Chickpea Power! Two Healthy Salads to Fuel You All Day

Lemony Broccoli Chickpea Salad ©2014 La Domestique

Bonjour! How is your week going? The husband and I survived our big move to Dublin last weekend. We are still living out of boxes and getting settled into the new routine. Our little dachshund, Minnie, likes her new home and all the kids running around the park next door to our apartment. Now that I’ve got my kitchen organized I’m busy working on some new programs to help you put healthy, delicious meals on the table every day. (For more info on this, check out my most recent post, Seeds of Change and Recipe for Green Spring Salad with Quinoa and Lemon.) I’m excited to roll out my new Cooking Coach services very soon!

I hope you enjoy the first weekly edition of La Belle Vie weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox this evening! If you haven’t subscribed hop on over to the home page or about page and get your name on the list! Subscribe this week and get a bonus recipe for the ras el hanout spice blend used in my Moroccan Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Salad below.

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Seeds of Change and Recipe for Green Spring Salad with Quinoa and Lemon

Green Spring Salad with Quinoa ©2014 LaDomestique

 

Happy May Day! Spring is in full bloom here in the Irish countryside—little lambs are bouncing across the fields, sedge warblers are singing their hearts out, and tiny yellow primroses are blooming at the edges of winding roads. The warm sunshine and longer days cast a positive glow on everything this time of year. Spring brings the excitement of a fresh start, a chance to begin again.

The theme this month at La Domestique is change.

On the surface it’s been quiet, but underneath we’re a hive of activity.

The first change is a personal announcement:

One year ago my husband and I (and our little dog, Minnie) made the big move from America to Ireland, returning to his homeland. His job brought us to a small country town in the northern province of Ulster. In just a few days we move to the big city of Dublin. We’re sad to leave good friends behind, but at the same time excited for all the possibilities that await us in the bustling city.

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Bon Voyage with A Suitcase and A Spatula

Raspberry Croissant Bread Pudding, photo (c)2013 La Domestique

Bonjour! Today we travel to France with Tori Haschka’s new cookbook, A Suitcase and A Spatula! I’ve followed her beautifully written recipe blog, eatori, for years and couldn’t wait to dive into Tori’s debut book of “recipes and stories from around the world.” The book is divided into 4 chapters dedicated to breakfast, then summer, winter and finally, dessert. Tori tells the tale of traveling the world with her other half, The Hungry One; each page a new destination with a story (sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always touching) and a recipe. She has a way with words, demonstrated perfectly in the book’s intro, ” More than a photo, a journal entry or a pair of souvenir cufflinks, it’s the food that keeps the journeys alive.” 

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How to Combat Veggie Boredom for Great British Chefs

Strawberry and Fennel Carpaccio (c)2013 La Domestique

Hello there! I’m sad to have been so quiet for the last couple of weeks here at La Domestique, but I was very sick in the hospital with a stomach bug. The husband took great care of me and our new Irish friends and neighbors were so kind and supportive. I’m feeling much better and excited to share some of my latest work with you today. It’s National Vegetarian Week in Britain, and the fantastic website, Great British Chefs, invited me to contribute a blog post celebrating vegetables. You’ll find my piece, “How to Combat Veggie Boredom,” on their website. I had a great time thinking up bold and punchy flavor pairings for unique vegetable dishes. It’s all about playing with color, highlighting seasonal flavors, and adding a variety of textures to the dish. Click the Great British Chefs icon below to find inspiration on cooking with vegetables in season right now as well as two of my original recipes: Strawberry and Fennel Carpaccio and Grilled Broccoli with Black Olive Tapenade.

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Strawberry, Spinach, and Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Strawberries and Balsamic (c)2013 La Domestique

Happy May Day to you! Here in Ireland, spring has been slow to reveal herself. Though the weather has been unseasonably cool, I do see a bit more sunshine and the breeze feels a tad warmer with each passing day. I’ve been waiting for the morning frosts to depart so I can plant my herb garden. We’re renting a house after years living in the concrete jungle of an apartment complex, so I’m looking forward to having room for growing plants and a shed to store bags of compost and gardening tools. Here in Cavan we’ve got a lovely local bookshop,the Crannóg, where I picked up a copy of Grow Your Own Crops in Pots, by Kay Maguire and the Royal Horticultural Society. Are you into container gardening? Please do share any tips or plants you love to grow in the comments section.

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