Slow Cooker Chana Masala

Here we are.  We made it!  It’s 2017.  We’re right at the start of another new year, and if you’re anything like me, you’re looking back on the last month of food you consumed and are thinking “Wow. That was a lot of cheese.”  Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese, but you know what I mean.  The new year has arrived, and it’s time to step away from the gluttony of the holidays for a bit!

Cheesy Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake

Cheesy Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Bake - Chew Nibble Nosh

Every time I have spaghetti squash, I say to myself, “Self, we need to have spaghetti squash more often.” It’s such a great, healthy vehicle for so many things, and this latest creation, a deliciously cheesy southwestern inspired cozy casserole of sorts, was a dinner highlight last week. It was fresh and good for us, and surprisingly filling.  A little went a long way, and after a summer of indulgences, I need a few more meals like this one.

Sweet Corn, Tomato & Pesto Pizza

Sweet Corn, Tomato and Pesto Pizza - Chew Nibble Nosh

You guys.  This pizza…

Wow.

This Sweet Corn, Tomato & Pesto pizza is everything wonderful about summer…on a crust.
It’s crisp, fresh sweet corn and bright summer tomatoes, viibrant fresh basil, and zesty garden fresh pesto.  It’s packed with flavor, ridiculously easy to throw together, and on the dinner table (…lunch table, snack table, coffee table. The pizza’s not picky.) in virtually no time at all. It’s just perfect.

I could eat it every day and probably be pretty happy.

Have I pumped it up enough?

Ready to give it a try?

Mujaddara: Rice and Lentils with Crispy Onions

Mujaddara Rice and Lentils with Crispy Onions - Chew Nibble Nosh

This is one of those meals that, ever since I made it, I’ve wished I hadn’t run out of leftovers.  It’s that good.  I first tried Mujaddara, basically the Middle Eastern version of beans and rice, when I was visiting family in Michigan.  Friends owned a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant, and we made sure to grab a meal there every time we were in town.  I remember my sister-in-law ordering Mujaddara, and telling me it was her favorite.  I thought, “Lentils and rice?  OK…” and I ordered some other delicious, meaty, item off the menu.  My dinner was perfect, but Kelly offered me a bite of hers, and I realized I should never doubt the power of a simple beans and rice dish.

Spring Pea Soup

Spring Pea Soup - Chew Nibble Nosh

I think it’s here, folks. For real this time.  I think we can (finally) safely say that Spring has arrived and won’t take off again.  I know it’s a risky statement, given the crazy weather we’ve had, but I feel good about saying that this time.  I really do.

(Fingers crossed.)

A couple of days ago, I met my beautiful sister-in-law, Karin, for lunch at one of my favorite local spots.  The restaurant changes their menu monthly based on what’s seasonally available.  It’s very much farm-to-table, homegrown, and delicious.  They were featuring a spring pea and mint soup that day, and as the sun was shining (finally!) and the birds chirping, I figured I had to give it a try.

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Vinaigrette

Roasted Beets with Horseradish Vinaigrette - Chew Nibble Nosh

I don’t know about you, but this week is a pretty busy one for me.  So busy, in fact, that I contemplated just letting the ol’ blog go this week and not adding anything into the mix until after Christmas.  Then, looking through the leftovers in the fridge, I was reminded that I really should share this one special recipe with you before Christmas hits.  Not only is it beautifully festive for the holiday table, it’s unbelievably delicious, and became an instant hit in our household.  Don’t like beets?  You may change your mind once you try them this way.

Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta

Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta - Chew Nibble Nosh

In this house, the side dishes generally play second fiddle to the entrée.  I’m usually spending so much time with the main part of the meal that the side dishes are pretty simple, or sometimes, even an afterthought.  THIS side dish, however, takes center stage, and it was absolutely the most exciting thing we had at dinner that night.

Chilled Summer Veggie Salad

Chilled Summer Veggie Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh 4

When it comes to summer food, what do you look for?

I look for light, crisp, clean, fresh, and flavorful.  In the sticky summer heat, I don’t want food that will weigh me down.  I crave tastes that will refresh me, enlighten me, and that take advantage of the bounty that summer markets have to offer.

This salad is EXACTLY what I look for.

This quick and easy summer salad is the perfect summer picnic recipe go-to.  You can make it up ahead of time, and the longer it rests, the more the flavors mingle.  It was terrific the night we had it, alongside grilled steak, but even better the next day when I grabbed a bowlful for lunch.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh - Chew Nibble Nosh.I think I found my new favorite salad for spring and summer.  I’ve always been a fan of classic, light, Middle-Eastern flavors like lemon, olive oil, garlic, and herbs.  So, keeping that in mind, I’ve always loved Tabbouleh.  The salad is traditionally made with bulger, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, mint, and lots of parsley.  I’ve even had it with couscous before, but I loved the idea of mixing it with protein packed quinoa and crisp, cool, cucumbers.

Braised Carrots with Crisp Sage

Braised Carrots with Crisp Sage - Chew Nibble Nosh 6

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, and what does he find?  Someone who can’t believe that Easter is right around the corner.  Unbelievable!

If you need a festive, Spring side dish to share on Easter Sunday, I’ve got your back.  These carrots are delicious, beautifully springy, and they can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving, which is a standard qualification to reach Treasured Holiday Recipe Status in my book.

To begin, you’ll need to quickly fry up a handful of sage leaves in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  The crispy sage serves as wonderful contrast to the savory, tender carrots in the finished product, but it serves double duty here.