Simple Herb-Marinated Beans

How was your Easter? Did you eat yourself into a frenzy? We came precariously close 🙂 As such, this pot of simple, herb-marinated beans is definitely needed this week. It’s light and fresh (because spring is trying to appear), full of protein (to keep you away from all the leftover chocolate) and it lasts all week in the fridge (making your lunch or dinner choices so much easier).

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I was working from home one day last week and didn’t have any leftovers to eat up for lunch, which sent me on a minor food-hunt around the apartment. Aside from some herbs and tomatoes, the fridge was looking fairly bare. But a quick nose around the pantry turned up a few cans of beans, and some shallots. From that, this bowl of really tasty herb-marinated beans was born, just in time for lunch!

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I started with one can of butter beans (those gigantic ones) and decided it wasn’t going to be enough, so tossed in a can of cannellini beans as well. I love how big and meaty these beans are, and this salad makes a great base for many additions. Cucumber or peppers would be great, or even thinly sliced mushrooms. Just don’t skimp on the herbs. Everything is marinated in a fragrant herby vinaigrette which, when piled on a piece of toasted bread, makes for a perfect lunch.

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The beans have been sitting in our fridge for the last 4 or 5 days and everyday, they always seem to taste just a little bit better. That’s what I love about salads like this – they’re easy to make and last more than an hour in the fridge.

We’ve eaten them on toasted bread, on their own as a salad, and even tossed in with roasted veggies for a tasty kick. I love it when an almost-empty fridge surprises me like this 🙂

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Simple Herb-Marinated Beans
 
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Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These healthy herb-marinated beans are easy to make, full of protein, and bursting with flavour.
Ingredients
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cans of beans (398 mL each), drained and thoroughly rinsed (I used butter beans and cannellini)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (I used cilantro and mint)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the chopped shallot, fresh ginger, dried red chili flakes and white wine vinegar. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes while you are prepping the rest of the salad.
  2. Place the beans, tomatoes and herbs in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to combine.
  3. Add the shallot mixture to the beans and mix thoroughly.
  4. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to meld.
  5. Serve as a side salad, or on top of toast or bread.
Notes
In a tightly-sealed container, this salad will last in the fridge up to one week.

Enjoy these simple herb-marinated beans!

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese

The holiday season seems to ensure we consume more than our daily quota of sugar intake, which is probably why we crave our veggies and greens. With Vancouver still reeling from its unusual cold snap, we’re also embracing our veggies roasted or sauted. This one-pot sausage and chickpea bowl with goat cheese hits many of our winter food requirements:

  • It’s hot (hello, roasted goodness)
  • It still has lots of colour (hello, tasty veggies)
  • It’s satisfying (hello, chickpeas and local sausage)
  • It has cheese (enough said) 🙂

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This meal is quick to put together (think, under 30 minutes) and I like to think of it as more of a broad pairing-guide, than a recipe. During the winter, we usually have roasted vegetables 4 or 5 times a week and change-up the protein as our cravings desire. So this recipe is more of a “what to add to your warm veggies” meal, than anything else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we like spicy food. We picked up a few pork Habanero sausages from the local butcher, and they really added a great flavour to this meal. Pair that with a few cloves of garlic, a glug or two of white wine, and a sprinkle of tangy goat cheese, and this meal definitely elevated our roasted veggies up a notch or two.

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I can see this sausage and chickpea bowl coming together in one of two ways:

  1. The lazy-man’s approach: Roast your veggies and chickpeas together on a tray in the oven. Cook the sausages at the same time, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then throw everything into a large bowl, mix with the fresh herbs, and top with a sprinkling of goat cheese.
  2. The slightly more active-man’s approach: Saute the veggies and chickpeas together in a large pot on the stove. Cook the sausages in the oven, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes until they’re cooked through. Then throw the sliced sausages, fresh herbs and a sprinkling of goat cheese into the veggie pot.

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Either way, the result is quick, flavourful and healthy meal that will ease any guilt you might have after taste-testing all those extra rugelach, for quality-assurance purposes 🙂

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This healthy one-pot meal comes together in under 30 minutes. Use any veggies you'd like, to completely customize your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 pint (~350 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red thai chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 can (398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 150 g (~2 large) pork Habanero sausages (or flavour of your choice)
  • Glug of white wine, or white wine vinegar
  • 50 - 75 g soft goat's cheese
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages and place on a tray. Broil in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked completely, flipping every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before slicing into pieces.
  2. At the same time, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and chilies and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine, then add the chopped kale and stir until the kale starts to wilt.
  5. Add the sliced sausage, cilantro and mint to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with the goat cheese.

Enjoy the One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese!

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Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad

I had never eaten a fresh fig until a few years ago, when a friend asked if we wanted any from her neighbour’s tree. “Yes!”, was the obvious answer! Fresh figs are a wonderfully tasty fruit, especially when their skin starts to give way and a bit of their nectar seeps out. And when a fig is perfectly ripe (or over-ripe!), it has a sweetness that pairs perfectly with a little spice. Case in point is this Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad.

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The idea for this salad came about after a trip into Whole Foods, where they had strategically placed the best looking figs right at the entrance to the store. They were staring me down, and I was sucked in immediately. Good thing they are in season right now, because they were actually a reasonable price, so I couldn’t refuse!

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There are only a handful of ingredients in this salad – a few tangled carrots are tossed with a spicy vinaigrette and the wheat berries give a nice nutty chew and a bit more substance to the salad. I really think the spicy vinaigrette brings out the best of the sweet fresh figs!

Like most of our salads, the recipe here is a general guide. If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the chilies. If you have other veggies in you fridge, feel free to use them up. We like adding grains like farro or wheat berries to our salads, as they hold up well in the fridge over a few days, and keep us feeling full well into the afternoon.

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So if you’ve never eaten a fresh fig before, make friends with a fig-laden neighbour, or grab a pint of them at the store while they are still in season, and make this salad! 🙂

Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired in part, by the Marrakesh Carrots in Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl and Spoon cookbook.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry wheat berries (or farro or other grain)
  • 3 - 4 medium to large carrots, peeled and grated or spiralized
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 4 fresh figs, sliced
  • 2 red Thai chilies, chopped (remove the seeds, if you want a milder heat)
  • 1 good handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 good handful fresh basil, shredded
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Rinse the wheat berries under running water. Place in a medium sauce pan and pour enough water in to cover them by at least 5 cm. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Partially cover the pan and let simmer until tender to the bite, about 25 minutes. Drain and leave to cool before adding to the salad.
  2. While the wheat berries are cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Place the carrots, shallot, green onions, dates, fresh figs and chilies into a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Add the lime juice and zest, the olive oil and fresh cilantro and basil. Sprinkle in the cumin, turmeric and ground nutmeg. Toss well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the cooked wheat berries and toss to combine.
  5. Serve the salad with added sliced fresh figs on top, if desired.
Notes
This salad tastes very good after sitting for a bit. It will hold up well in the fridge for at least 2 days.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Cauliflower-Chickpea Salad with Tahini Farro

Yes, this title is a mouthful, but this salad is a mouthful – and a tasty one, at that!

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We made this salad the other week, when the weather was fickle – rapidly changing between rainy and sunny, warm and cool. It tasted great as a warm salad, with the roasted chickpeas and cauliflower, and equally grand the next day, straight from the fridge.

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Now I know most people don’t need another salad recipe, but we eat salads a lot in the warmer months and all too often, we get into a bit of a salad rut, eating variations of the same one all the time. Browsing through magazines or cookbooks or other online blogs helps alleviate the same-old feelings, and they provide a lot of inspiration: maybe I’ll find a different dressing to make the salad special, or an unusual pairing of flavours we wouldn’t have thought to try.

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The inspiration for this salad came from a Green Kitchen Stories recipe a few weeks ago. They made a beautiful salad, filled with roasted cauliflower and za’tar-spiced chickpeas, but it was the tahini-spiked yogurt that caught my attention.

Our version of the salad is quite easy to make, as most salads are. While the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting in the oven, the farro can be cooked on the stove, veggies can be chopped, and the yogurt-dressing can be made. With both of us tinkering away in the kitchen, it took 30 minutes to put together, and that included a bit of cooling time (and me taking pictures 🙂 ).

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It’s a salad that tastes really good warm, and equally tasty after it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge, allowing the flavours to mingle. Really, it’s the ideal spring-shoulder-season salad! Also, the combination of chickpeas, farro and avocado give this salad a hefty dose of fibre-rich carbs, tonnes of protein and healthy fats. This salad will definitely keep your body fueled for whatever activities you decide to do this weekend.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Farro
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 - 6 servings
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 9.8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.8 g
  • Sugar: 9.4 g
  • Sodium: 408 mg
  • Fiber: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 1.6 g
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup dried farro, rinsed
  • ½ medium cucumber, chopped
  • 15 - 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of fresh spinach
For the yogurt dressing:
  • ¼ cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Handful of chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, juice + zest
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Drain and thoroughly rinse a can of chickpeas, and dry slightly with paper towel. Place both the cauliflower and chickpeas onto baking tray, toss with a bit of olive oil, and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower just starts to darken and the chickpeas have a bite.
  2. At the same time, cook the farro. Place 2 cups of water into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the rinsed farro to the sauce pan, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the farro is tender, with a slight bite, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the vegetables: cut the cucumber into chunks, the tomatoes into halves, and dice the avocado. Place all into a large bowl along with a good handful of fresh spinach.
  4. To prepare the yogurt dressing, place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Taste, adding more salt or lemon juice, to your liking.
  5. Toss the yogurt dressing with the warm farro, and add to the vegetable mixture.
  6. Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasted, add these to the salad and toss to combine.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with nuts or seeds, if desired.

Enjoy!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

Homemade Red Curry Paste

Starting most Monday mornings, Jonty and I usually start to talk about what we want to make / eat on the coming weekend (five whole days early!!) – probably because we’re so excited to have the weekend roll around again, but also because we tend to have more time to cook, and we enjoy the process 🙂

During the past week, Jonty came across a recipe for a Caribbean-style chicken, and I found a recipe that called for chicken with grilled pineapple. We imagined the flavours would go together well, and  figured it could be good “bowl food” (because we’re all about our nibbly / tapas / small eats on the weekend!).

This recipe is a bit of a mix, partly from a few different recipes online, and partly from the Green Curry Paste I made in the summer. If you want the paste super smooth, a food processor or high-speed blender will be needed, but it’s just a matter of throwing everything into the mix and pureeing until smooth. Super easy!

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As you would expect, the main ingredient of a Red Curry Paste is … wait for it… Red Chili Peppers! We used the thin red Thai chilies – if you can handle the heat, use a lot of them; if you have a more delicate palate, just remove all (or most) of the seeds.

I know lots of people say to wear gloves or something if you’re chopping a lot of chilis or jalapenos, to reduce the burning. I never do, but I usually pay the price (my climber-fingers were burning for most of the evening… and I may have rubbed my eye at some point during the process… ouch!)

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We made a peanut-coconut Thai chicken curry with grilled pineapple, and used about 2 or 3 tbsp of the curry paste for the meal, it was very tasty!

Even on its own, this paste tastes really good, so if you’re looking for a great spicy dip, try mixing 1 tbsp of the curry paste into 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt. We nibbled this with fresh veggies and homemade potato chips – add in a good UKIPA, and your Saturday night is set! 🙂

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Homemade Red Curry Paste
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1.5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 13
  • Fat: 0.9 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5 g
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 56.1 mg
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Condiments
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 45 g / 1.5 oz / ~20 red Thai chilis, chopped (seeds in or out, depending on your heat preference)
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric root, peeled (~2 little pieces)
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (bottom ⅔rd of the stalk)
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a food processor (fitted with the S-blade) or a high-speed blender (like a Blendtec) and puree until smooth. This may take at least 5 minutes.
  2. Taste and adjust add more salt or lime juice, if necessary.
  3. Transfer into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Notes
The paste should last in the refrigerator, in a tightly-sealed container, for at least one month.
For use in curries, I usually add 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons.

Enjoy!

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