Chickpea Shakshuka

Hey there! I have a really fun and awesome recipe for you guys today! Even though you may not have heard of it, Shakshuka is SO GOOD. It’s a middle eastern dish that combines a warming tomato stew with poached eggs, and is the perfect addition to your breakfast spread. I added some chickpeas to mine for some extra protein and fibre. This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together in less than an hour, because the faster this deliciousness gets into your mouth, the better.

I’ve seen shakshuka on a bunch of cooking shows and featured in the occasional Pinterest post, so I thought, why not try it out? I began by frying up onions and garlic. What a shocker! I find it interesting how so many different cultures use garlic and onions in their food. Making tomato sauce? Garlic and onions. Curry? Garlic and onions. Shakshuka? GARLIC AND ONIONS BABY. I am not complaining because the smell of frying onions is out of this world. After I got that aromatic veg all sauteed up, I threw in some amazing spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, and lots of salt and pepper. Those ingredients all get to know each other very well in the pan while you continue on with your morning routine. I did some stretching:)

Personally, I am an egg lover, and so this is next part was my favourite. After stirring up the stew, I cracked four eggs DIRECTLY into there, brought it to a nice heavy simmer, covered, and let them poach. This is a critical moment because you want that yolk to be nice and runny. I appreciate a good hard boiled egg, but this is not the time. So set your timers because it will be very disappointing is you overcook these. I will personally be disappointed in you.

Once those eggs are done, you’re done! Step back! That’s all! I just took these off the heat, removed the lid so that the eggs don’t keep steaming, and I want to say that I dug in right then and there but no, I took the whole pan down to the fridge in our basement to preserve it for when the lighting was better, so I could take a good picture. Do you see the sacrifices that I make for you guys? Annnnnyways, when I finally got around to eating this, I scooped myself a big bowl, warmed it up, and topped it with fresh chives, parsley flakes, and avocado because you’ve gotta go big or go home. And let me tell you, this is AMAZING. It’s so full of flavour from all those spices, and then the chickpeas give you some texture, and that runny yolk is just perfection. This is such a great fall/winter breakfast, because it’s so cozy! Traditionally it is a breakfast dish, but I would be very happy to eat this any time of day.

Make sure that you try this out! I can’t wait to make it again for my family on a weekend.

Chickpea Shakshuka

Serves: 2-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (trust me)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 avocado for serving, sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep pan or skillet. Add in the onions and cook for around 4 minutes, until they’re just translucent. Next add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the all of the spices and herbs to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until they’re somewhat browned and nice and fragrant.
  3. Dump the tomatoes, tomato paste, and paprika into the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, give everything a good stir, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid from the pan, stir everything again and make sure the stew is level across the top. Crack the 4 eggs directly into the pan, in a kind of square pattern so that they’re not too close to each other. Bring the stew back up to a faster simmer, cover again, and let the eggs poach for EXACTLY 5 minutes.
  5. Remove then pan from the heat and take the lid off. serve immediately and garnish with more parsley flakes, chopped chives, or avocado.
  6. Enjoy!

Hope you guys love this recipe! It’s one of my faves. Come back on Friday for my December Reading List!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

December 2020 Bullet Journal Set-Up

Hey there! This post has been postponed a couple of times but I’m glad that I’m finally getting it up! It’s my last set-up of the year which is both crazy and a little sad. For me this year kind of zoomed by, and while it was really weird and I’m excited for 2021, I still made some good memories in 2020. It was a good year in my bullet journal too!

My bullet journaling style went through a big progression this year:) I did some straight up doodle-y themes, but I also branched out and went with a lot more drawing and colouring! I did tons of experimentation and found a bunch of layouts that I really like. I’m sad to leave my olive green journal because I love the colour so much, but I’m going to leave you guys to speculate about what colour I’ll be getting next year:) I’m brainstorming ideas for my 2021 set-up already though, and I’m super excited for it! That’ll go up at the end of the month.

Setting up my spreads for December was a bit of a struggle, to be honest. I found a great theme which is near and dear to my heart- The Sound of Music! I watch this movie with my mom every Christmas and there’s a lot you can do with it drawing-wise, so I thought that it would work perfectly. For some reason I just couldn’t really transfer my ideas on to paper though. I didn’t want to do a ton of drawing because it can be time consuming, but I didn’t really know how to otherwise fill up the page. So this theme isn’t one of my best, although I have a few cute pages and I really love the concept. That darn bullet journaler’s block just got in the way I guess!

It’s all good though. I think you’ll enjoy my fun drawings and the advent calendar that I included again! I’ll explain more about how that works later in the post. Hope you enjoy my last set-up of 2020!

For my title page I did end up doing a lot of drawing/colouring, but I’m not mad about it because I think it turned out really nicely. I was inspired by one of the beginning scenes in the movie, which is also one of the cover photos for the DVD. I drew a mountain scene from Austria, and then Maria singing in the field. I did my title in yellow which I don’t think I’ve ever done, and my quote is directly from one of the songs in the movie. Super cute!

Here’s where I kind of ran into my dilemma. I didn’t want to draw out a whole scene again because it takes so long, but I didn’t know what else to draw! I ended up going with some Edelweiss, which is a mountain flower and the tile of a song in The Sound of Music. I drew a flower, wrote some lyrics from the song, and that was that. I can’t really decide if I like this full page calendar layout or the smaller, half page one, but I went with a full pager this month. Also I got new Tombow fudenoske brush pens recently and I’m kind of “breaking them in”, so I feel like my calligraphy wasn’t that nice. I don’t know I just wasn’t really feeling it with this one but they can’t all be great I guess! (I’ve wanted to use the laughing face emoji like 50 times in this post but I can’t because I’m writing it on a laptop.)

One of my favourite spreads of the month for sure! In the movie they have a puppet show with goats and goat herders, so I tried to recreate that for my trackers. Although I just drew a goat puppet because I can’t draw people, even in puppet form. (See, another good opportunity for the laughing face emoji). I did some theatre curtains, a mountainous background, and a cute lil’ goat puppet. You can’t really see but I have all my habits written out on the side, as well as space to record my mood and productivity, and my workouts.

I also feel kind of meh about this spread, but it is what it is! I was going for the pattern on the play clothes that Maria makes for all of the Von Trapp kids, and it turned out alright. I balanced out the green with yellow font, and then highlighted every other line so I can differentiate them more easily. Just a simple spread to write down the things I’m grateful for, and to plan blog posts:)

We’ve arrived at my advent calendar! I love it:) I made 25 little pockets by cutting out rectangles of white paper and sticking then down on 3 sides with my roll-on glue tape thing. I drew a bunch of things from the “My Favourite Things” song on them, and they’re super cute! I then wrote down 25 things to do on other little pieces of paper, mixed them up, and put them in the pockets randomly so I don’t know what I’m doing on which day. This year I included acts of kindness in there, like doing an extra chore or cooking for my brother, and some of my favourite things, like having a smoothie bowl for lunch or having a good stretch. I completed this page by writing out some of the favourite things in cursive on brown paper, and also including a title:)

And finally my first weekly of the month. By the time I got to this spread I was pretty tired and I rushed it a bit, but it’s still cute! I just divided the page into five sections, and drew some mountains on the opposite side, with a to-do list.

There’s my December Set-Up! Stay tuned for my 2021 set-up coming later this month:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Double Pea Fried Quinoa

Hey there! I just wanted to start off by saying that on Sunday it was my three year blogging anniversary and I didn’t even realize it! I can’t believe it’s been three years already and want to thank you guys for all your support:) I’ve come a long way from just book reviews to lots of food stuff- if you’d like to check out my very first post I’ll put the link here.

So yeah, today we’ve got some Double Pea Fried Quinoa! Olivia is my name and frozen veggies are my GAME. Sorry that was a bit cringy but I just had to assert somehow that I really like using frozen veggies. This dish makes a great side, or base for a bowl or salad. It includes both green peas and chickpeas- hence the double peas. It’s also super speedy and has lots of flavour. Plus the bright greens from the peas and parsley will lift your spirits during the winter months.

I started by frying A LOT of garlic and some onions- you know how I love that garlic. Then I added in the green peas, chickpeas, cooked quinoa, and some parsley, salt and peppered it up, and bang it was done! It’s full of bright, fresh deliciousness and also some protein. And, like most of my recipes, it’s great for meal prep which is a bonus. Today I had this Double Pea Fried Quinoa with some tuna mixed with avocado, sprouts, and hummus for a very tasty and nutritious lunch. Yum:)

I don’t really know what else to say, except that you should probably go and make this right now. Go on!

Double Pea Fried Quinoa

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of frozen green peas
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. And in the onions and garlic and cook for 4 minutes, making sure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the frozen peas to a pan and stir until they’re defrosted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring every once in a while to get even cooking.
  4. Mix in the parsley, season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and enjoy!!

Simple as that! I hope you enjoy:) I’ll see you on Friday with my December Bullet Journal Set-Up! It’s a good one:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia

Chickpea Stir-Fry

I know it’s a Monday, but what better way to start off the week than with a delicious stir-fry? This is not a rhetorical question. Go ahead and search your soul. I’ll wait.

Couldn’t think of anything else? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. This Chickpea Stir-Fry is full of veggies and flavour, two of my favourite things✌️ We’ve got onions, cabbage (or kale if you’d prefer), carrots and chickpeas in a realllllly simple sauce that brings everything together. But the real flavour bombs are the peanuts and fresh cilantro that go in during the last minute of cooking for some extra freshness😍 Want to take it to the next level? Throw some more of that stuff on top along with some green onion as a garnish. Yup🙌 That’s what I’m talking about.

If you’ve got under a half hour to whip something up, then this stir-fry is for you. With a 20 minute total time and super easy prep, this is one no-fuss meal idea! Double or triple the recipe, and you’ve got meal prep for the whole week. Pretty convenient👌

Finally, I’m going to let you in on a secret. You can use any vegetables you have around to make this stir-fry. ANY. I was running low on veggies myself when I made this, but luckily I had some carrots, onions, and cabbage ready to go. However, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms and peppers would all be great in here; customize to your heart’s desire! The important thing is that you’ve got the sauce ingredients and the peanuts and cilantro, because that’s what makes this dish sing. I like serving my stir-fry over quinoa, but you can cook up some white or brown rice, or even couscous, if you’d like.

I hope you enjoy this quick, healthy and delicious meal idea! Let me know what you think🥰

Chickpea Stir-Fry

Serves: 2-3

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 of a large white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage or kale
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ground peanuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Cooked quinoa for serving
  • Sliced green onions + more cilantro and peanuts for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage or kale, as well as the chickpeas and garlic, to the pan. Continue to cook for about 8 more minutes, until the carrots can be pierced by a fork.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and rice vinegar. Add the mixture to the pan and give everything a good stir. Allow the stir fry to cook for about 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Keep stirring.
  4. Mix in the fresh cilantro and peanuts and cook for a final minute. Remove from the heat, and serve over cooked quinoa. Garnish with green onions, more cilantro, and more peanuts!

Have a great week everyone!:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Healthy Edible Cookie Dough

Happy Friday!!! We are exactly five weeks away from Christmas- how exciting is that?!?! I’m definitely brainstorming some awesome Christmas recipes right now🙌 If you have any recipes that you’d like me to make, be sure to let me know because I want to have a plethora of holiday awesomeness available for you!

I think I’m about due for a dessert recipe because I haven’t posted one in a while. This is for all you people out there who like to lick the batter off of the spoon, or sneak a finger into the bowl of cookie dough. Which, let’s be honest, is probably all of us. I remember that I tried making this kind of edible cookie dough way back, but my blender wasn’t very good so I still had a lot of chickpea chunks leftover. No, I haven’t attempted edible cookie dough since, and yes, I said chickpeas. No typos around here people!

This Healthy Edible Cookie Dough mostly consists of chickpeas, and before you X out of this blog post, here me out. Chickpeas are actually a great base for any flavour you want to throw at them; they’re kind of the blank canvas of the legume world. Combine that with the amazing, dough-like texture you get when you blend em up, and you get the perfect candidate for a healthy, edible cookie dough base!

Of course, I added other ingredients to create that cookie dough flavour. We’ve got vanilla, peanut butter, cinnamon, a little bit of oats, some maple syrup and a pinch of salt. I blended my dough with some water as well so that everything came together nicely. After that it’s up to you to completely customize your dough! I suggest adding dark chocolate chips or chopped figs and cinnamon- that’s what I did and it’s SO GOOD👌 But really, anything works. It just depends what kind of cookies you like!

This “dough” can be eaten straight (very good) or used as a sort of dessert hummus (also very good), or you can use it to top your oats, toast, or smoothie bowl (really, anyway you eat it it’s going to be good). It makes a great snack or dessert! Hope you enjoy:)

Healthy Edible Cookie Dough

Serves: 2 as a dessert, 4 as a dip

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mix-ins like chopped dates or dried figs, dark chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, or fruit (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the mix-ins, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spoon into a bowl and mix in your mix-ins!
  3. Eat straight from the bowl or use as a dip or spread:)

Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend my friends! I’ll see you next week with more delicious recipes and my December Bullet Journal Set-Up❤️

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)