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Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry

8 Sep


I’ve found them – chickpeas in Seoul!

Spotted at High Steet Market in Itaewon.

To celebrate the discovery of my long-lost pantry staple, I decided to make one of my favorite chickpea dishes – Lemony Chickpea Stir-fry, using chickpeas (obvio), kale, zucchini, tofu (optional) and lemon.

I found this recipe 2 years ago, on the amazing blog, 101 Cookbooks, and I haven’t stopped making it since.  Like all the recipes I enjoy, this ultra healthy stir-fry is simple, quick, and really highlights the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are full of protein, fiber and antioxidants (as well as tons of other nutrients), making them a true super-food and an excellent meat substitute.  I find chickpeas delicious in any way, shape or form, but stir-frying them with very little olive oil helps bring out their delicious nutlike & buttery taste.  Adding-in the kale and zucchini to the mix makes for a perfectly flavorful and nutritious meal.

This dish does the body good.

P.S.  if you have a chickpea recipe you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you.



2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1 Small onion
1 Cup cooked chickpeas (using 1 can of chickpeas is perfectly fine, just make sure to wash them well)
8 Ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 Cup of chopped kale
2 Small zucchinis, chopped
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon


(1) Heat 1 tablespoon of  olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

(2) Stir in about a teaspoon of salt, the chopped onion, and chickpeas.

(3) Saute until the chickpeas are deeply golden and crusty.  This may take up to 15 minutes depending on your stove.  Luckily, you can’t go wrong with stir-fying this mix as long as nothing starts to burn.

During this stir-frying time, I usually cut up my tofu, kale and zucchini, while occassionally mixing the chickpeas

(4) Optional: Stir in the tofu and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the tofu is heated through.

(5) Stir in the kale and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

(6) Remove everything from the skillet onto a large plate and set aside.

(7) In the same skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, add the zucchini and saute for 2 -3 minutes, until it starts to deepen in color.

(8) Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet, mix everything together and remove from heat.

(9) Stir in the lemon juice and zest, taste, and season with a bit more salt if needed.

Serves 2 – 4

Simple Bruschetta

30 Aug

Tomatoes are my favorite food.

I eat them every single day in salads, on toasts, like apples, and I’ve even been known to (often) eat an entire jar of tomato sauce with a spoon & a smile.

You think it’s sick?  I think it’s just right.

Anyway, with SO much tomato love, you can imagine my excitement when I encountered (devoured) this simply delicious bruschetta prepared by my friend S.

I’ve made this bruschetta a few times already because it’s incredibly easy, such a crowd pleaser, and can be made several hours before your guests arrive.

This week, I’ll be testing this recipe on G’s parents, who are visiting us in Seoul.

No pressure.


– About 12 cherry tomatoes
– 6 to 9 leaves of basil (I usually use 9+ leaves)
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 2 heaping tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
– 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I prefer 2 tbsp, but it might be too acidic if your tomatoes aren’t sweet, so taste as you go)
– Salt and Pepper to taste
– Baguette or loaf of french bread
(1) Wash and de-seed tomatoes.
I am not super diligent about de-seeding because it doesn’t bother me if a bit of tomato juice remains.
(2) Dice tomatoes and place in a bowl.
I like cutting each tomato in half, and then cutting each half into 3 pieces, so that 1 cherry tomato yields 6 slices
(3) Cut the basil into thin ribbons (chiffonade) and place in the bowl.
(4) Add rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
(5) Mix, taste to season, and refrigerate.
(6) Remove bruschetta from the fridge about 15 minutes before guests are due to arrive
(7) Slice up the bread (diagonally) & serve
(7)  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  As the oven is coming to temperature, slice the bread diagonally.
(8) Place slices on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil (optional).  Place tray in oven until bread begins to crisp.
For garlic lovers, rub a clove of garlic along the toasted bread for an additional kick.
– Serve immediately or at room temperature with bruschetta.

Baked Salmon, Asparagus, Tomatoes & Potatoes

11 Aug

Finally- a dish that is delicious, nutritious, and can be made in under an hour.


My darling new neighbor and good friend, Mshi, found a delightfully easy baked salmon recipe** from the book Home at 7, Dinner at 8 that we were both eager to try.

The recipe calls for nothing more than salmon, asparagus, tomatoes and potatoes, some olive oil, basic herbs + salt and pepper… which is quite the perfect combination of fresh & simple ingredients, if I do say so myself.

 The entire meal took us only 45 minutes to complete (including all the washing, cutting & baking) and, to be very honest, the process was so bizarrely easy that Mshi and I were bracing ourselves for a tasteless disappointment.  I mean, can good food be this quick?!


Turns out, it can!

This is the part when Mshi and I taste the salmon for the first time and start high-fiving each other like we just won the World Cup.

The baked salmon & veggies were unbelievably tasty (and healthy), especially when paired with white wine, fresh bread & a garlicky garden salad. I can’t wait to make this meal again.

Notes (*):

*Koreans say, “Hwaiting!” which I believe is derived from the English word, “fighting,” as a way to cheer themselves or others on.

**We followed the basic recipe, but omitted the Pancetta and added rosemary to the potatoes (only).  We also added dill and thyme to the salmon (only).