dinner for 1

when my husband has to travel for work, i tend to cook meatless meals-too much work for me to make an elaborate meal for just myself.  the choices i make lean towards a larger quantity than i need so that i can live on leftovers.  almost all of the meals incorporate some sort of bean or a grain other than rice since hubs makes that frequently.

with winter being so mild this year, our garden has chugged along nicely.  the crops we planted for fall are still in the beds and that has given us a chance to consume fresh picked produce a lot longer than typical for a winter garden.  we deliberately left our broccoli plants in the bed even though we had harvested the crowns.  if you allow broccoli to stay, little side shoots will produce single stalks of flower heads that are every bit as tasty and perhaps a little more tender than the large central stalk that makes up the crown.  did you know the leaves are tasty too?  they can be clipped, stemmed and cooked like collards making a wonderful addition to a meal and a pretty cheap one too-think of it as doubling the yield of a plant!

broccoli florettes and brussel sprouts from the garden are mixed with some store bought cauliflower and marinated using a recipe for cauliflower steaks from gluten free fix.  simply substitute a selection of chopped vegetables for the steaks and coat them evenly with the marinade.  then roast them until they are soft and have some color-about 30 minutes

 my idea of heaven in a bowl!
for the main course, i turned to a new acquisition, the flexitarian table by peter berley.  the hubs and i were perusing the cookbook section in mckay’s and i picked it up for $5.  the photos are beautiful and i am eager to try out several.  for my first cooking adventure, i chose the bulgur with roasted chickpeas, red onions and lemon.  it is meant to serve 4 as a main course but i planned to live on it for a couple days and i did!
i made a couple changes to the recipe.  first, when ever a recipe calls for water, especially when it is a grain, i substitute vegetable broth.  for additional flavor, i added a couple cloves of garlic.  since i am not a huge fan of cayenne pepper, i substituted some ground chili.  lastly, i chose to keep the bulgur and the chickpeas separate.
bulgur with roasted chickpeas, red onions and lemon
serves 4

1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup medium bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground chili or cayenne

to cook the bulgur, heat the broth to a boil  over medium heat in a covered sauce pot.  add the bulgur to the boiling broth and stir it in.  return to the boil then immediately remove from the heat, cover tightly and allow it to sit until the broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas and vegetables.

preheat the oven to 400.  in an oven proof skillet-i used a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  add the chickpeas, lemon juice, bay leaves, cumin seeds, turmeric and chili and stir to combine.  place in the oven and roast until slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes.  be sure to stir it at least once to get an even color.   serve over the bulgur with a heaping side of the roasted veggies shown above.

and as always my friends, if you make this dish, do send a photo, i will post it here!  in the mean time, bake on…

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