Category: Veggies

Roasted Vegetable & Cumin Chickpea Bowl

When I haven’t been working 10-13 hours a day [tax time round two!], we’ve been entertaining Andrew’s parents who were in town for a little over week. When people are in town, you know you’re eating way too much well when you’re not showing them things like the Elk Rock Gardens of the Bishop’s Close [cue plug of Andrew’s blog].

Things eaten in the last week: a funguy burger with my favorite fries from Killer Burger, a tuna melt and fat slice chocolate chip zucchini bread at Community Plate, a pile of brisket with horseradish aioli from Radar, a machaca burrito from King Burrito, a buffalo chicken pizza from MOD Pizza, a Jamaican jerk chicken salad from Fire on the Mountain, a Bowl of the Gods acai bowl from Kure Juice Bar, a turkey and brie on a baguette with a cup of fragola pasta salad from Addy’s Sandwich Bar, a lemongrass chicken and crispy pork belly vermicelli bowl from Freshroll, a duck bologna, egg, sauerkraut, coffee mayo and American cheese breakfast sandwich on a parker house roll at Portland Penny Diner, and a bacon cheese burger at Tilt.

Guys, I’m tired of eating out. It happens sometimes. Everything in moderation.

I made a chicken basil stir fry [based on this pork recipe] almost immediately. Simple flavors. A vegetable or three. The body seems to handle only so much butter and salt.

This simple roasted vegetable bowl fits the bill for just what I want after a week of eating out. The vegetables are great on their own, but even better when in a bowl for easy eating with a side of cumin chickpeas. The hardest part is actually getting them to the bowl because I find myself popping a piece of sweet potato here, a piece of broccolini there until half the tray is gone. I’m the type of person that could easily stand there and eat an entire tray of roasted vegetables all to myself. I’ve been known to do it with crudité platters too. Vegetables are a weakness. There are probably worse problems to have.

The original recipe from Minimalist Baker has a three ingredient tahini sauce, that would have been awesome if I actually had tahini on hand. I ate it plain because that’s just how much love I have for roasted vegetables. The cumin chickpeas were really, really, really great. Crispy outsides with soft insides. A bright pop of flavor with every bite.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl


Inspiration: Minimalist Baker


  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 bundle of broccolini, tough stems trimmed and cut into pieces [stalks too!]
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric


Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. In a bowl, toss the sweet potato and onion in some olive oil and salt and pepper so it’s lightly coated. Spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven.

After 10 minutes, toss the broccolini in the bowl with some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Add it to the baking sheet in the oven.

After another 10 minutes, toss the kale in the bowl with some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Add it to the baking sheet in the oven.

While everything is roasting, heat a heavy skillet on medium high heat with some olive oil. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with all of the spices so that they’re evenly coated. Add the chickpeas to the hot pan. Let them sit for 30-60 seconds to really develop a crispy char before stirring. Adjust your heat if necessary. Once they’re crispy on all sides, and your kitchen smells awesome from all of the spices, remove them from the heat.

When the vegetables are done, you can either serve up individual bowls or mix everything together in one large bowl and go to town. The ones in the small bowl above was just for looks. I totally ate it out of the large bowl.

Chorizo and Brussels or Brussels and Chorizo

Another successful tax season in the books. I’m ready for a change of pace, and I’m ready to get back into the kitchen. Latest bookmarks include: Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers, Jerked Sriracha Roast Pork Tacos, and Kale White Bean and Farro Salad. I want to eat ALL.THE.FOOD. that isn’t catered.

I made this blueberry slab pie with rye crust for a pie contest at work a couple of weeks ago. [Sidenote: I was originally going to say a week ago, but then I remembered I have no idea how much time elapses anymore. It was at least two, going on three. Time flies!] We were having a Thanksgiving themed dinner and thought it a good idea to have people make pies. Mine didn’t have a lattice top because the dough turned out a little too dry for that. Besides, it looked like a giant pop tart. Way cooler. It was really good. The rye had a savory note that played off the sweet, mellowing it out. I really liked it. It didn’t win because frankly giant blueberry rye pop tart doesn’t win. Chocolate cream does. I really just wanted an excuse to make the pie. It all got eaten that night except for one piece, which I happily ate for breakfast the next day.

This bowl of brussels and chorizo is a dangerous one. If I’m not careful, I can easily eat the entire pan. I was thinking about these brussels this weekend. There are still brussels in the grocery store. We live in a world where we have year-round produce, and I’m still surprised. The original recipe calls for cured Spanish chorizo sliced thin. I went with the ground chicken chorizo for a little more of a spicy kick and I wanted the brussels to bathe in the rendered chicken fat. Using a cast iron skillet to do the dirty work leaves a nice char to the brussels. They’re super tender on the inside and a bit spicy — a winning combination. I put them on a bed of couscous for something different, but really they’re just fine on their own. I could go for a bowl of them right now. And a piece of pie.

Inspiration: Saveur


  • 1lb brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on the size
  • 1/2lb ground chorizo
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the brussels and cook until tender, about six minutes. Transfer them to an ice bath to stop them from turning to mush. After about five minutes, drain them and set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Toss the onion into the pan. Stir occasionally. Once it’s soft and translucent, add the chorizo and crumble. Once it’s almost cooked, add the brussels and garlic to the pan. Toss to coat in the rendered fat. Cook until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper.

Roasted Broccoli, Fennel, and Sausage

I don’t show fennel nearly enough love as I want to. I really like it a lot. Roasting it was new. It’s a refreshing sweetness.

This whole combination is nothing short of wonderful. Make sure you get a sausage you really like since that’s really going to be the star of the show. I went with a spicy Italian -and- added the extra pepper. It shouldn’t be that surprising at this point. The broccoli and fennel compliment it nicely.

The couscous was kind of an afterthought for a filling addition. I could eat roasted vegetables and sausage for days otherwise. There’s never enough, so I needed something else.

It doesn’t really need to be said, but this is ridiculously simple to make. It’s quick, easy, and full of flavor. The trifecta of awesome when you’re in a hurry.

Inspiration: Food52


  • 12oz pork sausage, casings removed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 fennel bulb, white part thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Couscous, rice, mixed greens for serving


Preheat your oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil or a Silpat.

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets and fennel slices with the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice/zest and red pepper flakes. Spread it in an even layer on the baking sheet. Evenly distribute the chunks of sausage among the vegetables. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the broccoli is starting to darken at the edges. Turn on the broiler for a final couple of minutes to crisp up the sausage.

Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Pork Fajita Loaded Baked Potato

If I ate a baked potato every time I wanted one, I would eat them a lot.

Impatience is usually the culprit behind the lack of baked potatoes because who has time to roast one properly? I don’t. I’m also the worst meal planner of all time. Maybe someday that will change. Until then, I much prefer choosing what to eat on a whim, fully catering to what I’m feeling right at the moment. Sometimes that’s good [hello Sen Yai Noodles, I’m looking at you] and sometimes it’s a pain. That’s when I end up mindlessly throwing together whatever I can find in the pantry [like the time I boiled some pasta and tried to make a pseudo-carbonara which really turned into some weird gummy noodles and scrambled egg and red chile flakes which was…gross].

You can microwave a potato to get the same baked-potatoesque qualities [guilty as charged], but it’s really not the same. The skin usually ends up leathery and the innards a little dry.

Taking the time to bathe the skin in olive oil and sea salt, wrap them in foil, and slow roast them in an oven or on the grill makes such a difference that they really shouldn’t be allowed be called the same thing. The flesh is so steamed and fluffy, the skin so tender and salty. It’s pretty much an experience and a half.

I wanted the potato to be the star of the show when I finally decided I would take the time to make one, so loading it up seemed like the only real option to do the potato justice. So load it up, I did. Pork and fajita vegetables aren’t exactly a common occurrence, but it seemed to make sense. Realistically I just wanted the potato and guacamole, the rest was just an excuse. We happened to have a little queso fresco on hand to go with the Mexican-inspired potato, so I highly suggest getting some if you can. That salty, creamy cheese melts like butter into that potato flesh.

I’m going to try and not wait so long before having my next baked potato, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.


  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1/2lb ground pork
  • 1 red [or any color] bell pepper, seeds and white flesh removed, cut into strips
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into strips about the same as the pepper
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • guacamole
  • queso fresco, shredded


Preheat your oven or the grill to about 400°. Scrub the potatoes under fresh cool water. Stab the potato all over with a knife. Cover the potatoes in a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Wrap them in aluminum foil. Place in the oven or on the grill. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the potato. The flesh should be easily pierced by a fork or butter knife.

When the potatoes are nearly done, brown the ground pork. Use a skillet on about medium heat and sprinkle the pork with the red pepper flakes. Once the pork is cooked through, remove from the pan. Leave the grease in there and add the onions and peppers. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, really letting the onions darken and get soft. The vegetables will soak up the pork grease like a champ. Return the pork to the pan. Stir to combine.

When the potatoes are done, remove them from the heat source and allow them to cool a bit so you can actually touch the aluminum foil to take it off. Slice the potato with a butter knife to open. Scoop the fajita filling into the opening. Top with shredded queso fresco and guacamole. Serve.

Spring Potato Salad with Horseradish Aioli

I leave tomorrow.

It wasn’t until I printed my boarding pass that I started to get excited. Portugal and Spain. Three weeks. Ahhh! I’ve been planning and catching up on life since the end of tax season. It hasn’t been a bummer. The weather is turning towards summer just in time for me to leave. It’s [partially] why I wanted to go in May. Summer in Portland is just so nice. It’s hard to leave. Some cities on the very loose agenda — Lisbon, Porto, Seville, Madrid, Barcelona. Everything else is a bonus. I expect day trips, lots of food and wine, football, and more food and wine. No grapes are safe!

I finally checked a culinary ‘to do’ off my list — aioli. I love it. I have a secret love affair with it. It’s a more mature version of my unhealthy love of jarred mayo as a kid. Once I had a taste of aioli, I would never go back. I was am also super intimidated by it. I mean, c’mon. You have to whisk everything super slowly or it breaks and you have to start over [or I hear you can “fix” it, but yeah that’s not happening]. This springy potato salad called for it, and since the rest of the dish is pretty foolproof, I figured I could give it a whirl.

Six egg yolks, 2+ cups of oil, and Andrew’s help later, we had a cup or so of aioli for the salad. I was so pumped. Almost travel pumped. In my excitement, I poured all of it into the salad, not thinking. Thankfully the salad held up to it, but you should probably start with half to 3/4 of the batch before deciding you want to eat all the aioli. Damn it was good, too. This is one of those things that tastes better just because you made it. Blood, sweat, tears, and all that. Few foods do that for me. I always think your version tastes better than mine [critical, much]? This, though. This was perfection. I could have easily spooned it straight into my mouth.

Inspiration: A Thought for Food


  • 2lbs small potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
  • 1 handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish [or more if you’re into that]


In a pot large enough for all the potatoes, cover them with cool water until they’re just covered. Heavily salt the water and bring it to a boil. Boil them until they’re about fork tender [15 minutes] and drain.

To make the aioli, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Then, drop by drop [seriously, I’m not exaggerating], start whisking in the oil. You want it to be fully dispersed amongst the yolk before adding more. Eventually it’ll get thick and velvety. If it starts looking like egg yolk and oil, you’ve added too much oil too quickly. This video should help. Once all the oil is whisked in, stir in the horseradish.

Toss the vegetables together with the dill. Pour in half of the aioli and stir well to cover all of the vegetables. Add more aioli as you see fit. Season with salt and paper before serving.