Easy Make-Ahead Lunch: Spicy Chickpea Curry

spicy chickpea curry

I like to make my lunches for work ahead of time, mostly all at the same time on a Sunday afternoon. That way, it’s all done and I don’t have to think each night before work what I’m going to pack. One of my favorites that is easy to make ahead is Chickpea Curry.

It does have tofu in it, but if that’s not your jam, you could easily substitute cooked chicken or just omit it. But this is the ideal dish to give it a try… the spices are more what you taste than the tofu. My friend who cooked this dish with my last time was not too sure about the tofu, but upon tasting it for herself, she is more open to trying tofu in new ways.

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Spicy Chick Pea Curry

1 medium yellow onion
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tbs. vegetable oil
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ to ½ tsp. black pepper
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1 in. cubes
2 cups undrained cooked chickpeas
2 tomatoes chopped or 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
salt, to taste

  • Place tofu between two plates with a can on top. Drain off liquid periodically, about 15 minutes.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • Add the cubed tofu and cook for several minutes. Then add the chickpeas and some of their liquid. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until they break down a bit. Add salt to taste. Serve with rice.
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How to Update Furniture with a Fun Spring Look

coral dresser update

I love shopping and looking around Goodwill, especially for furniture. It’s almost like a treasure hunt! I found this uhh.. interesting dresser while I was looking around one day looking for something to put in my closet for added storage.

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It was pretty dingy looking and had a stencil on it that was not my taste. This dresser definitely needed a face lift!

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So I added a little paint! I picked a cheery coral color. I went to the local hardware store’s paint department and picked out my favorite shade of coral. It reminds me that spring is coming!
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This dresser fits so perfectly in the little nook in my closet and I love getting dressed in the morning. It adds a little cheer to the morning when I don’t want to roll out of bed.
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BBQ Crockpot Chicken

Brian and I are always looking for easy and delicious lunch ideas. This year he has been much more health-concious and eating healthier, so he was eating a lot of grilled chicken. That was getting pretty boring for him and he was looking for something with more flavor.

Cooking pulled chicken in the crockpot is his new favorite and it is soooo easy too! Just add the ingredients and let the crockpot work its magic for a few hours!

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BBQ Pulled Chicken

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breasts
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
⅓ cup chicken broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
2-4 fresh chopped jalapeño peppers, to taste

Directions:

Place all the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Add all of the other ingredients on top and stir. Turn to the high setting and let cook for 4-6 hours until the chicken is cooked. Remove each breast and transfer to a cutting board. With two forks, shred the meat. Return to crockpot and stir in the sauce. Serve on a bun or over nachos.

 

Southwest Crockpot Chicken

Brian loves taking crockpot pulled chicken for his lunches at work. This southwest inspired version is great with rice or alone. We love making this because it is super easy and has a great variety of ingredients that mix well with each other.

southwest crockpot chicken

 

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen corn (12 oz)
1 jar chunky salsa
4 chicken breasts
2-4 fresh jalapeños, chopped and to taste

southwest crockpot chicken

Place chicken on bottom of crockpot. Pour beans, tomatoes, salsa and corn over chicken. Add fresh chopped jalapeños or other fresh peppers to taste. Cook on high 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked. Remove and place chicken on a cutting board. Shred with two forks and return to crockpot. Stir to combine. Best served over rice.

southwest crockpot chicken

Do you have any go-to recipes for lunches that are quick and easy? What are your tricks for making lunches simple and flavorful?

Sumbitch Cookies – HIMYM

Yes, that’s right – “Sumbitches.” Why are they called that? As How I Met Your Mother fans know, in the final season, ‘the Mother’ meets a stressed out Lily on the train and calms her down with these chocolate and caramel cookies they named “sumbitches.”

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But no joke, these are the best cookies I’ve ever made from scratch! I’ve made them as the original recipe dictates as well as by substituting chocolate chips in place of the Rolos. You could even add chocolate chips and chopped Rolos for even more chocolatey caramel deliciousness! The original recipe says to put one whole Rolo in the middle of the cookie, but I’ve found that to be more time consuming. Much quicker to throw in some chocolate chips rather than shape the dough around each Rolo.

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“Sumbitch” Cookies from HIMYM

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
36 Rolos (about), chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until blended. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and flour to butter mixture, beating until blended. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped Rolos. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a small cookie scoop, form the dough into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks.

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Something I’ve noticed while making these cookies is that when they come out of the oven, they are still kind of soft, so be careful not to burn them because they don’t look done enough.

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What variation are you most excited to try? Rolos and chocolate chips? Just chocolate chips? Just Rolos? I’ve even made them with cinnamon chips… and they were pretty dang good!

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Why yes, that IS an oven mitt with a cat on it! My friend Emily who is also cat-obsessed gave that to me for my birthday this summer! Best thing ever…

Summery Watermelon Paletas

Part of my summer bucket list was to make some refreshing homemade popsicles, so I was hunting around for some popsicle molds. I found these cute ones at Kohl’s, on sale of course… They are perfect for making these summery watermelon paletas! The best part is that this recipe is so simple and still healthy!

Watermelon Paletas

 

Watermelon Paletas

4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup (or more) sugar
1 Tbsp (or more) fresh lime juice

Puree watermelon, yogurt, salt, sugar, and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Add more sugar and lime juice if desired.  Divide the puree among ice pop molds (or disposable cups if you don’t have molds). Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. Dip molds briefly into hot water to release the paletas.

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Drizzle

So my new obsession is watching Bobby Flay’s show on The Cooking Channel… Brunch at Bobby’s. I love brunch food but I rarely go out for brunch or even make it at home. But this show made me crave something unique to make for brunch.


I love carrot cake on its own, so carrot cake pancakes seemed just too perfect. I made a few tweaks to Bobby’s recipe based on my tastes and what we had available. Here is Bobby’s original recipe. I made the batter and the drizzle and Brian cooked them up.

 

 

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Drizzle

Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (but like Bobby, I always use more than it calls for)
1 cup finely grated peeled carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, plus more for garnish
Cooking spray or melted butter

Maple-Cream Cheese Drizzle:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

For the pancakes: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, powdered ginger, baking soda, and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla in a separate mixing bowl. Add the carrots and orange juice to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold in the pecans and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Spoon 1/4 cup mounds of the batter onto the skillet, spreading with a spatula. Cook until the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining batter. Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven on a baking sheet, if desired.

For the drizzle: Combine the cream cheese, maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment until combined, about 2 minutes. Add in the heavy cream while mixing to get drizzle to a lighter consistency.

To serve: Stack the pancakes on a plate and drizzle (or slather) with the maple-cream cheese drizzle. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans.