I was looking for a tasty snack–something to munch on during the day that had a good amount of filling protein but also packed with flavor. I came across a recipe for baked chickpeas and was intrigued because I always liked them in stews and soups but had never tried them on their own. The chickpeas are lightly tossed with olive oil, rolled in a spice blend, and baked until they become dry and crispy. They remind me a little of popcorn but so much healthier and tastier! The spice blend can be adjusted to your own tastes, whether you want it saltier, sweeter, or spicier. I preferred the spicy and salty, but I plan to experiment more and see what I like best.
If I were to have any season all year I would have it be Fall. Unfortunately, it is now January (my least favorite month) and there’s no way to bring fall back outside. However, I can make food that reminds me of my favorite season and what could recall that season better than butternut squash? Butternut squash is a tasty snack when it is sliced very thin and roasted until just browned and crispy. The slices of squash are quickly boiled, patted dry and tossed with olive oil and sage in a bowl. Then they are baked in the oven for about 20 minutes, so this is a great recipe to prepare if you’re short on time for dinner.
Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and main courses. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to get creative with a lot of different dishes!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and this list features my favorite bread recipes for the big day!
When I came across the recipe for corn esquites salad I took one look at it and knew I had to give it a try. This salad is basically Mexican elote which is roasted corn on the cob seasoned with cayenne, butter, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese. The corn in this recipe is cut off the cob and pan roasted until the kernels char and caramelize. Then the corn is mixed with the elote ingredients, garlic, lime, jalapeno, and cilantro. I decided to kick it up a notch and add sliced tomatoes and avocado to the salad. It was so tasty! The combination of ingredients was sweet and spicy from the corn and jalapenos yet creamy and tangy from the lime juice and cotija cheese. It ended up being the perfect topping for tacos!
Tabouleh is a Mediterranean salad made with fresh herbs, tomatoes, lemon juice and Bulgur wheat. It’s a traditional side dish in Lebanese cooking and it makes a perfect partner for hummus and pita. Lebanese recipes don’t use a lot of the bulgur wheat, so I didn’t really make it in the most traditional way as I wanted a more hearty side dish. If you want to make it more traditional, just use half of the bulgur wheat and think of it more as a garnish than as a main part of the salad. I loved the flavor of the fresh herbs, tomatoes, garlic and lemon juice all mixed together. It tasted great with the hummus, so I will definitely make these again sometime!
Hummus is one of those foods that is easy to pick up at a grocery store and not really give it a second thought. That’s what I did for a long time until I decided to explore Lebanese food a little more. Years ago, my family would get take-out from a local Lebanese deli and since then I have loved that food. Since I had been craving Lebanese food I decided to make my own version of the deli’s menu.
Hummus is so simple; I couldn’t believe I had never made it before! All you need is a blender or food processor, 2 cans of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. Tahini is just a paste of ground sesame seeds and can be found at asian stores or whole foods. Now that I have made hummus it would be tough to go back to store-bought!
Kaha Bath is a simple Sri Lankan rice dish made with turmeric and coconut milk. The dish isn’t sweet, but savory with flavors of turmeric, cardamom, and cloves. The coconut milk provides a nice creaminess to the rice and I loved how the turmeric dyed the rice bright yellow. The great thing about this rice is that the flavors of curry aren’t overpowering and you can serve it alongside another curry dish. It would also work as the main course if you mixed a protein like egg, chicken or tofu into the rice.
There’s this great Mexican restaurant nearby that serves black bean salsa with corn chips before the main course. I have been wanting to recreate this salsa because it’s hard to stop eating it. The salsa is easy to throw together and has great flavor. It works nicely as a condiment for chips or in tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc. The spiciness can be dialed down by adding fewer jalapenos and cayenne or increased by adding serrano peppers which are quite a bit spicier. The corn provides an element of sweetness and the white and green onions a good amount of texture and crunch. I think the recreation of the restaurant’s salsa was a success because once again it was hard to put the bowl down and save room for dinner!
This Irish styled coleslaw is a simple vinaigrette based mixture of cabbage, apples, chives, and carrots. The vinaigrette is composed of rapeseed oil, cider vinegar, grainy Irish mustard and sugar. It’s an easy process of grating the ingredients and tossing them in the vinaigrette. The result is fresh with flavors of sweetness and tartness from the apples and vinegar. I’ve always wanted to try coleslaw without mayo and I really enjoyed it. It’s a lot less heavy than mayonnaise based coleslaw. It worked really nicely as an accompaniment for my Corned Beef on Rye sandwich.