I just opened our family calendar, glanced at the next two weeks, and let out a low, painful howl. This end of the school year stuff is no joke – concerts, water days, celebrations! It’s all good stuff but makes for a lot of busy afternoons and late nights. Dylan is playing the part of a 3-headed marker eating monster in his school musical and Gray will have his first violin performance next week. I will undoubtedly cry and both – it would be shocking if I didn’t.

In an attempt to plan some meals for these crazy spring days, I spent some time with my friend and fellow island gal Susie Middleton’s new book Simple Green Suppers a few weeks ago and folded down a handful of tempting weeknight dinner ideas. Last night I finally got around to cooking from it and started here with Cauliflower, Chickpea & Spinach Curry. The simple and satisfying dinner made our whole house smell amazing and was the best lunch today. I served it with a pot of rice but I’d like to try it with garlic naan bread next time.



Indian Curry with Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Spinach, Tomatoes & Coconut Milk from Simple Green Suppers

3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups cauliflower florets (1-to 1 1/2-inch pieces, cut so that most have a flat side)

1 cup sliced yellow onion (about 1 medium-large onion, cut lengthwise)

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic paste (I left this out due to kids’ heat tolerance)

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar (I omitted)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 cups packed baby spinach

1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro



1. In a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are golden and browned in spots, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas to a plate.

2. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir, cover, and cook, uncovering to stir occasionally, until the cauliflower pieces are browned in spots (they will be softened but still crisp), about 5 minutes. (If the cauliflower is browning too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. If your pan does not have a lid, use a baking sheet or the bottom of a large skillet). Transfer the cauliflower to the plate with the chickpeas.

3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions are browned in spots but haven’t lost all their stiffness, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chili-garlic paste, curry powder, brown sugar, and cumin. Stir well to combine, and fry the spices for 30 seconds. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and coconut milk and stir well to incorporate the spices with the liquids and to soften the spinach. Add the cooked cauliflower and chickpeas and simmer, stirring, for 1 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and remove the pan from the heat. Serve hot or very warm in two or three bowls.




How to Build an Entire Meal on a Humble Sheet Pan by me is up on Food52 and because it’s Monday morning I’m hoping this article will provide some dinner direction for the week.

Whether you are searching for a way to cook an unusual CSA vegetable, prepare fish for a crowd, or assemble a meal ahead of time, sheet pan dinners are your answer. And once you start crafting your own combinations of protein, vegetable, herbs, and sauce, you will be hooked on this foolproof technique.

Here, I’ll share 12 tips for getting started, some basic time and temperature guidelines to abide by, a few time-saving ideas, and two simple roast chicken sheet pan recipes. (If a roast chicken dinner two-ways isn’t a good place to start, then I don’t know what is.)…click here to read the whole story.


Photos by Elizabeth Cecil.



Winter salads are kinda sad. I mean, there is only so much kale slaw a girl can stomach. Last week I set out determined to eat a hearty, satisfying, and bright winter salad and this is what I came up with. The base recipe is from a recent issue of Bon Appetit but I slightly adapted the meal by roasting the broccoli (instead of boiling) and tossing in spiced and roasted chickpeas (something I have been making and eating a lot lately). Together, everything was delicious but the standout was the buttermilk dressing. It is one of those sauces that, after pouring over every vegetable in the house, I wonder why i don’t make weekly or even daily.



Broccoli-Quinoa Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

adapted from Bon Appetit

Buttermilk Dressing:

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

pinch pepper

Do ahead: Dressing can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.




1 shallot, finely chopped

2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-size florets

1 cup white, red, or black quinoa

1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley

1/4 cup coarsely chopped tarragon

1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

1 batch Spiced & Roasted Chickpeas – I use this recipe but cook the chickpeas in a cast iron skillet coated with canola oil over high heat until crisp.





I just recently (like last week) changed my perception of herbs. Typically I have a few baskets of greens in the fridge whether it be arugula, spinach, or kale which all feel like main ingredients to me and things that I turn to when we need a quick side, omelet filling, or smoothie add in. Until recently, herbs were not in this category. Parsley, cilantro, basil, and chives were always toppings, pesto ingredients, or quick afterthoughts to brighten up a dish. These Herbed Chickpeas (along with another salad that I will share soon) reminded me that herbs are just as good as any other green and are quite delicious in large quantities. As suggested in the original recipe, Herbed Chickpeas can be served many ways – tossed with wilted greens, topped with a fried egg, spooned onto Greek yogurt, or piled high on toast.



Herbed Chickpeas from Bon Appetit Magazine – makes about 3 cups

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 1/2 cups chopped mixed tender herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, chives, and/or basil)



Rinse the chickpeas and pat dry. Place the chickpeas in a large skillet and add in the crushed garlic cloves and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are crisped and some have split open (these will be the most delicious ones), 10 – 15 minutes.




Remove from heat; stir in the herbs. You can eat the chickpeas right out of the warm skillet (I found myself standing at the stove digging in again and again for about 10 minutes), tossed with sauteed vegetables, topped with an egg, spooned over Greek yogurt, or piled on garlic toast.



Every morning for the past month or so Dylan has woken up and asked if it was Halloween. He looks forward to this holiday more then any other. The costume planning, house decorating, and pre-school conversations around trick-or-treating have filled our month of October. So, drum roll….we wake up Halloween morning and he asks if today is Halloween!?! Nick and I are so excited to finally say YES! Then he responds, “Mama, I wish tomorrow was Halloween – not today so it would always be Halloween tomorrow.” My heart melted.

Dylan is into big cats so naturally he requested a cheetah costume.  My mom made the suit, I did the face paint, and Nick painted the spots with glow in the dark paint (I wish I had a picture after dark). Dylan has taught me a lot about cheetahs recently. For example, the black fur around their eyes is to attract sunlight so they can see in the bright sun (like football players) and they have an extra long tail to help them steer when running at top speed – so cool. Gray worn the cozy sock monkey costume my mom made for Dylan when he was 1. It is one of my all time favorites!

A look back at our Halloweens:  
Last Year.
Two Years Ago.
Three Years Ago.
Four Years Ago.

But back to the food. This salad is a new favorite of mine. The vinaigrette is delicious and everything is warm, salty, and flavorful (love me some capers and lemon). I hope you give it a try.

Warm Spiced Chickpea Salad with Caper Vinaigrette

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 small bunch kale or mustard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup water

1/2 small shallot, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and patted dry

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Combine the chickpeas, cumin, and 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium bowl. Mash about half of the chickpeas with a fork; season with salt and pepper. Transfer chickpeas to a shallow baking dish.

2. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add greens and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add honey and 1/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until greens are completely wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to dish with chickpea mixture and toss to combine. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-35 minutes. 

3. While the salad toasts up, make the vinaigrette. Whisk shallot, lemon juice, mustard, and honey in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook caper until opened and crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer popped capers to vinaigrette. When ready to serve, drizzle warm salad with vinaigrette.