What you'll need:
-1 16-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, then cooked in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle pepper; fresh ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon Saigon cinammon for 10 minutes. Set aside. You can also use dried organic chick peas--follow cooking instructions on package and set aside.
-1/2 cup dry organic Quinoa, rinsed, drained and cooked with 1 and 1/3 cup of vegetable stock on medium high for 10-15 minutes. Quinoa should be translucent when done. Add more liquid as needed. Set aside.
-1 bag frozen peas, steamed in microwave. Open bag and pour into container, setting aside.
-1 organic carrot, shredded finely. Set aside.
-1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly in skillet with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chipotle pepper and cinammon. Set aside.
-2 strips of Morningstar Farms veggie-protein bacon (or go whole-hog and slap down some strips of the good stuff if you're a carnivore), cooked in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, and dashes of fresh ground black pepper, cinammon, and chipotle. Crumble and set aside.
In the same pan you cooked the bacon, combine the cooked quinoa, cooked chickpeas, half of the steamed peas, all of the shredded carrot, lightly drizzling extra virgin olive oil and adding cinammon, chipotle, poultry seasoning and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Let it all combine and warm-through. Remove from heat. Mix in pine nuts. Plate 1-cup of salad, garnishing with crumbled bacon (and parmagianno reggiano cheese if desired). Salad itself makes about 4 servings. Protein-packed and full of flavor, this salad is sure to please even the hungriest pop culture vulture! Layering the spices at each step gives depth to the complex Indian-inspired flavors. Enjoy!
What you'll need:
-1 whole pineapple; cut off top and bottom and use sharp knife to take off rough exterior. Use corer to de-core pineapple and cut into rings
-1/2 cup orange-blosson honey mixed with a dash of chipotle ground pepper
Heat grill pan on med-high, using thin coating of non-stick cooking spray. Place 2-3 pineapple rings down. Flip after 1-2 minutes, depending on how hot your pan is. You should see light-golden brown grill marks. Flip to other side and grill another 1-2 minutes. Plate grilled rings and lightly driizzle with chipotle honey. Pineapple is the perfect chaser to the spicy dish above...and it's all healthy: low fat, low cal, low carb, high fiber, high protein, high flavor foods that lend themselves well to the often sedentary lifestyle of the traditional pop culture vulture....
Not Your Mother's Coconut Milk Cocktail
What you'll need:
-1 part good brandy
-1/2 part skim milk
-1/2 part coconut milk
-1/2 part coconut liqueur
-1/4 teaspoon Neilsen-Massy Vanilla
-1/2 part vodka
Take all ingredients except vodka and heat gently in sauce pan over med-low heat. You only want it to warm, allowing flavors to be fully incorporated. Remove from pan into blender with 4 large cubes of ice, adding vodka. Blend for 60 seconds, or until ice is fully incorporated. Pour into 12-ounce glass, sprinkle with ground coriander, and garnish with wedge of pineapple on rim. Pairs nicely with the flavors in the Quinoa-Chickpea Salad and the Grilled Pineapple. L'Chaim!
Nonalcoholic version: Omitting brandy, vodka and coconut liqueur, and increasing to one part skim milk and one part coconut milk, combine milks in sauce pan as directed above with 1/4 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/2 teaspoon Neilsen-Massey vanilla. Once warmed through, place in blender with 4 large cubes of ice and one ring of fresh pineapple. Blend until smooth. Serve in 12-ounce glass, garnishing with a wedge of pineapple on the rim. Enjoy!
That's it for this segment of Pop Culture Cooking 2011. Join me next time with ALL NEW recipes that keep you healthy and fit for those future pop culture marathons! Or any other marathons you're thinking about tackling.... ;)
Until next time, Pop Culture Cooking fans....