(Another) Mediterranean Chickpea Bowl
& greetings from family vacation!
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, musings, and faves in your inbox every Wednesday! Paid subscribers get even more! Learn more about the paid tier of my newsletter here. You can also try a week for free!
Hello, hello!! I actually wasn’t planning on sending out a newsletter this week because I’m on a family vacation in Mexico with my in-laws. BUT, I have so many new subscribers this week (hiiiii) that it felt wrong to leave everyone hanging! I made a few recipes before I left, so I’ve just been editing videos by the pool and writing this newsletter in the evening after an early dinner. So it really is not so bad, and I’m so happy to have so many people joining here!
If you’re new here, each week I send out a recipe, do a roundup of my favorite items, and then write a little catch up, which can very from something light (like today’s) to more depth analyses of how I’m feeling about the world, myself, or life online. Sometimes I like to muse and get deep, and other times I may chit chat and get trivial. It really just depends on my mood and what’s going on in life. Think of this section as my little online diary.
I know many of you here are joining because of the new series I just started last week (budget-friendly, 30-minute meals), and rest assured, you’ll be getting the next installment next week!
In the meantime, feel free to reach out and say hi, in the comments or in a direct reply to this email! This newsletter is really a place where I welcome feedback and conversation :)
THINGS I’M LOVING
Our Place sent me their new Splendor Blender, and I am IN LOVE. I like using a personal blender for my matcha lattes in the morning, and the one I had before this one broke (sad). But this Our Place one is not only SO cute, but powerful! And it comes in a few of their signature cute colors.
I went shopping at the mall before our trip last week, and I forgot how much fun it is to go to the mall. I’m so used to online shopping, but it felt nice to walk around the stores and see things in person. I texted Grant that I was thriving at the mall, and he was like “huh?” Anyway, I went into Mango and got these super cute twisted earrings that I meant to bring on my trip and forgot, which was annoying, but now I’m looking forward to wearing them when I get home.
Sometimes I forget how good sauerkraut is, but then I remember some brands just hit the spot better than others. After a little unintentional hiatus, I am back on the kraut train, and I’ve come to realize that Cleveland Kitchen Kraut is truly my favorite. I’m a big fan of their Classic Caraway, but their other flavors are awesome as well. I like to eat it in the breakfast with my avocado toast, or I throw them into my bowls (like this gut-healthy burger bowl recipe of mine I love).
Sometimes, I’m torn between trying to be innovative and repeating what I know works. With social media, it often feels like you have to be so fresh and new and different to stand out, yet everyone will also tell you to repeat the same formula over and over again if you find success.
This is an example of me repeating the formula, except this formula is actually an accurate representation of what I eat for lunch most days. I thrive when I throw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, and I tend to find you all like when I put out these recipes as well. I do fear it can feel repetitive, but they really are the types of meals I enjoy, and they allow me to get a ton of different healthy ingredients in one sitting
I struggled with the name, but I landed on the vague descriptor of “Mediterranean.” The chickpeas are spiced with Shawarma seasoning, the tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta are reminiscent of a Greek salad, and eggplant just feels Mediterranean to me. Idk!! Names are hard. This bowl is good regardless of what it’s called.
For the roasted chickpeas, I used Shawarma seasoning from New York Shuk, but you can also just use a few dashes of the following: coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and/or garlic powder.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 lb sweet mini peppers
1 medium eggplant
1 14.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1 tsp shawarma seasoning (can also use a mix of coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and/or garlic powder
2 cups arugula
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup cubed and lightly crumbled feta
Salt & pepper
Optional: aleppo pepper/fresh dill for garnish
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp honey
¼ tsp thyme
Juice of 2 1/2 lemons
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare your rice according to package with your desired method.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together chickpeas, olive oil, and spices together until chickpeas are evenly coated. Add to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and then score the eggplant, and sprinkle some salt over it along with a small drizzle of olive oil. Add to the baking sheet face down.
4. Remove the stems of the mini peppers, and cut in half lengthwise. Add to the baking sheet and toss in a little drizzle of oil.
5. Bake everything for 40-45 minutes until chickpeas are crispy, peppers are just starting to char, and eggplant is soft.
6. While everything is baking, prepare your dressing by whisking together ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
7. When everything is ready, divide rice into 2 bowls. Top with arugula, chickpeas, scooped out eggplant, cucumbers and tomatoes, and feta. Drizzle on the lemon dressing and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper/aleppo pepper, if desired. Top with fresh dill, and enjoy! You can eat warm or room temp.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Last week, I started a new series for my paid subscribers called “30-minute budget meals!” Stay tuned for more of these coming up, and feel free to send requests!! Here’s the first one that went out last week, and don’t forget to become a subscriber if you want access to this series moving forward!