I was walking around the other day in 86 degree weather looking for new Winter clothes to buy. What the what??? It started getting
warm hot sweltering back in May, and I don’t feel a cool down coming anytime soon! The only glimpse of Fall I’ve seen is around 6am when I get out of bed and the floors feel cold. Like my favorite TV personality says, “That ain’t right!!!!” I love Turko. When it’s that hot, it’s hard to get into the cooking mood. Fortunately, there are some great options for eating out!
Recently, I was invited to Whole Foods La Jolla to check out the new menu at their casual Restaurant & Bar, Torrey Pints. Having a night away from the kitchen sounded pretty good! There is a full bar where you can either belly up with a great beer tap list, grab a large tables for big groups, or pick a small table for individuals or smaller parties, or grab food for carry out. They have live music and it’s open to the grocery store, so it has a very energetic feeling. You can go to the website (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/lajolla) and find the events calendar to check on when musicians will be performing.
If you are in the mood for a movie night, I would recommend grabbing some appetizers and some drinks before heading over to La Jolla Village Cinemas (http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/SanDiego/LaJollaVillageCinemas.htm). Entrées are served as well, but I felt like the vibe and menu lent itself more to smaller plates and beverages.
I must add that I was invited for a complimentary meal by Jennifer at Whole Foods, however my opinions are 100% my own.
If you aren’t in the mood to eat out, here is a recipe that works whether you live in a place that is 35 degrees or 86 degrees. I bought a Crock Pot about a year ago. Yep, it was the first one I’ve ever owned, and I ignore it. I don’t know why. When I use it, I love it. I need to use it more often.
Some Slow Cooker recipes are simply throwing ingredients into the cookware and letting it cook for several hours. This one requires a little prepping of the ingredients, but it is well worth the small amount of effort. The original recipe is from Cooking Light, but I’ve made a couple of changes. For the original recipe, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-chickpea-tagine.
Chicken and Chickpea Stew
1 1/2 tablespoons Grapeseed oil
8 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned (about 1 pound or so)
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle meaty side of chicken with black pepper. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan (do not brown other side).
2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stock, honey, and cinnamon, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots and chickpeas. Arrange chicken, browned side up, on top of chickpea mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Discard cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lemon wedges.
I served the stew with Freekeh. Freekeh has an almost tea-like flavor, and it is a great source of protein and fiber. You could serve this with anything, really, in order to soak up all of the flavor: farro, quinoa, or even mashed potatoes. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as Franz and I did! (FYI, I found uncooked Freekeh at Sprouts (https://www.sprouts.com/) in San Diego. I had a hard time locating it, but I’m sure it will become more popular soon!
Also, I just received a box of complimentary goodies from Melissa’s (http://www.melissas.com/). I’ve been put to another challenge to create a recipe! I will post my creation, along with other San Diego Bloggers’, on November 18th. Make sure to check it out!
Take Care and Happy Eating!