Archive | February, 2012

ras el hanout inspired roasted chickpeas

29 Feb

ras el-hanout is a morrocan spice blend that is filled with lots of different flavor profiles and depths. it’s savory, spicy, smokey, sweet and deliciously complex. the spices i use for these chickpeas are very ras el-hanout-esque but are still a unique blend of flavors.


what you need for 3 servings:

1 can or 1.5 cups dried chickpeas. (if canned, drain, rinse and dry)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 T salt

1/2 T black pepper

1/2 T dried or fresh ( if fresh, minced) oregano

1/2 T hungarian paprika

2 t cayenne pepper

2 t cinnamon

2 t chili powder

2 t cumin

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t nutmeg

preheat the oven to 375. in a small tupperware container, mix all of the spices together. coat the chickpeas in the olive oil and toss into the tupperware. close the lid and shake shake shake like a polaroid picture until the chickpeas are happily coated ūüôā put the chickpeas onto a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy on the outside but still a little mealy on the inside.



since the url of the blog is “just add some duck fat”

24 Feb


a beautiful process. duck legs bathing in pounds and pounds of duck fat. oh man.

skinny corn chowder

20 Feb

anything “chowder” is good eats. and is also made with a stick of butter, a cup of flour, and a vat of heavy cream.

this corn chowder doesn’t have any of those ingredients! the secret: skim milk and cauliflower. (don’t knock it till you try it)

so, this soup happened by accident. i made a cauliflower soup and then after having eaten it for 4 meals i decided to add some corn to spruce it up–and then it hit me. SKINNY CORN CHOWDER! and awaaaaaaaaaaay we go:

1 cup of this soup clocks in under 350 calories and with only 3g to 4g of fat.

a note: my pictures look different than the process i am writing up because i used already made cauliflower soup when making this.

What You Need for 4 servings:

1/3 lb of cauliflower–about 1 c of cauliflower

1 c skim milk

2 c chicken or veg stock

2 cups of frozen corn

1 strip of turkey bacon per person, diced

4 poblano peppers

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2-1 yellow onion, diced

a pinch of chili powder

a pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper


How To:

preheat the oven to 400.

cut the cauliflower into uniform pieces, lay in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle salt and pepper. once the oven is heated, roast for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

then crank the oven up to 500 degrees. move a rack to the highest level. place the poblanos on the rack and broil until the first side is almost black and blistered, rotate the peppers until all sides are dark and blistered. tranfer poblanos to a bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.

after sitting for ten minutes, easily remove the skin from the peppers by just peeling. (letting the hot pepper sit in the covered bowl allows the steam to begin working the skins of for you). chop the peppers up into bite size pieces.

heat a sauce pot over medium heat. spray with pan spray and add the diced turkey bacon. cook until the bacon gets reaaaaaaallly crispy, about 7 minutes–move it around occasionally. the bacon will stick a teeny bit and leave a bit of fond on the bottom of the pan–this is GOOD, fond is our flavorful friend.

once the turkey  bacon is cooked super crispily, remove and set it aside. add the diced onion to the same pot, and cook until translucent but not brown.

add in the garlic, let cook 2 minutes. add in 1.5 c of the corn, a small handful of the diced poblanos, the cauliflower and all of the liquids.  stir and bring up to a boil. once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

after simmering, pour the soup into a blender, in batches if needed, and liquify until smooth and creamy. IMPORTANT NOTE: take the middle steam cap out of the blender so that the steam can escape while you liquify. otherwise the hot liquid will build up steam and may cause an overflow or movie like blender explosion mess.

return the soup to the pot, stir in the remaining corn and poblanos. add a LARGE pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of chili powder, and some black pepper. taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. serve garnished with the turkey bacon! ENJOY!

smooothie timeeee

19 Feb

so, snack time when i’m watching my weight:

i literally dump 1 cup of frozen berries, 1/4 c beets, 1 large handful of spinach and any other fruits or veggies i have that are close to turning into a blender. in this particular batch i threw in some cucumber, half a blood orange, and 2 apple slices (along with everything listed above) then i add some ice and give it a whirl! you can also add in raw oatmeal or any kind of nuts or protein powder for some protein! the berries mask the flavor of the beets and spinach and its really thick and filling. 1 cup berries, 1/4 c beets and a handful of spinach make about 16 oz. i drink 8 oz as a snack.

“blackened” chicken with rainbow chard and salsa cruda

19 Feb

since i am totally incapable of just eating salad and almonds every day, i am eating a lot of what i regularly would just without oil and in a more modest portion size. as such, this dish is 1/2 chicken breast per person which is actually an adequate amount of protein. american consumerism has created a market where only steroid injected HULK style chicken breasts look normal to us. weigh out your chicken breast next time you buy it- i bet it weighs like 8 oz, we actually only need about 3-4 oz of protein per meal.

this is rainbow chard. its beautiful. no, but really it is. big green leaves with hot pink, bright orange, and deep red stems. the stems are edible and really look wonderful on a plate. trade this up for spinach once in a while, its yummy and great for you.

For the Chicken: for 1 serving

1/2 chicken breast

spice rub

in a small container combine 2 T of salt, 1 T each of black pepper, paprika, chili powder. 1/2 T each of garlic powder, onion powder. a pinch of crushed red pepper. mix it up. this is your spice rub ūüôā

preheat oven to 350. heat a pan over medium-high heat. let it get REALLY hot. coat the 1/2 chicken breast with the spice rub. spray the pan with pan spray. put the chicken breast down, you should hear a sizzle. let it brown about 3 minutes on each side. then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. bake about 8-10 minutes, until fully cooked (obviously.)

For the Rainbow Chard for 1 serving:

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 head of rainbow chard, cut up and washed. (doesn’t need to be dried, just shake it off)

1/8 c veg or chicken stock

pinch of crushed red pepps

in a sauce pot, heat the stock and smashed garlic and crushed red pepper over medium heat. once hot, add in the chard, stir and cover to let it steam for about 6 minutes. uncover and check the tenderness of the greens, they should be soft like sauteed spinach or ralph lauren bedding. the stems, however, will still have a bit of a crunch to them, thats okay. adjust salt and crushed red pepper as needed. add a dash of hot sauce if you want!

For the Salsa Cruda:

i just make a big batch and let it sit in the fridge, it lasts about 1.5-2 weeks and it gets better as it sits longer.

1/4 c boxed (or canned, if you must) chopped tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 of a cucumber, seeded and diced

10 kalamata olives, chopped

5 basil leaves, chiffonaded

salt and pepper

combine ALL ingredients in a bowl and mix. thats it. literally.

underrated tomato basil soup

19 Feb

tomato basil soup is underrated. i don’t know why, but it is. but before i get into the tomato soup issue, i have a confession.

i am on a diet. a BIG diet. as we all know, i’ve been happily eating my way through work and school for the last 6 months under the guise that my boyfriend, currently in korea, would not be seeing me for a year.¬†a¬†wonderful turn of events would have it that we are seeing each other in ONE month-this is amazing news. but then! it dawned on me. i am ten pounds heavier than when he left me–and at that point i was already ten pounds heavier than i should have been. RUH ROH. so, as it were, the year long food coma is briefly turning into the month long vegetable coma. can salad induce the food itis?? if only.

i would like to note though, i truly have not had any qualms about what my body, or my love pudge-as i’ve recently named it, looks like. BUT, since i now have one week out of a whole year to see my boyfriend, i would like to look the best i can.

anyway, my sister told me i should post what i’m eating while on a diet on my blog so that i can hopefully help some of the women who are still of the mind set that eating raw celery and cabbage soup is the only way to slim down.

SO BACK TO TOMATO SOUP. LOW CALORIE, MOSTLY TOMATOES. its also perfect for dunking that ooey gooey grilled cheese on rye when NOT on a diet. no, no grilled cheese here. sorry, i’m a cook, not a zero fat grilled cheese inventing magician.

What You Need for 6-8 Servings:

1 box of pomi chopped tomatoes (box not can because of my aluminum erosion paranoia. see: hypochondria)

1 cup of veg stock or water

1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped

3-6 garlic cloves roasted or raw. i have no time so mine are raw. roasted is more delicious.

a few dashes of tabasco or franks or whichever hot sauce you like

2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1 bunch of fresh basil (a bunch being like 10 leaves? i don’t know, lots of basil.)


What to Do:

heat 1 TEASPOON of olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium. add in the onion and sweat about 5-6 minutes until translucent. don’t brown. if using non-roasted garlic add that in after the onion has sweat. let that cook about 2 minutes, just until fragrant.

pour in the box of tomatoes, the stock/water, the hot sauce, the Worcestershire and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for 10ish minutes.

in batches, pour the soup into a blender (if using roasted garlic, add it now into the blender batches) add in 3/4 of the basil leaves and puree until smooth. do this until all the soup is pureed, return to the pot and taste. add salt and pepper as needed. chiffonade the remaining basil and stir in.

the end!