeled and cut in half
    1 head of garlic, broken into cloves with the peels left on
    a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon of cumin
    1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper

    3 tablespoons of tahini
    the juice of 1 lemon
    2-3 cups of water, or broth

    for the toppings:
    a handful of pumpkin seeds
    about 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
    a couple of florets, reserved before blending

    METHOD

    • Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. 
    • Place the cauliflower florets, shallots, and garlic onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper over top and then toss to evenly coat the vegetables. 
    • Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork tender and light brown around the edges. 
    • Transfer the cauliflower and shallots to a blender (reserving a couple of florets for topping, if you like). Remove the garlic peels and transfer the roasted garlic to the blender as well. Add the tahini, lemon, and 2 cups of the water or broth and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust any seasoning that is necessary (if you used water you might want to add more salt and pepper, but if you used a broth you might not need to). Slowly add the third cup of water or broth while the blender is running, until you have the consistency you like. 
    • Pour into individual serving bowls, and scatter the toppings over top. Serve warm. This will keep for a couple of days in an air-tight container in the fridge and easily reheated on the stovetop. 

    honey baked eggplant

    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking

    In case you've been wondering where I have been for the past few months ..... I've been cooking LOTS, in this space in these photos here. Our new studio with my friend and now partner, Hetty, has been bustling with activity ever since we finished our kitchen renovation back in August and opened our doors. We've hosted dinners, lunches, photography workshops, cooking classes ... we've even had people come and teach their own trades in our space, like macrame and bagel-making.

    Last saturday we hosted a workshop that was the first of it's kind for us, and it was all about publishing food stories. We spent the day discussing different perspectives on publishing from conception to blogs to books and magazines, from a variety of experts and cookbook authors. The conversation was informative, candid, but most importantly, inspiring and fun. It was our hope that everyone who was at the studio that day left feeling their creative energy completely recharged. I know that we certainly did.  

    No matter what the event at the studio, there will always be some sort of food component.  Last Saturday our lunch menu for the publishing workshop consisted of cauliflower with romesco, roasted brussels sprouts with a ginger scallion sauce, mushroom toasts, and this honey baked eggplant dish (which everyone kept calling eggplant lasagna, which is probably because it was reminiscent of lasagna/eggplant parmesan with layers of thinly sliced eggplant, red sauce, and cheese). We also made a vegan / dairy-free version by using a dairy-free cashew yogurt in lieu of the cheese (in the same amounts, with some garlic and seasoning mixed in) and that version was a big hit as well. So many people asked for the recipes so we decided it would be a great first recipe for our brand new studio blog, where we hope to share many of the recipes we create in the studio for events or just for ourselves. So head over to THE BLOG for this delicious recipe, and be sure to subscribe to our neighborhood studio newsletter so you will never miss a recipe.

    Oh, AND, I will be posting new recipes here again too, now that we are in our groove over at the studio, and I am so excited because I have SO many fun, new recipes waiting for you. 

    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey-eggplant_NS-07.jpg
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking
    honey baked eggplant | what's cooking good looking

    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp

    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp | what's cooking good looking
    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp | what's cooking good looking

    As someone who anticipates summer more than any other season, it's hard towards the end of the season to not sit back and think about how good the summer has been compared to other summers. How many warm perfect days vs. rainy days ... how many beach bbqs did we do or just overall days spent on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Did I get in my fair share of epic outdoor dinner parties. This summer had mostly ups and just a few downs. We had a lot of rainy saturdays, and for some reason these last few weeks of august have felt more like the last few of september, needing a sweater in the early morning and late evening. But weather aside, I have to say, everything else about this summer has been pretty great. I relished in my vacation time, just as much as I did getting back to work and getting our new brooklyn studio ready. We opened officially last weekend, and that definitely was a big highlight of my summer.

    Once I have had a chance to anaylze my summer, I pretty much always come to the same conclusion. Summer is the best, and even the least best summer is still pretty darn amazing. 

    This summer I did a lot of cooking. Even more than I usually do, and I consider that a big summertime win. With all of the amazing fruits and veggies at my finger tips, I have a hard time passing up any opportunity to cook with the summertime gems .... whether it's just for myself, or for a big group of people. I made a point to always make myself breakfast and lunch at home,  and I tried to keep eating out for more special or social occasions, or for when I was craving the crab pasta or wood grilled whole fish at one of my two favorite restaurants in town. Usually when I am doing a lot of cooking, I like to get creative to keep from getting bored, but this summer I was drawn to the most simple preparations .... a quick satuee or roast of vegetables served with a simply grilled fish or chicken was pretty much on repeat. As was this dessert here. I made a version of this crisp every single time we had guests this summer. In the early summer is was with strawberries and rhubarb, mid-summer it was with cherries and blackberries, and right about now I am making it with the perfectly ripe peaches and blueberries (my favorite fruit crisp duo). 

    I have been working for a long time towards a crisp that is free of gluten and dairy, but hardly noticeable to traditional crisp lovers. This version which uses olive oil instead of butter, and a mixture of polenta and a gluten-free flour blend for a bit of crunch and texture, is by far the winner. I was so surprised at how well olive oil works to make a crispy crunch dessert topping. I have also been loving serving it in this limited edition teal colored dutch oven by Le Creuset. The color makes the dessert pop, and the dutch oven is the perfect vessel to cook and serve the dessert in because the top comes in handy for when you want to bake this ahead of time, and keep it waiting on the countertop, covered, until you're ready to serve. I would strongly suggest making this at your next dinner party, before the blueberries and peaches and summertime leave us until next year. 

    **This post is sponsored by Le Creuset + Williams Sonoma. All opinions are my own. I am giving away one of these dutch ovens over on my Instagram, so head there for a chance to win! Thanks for supporting the brands that support WCGL! 

    blueberry-peach-polenta-WCGL-07.jpg
    blueberry-peach-polenta-WCGL-06.jpg
    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp | what's cooking good looking
    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp | what's cooking good looking

    peach + blueberry + polenta crisp

    This recipe is inspired by the strawberry + rhubarb + polenta crisp in Gjelina, by Travis Lett, but is adapted to be made gluten + dairy free. 

    SERVES
    10+ 

    INGREDIENTS 

    for the topping:
    1 cup of gluten-free flour
    1/2 cup of quick cooking polenta
    1/3 cup of sugar (coconut palm sugar or white sugar)
    1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
    a pinch of sea salt
    1 egg
    1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

    for the filling:
    2 pints of blueberries
    5-6 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
    1/3 cup of sugar (coconut palm or white sugar)
    2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
    the juice of 1/2 a lime
    a pinch of sea salt

    Vanilla ice cream for serving

    METHOD

    Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF. 

    Make the topping:

    • In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg and olive oil and whisk until combined. This topping will be a little wetter than more traditional crumble toppings, and that is ok. This can be made in advance and stored in an air-tight container the fridge, if using the same week, or you can place it into a container and store in the freezer for a few months. 

    Make the filling, add the topping + bake:

    • In a large dutch oven (3.75QT) or baking dish (10"x14"), combine the blueberries, peaches, sugar, flour, lime, and salt. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top. 
    • Bake until the crisp topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes before serving. 
    • Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. 

    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza"

    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking
    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking

    The farms stands has been open for several weeks now, where I spend my summer on the East End of Long Island. They've certainly been open since my last blog post here ........ it's been so nice and refreshing to spend the past several weeks cruising the farms with little on my list, getting inspired by what I find. I literally cried the first day the farmstand in my town opened. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous, and they were happy tears, obviously .... I must have been feeling a little overly emotional that day, but still, the farms in our area make me that happy. 

    I decided recently to take a little more time to myself, away from writing recipes, and writing in general. After a big project like writing a book, I felt like I needed some more me-time to reboot, refresh and to get reacquainted with myself in my kitchen, without an agenda, or without a huge to-do list of recipes. Going to the farm stand without a list of groceries has been liberating, and energizing. I desperately needed that jolt of energy, and to cook for fun a little again before diving into our next big project that gets going in a few weeks (MORE ON THAT HERE). Someone recently said to me, you know that you love what you do if you miss it while you take a break. So happily, I can say, I do love what I do .... I did miss writing and coming up with new recipes, and I am so excited to be doing it all over again.

    Often times when am I developing recipes, I will have a recipe in mind (or mostly written) before I even start cooking. One of the biggest things that I have discovered (or remembered!) during this time to myself is that if I let some of that control go a little bit, some magic can happen in the kitchen. This recipe is a perfect example of that happening. I went to the farm with no list, just wanting to pick up a few veggie gems to cook with for the week. I picked up some fresh chives, half-a-dozen or so squash blossoms, a jar of pesto, some goat's cheese, and a few other things. I knew for lunch I wanted to make something with those squash blossoms, and I also had some sort of pizza/flat bread thing on my mind. I had chickpea flour in my pantry, because I always have chickpea flour in my pantry ... so I started cooking with hopes that I could turn my regular socca/chickpea crepe recipe into something more pizza-like. And here it is. I have made this a few times since that day, because it was that good, and I knew it was the first recipe I needed to share to get me back into this space. Of course you can mix and match with whatever topping you like, including a dairy-free cheese, or other veggies combinations, but I do hope you try this chickpea/socca pizza base. It is one of the best gluten-free bases I have found for when the mood strikes for something pizza-like. 

    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking
    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking
    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking
    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking
    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza" | what's cooking good looking

    squash blossom + pesto socca "pizza"

    MAKES
    about 2 mini pizzas (4 slices each)

    INGREDIENTS

    for the socca pizza crust:
    1 cup of chickpea flour
    1 cup of water
    3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    a couple pinches of sea salt
    freshly cracked black pepper
    a handful of chopped chives (optional)
    a couple tablespoons of ghee

    for the toppings:
    6-8 squash blossoms, stems and pistol removed
    a few tablespoons of pesto (either homemade or store-bought)
    several dollops of goat's cheese, or your favorite non-dairy cheese

    METHOD

    • In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chives (if you're using), until fully incorporated and a batter has formed. Set aside to rest for about 20-30 minutes. 
    • Meanwhile, pre-heat the broiler and have your toppings ready to go, next to the stove top. 
    • Heat a large cast iron with the ghee over medium-high heat. Ladle about 1 cup of the batter into the pan and cook until bubbles start rising to the surface and the edges look cooked. Then, place a couple of spoonfuls of the pesto onto the batter, a couple of dollops of the cheese, and finish with 3-4 of the squash blossoms and then place the cast iron into the oven under the broiler. Cook for 5-10 minutes (checking often since broiler cooking times vary greatly). You know the pizza is done when the cheese is melty and the edges are browned.
    • Remove, and carefully transfer the pizza to a cutting board, cut into slices, and serve.
    • If you want to make additional pizzas (the batter will make 1-2 more), then start all over again with heating the ghee and ladling the batter into the cast iron. Alternatively, you can save the batter for another day/use. It will keep for about a week in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

    chocolate chia mousse + cardamon rose coco whip | from the kale + caramel cookbook

    kale-and-carmel-mousse-WCGL-02.jpg

    You may have noticed that I have been away from this space for a little while. I have been taking a much needed mini work break, after the last push of my cookbook and before starting on some exciting new projects ..... one of which includes a studio space in Brooklyn, NY, that me and my good pal, Hetty, are opening in a month or so. The space has long been a dream of both of ours, and will be used for so many things, from hosting lunches, dinners, cooking classes, cookbook clubs, to anything and everything that combines friends, family, community and all things food. To stay informed on the space, and  the events we will be hosting later this year, head to the website, and sign up for our newsletter: https://www.neighborhoodstudiobk.com 

    While I have been away, a number of really wonderful books, and cookbooks have been released, and I have been enjoying going through each one, reading their stories, and cooking their recipes. This recipe I am sharing today came from a newly released cookbook, Kale and Caramel, by my friend, Lily Diamond who has a well-loved blog by the same name. Lily is one of those people, even though we have yet to meet in person, it feels as though I know her so well. Through her honest, thought-provoking writing, and her love for nature and beautiful, tasty, healthy food, it is hard to not fall in love with Lily herself, and want to be best friends with her. 

    While I have made a few recipes from her book, I chose to share this one because it looked like the perfect kind of chocolatey, healthy, indulgence, and because Lily was so kind to send some gorgeous, dried, edible rose petals with her book, and I new I needed to use them asap. The chapters in her book are organized by herbs and flowers, which I thought was such a fun and unique way to organize a cookbook. Also, I am not well versed in cooking with certain flowers such as jasmine, orange blossom, and rose, so it's been really fun learning about and experimenting with these beautiful flavors. But, my favorite part of the book is that is not only provides recipes to eat, is also gives recipes for homemade, plant-based beauty infusions such as face masks, exfoliators, and lotions all using ingredients found in your kitchen, that are pure enough to eat. I cannot wait to try out every single one! To get more info on this wonderful book .... click this link to head to Lily's blog to find out more: http://www.kaleandcaramel.com/kale-caramel-cookbook-recipes-for-body-heart-and-table/

    chocolate chia mousse + cardamom rose coco whip | what's cooking good looking
    chocolate chia mousse + cardamom rose coco whip | what's cooking good looking
    chocolate chia mousse + cardamom rose coco whip | what's cooking good looking
    chocolate chia mousse + cardamom rose coco whip | what's cooking good looking

    chocolate chia mousse + cardamom rose coco whip

    *This recipe is from the Kale and Caramel cookbook, by Lily Diamond, pg. 216

    MAKES
    4-6 servings 

    INGREDIENTS
     

    for the chocolate chia mousse:
    3/4 cup of chia seeds
    1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
    2 pinches of sea salt
    2 1/4 cups of nut milk of your choice
    1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
    1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
    1 teaspoon of orange zest
    1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom

    for the cardamom rose coco whip:
    1 (13.5 oz) can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside down for a few hours
    2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar
    1/4 teaspoon of rose water
    1/4 teaspoon of cardamom

    some (optional) toppings:
    1 /4 cup of cacao nibs
    1 tablespoon of dried edible rose petals

    METHOD

    Make the mousse:

    • At least one hour before serving, combine the chia seeds, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the nut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk until all of the cocoa powder clumps are dissolved and the chia begins to thicken. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. 
    • Transfer the pudding to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. 
    • Then, in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips until they are completely smooth. Add the chocolate, orange zest, and cardamom to the blender or food processor with the pudding and blend or pulse until all is incorporated. Taste and adjust any sweetness or salt if you like. Transfers the mouses to a large bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to set.

    Make the coco whip:

    • Open the can of coconut milk (that's been refrigerated) and scoop out the thick coconut cream and discard or save the liquid for another use. In a large bowl, mix the coconut cream, sugar, rose water, and cardamom. Then whip with an electric mixer on high until the mixture is smooth, light, and whippy. 

    Assemble and serve:

    • Divvy up the mousse into individual serving glasses or bowls, and top with a spoonful of the coco whip. Finish with a sprinkle of the cacao nibs and rose petals (if using), and serve.  


     

    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish

    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking
    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking

    I know that I have eluded to the fact that I have been working on something "big and exciting" a few times. I have spoken about a bit on Instagram, but I have yet to make  a big reveal in this space ....the home of where this "big and exciting" project all came to be. For the better part of the past year, I have been working on a cookbook with Roost Books that is set to be released in the Spring of 2018 .... and, I just cannot wait to share it with you!

    When coming up with the concept for the book, I thought a lot about the kind of everyday cooking that I like to do at home. The kind of cooking that I like to do for myself, or my family and friends is super simple. I like intuitive cooking, and I like choosing one or two ingredients (such as a vegetables and one powerhouse spice) to stand out. I don't like to spend hours hunting down obscure ingredients, and I don't like to spend hours following a recipe, cooking, and then doing all the dishes. I find that if cooking is easier, simplified, but still creative + exciting .... I am more likely to do it often. I am sure you feel the same way too. 

    With this in mind, I came up with 125 recipes with a focus on simply, nourishing, easy-going meals .... all with fewer ingredients and less time spent in the kitchen. And, every recipe with be gluten, dairy, and soy free, with the option to add in extra indulgences if the mood strikes. I have had so much fun coming up with, and testing the recipes for the book, that I actually had a hard time pairing things down. Especially when it came to condiment and sauces, so there is a whole section dedicated to that. As well as how to efficiently stock (and not over-stuff) your pantry. There will also be a section for easy vegetarian mans, as well as seafood.

    The past few months has been crunch time (which is why I had to scale back a little here, on the blog). We've been going back and forth with edits, shooting ALL of the photos, making this idea fully come to life. A lot heart, soul, sweat, and tears (yes, there have been tears) goes into a project like this ..... and so when you start to see it come together with photos, a cover, and design, it begins to feel so real, and all of that hard work starts to feel so worthwhile. It's a hard thing, wirting a book and putting yourself out there, but if it at all helps more people get inspired to cook more often, and make health(er - ish) choices too ..... then I know that it was all worth it. 

    SO, I don't want to get too excited yet, there's still many months between now and the official pub date, which will be sometime in the spring of 2018. However, I am excited that I get to start giving some more love back to this space. Sharing more of the same simple ingredient highlighting recipes (including several that did not make it into the book) here over the next several months. Starting with this simple spring celebratory soup. 

    This soup, with just two main ingredients, highlights the first (and only) spring-like vegetable I could find at the market the other day. Spring onions are sautéed with potato and garlic, simmered with miso, and then pureed for velvety soup which is then finished off with a zesty, crunchy radish relish to give it a punch of brightness. Of course, either the soup or the relish can be made on their own, but I think you will be pleaseantly surprised to find how well these two spring recipes go together. 

    **To stay updated on the book... be sure to subscribe to emails from my blog (by entering your email in the sidebar) -------> 

    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking
    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking
    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking
    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish | what's cooking good looking

    spring onion miso soup + quinoa + radish relish

    SERVES
    2-4

    INGREDIENTS

    3-4 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
    about 2 cups of spring onions, white parts (green parts reserved), diced
    2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
    3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon of mellow white miso, dissolved into 1 cup of water
    + 3 additional cups of water

    for the radish relish:
    1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced into matchsticks
    the green tops from the spring onion, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon of lime juice
    1 tablespoon of sesame oil
    1 teaspoon of honey
    a pinch of sea salt

    to serve: about ½ cup of cooked quinoa

    METHOD

    In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and potato and cook for several minutes until the onion and potato are both soft. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes while stirring. Then add the cup of water that the miso is dissolved in. Then add the additional 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the radish relish.  Place all of the ingredients for the relish into a small bowl and give it a stir to combine. Set aside until you're ready to serve. This can also be done a few days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. 

    When the soup is done simmering, puree it  by using an immersion blender or by transferring to a blender and blending until smooth. Distribute the soup amongst individual bowls, and top each with a spoonful of quinoa and a spoonful of relish. Any leftover soup can be kept for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic cocktail with pink peppercorns + hibiscus salt

    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic | what's cooking good looking
    the-botanist-cocktail-WCGL-02.jpg

    Just like most people, I look forward to spring .... probably more than most seasons. After months of cold, short, gray days, I cannot wait to have more hours of sunlight and higher degrees of temperature. I look forward to the markets being filled with green vegetables once again, and I look forward to things like spring onions, ramps, and artichokes. Spring comes in slowly here in NYC, so sometimes it can feel like a fleeting moment before summer is here and in full swing, so I like to do all that I can to embrace those spring feelings (and vegetables). 

    One of my favorite things about spring is that people start to come out of the woodwork. I start to see more of my friends than I did when I was hiding inside watching netflix every single night while making soup and braising things. All of a sudden my social calendar start to fill up with lunches, dinners, and parties. I feel recharged and ready to take on that fuller schedule after my winter hibernation. I get excited to call up friends for spontaneous get togethers, when we finally have those first few warm days to celebrate by sitting outside and sipping fun cocktails and nibbling on some bits. 

    Whenever we do host a get together, I love to start with a specialty cocktail, and in the spring and summer it is often some sort of variation of a gin and tonic. It's one of the most refreshing of the classic cocktails, and it's easy to add things like lemon and cucumber to up that freshness. One of my favorite gins is The Botanist, because of it's smooth, herbal flavor, but also because it is a small batch gin that is made with a combination of 22 botanicals that are hand-foraged, locally, by their distiller’s scientists. How's that for some fun party facts to throw around! Also, the bottle is gorgeous and minimal, and looks really nice when you have a little cocktail station set up. I was so excited when The Botanist asked to partner on this spring cocktail, because it is the perfect way to welcome spring, and it's the perfect excuse to call up your friends and have a cocktail party to celebrate. 

     

    *This post is sponsored by The Botanist. All thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support what's cooking good looking! 

    the-botanist-cocktail-WCGL.gif
    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic | what's cooking good looking
    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic | what's cooking good looking
    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic | what's cooking good looking
    spring loaded gin + lemon tonic | what's cooking good looking

    The Botanist Gin + lemon tonic with pink peppercorns + hibiscus salt 

    MAKES
    1 cocktail

    INGREDIENTS 

    2oz of The Botanist Gin
    1/2oz of simple syrup
    4oz of bitter lemon tonic (or regular tonic, and a squeeze of lime juice and a drop of bitters)

    to garnish:
    a couple of pink peppercorns
    a pinch of hibiscus salt (or himalayan pink sea salt)

    GLASSWARE:
    a tall collins glass
     

    METHOD

    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the gin and syrup. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Fill the glass with ice and pour the cocktail over the ice. Top off with the lemon tonic, and garnish with the pink peppercorns and the salt and serve. 

    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower

    minty pea pesto pasto + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking

    When I was growing up, my mom would often take on multiple jobs in order to send my brother and myself to good schools, and eventually to college … and somehow, at the end of every day, she would still manage to throw together a home cooked meal that we would all sit down to dinner at the table and enjoy together. My mom was the best cook I knew (aren’t all our moms) with a big love for vegetables, and would churn out things like escarole and beans, lentil soup, stuffed artichokes …. you know, some of my favorites still to this day.

    Although in some ways that sounds idyllic, it wasn’t necessarily. Having a working mother definitely came with some prices and hardships. There were times when I wished my mom would be around more, or when she was around, that she wasn't stressed or worried about work. There were also many times I took those home cooked meals for granted. When you’re young, you just don’t know any better. I never realized how important those things would be in shaping who I am today, until I became a working adult myself. Witnessing my mom’s incredible work ethic, and tenacity to create the best life for her children, taught me so much about the kind of person I strive to be today.

    I am forever grateful for the education my mom provided for me, for being able to send me to a university to study art and photography. For putting our schooling over everything else.  But most of all, for instilling in me a love for food, a passion for home cooked meals, and for gathering friends and family around a table.

    I was thrilled when SOULPANCAKE and Vitamix asked me to participate in their campaign which is all about gratitude, because I think it is good to be reminded and be able to reflect upon the people and things that have shaped us into who we are now. The things we are most grateful for in our lives, whatever or whoever that may be. To kick off this campaign, they're sharing this video with LA chef Nick Liberato and his surprise story of gratitude for his former boss (you can watch this wonderful story and video below). 

     

    Food really is #theotherlovelanguage and is the best way to show gratitude, so to show my gratitude to my mom, as well as to the first days of spring, I am sharing this minty pea pesto pasta with roasted cauliflower. The perfect kind of meal to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring, and also because pesto and pasta were favorites in our house growing up. 

    This post was sponsored by SOULPANCAKE and Vitamix . All views are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support WCGL. 

    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking
    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking
    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking
    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking
    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking
    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower | what's cooking good looking

    minty pea pesto pasta + crispy roasted cauliflower

    SERVES
    4

    INGREDIENTS

    For the cauliflower:
    1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets and then thinly sliced
    olive oil
    salt + pepper

    For the minty pea pesto:
    1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
    5 mint leaves
    10 basil leaves
    the squeeze of ½ a lemon
    ½ teaspoon of sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

    For the pasta:
    10-12oz of short pasta (fusilli, penne, cavatelli) – if making this gluten free, I love the Jovial brand brown rice pasta
    1 tablespoon of sea salt (for the pasta water)

    METHOD

    Pre-heat the oven to 400º. Place the cauliflower onto a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle and toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top.

    Meanwhile, make the pea pesto. Place all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil in to the Vitamix or high powered blender. Pulse a few times, and then add in the olive oil in a slow stream while the blender is running. Do this until you have your desired consistency. I like to keep the pesto on the chunky side.

    Boil the pasta. Fill a large pot with water, add the salt, bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to it’s instructions. Strain.

    Assemble the dish. In a large serving bowl, add the cooked pasta, and then add all of the pesto on top and stir to incorporate. Add the cauliflower on top, and any other toppings you like and then serve.

     

    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies ... from The First Mess cookbook!

    first-mess-brownies-WCGL-01.jpg

    I'll never forget the first time I stumbled onto Laura's (The First Mess) blog. I don't quiet remember how I got there, but I do remember spending pretty much that entire afternoon reading through every single post and drooling over every single recipe. I not only fell in love with Laura's charming "real" writing, I also fell in love with her style of cooking. Fresh, healthy, super creative, but (the best part) is that her recipes are really really approachable. It is exactly my kind of cooking. I felt like we were kindred food spirits. 

    When Laura first announced that she would be writing a cookbook, I thought two things. There is no doubt this book is going to rock, and it cannot get into my kitchen fast enough. Well ..... it's finally here and it is everything I thought it would be. Beautiful photos, wonderful writing, thoughtful and easy to follow recipes.  There are also lots of tips and tricks (like her recipe to make almond milk when you forgot to soak your almonds) with each page turn, I kept saying to myself .... DANG, this is so smart! Laura also has a wonderful way of making plant-based meals that that would please the masses, beyond the usual plant-based coverts. You know, those people who might need a little convincing that plants and veggies can be indulgent, delicious, comforting, but healthy at the same, she's got that covered.  

    As I read through each recipe and headnote, I had already bookmarked about 20 recipes before I even got close to the dessert section, but when I did arrive there and onto to these brownies, that's where I stopped.  I have been looking for a solid gf+df brownie recipe that isn't dry, or doesn't use a lot of unnecessary ingredients. When I read Laura's description in the headnotes, and read about how it was her crowning dessert achievement, I was sold. These would be the first thing I would be making from this book. This recipe is a winner, and it's gotten me even more excited to cook my way through this gorgeous book. Congrats Laura, you are a rockstar, and this book is such a plant-based gem. 

    Friends, go out and buy this book!!! -----> HERE

    This recipe is reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright

    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies from the first mess cookbook | what's cooking good looking
    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies from the first mess cookbook | what's cooking good looking
    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies from the first mess cookbook | what's cooking good looking
    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies from the first mess cookbook | what's cooking good looking
    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies from the first mess cookbook | what's cooking good looking

    fudgy nut + seed butter brownies ...from the first mess cookbook! 

    As mentioned, this recipe is from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. The only thing that I changed from Laura's recipe was that I used one pot (and skipped using a double broiler), in order to melt the chocolate and blend with the other ingredients. The only reason being I was hoping to have one or two less pans to wash (since I've been doing a lot of dishes recently). It came out perfect, and I hope Laura would approve! Enjoy! 

    MAKES
    9-ish brownies

    INGREDIENTS

    3/4 cup of smooth nut or seed butter (almond, hazelnut, sunflower, or peanut butter) 
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
    3/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
    2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
    1/2 cup ( 1 bar) of 70% dark (dairy-free) chocolate, broken up into chunks
    1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 tablespoons of coconut flour
    3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    3 tablespoons of nuts or seeds (I used a mixture of almonds, and added some coconut flakes)

    METHOD

    • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8" square baking pan with parchment, leaving some hanging over the edges. 
    • Place a medium saucepan over very low heat and add the nut butter, maple syrup, apple sauce, and vanilla and stir until the nut butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Then add the chocolate chunks and cocoa powder and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt until everything is combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the nuts, seeds, and toppings that you like on top. 
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies are firm, and lightly cracked on top. Cool the brownies completely in the pan, and then transfer them to a wire rack by gently lifting the sides of the parchment paper to release. Cover and place the brownies in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This is crucial in order for the brownies to set, and hold together while cutting. Laura recommends running a chef's knife until hot water and drying it off before slicing into the brownies. 

    olive oil baked chickpeas + egg + spinach with sumac

    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking

    Even though I am someone who loves to cook and spend hours and hours in the kitchen, recently I have been working on ways to simplify this area of my life. I have been challenging myself to use less pots and pans, less ingredients, and take less trip to the grocery store. I want to encourage myself to eat most of my meals at home (and not be tempted by takeout) by simplifying my day to day habits revolving food.

    Since we are in deep winter, I loath trips to the grocery store where I have to lug back bags of veggies in whipping winds and freezing cold temps. So this winter I have been dedicated to using every single vegetable in my kitchen before making another trip to buy more. Even if that means I am down to only 1 onion, a couple pieces of kale and a half eaten banana. I will find a way to make it work.

    I have to admit, I am often guilty of buying more than I need, and restocking before I need to, which means sometimes veggies and other things get thrown away. I hate wasting food, the guilt weighs heavy on me even if I am just throwing away a half-used bunch of wilted parsley. Because of this, I knew that it would be easy for to stick to using up what I have. The best part about this is that it has forced me to get even more creative in the kitchen, and I am loving the challenge of coming up with ways to use ingredients in new ways.

    That was kind of how this simple, but extremely satisfying dish came to be. I always have both dried and canned chickpeas on hand, my favorite of the pulses. Pulses are delicious, sustainable, protein packed powerhouses that are ideal for stocking the pantry. I have been known to dump a can of chickpeas into a baking dish with olive oil and herbs and make that my dinner. Chickpeas and olive oil are definitely a winning pair …. so, one morning when I was craving those savory olive oil chickpeas, I decided to add those to a baking dish along with the last of my spinach. I cracked in a couple of eggs to make it more of a hearty breakfast meal, and sprinkled a little sumac (my favorite spice in my pantry) on top, and out came a breakfast that was destined to be a new favorite of mine.  This dish, with just a couple of basic ingredients, ones that can easily be interchanged based on what you have on hand, packs so much flavor …. and, if you happen make a little extra, the leftovers are even better the next day.

    This post is by sponsored by USA Pulses + Pulse Canada. VisitPulsePledge.com for more recipes and information. Thanks for supporting the brands that support what’s cooking good looking.

    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking
    olive oil baked chickpea + egg + spinach with sumac | what's cooking good looking

    OLIVE OIL BAKED EGGS WITH CHICKPEAS + SPINACH + SUMAC

    You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients and cook it in a larger cast iron pan. Sumac is not necessarily easy to find, you usually have to seek it out in a specialty store or online. If you do not own it already, I will encourage you to find some (maybe on amazon) and add it to your spice rack. Otherwise, feel free to use any other spice that you like. Coriander or cumin would also work well in this dish. 

    SERVES
    2

    INGREDIETNS

    14-15oz of canned chickpeas rinsed (or about 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, if using dried)
    a handful of spinach, coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
    ½ teaspoon of paprika
    ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
    black pepper
    ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
    2 large eggs

    optional toppings: some additional sumac, sliced scallions, sliced avocado, a spoonful of harissa or pesto or another sauce if you choice

    METHOD

    • Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.
    • Place the chickpeas and spinach into a small baking dish, add the sumac (if using), paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, and carefully crack the two eggs over the chickpeas and return to the oven. Bake for another 5-8 minutes. I like to check it at 5 minutes, and if they eggs are too jiggly and not cooked, return for another 2-3. You want the whites to be cooked, but the yolk to be a little runny. Serve right away, and top with any additional toppings you like.