Tag Archives: light

Cooking Club: Chickpea Salad with Orange and Cinnamon Dressing

Katie contributed this salad to our orange-themed cooking club. It was one of the only dishes that didn’t necessarily LOOK orange, but you tasted (and saw) the oranges in there. It was a light refreshing twist to what you would expect. This is a crowd-pleasure for sure.

•  15 oz. chickpeas dried, soaked in plenty of water overnight
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 small handful mint, finely chopped
• 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
• 1/4 cup  feta cheese
• 6 dried, plump apricots, sliced

•  juice from 1/2 lemon
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• zest from 1  orange
• 1 tsp honey
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• pinch of ground cinnamon
• pinch of sea salt
• extra virgin olive oil to taste

1. Drain the chickpeas, fill the saucepan of chickpeas with water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. Combine the chickpeas, tomato, mint, onion and apricots in a bowl. Top with crumbled feta and lightly toasted almonds.

3. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss well and serve.


Vegan Lime and Coconut Shortbread Cookies

I picked up a pretty little cookie cookbook by Christabel Martin a few weeks ago from the bargain section of local bookstore recently. Everything in it is perfectly photographed, displaying little cookies, biscuits and treats that you imagine eating at an outdoor, fancified affair.

I don’t have any affairs to attend, but decided I have done enough baking lately — in fact, as a person who primarily made baked goods until a few years ago, this blog is severely lacking in cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, muffins, scones… you get the idea. So, tonight was the night!

My squeeze likes coconut, and I had about 10 minutes to throw together a shopping list and get back home to make dinner. I had everything but the lime and the coconut (yes, I’ve been thinking of Reservoir Dogs all day…), so I decided it was a go on this recipe. It turned out, I couldn’t find the right coconut (unsweetened and dried) but went ahead anyway.

I also was happy that I could easily veganize this recipe — I just swapped out the butter for my new favorite vegan butter, and voila! I seem to hear from all kinds of people what a drag it must be to not have any dairy or eggs, but this is a prime example of a delicious sweet treat that can easily be made vegan.

Here is the original recipe (I’ll note my changes). The recipe says it makes 25, but mine were only slight smaller than directed and I had almost 70! So, guess it’s up to you how bite-sized you want these…

Cookie Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour
• 1/3 c. confectioner’s/powdered sugar
• 3/4 c. unsweetened dried coconut
(I used regular bagged sweetened coconut flakes, because it was all I could find!)
• 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest (the zest of 2 good-sized limes did it for me)
• 3/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (leave in refrigerator until ready to add to bowl!)
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or don’t… if you don’t have any… and it will still be fine)

2. Sift flour and powdered sugar (if you have a sifter…) into a bowl, then stir in coconut and lime zest.

3. If butter has been sitting out, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes — it should definitely be cold for this. When it’s ready to go, add it to the bowl and squeeze it into the mixture with your finger tips until the mixture is crumbly.

4. Add lime juice to bowl and cut through dough with a flat-bladed knife. You kind of think “How in the world will this possibly mix the juice in?” Oh, it does. Just do it.

5. Gather dough in a ball (I have only a small silpat to roll dough out on, so I did half at a time). Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter*, cut into rounds and place on cookie sheet.

*If you don’t have a 2-inch round cookie cutter, you can find something else to use, like, oh, perhaps a shot glass that measures about 1.75-inches, making them perfectly bite-sized.

6. Give the cookies a little room on the cookie sheet (at this size, I was able to fit about 25 on a sheet) and make for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly golden brown (I was on the shorter end at this size, of course).   Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack, etc. to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:
• 1 c. powdered sugar
• 2 Tbsp. lime juice, strained

1. Add powdered sugar and lime juice to a heat-proof bowl (I went with a metal mixing bowl) and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth.

2. Spread a little frosting onto each cookie, stirring the frosting in the bowl occasionally so it doesn’t harden. Let cookies with frosting cool completely  — they will be stackable and delicious!

Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 5 days.