Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Chickpea, Tomato, and Basil Salad

Chickpeas

How did the chickpea get its name? In Dutch they are called kikkererwten (direct translation: frog peas), which to me is even weirder than being called a chickpea.

I decided to look it up and unfortunately only found a true definition of it on yahoo answers and that answer was in fact linked to Wikipedia. Now I know Wikipedia is the one source you should never trust when looking up information but here is the bit I read about chickpeas:

The name “chickpea” traces back through the French chiche to Latin cicer (from which the Roman cognomen Cicero was taken). 

The Oxford English Dictionary lists a 1548 citation that reads, “Cicer may be named in English Cich, or ciche pease, after the Frenche tonge.” 

The dictionary cites “Chick-pea” in the mid-18th century; the original word in English was chich, found in print in English in 1388, and taken directly from French.

Now that we know where the name comes from I should tell you that I made a fabulous chickpea salad last night for dinner. My sister liked the idea of this salad, so I made this salad to go with chicken, asparagus, and endive which mom made. Even though it is obviously winter, this salad and honestly the entire meal would be an idea summer meal.

Chickpea Salad with Dinner

The recipe I followed can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 box fresh basil, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add drained and rinsed chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, and grated garlic. Then add all liquid ingredients and salt.

  2. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow flavours to blend.

  3. Uncover and enjoy!

Extremely easy and absolutely wonderful. In my opinion it tasted much like bruschetta while my mom thought it tasted like a caprese salad. At any rate we all enjoyed it immensely!

Tomato, Basil, Chickpea Salad

It is honestly these kinds of meals that make me wish I were in the Caribbean with my loves. The beautiful hot weather would go perfectly with this sort of meal, don’t you think? I know my vegetarian best friend would love this salad as would my carnivorous boyfriend who is on his way to Tobago.

If you make this salad, I am sure you will enjoy it just as we did!

Buon appetito!

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Chickpea and Kale Curry for Dinner

What’s with the kale craze?

In the Netherlands there are some vegetables that cannot be found, but since realizing what the direct translation of kale is in Dutch, it’s been something I am interested in. In Dutch kale is called boerenkool (farmers cabbage) and until I recently figured that out, I thought you couldn’t find it here just like you can’t find spaghetti squash. Luckily that is a leaf which is easily found.

When I was in Canada late spring of this year, I noticed that my active fit friends would add kale to all sorts of smoothies. They would also be using it in salads and all sorts of other healthy meals. Since I admired my healthy active friends I was interested in the food and decided to see if we can find this same leafy green in the Netherlands. Thankfully it was easily found.

So for tonight’s meal I found a perfect curry with kale. I was looking online for something with chickpeas and found this lovely photo of a chickpea kale curry while the blog didn’t have a concrete recipe to follow, but photos with information to follow, so I measured out my own ingredients which can be seen below:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried coriander flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 bunch chopped kale

Directions:

  1. In large pan, pour olive oil into pan and allow to get hot at medium heat. Once hot, add chopped onion and cloves garlic to pan. Mix until all is coated and fragrant. Once translucent add herbs and mustard to onion mix and stir until all is covered in herbs. Do this for 30 seconds.

  2. Once spices are aromatic add drained chickpeas to onion mix and stir until all is coated in herb mix. Add can diced tomatoes and coconut milk and mix well. Turn up heat of flame and allow tomato chickpea mix to boil. Once boiling turn to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

  3. As curry reduces taste. If flavour is mild, add ¼ teaspoon coriander, fennel, cumin, 1/8 a teaspoon ginger, and ½ teaspoon of garam masala. Extra herbs

  4. Once flavour is suitable to your taste, add a bunch of kale to curry and mix in well. (I suggest you only add one bunch at a time as the kale absorbs a lot of the liquid)

  5. Enjoy!

*If you eat the curry with rice, make rice as per box instructions during the time of simmering the curry.

Curry of Chickpeas and Kale
Curry of Chickpeas and Kale

How delicious does that look? The recipe above makes 4 servings. Four servings which every one of us enjoyed the last fourth of the serving.

If you don’t know about the benefits of kale, here is a great link for it!

This recipe was honestly fit for a king. A true recipe for royalty. If you decide to make it I am positive you will enjoy it greatly!

ਮੌਜਨ ਕਰੋ – Enjoy your meal in Punjabi

Tuna Pesto Pasta for an Easy Peasy Dinner

I had a feeling that today would be an easy dinner day. I knew I would be working on touching up an assignment for Accountancy so I planned ahead for an easy dinner. With this constant “plan ahead of time” meal scheduling I am sure I could be a good mom one day. At least in the food part of it. I have issues with my temper. Well it only is problematic when dealing with some peoples children who do not seem to have respect for anyone. My future kids will not be like that, I’ll try and raise them right. I mean my mom did quite superbly with two generations of children. My older sister is thirty-five and raising her own three munchkins and seeming to do it pretty well while my little sister who is eighteen and myself at twenty-one seem decent enough as well. If mom could do us three as well as she did, then maybe there is hope for me in making good children too!

Anyway, lets forget about my possible children and go back to food. For tonights meal I thought of making a simple pasta dish with tuna and pesto. That way I can use more of my giant jar of pesto that I bought. It isn’t all that giant, but when you live on your own then even a small jar of pesto can last forever, right? So my jar is doing just that. I wonder when I will get sick of pesto…

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Gluten Free Tuna Pesto Pasta

So this meal was super duper easy. Hardest part (if you can call it that) was chopping the onion and garlic. And I love to cut both onions and garlic. Especially garlic. I love the smell of garlic. So below is the recipe that I followed which I got here.

  • 1 “brick” of mihoen, AKA Rice Noodles
  • 3 Tablespoons of pesto, add more if you like
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ can of tuna, drained
  • ½ medium white onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tablespoon of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Flaked Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  1. Cook the rice noodles and drain. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil.  Add the tuna and break up the chunks. Cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pasta and cook for a minute or two. Add water if you find the noodles too dry (you must likely will need to do this as rice noodles clump up when overheated). 
  3. Stir in the pesto. Mix well until the pasta is coated.
  4. Add the parsley and cook for another minute. 
  5. Serve hot sprinkled with flaked Parmesan cheese.

If I am ever to make a noodle dish, I always prefer making rice noodles. I love that they take like a third of the time that it would normally take to cook every other noodle type. Plus the thought that the pasta is gluten free is a complete edible turn-on. Not to mention my body loves me for eating GF.

Honestly, I should get into the habit of eating gluten free more often to ensure my body is in a happy state. How do you guys feel about gluten free meals?

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Close-Up image of Meal

So that’s today’s meal. I should get back to my Accountancy fun. I just need to re-write my description of my asset replacement and asset disposal policies and procedures for my hypothetical business. Once that one is done I’ll keep on proof reading until it is 100% complete. Yay accountancy… I hate mathematics.

If you make this fabulous dish then I hope you enjoy your meal!

L

Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats

I truly do love to experiment in the kitchen. So much that I decided to ramp up my overnight oats last night. Don’t get me wrong though, I love my normal blueberry oats, but I saw some cherries in a can and thought ‘why not add some of that to my oats rather than using honey and cinnamon?’ So I did just that.

Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats
Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats

When I saw what color everything was and that I could find a surprise beneath the surface I was instantly excited. I personally love deceiving things, like cakes that look so ordinary with a chocolate or vanilla icing, and then you cut a slice only to see that it is actually a vibrant red velvet cake. You are enthusiastic about cake, but then you see the color difference and are far more interested. That is completely how I am. So when I saw the full cherries under all the blueberries I was pretty stoked to be eating my breakfast.

Cherries beneath the surface
Cherries beneath the surface

This is what I did (keep in mind I always keep my oatmeal and milk about the same in measurements):

2/3 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons canned cherries

A handful of blueberries

Directions:

1)    Mix oatmeal, almond milk and chia seeds in a large cup or a small bowl

2)    Add canned cherries with their syrup to oatmeal (you can add as much as you want)

3)    Spread handful of blueberries above top of oatmeal mix and place in fridge until ready to eat following day

Delicious delicious. If you end up making such a thing I hope you find joy with the colors as I did.  If not, I am sure you will enjoy the taste. It isn’t all that sweet and still checks all the right boxes.

Bon appétit!

Breakfast of Blueberry Overnight Oats

When you wake up in the morning, are you the type of person that rushes through everything and does not have time to eat? Or do you set your alarm ahead of time and gradually make yourself look suitable while eating the right type of thing to energize your body?

I am the latter. But sometimes I have no will power to make a good breakfast which I then end up doing the worst: eating a cheese sandwich as I walk out the door. Hardly nutritional. At least my bread is always brown or seedy!

Well regardless if you haven’t got much time to make AND eat breakfast, or if you take your time as I do, wouldn’t you prefer making something at night that lasts till the morning whenever you wake up? I mean I woke up at five and only managed to get out of bed at eleven. I was so engrossed in a book that I couldn’t even think about food even when my belly was rumbling away saying “feed me, feed me”.

When I finally did end up getting out of bed and showering, by the time I went to the fridge it was already 12 o’clock in the afternoon. I was awake for seven hours and had not eaten. LUCKILY I had made that special breakfast which is totally amazing and fills you up like you wouldn’t believe.

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So, last night before I went to bed, I made this amazing breakfast. Most people like to call it Overnight Oats. It is basically oatmeal with milk and yoghurt and some fruit to top placed in the fridge overnight (without heat) in which you take out in the morning and eat.

When I was younger, I was not all too keen on having oatmeal. I remember mom would make it for us for breakfast and I would have the most sour of faces and would begrudgingly go about eating it. I would honestly be gagging at every second bite because the texture was so awful. Yes, I was that child that truly hated eating oatmeal with brown sugar. But finally, as I matured so did my tastes. I may however never be a fan of oatmeal with brown sugar.

So here is the recipe that I followed to make this:

2/3 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
handful blueberries

Directions:

  1. Mix first five ingredients together in a small bowl until all is coated.

  2. Add blueberries on top of oatmeal 

  3. Cover bowl with cling wrap or lid and place in fridge until ready to eat following morning

This recipe is super easy as you can see and also very delicious. I even decided to make this for mom one morning, she wasn’t sure if she would like it, but luckily she was quite fond of it. Which means you may like it as well even if you think you won’t! So I hope you’ll be spontaneous and go for this type of oatmeal.

Now the best part about overnight oats is that you can keep them until for several days in the fridge. So you could make several bowls of different types and then eat it all through the week.

Also something to keep in mind: you do not need to use almond milk, you could use whichever milk you use. 2% or 1%, even whole milk. I personally prefer almond milk because of its unique taste and how it is much better for you. But again, that is just me. Use what it is that you like.

The original recipe that I followed to then make this one can be found here.

If you do in fact go about making this, I hope it jump starts you to then have a wonderful day!

Zoodles with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Happy Sinterklaasdag everyone!

Now I know that is incorrect “sinterklaasdag”, but what is it that they say to someone when it is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands? Because when it is Christmas in the rest of the world they say “Merry Christmas!” or when it is Easter it is “Happy Easter!”, but what do they say when it is Sinterklaas?

Sinterklaas is a Dutch iconic figure who is much like Santa Claus, but this man comes to the Netherlands on a boat with a white steed and little zwartepieten who are his helpers. The boat hails from Turkey (or so I think it does) and has many of presents for all the little ones who leave their shoes out of their houses. Sinterklaas then rides his white horse down each road to place treats and gifts in the shoes of the children while letting his horse eat the carrots and cookies left out for the animal. Anyway, that day in which all that gift giving from this man and the treat eating is today.

Many Dutch families all over the country are celebrating this day, while our not-so-Dutch Dutch family are not. Not that I mind, to me this is just a day on the calendar. The 25th of December is something to make a big deal about. What about for you? Do you have a special day to celebrate?

So for todays dinner I made zoodles! You know, zucchini noodles! They are so delicious, I do not know why I have not heard of them until recently.

Pesto Zoodles with Oven Baked Tomatoes

Doesn’t that just look delicious. Super festive with the color scheme, but also just purely good! I got the recipe from here. But here is the recipe that I did, because as you should know, I tweak everything.

  • 2 medium zucchinis

  • ½ pint multicolored cherry tomatoes

  • clove of garlic

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon organic pesto

  • sea salt and pepper 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ᵒF or 220ᵒC

  2. Clean and halve half pint of multicolored cherry tomatoes and toss in a splash of extra virgin olive oil until evenly coated. Crush and then chop a clove of garlic and add to tomato mixture. Sprinkle with a generous dash of sea salt and spread on a cookie sheet, seed side up.  (I used a small glass baking dish)

  3. Roast tomatoes for 15-20  minutes

  4. Use a julienne peeler to create zucchini noodles 

  5. Place a pot of water (below half of pan) on stove top and allow to boil.

  6. Once boiling put julienned zucchini into a colander and place colander over boiling water. Allow zoodles to become al dente.

  7. Once complete, place in a large mixing bowl combining zoodles with tablespoon of pesto (more to your preference) and mix well.

  8. To serve: place zoodles in a bowl, top with cherry tomatoes. Serve hot. 

This recipe is super easy and super delicious. Not to mention it is completely gluten free and vegan! It makes my body feel happy.

Zoodles with Tomatoes

I also then decided to treat myself to a perfect romantic meal for one. That makes me sound so lonely and pathetic. Stupid long distance relationship! So I poured myself a glass of wine and lit a couple candles.

Romantic Dinner for One

If you end up trying this recipe out, please let me know. I would love to know how you feel about these zucchini noodles!