chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking

Keeping it short and sweet this week, since I have projects piling up up and there are always too few hours in the day! Oh, and also, I took two days off this week to go on a mini birthday adventure to Block Island with Michael. It was sooooo much fun and so needed, even if I will be playing catch up all weekend long. 

Speaking of projects, I have one major one in the works ...... more on that later ...... but, it has to do with recipes (hint!) and this recipe was going to be saved for that. However, I have been so smitten with these simple chickpea crepes, I can't stop making them for both breakfast and lunch. I have posted a few photos of them on instagram, and the recipe has been requested so many times that I knew that I couldn't save them for later. I needed to share these with you asap. 

These crepes are just perfect for breakfast with a poached egg and simple salad, or for lunch with some sauteed veggies and greens, but my favorite way is how I am sharing it today with smashed avocado and a lot of other love on top. 

One of my favorite things about these crepes, is that you can make the batter ahead of time, and save it in the fridge so you can throw together a fancy-ish, healthy, filling meal in no time. That's what I do, and it's been particularly convenient on the busiest of days when I want a home cooked meal but only have about 5 minutes to make something. 

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking
chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula | what's cooking good looking

chickpea crepes topped with smashed avocado + arugula 

As mentioned, you can top these crepes however you like, both sweet and savory toppings would work well here. Also, you can make the batter ahead of time and save it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week, and make individual crepes as you wish. 

MAKES
4-5 crepes

INGREDIENTS

for the crepes:
1 cup of chickpea flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of filtered water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

ghee or olive oil (for cooking) 

optional topping:
1 avocado
the juice of 1/2 of a lime
a couple of pinches of pepper (such as alleppo or red pepper flakes)
a pinch or two of salt

a handful of arugula
a drizzle of olive oil
a splash of vinegar

other additional toppings: microgreens, sesame seeds or gomasio, chives/herbs

METHOD

Make the crepe batter:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the crepe into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Allow the batter to sit, at room temp, for about 30 minutes while preparing your toppings. Alternatively, you can store this batter in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

Prep your toppings:

  • Prepare the toppings you would like, or if using the avocado, smash the avocado along with the lime juice, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, drizzle olive oil and splash some vinegar over the arugula and toss to coat. 

Cook the crepes, and assemble with the toppings:

  • Heat a large cast iron over high heat. When the pan is hot, lower it to medium heat and add enough ghee or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the batter, using a ladle, and spread the batter (just slightly) using the back of the ladle. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You will know the crepe is ready to flip when you see a good amount of bubbles that have popped on the surface (similar to when you cook pancakes). 
  • Transfer to a plate and top with the toppings of your choice. If topping with the avocado, add a thin layer of the smashed avocado, top with a pinch of the arugula salad and finish with any of the additional toppings that you like. Enjoy immediately. 

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodle "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking

Every year when tomato season comes around, there are very few days that my oven is not roasting away and my house doesn't smell like sizzling sweetness.  I very rarely eat tomatoes raw, I find their acidity too strong .... but more so because they taste of a roasted tomato is one of my favroite things in the whole world. Caramelized, drenched in olive oil with just the right amount of salt and pepper .... it adds a punch, a pop of color, and a subtly sweet flavor to anything you serve it on top of. 

On the weekends when we have friends over for lunch .... I always make a big summer veg salad, and the one ingredient that stays consistent is the roasted tomato. Sometime I make my salads with quinoa, sometimes they are all roasted veggies, and sometimes they are mostly veggies in the form of a veggie noodle with one other long noodle as a filler, just like this version I am sharing today. But there will always be those tasty little tomatoes on top. Rice noodles are a nice and light noodle to work into a summer salad, but I also love kelp noodles, because they have a great texture and I am always looking for ways to add more sea veggies into my meals. 

Just about a week ago, my garden bursted and I now have so much arugula and basil that pesto will be a staple in the fridge from now until late in the fall. Arugula pesto is one of my favorite pestos because the spice and bite from the arugula makes for a super flavorful sauce. I don't add much to it, I keep out the cheese but I do add lemon juice and zest, and it goes so well on so many things. Eggs for breakfast, mixed in with a salad for lunch, a basic pasta for dinner, as a smear on a toast topped with avocado ... I can go on and on. 

If you asked me what my favorite meal of all time would be, I would without hesitation say pesto, pasta (in some form) with roasted tomatoes on top. Simple summer fare is the way to my heart. 

 

OH, and ...... nominations are open for the Saveur blog awards, until this Monday July 18th (also, my birthday!) it would be a huge present to me and this blog if you took two seconds to nominate what's cooking good looking, or any other blog that you enjoy reading and cooking from. Click HERE to nominate

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking
cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodles "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes | what's cooking good looking

cucumber + zucchini + kelp noodle "pasta salad" with arugula pesto + roasted cherry tomatoes 

If you are not familiar with or can't find kelp noodles, you can use any kind of long noodle here (such as a rice noodle or angle hair pasta) or leave out the non-veggie noodles all together. Alternatively, you can make this same recipe with all pasta, in which case I would recommend a short version such as a cavatelli. 

SEVRES
4+

INGREDIENTS

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
olive oil
salt + pepper

1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 cups of arugula, tightly packed
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
the juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/4+ teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of really good olive oil

1 zucchini, spirilized or peeled with a julienne peeler
1 cucumber, spirilized or peeled with a julienne peeler
12 oz of kelp noodles (or any other kind of long noodle of your choice)

to garnish: a few pieces of torn basil, some microgreens, a handful of crushed pine nuts 

METHOD

Roast the tomatoes:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. 
  • Place the halved tomatoes onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes until blistered and starting to char around the edges. Set aside until you're ready to assemble the salad. 

Make the pesto:

  • Lightly toast the pine nuts on a dry frying pan over low heat for a few minutes, until golden brown. Place them in the food processor with the arugula, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients, and then while the food processor is running continuously add in the olive oil in a continuous stream, scraping down the sides as need be. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Assemble the salad:

  • Place the zucchini, cucumber, and kelp noodles into a large serving bowl. Pour the pesto over the noodles and gently toss until they are evenly coated. Sprinkle the tomatoes over top, and finish with the garnishes of your choice. Enjoy immediately. 

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking

More and more recently, I find that it is hard to go about my work without stopping to acknowledge the recent heartbreak that's been going on all around. As incredibly important as I find food and meals as a foundation of family and life, a source of nourishment, and a way to bond and bring people together ...... at the very same time, food and making recipes can seem a bit trivial in a world that is exploding with hate and violence. 

Some people were born to be outspoken leaders. To take charge in rough times, speak out, organize rallies and get out there to try and generate bigger change.  Some people (like myself and many) are more quiet observers. I like to pay attention, to listen, to know what is going on in the world and take it all in, no matter how far removed it might be from my own. My heart is so heavy right now. I cry when I hear that someone, anyone, loses their life for any reason, but even more so when it's completely unfair and wrong. I have never felt more sad or disturbed by the world that we live in than I have in the past month. I have never cried as much over news stories, videos, strangers, than I have in the past several weeks. I wish things would change, but sometimes, as an observer, I feel so helpless. I feel that the problems of today are so much bigger than any one person. But then I remember that we can all do something. Doesn't matter how big or small, we can all do something. Spread love, do good deeds, go out of your way to help someone, buy that person who looks hungry a sandwich, smile at stranger. It might seem small, but it's a start. We have so much work to do, but by reading and sharing the bigger stories of hope and compassion out there right now, I am hopeful that soon, this story will slowly start to change. 

And there is still food. We have home cooked meals, where we can turn off the news and have real conversations about what's going on and how we can spread more love. I think that we can all agree that some of the most important conversations start at the dinner table, and those loving moments are what we need now more than ever. <3

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking
quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw | what's cooking good looking

quinoa pea fritters + tarragon zucchini slaw 

This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen peas. I prefer fresh (which happen to be in season right now near me). To cook the fresh peas, just blanch them for about 1 minute in hot water.  If you are using frozen be sure to defrost them by using the same method. 

MAKES
about a dozen fritters

INGREDIENTS

for the fritters:
2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 cups of cooked peas
1 cup of loosely packed basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + a couple of tablespoons for frying
2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

for the tarragon zucchini slaw:
1 zucchini shredded with a julienne peeler or mandolin
2 tablespoons of mayo (vegan or regular, etc)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of minced tarragon
a pinch or two salt

METHOD

Make the fritters:

  • In a medium bowl, roughly mash the peas using a masher. Add in the quinoa, and continue mashing for a bit, still keeping some texture (the mashing helps the fritters stick together better). 
  • Then, stir in the basil, olive oil, flour, salt, and pepper until evenly incorporated. Lastly, add in the egg and stir to incorporate. 
  • Form the patties by pressing about 1/4 cup of the mixture together between the palms of your hands. Place onto a plate or flat surface. When all of the patties are formed, place in the fridge for about 30 minute while you make the slaw (this will help them hold together better when frying). 

Make the zucchini slaw:

  • In a medium  bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice, tarragon, salt + pepper. Add the zucchini to the bowl, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside in the fridge until you're ready to assemble and serve. 

Fry the fritters:

  • Heat the oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a cast iron over medium heat, and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes on each side. You will want to do this in batches to keep from crowding the pan. I like to do about 3 at a time. Also, try not to disturb them too much while cooking, and be gentle when flipping them to keep them from falling apart. 

To serve:

  • Place the cooked fritters onto a platter, and top with a pinch of the slaw and some microgreens (if you like). Serve warm. If you have any leftovers, the fritters can be reheated in the cast iron for a couple of minutes on each side. 

spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and peptia salsa

spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking
spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking

Sometimes the best recipe ideas come from conversations with friends about food. Which are (obviously) some of my favorite conversations. 

For these kinds of conversations where recipe sparks are flying, I use the notepad app on my phone (so basic, i know) and that there is where I keep my mile long list of brainstorms and recipe inspo so I can remember the bits I loved about those conversations. Sometimes, such as when I am traveling, I feel super inspired and more ideas are making their way to that notepad. And other times, I need to look to that notepad for inspiration. 

When I was on my trip with Tabasco this past April .... my food wheels were turning, and lots of recipe ideas made their way to that notepad. Some of which have come to life already (crispy broccoli tacos), and some (like this recipe here) I am just starting to work my way thorough. This recipe came about when having a conversation with one of the lovely PR girls from the trip. We were chatting about a recent event they were at on behalf of Tabasco, about a few of the samples they served, and the unique ingredients they paired the different Tabasco flavors with. Chipotle + chocolate (umm, yum), cantaloupe + their green pepper sauce (wait, stop right there). That sounded so delicious and unique to me ..... I immediately jotted it down in my notepad app and told her I was going to steal that brilliant combo and make gazpacho this summer! She loved the idea too, and here we are. 

There are so many reasons I love gazpacho in the summer, but mostly because you can have a delicious, light, refreshing lunch or appetizer made in a couple of minutes by just throwing a few ingredients into a blender. It also one of those things that only gets better with an extra day or two in the fridge. It turns out, cantaloupe makes a great gazpacho base, and plays well with the savory notes. The green Tabasco is the tangy subtle spice it needs to pull this all together. And of course, I cannot make a soup without adding in extra layeres of texture and flavor. This corn and pumpkin seed salsa is a great summer soup topper, that also happens to double as a delicious dip for chips, which you can much on the side while enjoing this refreshing summer soup. 

**This post is sponsored by TABASCO, in conjunction with the #TABACSOtastemakers trip. All thoughts are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support WCGL! 

spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking
spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking
spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking
spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking
spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa | what's cooking good looking

spicy cantaloupe gazpacho + corn and pepita salsa 

MAKES
2 large or 4 small servings

INGREDIENTS

for the gazpacho:
1 large cantaloupe, seeded and scooped out
1/2 cup of filtered water
2 tablespoons of shallots, minced
5 mint leaves
1 tablespoon of green pepper Tabasco (plus a couple extra dashes for topping the soup)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt

for the corn salsa:
2 large ears of corn
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
4-5 mint leaves
a pinch of salt
the juice of 1/2 a lime

METHOD

Boil the corn, and make the salsa:

  • Add the corn to a medium sized pot, fill with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes once it comes to a boil, and remove the corn from the water and set aside until it's cool enough to handle. 
  • Remove the kernels from the cob by dragging a knife down the sides of the cob. Place the kernels into a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients for the salsa to the bowl of corn, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. 

Make the gazpacho + assemble + serve:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the gazpacho into a high-powered blender (such as a vitamix). Blend on high until everything is pureed. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. 
  • Distribute the soup amongst a couple of bowls, top each with a spoonful of corn, and finish with a couple of extra dashes of Tabasco (if you like). Serve cold or at room temperature. Will keep in an air-tigh container in the fridge for a couple of days, and the flavors will continue to develop. 

 

wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice

wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking


Cooking at home with friends is one of my favorite summertime (or anytime) weekend activities. But particularly in the summer though, when we can spend the morning sitting outside on the porch with some coffee, browsing magazines and cookbook for recipes … and the afternoon gathering ingredients from the local farm stands and fish markets. Our weekends pretty much revolve around our food schedule and I like it like that.

I am happy to say that this summer we have been cooking home even more than usual. Some weekends every single meal, every single latte, smoothie, tea, snack, lunch, dinner and dessert, is made at home. When friends come to stay with us, I like to get them involved as much (or as little) as they like with the cooking. Some friends like to dive in and get super ambitious, and some would rather sit back and hang out. I am happy in the kitchen no matter what is going on, but even more so if there is good wine (or coffee), good music, and good conversation with good friends. 

Last weekend, we did cook a lot, but we didn’t make these skewers. I did have them on my mind though, and I’ve been wanting to make a version of this ginger scallion relish ever since I saw it in the most recent Bon Appetite. I finally got a chance to try these (a few times) this week, and the ginger relish / sesame salmon / lemongrass rice combo could not be any more perfect for summer. Now that I’ve tested them on myself, I cannot wait to cook these with a house full of friends this holiday weekend ….. and maybe even recruit one or two so we can get a skewer production line going on ;)

wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking
wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice | what's cooking good looking

wild salmon skewers + ginger scallion relish + lemongrass sticky rice 

Feel free to use any veggie combination you can find or that is in season. As you will see in the instructions below, I recommend doing the salmon and veggie skewers separate since their cooking times are different. However, if you don't mind your veggies being crunchy/undercooked then you can keep them on the same skewer. Also, using two sticks per skewers will make for a more sturdy skewer, and the fish and veg won't spin. 

The ginger scallion relish is adapted from the July 2016 issue of Bon Appetite, and also found HERE

MAKES
about 3- 4 skewers
**you'll need about 6-8 skewers (2 sticks per skewer)

INGREDIENTS

for the ginger scallion relish:
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño (or a mild green chili) de-seeded, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
a pinch or two of kosher salt 

for the lemongrass sticky rice:
1 cup of thai sticky rice (or regular white jasmine rice)
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped into 1" chunks
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of ghee or olive oil
1 jalapeño (or a mild green chili), thinly sliced
a large handful of cilantro, chopped (optional) 

for the skewers:
1lb of wild salmon, skin removed, and chopped into 1" cubes
1 green zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 yellow zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 red onion, sliced into 1" thick pieces
1 lemon, sliced
salt, pepper, sesame seeds
grapeseed oil

METHOD

**Make sure to soak your skewers, for at least an hour, before you’re ready to grill.

Start by making the relish:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the relish into a bowl, stir to combine, taste, and adjust any seasoning necessary. Set aside until you're ready to serve. 

Then, cook the rice:

  • Place the rice into a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water (or however many cups it calls for on the package). Add the lemongrass, jalapeño, ghee, salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for the time recommended on the package (usually about 25 minutes for sticky rice). Once the rice is done, remove from the heat, but keep covered until you’re ready to serve.
  • Right before you're ready to serve, stir in the chopped cilantro (if you're using). 

While the rice is cooking, prepare and cook the skewers:

  • Pre-heat the grill to medium heat.
  • Assemble the skewers however you wish, but use 2 sticks per skewer to keep the salmon and veggies from spinning on the skewer. After having made this a couple of times, I would recommend doing the salmon and lemon on one skewer and the veggies on a separate skewer, since the veggies take a few more minutes to cook than the salmon. However, if you don’t mind your veggies a little crisp, then you can place them onto the same skewers, alternating veg and salmon.
  • Once they are all skewered, brush them with the grapeseed oil, season with the salt, pepper, and sprinkle the sesame seeds all over.
  • Place the skewers onto the grill and cook (the salmon) for about 3-4 minutes on each side. If you are cooking the veggies separately, you can cook them for several minutes longer.

To serve:

  • Place a skewer on a plate (or one salmon and one veggie) along side a scoop of the rice, and spoon the relish over top of the salmon pieces. Enjoy warm!