Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe

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For me, soup is a year-round fave. But, there are some cold winter days when it just seems extra appealing. I enjoyed cozying up with this Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe, and I think you will too. The addition of garam masala gives it a lovely spiced flavor unlike most soups I usually make. The flavor change-up is not only fun but fitting with the season. Who knew one little ingredient could yield so much flavor. And to make things even better, you can have this soup ready in 30 minutes or less.

Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe

Yep, bookmark this for your next lazy night. Most of the ingredients can be grabbed from the pantry, and you can make things even easier on yourself by picking up some Trader Joe’s mire poix if you don’t feel like chopping up the onion, celery, and carrot yourself. It’s one of my new favorite time-savers for post-long-work-day meals. Freeze the leftovers in individual serving containers for even easier meals later.

Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe

Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe
 
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This Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe makes for a light but flavorful dinner and is perfect for a cold, winter night. The simple addition of garam masala gives the soup a beautiful, spiced taste. Serve with toasted whole grain bread. I’m currently loving the multigrain sourdough from Trader Joe’s.

*Vegan, Vegetarian*
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped small
  • 2 large carrots, chopped small
  • ½ large head cauliflower, cut into about 1 inch florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon shallot salt (or sub onion salt)
  • 1 box vegetable broth
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
  • chopped fresh parsley, optional, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat a large pot over medium heat. When ready, add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add garlic, garam masala, and shallot salt, and stir together until garlic is fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  4. Add broth, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until flavors have combined and cauliflower is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Notes
Note: Looking for a shortcut? Pick up a mire poix from Trader Joe’s – pre cut onions, celery, and carrots for about $3.

 

Hope you like this Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup Recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

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Who says comfort food has to be unhealthy? I think a cozy bowl of this Healthier Chicken and Dumplings recipe is perfect for a cold or rainy day. We definitely make this a few times during the fall and winter seasons.

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

The base recipe is actually really great, so I didn’t have to change it too much. It’s simple and fast. Hello, 30 Minute Meals! But, I didn’t love using boxed biscuit mix for the dumplings. Some of those boxed mixes throw in some interesting extras by way of ingredients that Michael Pollan wouldn’t approve.

Speaking of Pollan, I love his straightforward approach to eating as outlined in Food Rules, and it’s probably one of the most influential books I’ve read for my take on healthy eating. His advice is practical and easy to apply, and I thought about it when I adjusted this recipe.

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

From extra biscuit mix ingredients to straight up biscuit ingredients, I made this a little extra clean-eats.

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
 
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Here’s a Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe to try out sometime soon. I adapted this recipe from the 30 Minute Meals recipe to make the biscuits from scratch (with a couple other minor changes). It’s really just as easy as using the boxed stuff without the unnecessary added yucky ingredients. Don’t skip the parsley. It’s so good for you and high in vitamin C. Try using whole grains for the biscuit mix to take the health factor up a notch. I really like using spelt flour because the texture is pretty fluffy for a whole grain flour.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 to 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 inch)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 rib celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt), plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup flour of choice, divided (I like spelt or a mix of half whole wheat and half unbleached white)
  • 1 quart chicken broth or stock
  • ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup milk (I used 2%)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil, potato, carrots, onion, and celery, and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons butter and melt, stirring a little. Add 2 tablespoons flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Whisk in broth or stock and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined. Cut 2 tablespoons butter into small cubes. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and ¼ cup parsley until the mixture is just evenly combined (be careful to not over mix).
  3. Drop tablespoonfuls of flour mixture into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir in peas. Cook until peas are warmed through, about 1 minute. Taste test and add salt and/or pepper, if needed. Serve, garnish with extra parsley, and enjoy!
Notes
Sometimes it’s hard to find 1½ pounds of chicken at the grocery store. I find that anywhere between 1 and 1½ pounds works okay. You’ll just have a lot more of the veggies and biscuits if you go towards the lower amount of chicken, but you can still make it work.

 

Love healthy comfort food? Try out some of these other options:

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy this Healthier Chicken and Dumplings Recipe!

Pink Champagne Punch Recipe

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Here’s a light and refreshing Pink Champagne Punch Recipe that I actually made for this past New Year’s Eve. I suppose this may have been more helpful had I posted it prior to New Year’s Eve, but this punch is so versatile. I think you could easily use this for baby showers, wedding/bridal showers, birthday parties, or any celebration get-together, really. I’m also considering grabbing a bottle just to remake this for brunch sometime soon. What better way to stick with the Eat in Month challenge than to entice yourself with treats you can easily whip up at home?

Pink Champagne Punch Recipe

This punch was inspired by the champagne punch I had at a baby shower awhile back. You guys looove that recipe and have been pinning it like mad. I wanted to create another option with a different flavor profile. And, I also wanted to see if I could make it pink with a little natural food coloring by way of pomegranate juice. It worked!

Pink Champagne Punch Recipe

You can easily control the color of this punch as well as the intensity of the pomegranate flavor by how much you add. Add a touch for a hint of pink. Add about 1/2 cup per bottle for a more intense color. I love to use POM Wonderful’s 100% pomegranate juice.

Pink Champagne Punch Recipe

Pink Champagne Punch Recipe
 
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This Pink Champagne Punch Recipe yields a light and refreshing drink that is great for celebratory parties like baby showers, wedding/bridal showers, birthdays, and anniversaries. It would also go great with Sunday brunch in place of mimosas if you want to try something a little different.

The sweetness of this drink will depend on the champagne you use. Add simple syrup (see Notes) to make the drink sweeter.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 750-ml bottle champagne
  • 1 12-ounce can ginger ale
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice (I used POM Wonderful)
  • simple syrup (cooled), optional
  • raspberries
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, combine champagne, ginger ale, and pomegranate juice. Stir.
  2. Taste test. If you’d like the drink sweeter, stir in some simple syrup (see Notes). If you’d like the drink to look more pigmented or you want a strong pomegranate flavor, stir in more pomegranate juice.
  3. Add raspberries to the pitcher. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
Note #1: This will work best when the liquids are already chilled prior to making the punch. Store punch in the refrigerator.

Note #2 (Simple Syrup): To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small pot or microwave dish and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool before adding to the punch. You may want to make this earlier in the day and keep in the refrigerator. The amount you need will depend on how sweet the champagne is that you’re using and how sweet you want your punch. I recommend using about ½ cup sugar/water per bottle of champagne, though you may not end up using all of the resulting simple syrup.

Note #3: Using only one bottle, this made an unimpressive amount in the pitcher I used (which I think is pretty standard in size). It barely filled the pitcher halfway. If you want a more plentiful-looking pitcher to serve, you may want to double the recipe, at least initially. This will also depend on the size of your pitcher, of course.

Note #4: You can also use a 10-ounce bottled ginger ale if you don’t have or don’t want to use the canned version. Or, you can pour out about 1½ cups from a larger bottle.

 

Hope you enjoy this Pink Champagne Punch Recipe! Thanks for stopping by!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe

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It’s pumpkin pie season! Raise your hand if you’re ready for Thanksgiving. I know I am. One of our Thanksgiving table staples growing up was pumpkin pie. I’ve learned recently that many people don’t actually eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. And of those who eat it, many seem to do so grudgingly. Pumpkin pie isn’t just a staple for me, I think it’s absolutely delicious! I look forward to it every year and think a Thanksgiving table without it isn’t complete. But that’s just me. For my fellow pumpkin pie fans out there, here’s something to tide you over – a Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

As long time readers know, I love to make oil-free granola thanks to fruit based mixtures with applesauce or canned pumpkin. This Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe is made with the latter. Toss in a little pumpkin pie spice, and you get a delicious breakfast granola.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

I thought about just adding pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which seemed like the obvious crunchy ingredient, but the pecans add a nice, buttery taste to the mix. I know pecans aren’t traditionally in pumpkin pie, but just go with it. It’s worth adding the pecans in for the texture and flavor.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

And about that texture, the optional brown rice syrup will help give this granola a stickiness and chewiness that I really enjoy. I love when the granola clusters up a bit, so I do recommend adding that extra ingredient to this Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe. Brown rice syrup is great for many recipes (including this healthy coconut macaroon one).

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe
 
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I love using canned pumpkin to make oil-free granola, so I decided to pull together some classic dessert flavors to make this Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe. Whip up a batch for your family or to give out as gifts to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Serve with milk or my favorite way – over yogurt.
*Vegetarian, Vegan*
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed, optional
  • 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients oats, pepitas, flaxseed (if using), and pumpkin pie spice, and stir to mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients canned pumpkin, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, additional sweetener (if using), vanilla, and salt and stir with a whisk to mix well.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until wet mixture is evenly distributed.
  5. Pour granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread to an even layer.
  6. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for 45-60 minutes, or until granola is browned to preference.
  7. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or milk.
Notes
Note: If you really love pumpkin pie spice, you may want to add a little extra (maybe ½ teaspoon?). Mix up the ingredients, taste test, and add more till you’re happy with the flavor.

 

***

Here are some other recipes you may enjoy:

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients) #recipe #granola #healthy

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date

Autumn Granola Recipe {Oil-Free with Canned Pumpkin}

Autumn Granola Recipe {Oil-Free with Canned Pumpkin}

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins Recipe

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins Recipe

Check out these healthy pumpkin recipes featured over at Women’s Health Mag – one of them is from The Chic Life!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the recipes!

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

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Tis the season for all things pumpkin. Since I love my Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts so much, I thought it would be fun to try it with a chocolate twist. I present a Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze. This recipe is also baked like the non-pumpkin version.

I actually drafted this recipe last year but never got around to blogging it. I had the photographs done and everything. I considered using the recipe and photos from last year. But, I decided to test out the recipe one more time just to be sure it would come out okay. It did! And since I had some cute mini pumpkins, I decided to re-shoot the donuts, too. Read on for the recipe…

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

Normally, I like to roll my baked doughnuts in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Because I’m lazy like that. When you can have dessert in under 20 minutes, the extra few minutes it takes to make the glaze can add up.

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

So, if you’re looking to shave off a couple minutes from this recipe, these Healthier (baked) Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts would also be delicious rolled in cinnamon sugar. If you’re looking for as much chocolate-y goodness as possible, then definitely set aside a couple extra minutes to whip up the chocolate glaze recipe.

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

To make these Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts extra beautiful, add some orange or Halloween-themed sprinkles on top!

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

It was difficult to not eat all six of these Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts. But, I managed to share them with hubby and save one for the next day. It was pretty good cold, straight out of the fridge. But, I think they’re best when they’re eaten with that fresh-baked warmth still in them. Mmm!

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze

Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze
 
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Here’s a quick & easy dessert that’s a perfect use of leftover canned pumpkin – Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze. I’m loving baked doughnuts because I can make them so quickly and they’re just so darned good. One batch never lasts long in our house. We gobble them right up and you can, too, with this recipe.
*Vegetarian, Vegan options*
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Baked Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts
  • ½ cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup, plus ¼ cup granulated sugar (preferably raw, brown sugar would probably be delicious)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon, plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 large egg (or sub flaxseed egg)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
Chocolate Glaze
  • ½ tablespoon butter (or sub Earth Balance)
  • ½ tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips (use vegan option if preferred)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted Note: Do NOT skip sifting or it will be more difficult to get a smooth glaze
Instructions
Baked Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 6-count doughnut pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium-large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In another medium-large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and milk. Whisk in egg. Add vanilla extract and white vinegar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (careful to not over-mix).
  5. Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Note: This dough is pretty thick, so you’ll want to spread the tops as flat as possible using the back of a spoon or spatula.
  6. Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until doughnuts are cooked through (when a toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean). (Mine were perfect at 8 minutes, but oven temperatures can vary, so check at 7 minutes)
  7. Make the chocolate glaze (recipe follows).
  8. When doughnuts are safe to touch, but while they’re still warm, dip the smooth side (bottom) into the chocolate glaze.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Place butter and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat until butter is almost melted, about 20-30 seconds. Add chocolate chips, let sit for a minute and then whisk until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is combined. Whisk in vanilla extract. Whisk in powdered sugar until evenly combined.
Notes
Note: You can use cinnamon sugar instead of the chocolate glaze if you want to save some time or prefer the different flavor/topping. Stir ¼ cup granulated sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon with a fork and dip warm doughnuts into the sugar mixture.


Be sure to check out my Healthier Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts and Healthier Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts.

 

Hope you enjoy this baked Healthier Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnuts Recipe with Chocolate Glaze!

By the way, what is your favorite brand of canned pumpkin? Though I prefer using organic canned pumpkin, I must say Libby’s is probably the best. Libby’s canned pumpkin is not only a beautiful, vibrant orange color, it has a great texture and flavor, too!

littleSpoon {Charlotte, NC} Hip Hop Brunch

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Where can you go for great brunch eats and 90′s/00′s hip hop? Try littleSpoon {Charlotte, NC} for a delicious hip hop brunch.

Little Spoon {Charlotte, NC} Hip Hop Brunch

I can’t say I’ve been anywhere else in town where you can get this experience, potentially making this my new favorite, local brunch spot. Well-crafted food + locally sourced ingredients + some of my favorite tunes = a winning combination.

Hubby actually suggested checking out this restaurant a couple weekends ago, and I happily agreed. littleSpoon is located off of Selwyn Avenue where FABO used to be, in the same shopping center as Mellow Mushroom. The space is a little on the smaller side, but it’s well decorated and comfortable. I’m not sure if they take reservations, but it may be worth making them, if possible.

I’d had a lot of coffee that morning, so I decided to try something different to drink. Fresh-made lemonade hit the spot. It was a little bubbly and lightly sweet, just how I like my lemonade.

Little Spoon {Charlotte, NC} Hip Hop Brunch

We considered starting with the doughnuts, but when we heard there was a blueberry, homemade “pop tart” special, we were sold. The starter was great – so much better than a boxed pop-tart. littleSpoon’s version was made with fresh blueberries and a hint of citrus in a golden pie crust.

Little Spoon {Charlotte, NC} Hip Hop Brunch

We decided to share a couple main dishes. Hubby ordered the homemade “hot pocket” with egg whites, turkey sausage, and jalapeño. I tried a bite and really enjoyed it, though it was a little spicy for me. I’m a weeny when it comes to spicy food, though. The flavors were great together, and I enjoyed the dough, which reminded me a little bit of pizza/calzone dough.

Little Spoon {Charlotte, NC} Hip Hop Brunch

But, the hash stole the show for me. Not only was it beautiful, but it was the perfect combination of ingredients. I believe it contained purple potatoes, bell peppers, onions, sausage, micro greens, and a sunny-side up egg on top. I love these types of dishes – the ones where you try to gather a little bit of every tasty component in a single bite to enjoy the flavors together.

The weather was warm when we visited littleSpoon so we sat outside. We took in the sunny day whilst enjoying our brunch eats and songs by Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and Tupac. It’s not every day you can enjoy this combination, but hubby and I are already looking forward heading back to littleSpoon for another tasty hip hop brunch soon.

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