Category Archives: chickpeas

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

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Barley Salad with Veggies

Rain was predicted for today, and thunder.  Instead, it’s hot outside here in DC!  Summer is just around the corner, yay!  We’ll enjoy it for today- outdoors!

Every month 2 of my friends and I meet up at each other’s places and make dinner.  We switch off between our homes and the themes for the dinners, and the person who hosts also does the cooking.  Others bring the wine/beer.  Every month I really look forward to my time with A* and C* just because we always end up having fabulous conversations, and have tons of fun.  =)  Last night I hosted, and we had an array of wonderful food (if I do say so myself), which I will write about later in future posts.  But for now, I’ll give you some hints: dinner rolls, a Nutella bar, orzo salad and vegetable soup with parsley crisps.

Although, wonderful company makes food taste even better!

Barley Salad with Veggies
Adapted from: Cooking Light

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups arugula, lightly chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 15oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup pistachios

Cook barley according to package directions.

Once the barley is cooked, combine: barley, arugula, red bell pepper, roasted red bell pepper and chickpeas in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl mix: lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and stir.  Sprinkle the top of the salad with pistachios.

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus

As many of you have probably noticed through  most of these posts, we don’t eat much meat here at Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Our thoughts are that if we do want to eat meat, we prefer “happy cows/chickens/etc”.  The fact that we didn’t have any meat in our fridge came in handy this weekend.  Our fridge broke!  Well, the freezer was working, but the fridge was warm.  (Yes, the beer did not get as cold.)  It’ll be completely fixed today, at 5pm, when the Refrigerator Man comes by and changes a thermostat.  I guess these are the pleasures of home ownership?  Most of the food survived, except some of the dairy products such as: milk, sour cream and some half-and-half.  But we’re back to a happy kitchen. 

This accompanied the Cucumber Gazpacho for dinner one night.  Also very simple to make, and very springy.  The original recipe called for pita bread, but while searching for it at Whole Foods I was concentrating on the “whole wheat”.  So instead I grabbed a flatbread.  (to me, these two are fairly similar- pita bread is thinner, while the flatbread is a bit thicker and softer)  I would say this was similar to a personal pizza, it’s got veggies and cheese (but could have so much  more on it).  The only exception is the “sauce” is cilantro-hummus-flavored.  So as long as you like cilantro, this is defintely worth a try.  The veggies on this don’t need to be the same, feel free to add what you like on your flatbread. 

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 flatbreads (or pita’s)
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained & sliced into strips
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

To make hummus, add the cilantro and garlic into the food processor.  Turn on for about 1 minute until everything is chopped.  Then add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil and water.  Puree for 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy. 

Place the 2 flatbreads on baking sheet.  Spread each with the cilantro hummus.  Then top with peppers, mushrooms and spinach leaves.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes, the flatbread should be crisp and the cheese should be melting.

Artichoke, Mint and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Another quinoa salad!  Obviously, I can’t get enough.  It’s just that they’re so easy, and perfect for lunch.  Walking through Trader Joe’s one day, I saw that they had a bag of frozen artichokes, and I’ve been wanting to use them- this salad was perfect for it.

Artichoke, Mint and Cilantro Quinoa Salad
Adapted from: Easy Everyday: Simple Recipes

1 cup cooked quinoa
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 marinated artichoke hearts*
3 green onions, chopped
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup grape seed oil (can use olive oil)
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped

Cook quinoa according to box directions.  Then put the quinoa in a bowl, add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green onions and chickpeas.

In a separate bowl make the dressing.  Mix the oil, vinegar and lemon juice and beat with a fork.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the dressing to the quinoa mixture.  Then top with herbs, and toss.

* You can used the one’s from the can, drained and halved.

Carrot, chickpea and barley Soup

Yes, another soup- but it’s so good!  I came across this soup in a magazine a number of years ago, but have perfected it over the years.  It’s easy and delicious, especially during the winter when it’s cold outside.  The soup is creamy, filling and I think it actually tastes better the next day.

Carrot, chickpea and barley soup

3 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 cup carrot juice (V8 can but substituted)
1/4 cup barley, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced carrots
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp grated Parmesan

In a medium pan combine broth, carrot juice, barley and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add carrots and return to boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, take out about 1 1/2 cup of solids and place in a medium bowl.  Using a fork, mash the mixture and then return to pan.  Stir in vinegar, pepper and parlsey.  Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.