Spinach Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

This salad is amazing. I got the recipe from my friend Michelle owner of, and head chef at Four Cafe in Eagle Rock, CA, a staple of my college eating. The flavors are great together, and it’s easy and keeps really well for tomorrow’s lunch. All these things kinda want to make me wobble a little bit while preparing it. So I cooked up a playlist that does just that. Starting with Australia’s own wobble master Opiuo, and moving into some really nice indie tunes. These songs kinda just make me shake my legs a little. And the TV on the Radio at the end makes sure you don’t lose energy at the finish line.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2+ cups loosely packed spinach
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt

For the dressing:
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
2 tsp maple syrup (grade A)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup good quality olive oil

Pulse spinach in food processor 4-5 times, or chop finely. In a large bowl combine the spinach, chickpeas, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Toss together and set aside.

In a bowl add the lime juice, chopped cilantro, maple, balsamic, dijon, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt. Whisk until incorporated, adding the olive oil slowly letting the dressing emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Poor about 1/3 of the dressing over the salad mix and combine well. (Save the rest of the dressing to use when serving the salad). Let sit for 20 minutes (or overnight in the fridge) to let the flavors meld.

Grilled Opah with Mango Avocado Salsa

About the Music: Fall really slammed into Boulder like a freight train this last week, but all of a sudden we’re back in the 70′s for now, so we thought we should take advantage of the warm weather by grilling up some delicious fish. The music consists of feel good summer jams to match the carefree vibes of the season. Take advantage of it and jam out to these chunes and get down on some delicious opah.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
2 fresh Opah fillets
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Ground Pepper
18 Unshelled shrimp

Mango Salsa:
1 Fresh ripe mango, cubed
1/4 Cup red onion, chopped
1 Fresh red fresno chile, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, cubed
a few tablespoons of citrus vinaigrette (you’ll be making it in a minute)

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Saffron Rice
1 cup white jasmine rice
1 1/4 cups good-tasting chicken stock
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 clove minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili

Let’s start with the rice, if everything checks out it will be finished when your done cooking everything else. Heat up the chicken stock in a pot over the grill until boiling. Remove from heat and add the saffron threads, turmeric, cumin, garlic, chili and (fish sauce) or salt to the chicken stock and mix it all together. Then pour it into a rice cooker along with the rice and give it a quick stir. Cover and cook.

Next, take all of the vinaigrette ingredients and mix them up right in a sealed plastic container or jar.

Fire up the grill and set it to medium/high heat, you should be finished with the salsa by the time the grill is nice and hot.

Then, in a medium bowl combine the mango , red onion, chile and cilantro with a tablespoon of that delicious vinaigrette you just made. Toss in the avocado and a little bit more of that vinaigrette into the mix and gently mix it all together. Cover it up and throw it in the refrigerator until further notice.

On a large flat plate pour out enough olive oil to make a thin even coating. Drizzle sriracha over the shrimp and lightly salt and pepper.

Now for the grilling. Lightly coat the opah with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Place the fillets on the grill for about 6-8 minutes per side. This can very with the thickness of the fillet so you may have to play it by ear. Opah and other white fish can over cook very easily so monitor until the fish is opaque in the middle. The shrimp take about 4 minutes to cook so you can add then when you are ready to flip the opah or slightly before.

When everything is finished plate by serving a portion of rice, placing the opah on top and covering with salsa…oh yeah, and don’t forget about the shrimp.

Devour and enjoy…

Grilled Cheese 5 Ways

About the Music: These delicious sammys are made to be enjoyed with company.  You’re going to be headed on a journey down memory lane to a time when the playground trumped all other issues, so we thought it would be fitting to make a mix of old and recent jams mostly centering around the genres of funk and disco, you know, to keep it young and hip… Oh, and did i mention I mixed this one myself?

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 45 min-1 1/2 hrs

Ingredients:


Caprese Grilled Cheese:
Handful fresh basil
2 medium tomatoes
8 slices fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup pesto
6-8 slices good bread (olive, italian)


Avocado Bacon Munster Grilled Cheese:
1-2 ripe avocados
6 pieces hickory smoked bacon
8 slices munster cheese
6-8 slices good rustic bread (sourdough, boule)


Jalapeño Pepper-Jack Salami Grilled Cheese:
1/2 lb salami
2 fresh jalapeños
8 slices pepper-jack cheese
6-8 slices good whole grain bread


Apple Bacon Gouda Grilled Cheese:
1 green apple
8 slices gouda cheese
6 pieces hickory smoked bacon
6-8 slices good white bread


Pear Honey Ricotta Grilled Cheese:
1 small container of ricotta
honey
1 ripe pear

Tomato soup of your choosing

It has gone from summer to winter here in Boulder. I dont know what happened to fall, but apparently it’s taking some time off. So when contemplating our dinner options and shivering in the cold we thought, yea, grilled cheese is what’s up. But not just any grilled cheese, we were gonna bring the hot fire, the kind of culinary excellence that grounds deep in your childhood roots and at the same time pushes you forward, expanding your pallet to a level of sophistication not yet seen on this world or any other. So we went to our local grocery store, picked up some of the fraichest ingredients available, including two different kinds of locally made tomato soup, and headed back home to light a fire and nostalgically begin our journey of 5 sandwiches.

There were six of us, and because everyone wanted to try everything we decided to make three of each kind of sandwich so that everyone could have a half of each. It turned out perfectly. About every 15 minutes everyone had a delicious new snack placed in front of them as they enjoyed the beatz of DJ Falcon Punch.

Our adventure took us through the entire spectrum of tastes, starting with a perfect appetizer in the caprese sandwich, circumnavigating a sea of salty meats, and ending with the sweet flavors of honey and pear.

Directions:
To make everything easier for yourself, start the operation by (turning on some hot beats) slicing all future ingredients. This includes the apple, pear, cheeses, salami, tomatoes, avocado and bread. It will be a lot easier to have everything prepped, trust me.

Once you have done all this, things are relatively straightforward. First, cook the bacon to desired crispiness and set aside. Then, place all ingredients on your first sandwich, get a skillet heating on medium to high heat, add a little butter to the pan and place your sandwiches in it. We covered ours’ to make sure the cheese melted, flipping it after three or four minutes.

Repeat this procedure for each sandwich until you are disgustingly full. Don’t forget to heat the soup as well. We had ours’ with the bacon, avocado, munster, and the salami, jalapeño, pepper-jack. The order of the ingredients is the order we made our sandwiches and it worked pretty well for us if I do say so myself.

Did I mention the chunes? Yea they were hawt.

  • CanadianCos

    Sounds great! What about throwing some sliced grapes into any of these with some heat? That zing of juice as your mouth absorbs the heat…yum yum in the tum tum