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Monday, September 19, 2011

Liz's Last Lunch (in New York!) (For now!)

My cosmopolitan, intelligent, and kind sister is moving to Spain to teach for nine months! She's leaving on Wednesday and since today was the last time we could get together, she came over for lunch.
I didn't have much time to plan or prepare, so the meal was modest but I was happy to see her before she left. She's an omnivore but has interned with Slow Food USA and has an open mind to all kinds of food, so (I think) she was alright with the simple repast:

A spiced quinoa-chickpea dish and kale salad (her first raw kale!). The kale salad had olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. The leaves themselves were actually the most tender I've made due to these salad servers/forky things:

These were actually a present from my sister from a previous trip! They're pretty, aren't they? The wood also smells really amazing. I think she got them in Argentina. She really knows what I like, haha. They were prefect for kale salad, which usually calls for "massaging" the leaves, a step I tend to skip because I hate touching food, much less groping or "massaging" it, whatever you want to call it.
The quinoa-chickpea dish is something I just threw together. This is an approximate recipe:

Spiced Chickpeas with Quinoa
                                 Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used dried and soaked; you can use canned)
1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander
dash nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa (I used white but I think red would be pretty)
1/3 chopped sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 large carrots, grated (equalling about 1 1/2 c.)

-Preheat oven to 400*
-Toss chickpeas, oil, salt, spices, and garlic in a large bowl to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
-Pour chickpeas onto a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.
-While chickpeas are cooking toss quinoa with sundried tomatoes and carrot.
-When chickpeas are done, add to quinoa and carrot.
-Top with a squeeze of lemon and parsley (Optional. I didn't do this but decided later that it would have been tasty.)

The roasting of the chickpeas might also be optional. I thought it would be a nice crunch in the quinoa but they kind of get soggy after sitting in the warm quinoa. Maybe if your quinoa is cool, that would work out better. Anyway, it tasted alright.
I didn't prepare any dessert because I'm a horrible sister but gave her one of Sarah's truffles.
Like I said, low-key. I had to run to a volunteer meeting soon afterward and she had to START PACKING but it was nice. Liz, I send you with my best!


  1. Aww that is so nice that you ladies were able to do lunch before she left. What a wonderful adventure she is going to have! The lunch looks delicious, I am definitely going to have to try that quinoa dish and the salad forks are so cute!!

  2. The Spiced Chickpeas and Quinoa sounds wonderful.

    I think sisters always know what each other like. My sister and I are always finding things for each other. Those forks are really cool, too. Much better than using fingers to feel up the kale.

  3. The salad and the quinoa both sound wonderful, and look like a really nice lunch combo! Good luck to your sister. I lived in Spain for 6 years back in the 90's. I originally went there to teach for a few months, ended up staying and meeting my husband...she may not be back in 9 months! lol.

    I hope she has a good time. What part is she going to?

  4. Wow! What a great opportunity for your sister. I hope she has fun and I hope you get to visit :)

    If you want to make a recipe from my page, the smoky red bean burgers are one of my favorite things to make

  5. I admit that I seriously massage my kale...with my fingers. They're super clean though!

  6. How exciting! I love Spain and would love to go back and live. Is she teaching english? The chickpeas sounds great. I will have to try it while dreaming of Spain.

  7. That is so cool that your sister is going to Spain. I know you will miss her though. I'm so glad that you were able to get together for lunch before she leaves! Speaking of lunch....the Spiced Chickpeas with Quinoa sounds great!
    I love your "forky" things! They are so pretty!
    I can't beleive you still have truffles left. :o) That would be the perfect dessert for me!

  8. I love chickpeas and I love quinoa, but what I REALLY love is the two of them together! :)

  9. What a fantastic adventure! She sounds well traveled - I am envious! Then again, I dislike leaving the pooch. So torn!

    The recipe and picture look really delicious! I've already copied it down, and intend to try it soon. :)

  10. VAVA, she's good at inviting herself over ;)

    Ingrid, you're probably right that most sisters are good about getting things for each other. She's a super shopper especially.

    Rose, I will definitely tell you my mom will start bawling if my sister decides to stay longer than 9 months! I think it's already kind of rough on her. She'll be in Andalucia, near Jaen. Some small town, but I'm not sure where. Where were you located?

    Lacey, I hope to visit too.

    AbbyBean, you had better hope that the people who work at all the restaurants you visit have hands as clean as yours!

    Aimee, yup, she'll be teaching English to middle-school aged kids!

    Michelle, I will miss her but I think she'll be back around Christmas. Two truffles left and counting!

    Amber, it was quite the protein packed powerhouse. :)

    Ingrid, she's a lucky kid. I'm happy for her more than envious because I'm like you sound - happy enough at home with my cats. Haha. I hope you like the chickpeas if you make them.

  11. Yummy looking meal for your sister, that's great you get to spend time with her before her trip. Any chance you'll get to visit her in Spain? Love those salad forks, I don't mind mixing things with my hands but I rather have the fork do it. :-)

  12. congrats to your sister! and oh, I'm a kale massager at heart. I usually have a hard time stopping. I don't know what that says about me, but them's the facts.

  13. Oh, she's right in sherry country...and the olives in Spain are simply the best. Andalucia is full of wonderful places, in my opinion, Granada has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I lived in Madrid, but made it to the south quite a few times.

    I understand it must hard on your Ma, but hey, what better excuse to visit? It's always good to have family living in wonderful faraway places.

  14. I love those salad tongs. Bet she'll bring you something really nice from Spain.

  15. I love those salad tongs, too. The wood is really pretty!

  16. Wait a minute...guess I was thinking of Jerez not Jaen...oh well, it's not too far from there and the sherry abounds in Andalucia. Let it flow!


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