Yemenite Lentil Soup with Maple Syrup Chickpeas

18 Oct

I find it amusing how most of my most recent blog posts revolve around recipes. Cooking delicious food is my way to show my love for those that are special to me.

Tonight I made a very simple soup for my two loves. It is a big treat when I can cook one dish and for all of us to eat it. One of us is a vegetarian, one of us is under 1 and the other is a carnivore.

The baby ate her entire portion and my husband asked where I found the recipe. “I made it up” I replied.

“Wow” he said, “you need to share the recipe”. And so, here it is

Yemenite lentil soup with roasted maple syrup chickpeas


  • 1 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of hawaij
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 6 cups of water


  • Heat a heavy bottom pot (dutch oven) on the stove and add the olive oil. While the oil is heating up
  • Turn on the oven to roast – 205 degrees Celcius
  • Chop up the onion and toss it into the pan and let it sit until it turns translucent. Don’t stir, just let it cook
  • Mince the garlic, throw it into the pan and stir
  • Peel and dice the sweet potato, toss into the pan
  • Add 1 tablespoon of hawaij and brown sugar, mix
  • Add 6 cups of water and cover the pot. Let it come to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Drain a can of chickpeas and place in a baking dish so all of the chickpeas are spread out in one layer and drizzle 1/4 cup of maple syrup over the chickpeas.
  • Roast the chickpeas for 7 minutes – stay nearby because the maple syrup can burn easily.
  • Once the soup has finished cooking, add the second tablespoon of hawaij, mix and then take the pot off the fire. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until there are no large pieces.
  • Spoon into bowls and top with maple roasted chickpeas



Chickpea Tagine with Tomatoes and Prunes

15 Oct

My recipe is a riff based off of this recipe from Alexandra Cooks – a food blog I follow. I wanted to make this exact recipe but I didn’t have all of the ingredients at home (and couldn’t go out to get the rest).

Time: 45 minutes from start to end.


  • 2 cans of chickpeas (and the liquid)
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 6 prunes (remove pits if they have them)
  • 1 tablespoon of Ras-el-hanout spice mix (make it yourself)
  • Dutch oven
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Grapeseed oil (or sunflower, canola, but not olive oil)
  • Extra – Cilantro if you like the flavor


  • Heat up dutch oven and pour in 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Slice white onion thinly – and add to the dutch oven once the oil starts to shimmer (ie – is hot).
  • Let the onions turn translucent – anywhere from 2-5 minutes.
  • Chop the garlic and add to the pot once the onion are translucent, stir.
  • Add the Ras-el-hanout spice mix – and stir. The house will start to smell of the spices and it is heavenly.
  • Chop the roma tomatoes and throw them into the pot, stir.
  • Add the two cans of chickpeas + 1.5 cups of the liquid into the pot, stir.
  • Chop up the prunes and toss them into the pot too.
  • Pour in the 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar and mix.
  • Bring to a simmer, then adjust heat so the mixture is gently simmering.
  • Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the liquid hasn’t reduced too much. If it gets low, add water by the 1/4 cup.

We ate it over brown rice – which I *finally* learned how to cook properly. Who knew you needed to cook brown rice like you do pasta? Here is how to cook perfect brown rice every time.



One Pot Sazón Chicken and Rice

26 Aug

I am a big big fan of one pot meals-less cleanup and I only have to keep my eyes (and timer) on one pot.

I made this chicken today and it was out of this world. It has a bit of a kick – I assume it was the chipotle powder.

You will need:

  • 4 chicken quarters (defrosted and at room temperature)
  • Dutch oven
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander.
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin.
  • 1 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (achiote) or turmeric.
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  • 1 teaspoon oregano.
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Oil (grapeseed, canola, peanut or soybean)
  • 1 cup long grain rice (basmati, jasmine)

Take the dry spices (everything but the tomato paste), mix them and then rub them into the defrosted chicken. If you have time, let the chicken brine in the dry spices for a few hours in the fridge. If you don’t have time, don’t worry.

Take the dutch oven and place it over a medium fire. Wait until it gets hot and then pour in enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pot. For me, it was less than 1/4 of a cup.

Once the oil is hot, place two of the chicken thighs upside down and leave them there until the skin crisps up (approx 6 minutes) and then turn them over to brown the other side.

Remove and then repeat for the last two pieces of chicken.

Once all the chicken has been browned, remove and add the rice. Stir and make sure the rice is coated with the oil and all that yummy browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Pour in two cups of water and stir. Then add in the tomato paste and stir. Next, add the chicken skin facing down.

Cover the pot and leave it on a medium fire for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, open the pot and have a look at the rice. Add another cup of water. Cover and lower the flame to low and leave it for another 30 minutes.

Once 30 minutes is done, check to make sure the water was all absorbed into the rice. If not, just leave the pot covered and off the fire for another 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken and rice and enjoy!