Category: Veggies

Asparagus and Quinoa Salad with Crumbled Feta

Things that I’ve been eating that I haven’t made myself:

>Smoked salmon fish tacos from Salmon Fusion, a food cart downtown. The salmon itself was awesome, as was the spicy sauce on top, but the tortilla, cabbage slaw, and saffron rice left a little to be desired.

>Chef Rick’s Favorite Burger at Bistro Marquee, before going to a lecture by Hillary Clinton. The burger had pork belly, pimento cheese and fried onion straws. SO GOOD.

>Pad Khee Mao at My BoonKrong Thai, a food cart downtown. A different set of veggies than I’m used to in mao, some tender slices of chicken, and spice that wasn’t a joke. I love when my spice tolerance is taken seriously.

Otherwise it’s lots of Kure Juice Bar and catered food at the office. Sunday was another purposeful trip to the store to make dinner. I crave the grocery store. Is that weird? It’s been nice, and light out, so grilling is a given. I’m really liking making a nice salad with some grilled meats. This was a super comforting salad. Feta melts into that quinoa turning it creamy, but not too rich. It felt very Mediterranean with the currants, olive oil, balsamic and lemon zest. I served it along side some rosemary garlic lamb shoulders. Tender lamb is the best.

Inspiration: William Sonoma

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups + 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed and chopped into pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4oz feta, crumbled

Preparation

Bring 2 cups of chicken broth and the quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Add the currants and reduce the heat to a simmer before covering. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Leave the lid on, but remove from heat.

In a large pan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Season with a heavy sprinkling of salt and pepper. When the onions start to brown, about 5-6 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding the asparagus. Pour in the rest of the chicken broth so it cooks the asparagus until its tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, half of the feta, parsley, and lemon zest. Remove from the heat, and taste for seasoning. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and top with feta before serving.

Braised Chicken and Vegetables

Three Christmas holiday parties in three days. Ex. Hausting. The first for job #1 with the menu I gushed about in the last post [I totally ordered exactly what I thought I would, and I loved it]. The second was for job #2 at a fancy-pants country club. The third was for Andrew’s soccer team at Aalto Lounge. All were completely different from one another, but my little black dress put in a lot of work. I’m glad I picked up something new this year.

I wish I could say I spent most of the day napping, but it really became all about Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels with salmon cream cheese, an Americano from Half Pint Cafe, soup making, baked oatmeal making, and a lot of cleaning and laundry. Sundays are good for that sort of thing.

Is it possible for braised chicken to actually look appetizing? I apologize if it utterly grosses you out. You can’t win them all. It still tastes good, and if I hadn’t dumped a ton of braising sauce all over it, maybe it wouldn’t have washed away all of the spices I had coating every square inch of the bird.

The total appeal to this is making it all in one pan. Laziness reigns supreme. A true cast iron pan would probably kick so much ass for something like this, but considering mine never stays seasoned, I went with the porcelain coated one. Again, lazy. You could use just about any sturdy vegetables you want in something like this. Something that holds up to heat and a steady deluge of liquid. I ultimately went for something equal parts comforting and variety—red potatoes, carrots, and brussels. These were the bottom of the barrel at the store, but totally salvageable when you peel off the first few layers and quarterly accordingly. You’d never know.

Paprika and vermouth play so nicely with the chicken. I’m surprised I had both, but totally and utterly worth getting just for a new flavor profile on the usual chicken standby.

Inspiration: William Sonoma

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Red onion, chopped
  • 1lb red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on the size. Bite sized.
  • 3 or 4 carrots, peeled, quartered and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 6 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Season the chicken with a heavy coating of salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat a two tablespoons of olive oil in your large pan on medium-high heat. Add the chicken in one even layer. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes on each side until nice and browned. Remove to a plate to keep warm.

In the same pan, add the onion. After 5-6 minutes, add the potatoes, carrots, and brussels. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally as they brown. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour, and once it turns brown, slowly pour in the broth and the vermouth. Bring the liquid to a boil, and really scrape the browned bits off the bottom of your pan. Add the chicken.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer for about 25 minutes so the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle the mixture with the thyme and taste for additional salt and pepper. Serve.

Roasted Broccoli with Feta and Chickpeas

This. This is the menu of one of the holiday parties I’m going to this week. I really don’t know how I’m going to choose each course because I want ALL OF IT. If I had to pick right this second, I would choose the lamb tartare, the tagliarini with the sepia and roe, the salmon rillet, and the sablefish. Clearly fishy. I want equal parts of the corned elk tongue and water buffalo. This menu kills me.

Until then, I’ll just eat roasted broccoli, feta, and chickpeas. It’s not the same, so I’m not even going to pretend it is. It’s cheap. It’s surprisingly filling. It’s really, really good if you’re into roasted greenery [or feta, let's be honest].

Inspiration: The Forest Feast

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces. That includes the stem. I’m a fan of that
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta [I really don't know how much I actually used...I like cheese]
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450°. While it’s heating up, toss the broccoli in a bowl with a heavy splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Next time I’d add chili flakes and maybe some cumin. Smokey.

Spread the broccoli out on a baking pan in a nice even layer. No touching. Soggy broccoli is no bueno. You want nice crispy edges and you get that by creating space. I used a silpat for easy clean up, but aluminum foil would do the same thing.

After 10-15 minutes, and those edges are nice and crispy, remove the broccoli from the oven. Toss it in another bowl with the chickpeas and top with the feta. Another drizzle of olive oil and some more salt and pepper to taste, and you’re golden.

This lasted me two days. Dinner and lunch the next day.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The food coma is mostly over. I didn’t step foot into a store on Black Friday, only a winery. We went up to Hood River for pizza and beer at Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom – a buffalo chicken pizza with Fire on the Mountain sauce, a flight of beers for him, and a fresh ginger mead for me. There was an absolutely frigid walk that involved a trip to a bookstore and macchiato at Ground before we headed over to Marchesi Vineyards to pickup our latest wine club shipment [and wine taste, who am I kidding?]. Seven glorious bottles.

The rolls I made for Thanksgiving would have done my grandma proud, I think. They’re getting better year after year. I tried a new technique for my impatience. After you let the dough sit for five minutes under saran wrap, preheat the oven to 170° and go ahead and break your rolls apart and put them in the pan. Let them rise in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re at the top of the pan or higher. My yeast was a little old [expired in 2012 per the jar], but still worked just fine. Then kick the temperature up to 350° and let them stay in there until they’re golden brown. That took another 20ish minutes for my oven. I had to rotate them a bit as I’ve learned the back right corner of the oven is the hottest. It was almost too easy. Way better than waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.

With what little waiting I did do, I kept sneaking bites of these sweet potatoes. I had to roast them first to have room in the oven for the rolls. I’d much rather have re-heated potatoes than re-heated rolls. The potatoes tested the smoke alarm [again]. I swear it’s not Thanksgiving if I don’t set it off at least once. I see now why the original recipe used tinfoil so there was no chance in hell that the maple syrup was going to burn to the pan. One of the pans I used was a touch too big for the silpat, so it melted the syrup off and became Smokeathon 2013. Whoops. I salvaged everything at least.

They are ridiculously good. The maple syrup is sweet, but not tooth-achingly sweet like some of those casseroles can be. Maple roasted pecans aren’t a bummer either. I wish I would have added more. At 40ish minutes [I kind of lost track after the smoke alarm bit], the bite sized pieces became soft to the touch of a fork, but not complete mush–not that there is anything wrong with that.

Inspiration: Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into a relatively uniform size for even roasting
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup — I had Grade A in my fridge and used that
  • 1/2 cup shelled pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • aluminum foil or silpats

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil or silpats. Remember, you don’t want the maple syrup to leak onto the metal or it’s not going to be pretty.

Toss the sweet potatoes and pecans in a bowl with the maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until everything is evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto your prepared pans in an even layer. No overlapping unless you want mush. Mmm, mush.

Bake them together if your oven will hold the pans for about 35-40 minutes until they’re easily pierced with a fork. Stir them halfway through to keep things from really sticking and to redistribute the caramelized goodness.

If you’re serving right away, spoon into your serving dish. Otherwise, allow to cool on the pans in their even layer before putting them in your serving dish. It will keep them from getting really mushy.

Roasted Kale & Coconut Salad

I am so totally overwhelmed with Thanksgiving recipes. I love this time of year. A holiday to celebrate pilgrims food. I know I’m thankful.

How in the world am I supposed to narrow it down? There is too much good food.

What about these pumpkin pie squares?

Sweet potato dinner rolls? Yes, please.

I really, really want this sausage and sage stuffing.

Might as well add some red quinoa, shaved brussels, and blueberry salad while you’re at it.

I’m slated for sweet potatoes and rolls. I’ll probably bring a salad or some mulled wine. Both? Maybe? My dad joked that we should make a Mexican feast like we do for Christmas. I really don’t think that he’s joking. What are you making this year?

This salad was something I threw together for work lunches. It lasted all of two days. It’s nothing short of delicious, but it had a hard time keeping me full. That’s the fate of salads everywhere [unless it's the brown rice salad from Picnic House] for me. I’m pretty sure that it’s mostly mental, but unless I see that it’s going to fill me up, I’ll play tricks on myself. I couldn’t get enough of the coconut + sesame oil flavor combo. Salty and sweet are really doing it for me lately [so says the sourdough pretzel bites and M&Ms I've been snacking on lately]. The quinoa adds a level of protein it wouldn’t have otherwise, and blends in with the flavors so it’s just a filler. Quinoa is good at that. The kale doesn’t quite disappear, but isn’t as leafy tasting as it can be. Roasting it to a crisp tenderizes it so it feels less salady and more chippy.

Inspiration: With Style & Grace

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed and chopped into bite sized pieces [this is the flat green kind]
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa [from about 1/2 cup dry]

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° and get out a baking sheet or two depending on how much kale you yield from the bunch. You don’t want the pieces to overlap.

In a small bowl [or shake together in a jar], whisk together the oils and soy sauce. Toss the chopped kale and coconut in a bowl with the oil mixture. Make sure everything is covered. Spread the kale and coconut out on the baking sheet(s). Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the coconut is browned and the kale is starting to crisp up.

In your serving bowl, toss together the kale mixture with the cranberries and quinoa. Serve.

Cream of Potato Soup

I’ve been back over a month, and I’m back to eating Cambodian food. There’s a food-cart-turned-brick-and-mortar spot called Sok Sab Bai. It’s about as authentic as it gets, so it’s nice to know it exists. You just don’t see Cambodian food often. Amok Trey [salmon, prahok, krueng, coconut milk, egg steamed in banana leaves, assorted vegetables for dipping], Nom Pa Chok [chicken, noodles, carrot, potato, onion, peanuts, shrimp paste, fresh assorted vegetables], and Khwa Ko [grilled fermented beef and rice sausages]. Hea-ven. It’s hard for me to explain the flavor profile of Cambodian food other than a lot of emphasis on any sour/fermented flavors. I love it. The Amok was thicker than the one in the coconut, but dipping vegetables in it was fun. The Nom Pa was heaping, and had the most tender chicken. The Khwa Ko…easily my favorite dish of the night. Those sausages were so flavorful. They were served on a bed of rice with slaw that was fresh and sour and pickles. It’s such a great contrast of bright flavors.

I miss daylight already, if only for the vitamin D good photo light. Priorities, y’know? I like to think the tripod is helping, but I still don’t like the artificial light. It’s never going to be the same.

I’m still on a soup kick. I keep bookmarking new soup recipes more than anything else. Soup is easy to make and easy to eat at work. They generally don’t smell terrible either, which is key when eating at the workplace. I’m not above eating smelly things, but I do try to have some common courtesy.

Smooth, velvety soups are not my go-to soups. I love them, but they leave me with the mental game of telling myself I’m full. My brain instead tells me I’ve just had something with the consistency of a smoothie, and that I should eat accordingly. It’s a first world problem, for sure. I can’t help but be drawn to them. Cream of potato is one of those soups that you can get away with less cream since potatoes are pretty dang creamy all on their own. I still put in a half cup or so. It helps the soup to achieve that thick and velvety texture. The bacon? Necessary. The leek? A flavor that I cannot get enough of. New potatoes are just that, new. I happened to find some, so I went with them. I think I’d go with some nice golden Yukons if I couldn’t get my hands on some new ones.

Quick. Easy. Simple. Delicious.

Inspiration: Simple Bites

Ingredients

  • three slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 leek [about one large one], sliced from white to light green
  • Approx. one pound of new potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary, chives, croutons for serving

Preparation

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook the chopped bacon through until all of the fat is rendered. Sauté the leek in with the bacon once the bacon starts to caramelize. It will take about 2-3 minutes for the slices to really start softening and breaking down in the fat. Add the chopped potatoes and about three cups of water. You can add more later if you want to thin it, but I like thicker soups.

Bring the water to a boil before turning the heat down to a simmer, and partially cover the pot while the potatoes cook fully. Once the potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes, puree the soup into velvety goodness either in your blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with herbs or croutons or even a grilled cheese.

Carrot Carbonara

I’m going to interrupt the Thailand recap to interject some carrots. I’m doing this for both of us. I get really wordy when it comes to the recap. I’m also going to forget things I made. Everyone wins this way. At least I hope so.

There hasn’t been anything too exciting on the eating out front. It’s catching up on the usual — nachos, breakfast burritos, tom kah soup, butternut squash soup and a roasted tomato sandwich, a ton of cheese, meat and wine. ‘Tis the season.

This whole thing came about wandering around the fridge New Seasons. The carrots were on sale which is as enticing as anything. This recipe has been saved for awhile, too. It’s kind of like the zucchini pasta. I’m never going to say it’s just like the real carb-y goodness, but it’s a nice change. Plus there is bacon. I’ve really been digging the bacon that New Season’s has been carrying in the butcher area. It’s not as fatty as it once was.

The key is not making it too soupy. I probably shouldn’t have put the whole 2 tablespoons of almond milk in it. I didn’t have enough carrots for it. I was only eating for one, technically. I’m sure I ate more than my fair share, though, which is totally fine when vegetables are involved. Take your time sautéing the carrots. Everything will taste better in the end because of it, and the tenderness might just fool you into thinking you’re eating something like pasta.

Inspiration: Grok Grub

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, small dice
  • 10-12 carrots, peel them beforehand if you don’t think you’ll be quick at it
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 parsley, chopped

Preparation

In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon. Stir occasionally until the bacon starts to crisp up on the edges and all the fat is rendered. Add the onion. Sauté until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. If you haven’t peeled your carrots yet, do so now.

Add the carrots to the pan. The carrots need to cook down until they’re completely soft. It’ll take another 10 minutes or so. Add a tablespoon of milk to your whisked egg. You can add more later if it needs more. Don’t overdo it. Add the egg mixture while stirring the carrot mixture. It will cook and coat the carrot without scrambling. The texture will be smooth and shiny. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley to taste. Serve and eat. Top with a little shredded parmesan if you have it. Totally good.

 

Grilled Zucchini and Poblano Quinoa

I’m hardly cooking.

Well, I’m not cooking anything new or anything photo-worthy. It’s not for a lack of want. There has just been a whole lot of eating out [new favorite deli = South Paw], making scrambled eggs in the microwave, or grilling kebabs and eating cheese. Still highly delicious and nutritious, just not anything to really talk about.

It was another grill night [surprise!] since neither of us wants a heavy dinner right before footy [him] and gym/yoga [me]. I usually grab a premade salad or finger foods to go with, but on occasion I’ve been getting a little quinoa in my life. It’s the perfect thing to make while I heat the grill. I love when timing comes together. Quinoa goes good with just about anything, so I throw in veggies and cheese dressing and call it a day. Can’t get enough.

Since I had the grill on, I had to get some zucchini. Do you know what world you open up by searching “quinoa zucchini” in Google? I should have known better. I finally found this little salad with poblano peppers, which I definitely don’t eat enough of. They were a little spicy, but about as much as a pinch of chili flakes would give. It wasn’t overbearing in the slightest. Goat feta crumbles happened, too. Afterward, I ended up craving some macrona almonds. Random.

Do you find you end up cooking less in the summer?

Inspiration: Serious Eats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ slices
  • 1 large poblano pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1/2″ strips
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions [about three]
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Bring water to a boil, add rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Brush the zucchini and pepper strips with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the the vegetables to the grill. Allow 3-4 minutes on each side turning once the edges start to char. Remove from heat, and chop into 1/2″ pieces when it’s cool enough to touch.

Whisk together the red wine vinegar and olive oil. In a large bowl, toss together quinoa, vegetables, cheese, scallions, and cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately or let it sit in the fridge before serving.

Beef Tagliata with Radicchio & Gorgonzola

Do you know how nice it is to have come home and have someone make you a sandwich? Talk about a stress free [and delicious!] meal. Sometimes it’s just what you need for dinner. Simplicity. Then you’re actually done with dinner in a quick fashion so you have time to go to the park for an hour. That never happens.

I’ve been playing with a ton of intense flavors lately [and eating frozen grapes]. I guess I do that a lot, don’t I? It seems more common these days. Have you had radicchio [it's pronounced ra-dee-kyoh by the way]? Even if you haven’t gone out of your way for it, it sometimes ends up in those pre-bagged salads you can buy. While it looks like a cabbage and has a similar texture, it is actually chicory that originated in Italy. It’s bitter, especially while raw. When you cook it down or roast it, it looses some if it’s edge, but will never be without a hint of bitterness. It pairs really, really well with tangy, pungent gorgonzola. It cuts through the bitter without issue and bridges the gap between the bitter radicchio and sweet caramelized shallots. 

It’s paired with steak [tagliata is just Italian for sliced] because beef is a great backdrop for whatever you’re throwing at it. In this case, bitter and tangy. It’s seared on a cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side for a nice medium rare.

Inspiration: La Cucina Italiana Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1-2 ounces of crumbled gorgonzola [depending on your affinity for the flavor]
  • 1lb rib eye, brought to room temperature
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation

Cover the steak in a healthy layer of salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Once it’s hot, add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. When it gets heated through, add the radicchio, shallot, and garlic. Sauté until the radicchio wilts and the shallot turns translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Empty the contents to a bowl and add the gorgonzola. Mix well. Wipe out the pan as best as possible.

Adjust the heat to high and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts, add the steak. Allow it to sear on one side for 3-4 minutes before flipping. After another 3-4 minutes, pull the steak off the pan and set it aside to rest for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. I ate half the steak with half of the radicchio, and saved the rest for lunch the next day.

 

Spinach & Kale Soup with Tahini Chickpeas

Wine: If you ever have the opportunity to get your hands on wine from Fanti, snap it up. You’ll usually find their Brunello, which is one of  the most divine wines to ever hit your lips, but it’s in that realm of “special occasion” not “everyday” [unless you're a baller, in which case, let's be friends]. Their Rosso di Montalcino is equally awesome. Also, if you ever find a bottle of Vin Santo, ship me a whole case. Thanks.

Lesson of the Day: Don’t second guess your lunch choices. I was going to get tacos. Carnitas tacos. I thought about them all morning. I went to the gym, and I thought about them. By the time to was at the row of food carts by my office, I went with…a veggie mezza plate. I was disappointed the whole ordeal. The overall quality and presentation was underwhelming at best. It was as if an entire bottle of tzatziki sauce exploded in the to-go container. To add salt to the wound, I could have bought SEVEN tacos for my trouble. Lesson learned [until I do it again, and I will].

Confession: When I first wrote the title to this post, I wrote salad instead of soup. I’m losing my mind.  I guess it’s basically the same thing, just blended and warmed up. So similar.

I have a feeling that this wouldn’t be a universally loved soup, so I won’t even pretend. It’s green after all. It tastes green. It’s a huge bowl of health. There is chicken stock and a whole mess of chickpeas slathered in tahini in there, but you should probably have a mild affinity for spinach and kale if you’re going to like it like I did. The kale isn’t nearly as intense when cooked down and pureed, but you can still taste a little bit of it. I happen to like love my greens, but after the fourth bowl, even I was kind of tired of it. Roma ate the remaining chickpeas. They’re dog approved.

Inspiration: Green Kitchen Stories

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • dried chili flakes
  • 500g frozen spinach
  • 300g frozen kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice [juice of a small lemon]
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preparation

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chile flakes [start with a teaspoon, you can add more later]. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the spinach, kale, and nutmeg, continuing to stir. The kale and spinach should wilt almost immediately. Add the broth and a healthy pinch of salt and cracked pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until everything is cooked through. Use a regular or immersion blender to puree as much of the soup as you like.

In a separate bowl, toss the chickpeas, remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and parsley. Use your hands to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly. Every chickpea should be dressed in a thick coating of the tahini mixture.

When serving, top each bowl of soup with a handful or two of the chickpeas. The soup is good hot or cold.