CHICKPEA, SWEET CORN & CHERRY TOMATO TOSTADAS WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO PESTO

As a native Californian (southern), I gravitate towards two things: mexican food & hippie vegetarian.  Although I’m technically an omnivore, you’d never know because I crave birdseed, salads and use chickpeas/peas/beans/lentils (also known as PULSES), as my main protein source.   

I’ve collaborated with USA Pulses & Pulse Canada for their *Half-Cup Campaign* in attempt to inspire us all to eat more pulses (do you need a reason!?).  I will add a chickpea to pretty much anything, but if you need inspiration for more recipes, try here or the PULSES official site for more ideas.  

These tacos are fresh and Californian, light enough for summer with a creamy/spicy sauce you’ll want to put on everything.   It's favorite weeknight meal to date that's quick & perfect for busy days.

CHICKPEA, SWEET CORN & CHERRY TOMATO TOSTADAS WITH AVOCADO CILANTRO SAUCE (Serves 4) gluten-free, vegan

Tostadas are one of my favorite weeknight meals that are quick to throw together in 20 minutes or less and have a huge flavor payoff.  I make this same recipe with whatever bean or lentil I have on hand (pinto/black beans are great!).  Perfect for busy nights or when all you have in your pantry is a can of beans and vegetable scraps on their last leg.

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 spring or red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 ears of corn, sliced off the cob
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Shredded red cabbage, to top (opt.)
  • Hot sauce, to serve
  • Limes, to serve

Avocado Cilantro Pesto:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic, onion and jalapeño, stirring often until they begin to soften - about 3-4 minutes.  Then, add corn, chickpeas, tamari, lime, spices and seasoning.  Stir well to combine and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cherry tomatoes.

Add tortillas in a single layer, straight on to the baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp (hard) and browned.  Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, make avocado cilantro sauce:  Add all items to a blender and blend until smooth, adding extra water as needed to blend.

To serve, spread avocado sauce over each tostada, layer a heaping spoonful of chickpea mixture, then top with red cabbage, hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime.  Continue with remaining tortillas. Serve immediately!

THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY USA PULSES & PULSE CANADA, TWO ORGANIZATIONS DEDICATED TO INSPIRING US ALL TO EAT MORE PLANT-BASED MEALS.  AS ALWAYS, OPINIONS ARE ALL MY OWN.  THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE BRANDS THAT SUPPORT SASSY KITCHEN!

SPRING FAVA SALAD WITH TOASTED WALNUTS & PARSLEY SAUCE VERTE

This season has been so strange.  The weather is erratic as ever which is making it feel neither like Spring nor Summer. Despite the consistent gloom, the Spring produce is finally rampant and my fridge is filled with green.  I'm loving lighter salads with fresh green vegetables and tons of herbs & flavorful greens.  This sauce, from Taste & Technique, is something I've been riffing on for months now, and putting on pretty much everything.  It tastes like Spring to me (tarragon!) and I throw some radishes in, just for fun, since I always seem to have them in excess.  Dreaming of more sunshine and temperate weather before the Summer heat hits..

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Spring Green Salad with Favas, Toasted Walnuts & Parsley Sauce Verte (Serves 2-4) Gluten-free

*If you've never shelled fava beans, don't be scared.  They actually aren't as exhausting as they look, and I find the process super meditative.  Much like chopping vegetables or herbs (like this parsley sauce verte), I find those manual exercises super calming.  You'll probably have leftover dressing, so I suggest you put it on everything - I love it on avocado toast, soft boiled eggs, salads, roasted vegetables, etc.  The options are endless and it will keep in the fridge, flavors melding over time, for about 5ish days. 

  • 1lb. fava beans, shelled
  • 4 large handfuls of greens (I used a mix of baby kale, wild baby arugula and micro herbs)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. tangy feta, crumbled

Parsley Sauce Verte (adapted from Taste & Technique)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 teaspoon minced tarragon
  • 2 radishes, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1-2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste (about a scant teaspoon)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring a large (salted) pot of water to a boil.  Prep a mixing bowl with ice water & set aside.  Once water has come to a boil, blanch fava beans for exactly 1 minute, strain & add to ice bath and set aside.  Once both have cooled to the touch, strain and set aside.

Peel fava beans: Use your nail to puncture the pod, then remove the opaque outer skin to reveal bright green fava bean.  Continue until all fava beans are shelled.

For parsley sauce verte: make sure to chop all herbs/ingredients by hand (not a food processor!) - it makes a huge difference in the freshness & overall flavor of this sauce.  Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until well-combined.  Season to taste and set aside.

Add greens to a large bowl, assemble with fava beans, walnuts, and feta cheese.  Add a few spoonfuls of parsley sauce then toss well with your hands, to make sure every leaf is coated. Salt to taste & season with freshly ground pepper.  Serve immediately.

Beautiful blue plates are courtesy of GET PROPPED. Check out their gorgeous site!

COCOA CHIA MOUSSE WITH COCONUT ROSE WHIP

You may know Lily Diamond's popular blog, Kale and Caramel, where she makes food for "all five senses" ie. puts a hippie twist on pretty much everything. Although from Hawaii, she really has that Topanga Canyon hippie thing going for her - which I totally love and relate to.  Her infectious energy about plants & herbs will inspire anyone to eat rose petals.

Her book, despite heralding the power of nature, is really a story about healing.  Lily has the most poignant introduction about finding her way back into the kitchen (I also recommend this F52 read) after her mother's death.  The thing about loss is that it sticks with you. Grief or loss can entangle us (most likely, forever), but Lily found her way back - through flowers & herbs to "awaken her spirit".  

This chia pudding from her new book is filled with chocolate - something I've, somehow, never thought of.  I've been putting her rose petal & cacao mix on practically everything since I've received it - so I think I'm a flower convert.  

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CHOCOLATE CHIA MOUSSE WITH ROSE COCO WHIP (Gluten-free, Vegan) Serves 6

Chia Mousse:

  • ¾ cup chia seeds
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 2¼ cups (nut) milk of choice
  • ¼ cup plus 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom

Coco Whip:

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside down
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon rose water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Topping:

  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoons dried edible rose petals (stems and leaves discarded)

At least 1 hour before serving, combine the chia seeds, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add your milk of choice, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue whisking until all cocoa powder clumps are dissolved and the chia begins to thicken. Cover chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight.

In a double boiler over boiling water, melt the chocolate chips until the chocolate is completely smooth.  

Transfer chia pudding to a blender and blend on med-low until it begins to be creamy (*do not overblend or chia can become bitter). Add the melted chocolate, orange zest, and cardamom to the blender with the blended chia pudding, and blend on low until all is incorporated. Taste and add a touch more sweetness or salt if you like. Scoop the mousse out of the blender into a bowl or individual ramekins. Chill for 2 to 3 hours, to set.

Meanwhile, open the bottom of the can of chilled coconut milk, scoop out the thick coconut cream, and save the liquid for smoothies, soups, other chia puddings, etc. In a large bowl, mix the coconut cream with the maple, rose water, and cardamom. 

Whip with an electric or stand mixer on high until the mixture becomes smooth, light, and whipped. Top the mousse with cardamom rose coco whip and sprinkle with the cacao nibs and rose petals. Eat immediately or chill in fridge before serving.