crispy bbq chickpeas

crispy bbq chickpeas

Yesterday while driving home from Western Mass I got a little hungry and happened to stumble upon a Whole Foods Market or as my brother calls it, “Whole Paycheck.”  Ok, I’m lying…I planned out my route to drive by one but that’s what I told Shaye because he knows I will spend our entire savings there!  I know a lot of people hate Whole Foods Market for various reasons, but for a “nutrition nerd” like myself its pretty much heaven!  I can spend HOURS and way too much money in there!  I restrained myself this time and left with these two goodies…


The chickpeas were so good and at only a couple hundred calories and a TON of fiber I didn’t feel bad about finishing the whole bag!

Chickpeas contain a lot of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that naturally lowers cholesterol.  They have a low glycemic index and are loaded with protein.  The combination of fiber and protein keeps you full longer which can aid in weight loss.

Today, I tried to recreate this delicious snack, I think I came close!  I used canned garbanzo beans but if you want to make your own, more power to you!  Read the label on the BBQ sauce because certain brands use high fructose corn syrup.  Try to find one that doesn’t!

crispy bbq chickpeas

Crispy BBQ Chickpeas

2 cans garbanzo beans

1/3 cup BBQ sauce

a few glugs of olive oil

a pinch salt & pepper

crispy bbq chickpeas

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper, this makes for easy clean up!

Drain, rinse and lightly blot chickpeas with a paper towel.

In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil and mix in BBQ sauce.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Transfer to baking pan and place in the oven.

Bake for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

crispy bbq chickpeas

Everyone’s oven is slightly different so keep an eye on them. Be careful they don’t burn!  I didn’t think it would take a whole hour for them to get crispy, but they were well worth the wait!

this guy thought so too!

this guy thought so too!

kale…it’s what’s for dinner

meet kale

Dubbed the “new beef” secondary to its high iron level.  Weighing in at only 40 calories, zero fat and a whopping 5 grams of fiber for a 1 cup serving, kale is hailed as a champion in the nutrition world.  It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food warding off disease and contains abundant amounts of vitamins K, A and C all important for immunity, skin, vision and bodily functions.  For all you non-dairy drinkers out there, per calorie kale contains more calcium than milk!

I found this recipe in the April, 2013 edition of Women’s Health Magazine and as usual I modified using the ingredients I had in the house.  I like keeping kale recipes on hand because in a few weeks our garden will be overflowing with kale and I will run out of different ways to prepare it!

kale skillet with egg, onion, and tomato ~vegetarian, gluten free~

Kale Skillet with Egg, Onion, and Tomato

1 1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 large bunches of kale

1 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

5 large eggs

a few large glugs of olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

kale skillet with egg, onion and tomato ~vegetarian, gluten free~


-In a small bowl, toss cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and set aside.

-Remove kale from stems and chop leaves, place in a large bowl of cool water, and swirl to rinse.  Transfer to a colander allowing a bit of water to remain on leaves.

-In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until softened and browned.  Reduce heat to low and add garlic, saute for 3 minutes.

-Add kale leaves to skillet, turn heat to high and toss with tongs until leaves wilt.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

-Make five indents, or “nests” in kale.  Crack 1 egg into each nest.

-Cover skillet and reduce heat.  Cook until yolks are set, about 5 minutes.

-Add cherry tomatoes and vinegar to skillet, then enjoy!

kale skillet with egg, onion, and tomato ~vegetarian, gluten free~

To round out the meal we had roasted fingerling potatoes.  First, in a bowl drizzle potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.  If you want to get fancy, add freshly chopped parsley, rosemary or thyme.  Transfer onto a pan and roast in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes or until soft on the inside and golden on the outside.

kale skillet with egg, onion and tomato ~vegetarian, gluten free~

This is such a quick, easy, affordable and hearty meal that is loaded with health benefits.  For a vegan version you can substitute eggs with cannellini beans…hope you like it too!

If you would like help planning your family’s meals visit me at

apple pie smoothie

apple pie smoothie ~ vegan, raw, gluten free~

Last night I was motivated to make almond milk.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but couldn’t find the time to get to it (story of my life!). Making almond milk takes a little planning, as you need to soak the almonds for 8 hours prior.

almond milk

But other than that it was very simple…and tasty!  You just drain the almonds and add to a blender with two cups water, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of sea salt and a dash of cinnamon.  If you prefer smooth almond milk, strain it through cheesecloth.  Since I knew I would be making a smoothie I didn’t bother with this step.

almond milk

The inspiration for this recipe came from Kris Carr’s website.  I modified it by using the ingredients I had in the house…and added a touch of maple syrup for sweetness (shhh!)

Apple Pie Smoothie

2 apples

2 cups milk of your choice (I used homemade almond milk)

1 banana

3 pitted dates

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

¼ – ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (depending on your taste)

1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 large cup of ice cubes

 apple pie smoothie ~vegan, raw, gluten free~

place all ingredients in a blender, mix until smooth and frothy, enjoy!

apple pie smoothie ~vegan, raw, gluten free~