Tag Archives: side

Spinach and Chickpeas.

Two posts in a row, WHAAAA?

I had a few readers ask about the side that was pictured in the Greek Yogurt Chicken post so I figured I’d get it up on the blog ASAP rather than let it sit in my ‘to be blogged’ folder with the many, many recipes I’ll hopefully one day get around to putting up here.

So, this post will be just like the dish – quick and easy.  It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare (easily made while the chicken is in the oven), uses minimal ingredients and is pretty darn tasty to boot.  Oh, and it’s super healthy too.

Spinach and Chickpeas.

Adapted from Clean Eating


  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 18 oz. Spinach
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 15 oz. Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. Dry Whole-Wheat Panko
  • 1/2 tsp. Sweet Paprika (I used Smoked Paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar


Heat a large skillet over medium-high.

Combine the chickpeas, panko, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir until coated. Add the chickpea mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are slightly toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Return the chickpeas to the bowl.

Set the skillet back over the burner and heat the oil. Add the spinach and garlic and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet and cook until the beans are heated, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.


Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.

When the Fruitaholic was born, I was the only one amongst my friends who had a baby.  Friendships tend to change with various life events so when he was four months old, I joined a stay at home moms group.  It was the one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Having a baby can be incredibly isolating and I was extremely grateful to find a group of other new moms with similarly aged babies.  I’ve remained friendly with most of those women and it’s been an amazing journey watching all of the children grow.

So when the Baby Burrito came along, I did the same thing.  Because the babies were all born in the Fall/Winter, we met at a bakery each week to chat over coffee.  Once Spring rolled around, we took advantage of the nicer weather and started taking our outings to the local farmers market.  You can find us there every Wednesday morning.

What does any of this have to do with pasta salad, you ask?  Well, all of the main components of this swap recipe came from ingredients purchased from the market *and* served to those mamas at our very first “Moms Night In” where we ate lots of tasty food and drank waaaaaay too much wine.  It was a fabulous night.

I loved the Greek flavors of this pasta salad.  They were even better the next day!

Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.


  • 1/2 Lb. Pasta
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, quartered and diced
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
  • For the Dressing!
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed or pressed
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Pour over the pasta mixture and mix to evenly distribute the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



It’s no joke that it’s been hot as hell this summer.  So hot that most days I’ve dreaded turning on the oven or stove, or even wanted to (watch the Husby) stand out by the grill.  So when the week of the Too Hot to Cook Swap came around, the weather cooled off, of course.  Regardless, I was looking forward to adding another no-cook recipe to my repertoire.

I was intrigued when I was assigned a recipe for Panzanella, a meal I’d never had before.  I knew it was a bread salad but didn’t know much more about it nor did I know what to expect of the final product.  While I didn’t particularly care for the damp bread, I enjoyed the flavors and the mix of the different vegetables made me feel like I was eating Summer in a bowl.  The only changes I made were substituting cherry and sunburst tomatoes for vine-ripened since I had them to use, and I loved the additional pop of color they provided to the salad.  I also added some diced prosciutto I had in the fridge.  It’s something I would make again, only toasting the bread cubes rather than soaking them in order to more mimic croutons and give the salad a crunch that I felt it was missing.



  • 1/2 Lb. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Lb. Yellow Sunburst Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Loaf White Country Style Bread, cubed and left out of it's bag for 1-2 days before using
  • 3 Stalks Celery, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, halved and seeds removed
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 10 Leaves Fresh Basil, roughly torn into small pieces
  • 8-10 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 5 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Prosciutto


Add the halved cherry and sunburst tomatoes to a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to drain their juices.

Place the sliced onions into a small bowl and fill with cold water until just covered. Sprinkle with salt and add a splash of the red wine vinegar.

Place the bread cubes into a bowl and add just enough water to cover. Allow to soften for 10 minutes, then squeeze the water out thoroughly from the bread and finely crumble into a serving bowl. Be sure to remove as much moisture as possible.

Drain the onions then combine with the tomatoes, celery, cucumber, parsley and basil in a small bowl and dress with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well then add to the bowl with the bread.

Mix well then top with diced prosciutto before serving.

Source -

Slightly adapted from Twelve, A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros

Recipe submitted by Ali, who just started a new blog over at Sparks From the Kitchen


Crispy Smashed Potatoes.

It was another “Blogger’s Choice” swap and this time, I was paired with Dawn’s blog, Simple Gourmet Cooking.  I bookmarked a number of recipes to come back to, but ultimately these little morsels of goodness won out.

Back on St. Patrick’s Day, I had planned to make corned beef and cabbage but we ended up going to my in-laws instead.  I had already bought my corned beef but figured I’d just make it later in the week.  Cut to earlier this week, where the brisket still sat in the drawer with the sell-by date printed on the package fast approaching.

So I tossed the corned beef in the slow cooker with some beer and let it get to work.  These were the perfect accompaniment to the tender brisket.  They were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  It’s my new favorite way to prepare potatoes.  I’ve already made them again since, just changing up the herbs a bit.  I love that they’re so versatile, they can easily pair with whatever main you’re serving, which is great for me since I so often forget about side dishes.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes – slightly adapted from Simple Gourmet Cooking

  • Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes (as many as you want to make – I made 10 to feed 3 people)
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Chives, chopped
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese, to taste

Preheat oven to 450.

Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and add the water.  Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil to allow the potatoes to steam.  Cook for 25-30 minutes, until soft.

Take the potatoes out of the oven and remove the foil.  Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes, then wipe up any remaining water with a paper towel.

Drizzle some olive oil over the potatoes and roll them around so that they are evenly coated.  Using the bottom of a plate, lightly smash the potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle with chopped chives and Parmesan cheese.

Return to the oven and cook 15-25 minutes, until crisp.  Take care not to overcook.