If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I am having a bit of a moment right now with Salsa Macha. It’s a very deeply rooted love affair and I have no shame in the fact that every single breakfast for the last week has featured it, among other meals and snacks.
Our trip to London in October was one I certainly will never forget. Traveling halfway around the world with my love, without any major plans beyond knowing where to stay, a list of restaurants as dishes I had to have and a few sights that were “musts” and not much more. Such a wonderful way to travel.
Staying in the Shoreditch neighborhood in London was the perfect place for us. The grit of a big city matched with the deeply rooted history of London, it was the perfect edgy urban vibe that we love! The streets of “The Ditch”, as locals call it, are lined with charming cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, beautiful street art tucked into the most unsuspecting corners – it’s got that cutting edge vibe that juxtaposes the proper bits of London, just so perfectly.
Being in London I was able to safely eat gluten-free easier than probably any other city I have ever visited and the food was incredible – I was stunned, not at all what I had expected nor remembered from my trip to the UK over 15 years ago. I plan to write up a post sharing some of my personal favorites from the Trip, but in the meantime I wanted to share my single most-favorite dish from all of my UK travels, shoot maybe all of my European travels, even.
Surely I can’t be the only one that randomly craves stews and soups in the summer, right? There is something about a meal that requires you to just dump everything into a pot and walk away, that’s just so enticing about the busy, summer months. Obviously, I really love comforting warm meals like this in the winter month, the perfect hearty meal in a bowl, but there is also something about enjoying them in the summer, maybe on an unseasonably cool or rainy day or maybe just because those are the flavors I am currently wanting. I say give into the cravings, who cares if a hot stew seems like a crazy idea! It never is.
You guys know that most times when cooking, I opt for fresh, but when you plan to cook with beans just before mealtime and you just don’t have the time or energy to soak, cook or sprout them, good quality organic canned is always an amazing, quick option. A well stocked pantry, in my mind, is having those staple canned goods, the ones you know always work for you in a pinch. There is comfort in knowing you can always go to the pantry, grab a few items, perfect for making a wholesome, healthy and nourishing meal. Pair them up with whatever is in the fridge that needs to be eaten up and voila! If a few canned goods now and again means you actually opt for a healthy meal versus take-out, hitting a drive-thru or opting for a microwave meal, I am all about it.
Safeway and Albertsons have an amazing initiative, “Cans Get You Cooking“. Delicious recipes and meal solutions to nutrition and sustainability information, Cans Get You Cooking showcases the nutrition, freshness and flavor canned foods offer. With a well-stocked pantry —or “Cantry” (see what we did there?) — you can get through the week with creative healthy, homemade meals.
This Moroccan Chickpea Stew is a perfect weeknight meal. You can walk through the door and dinner will be on the table in just about 30 minutes. This stew has so many deep, rich aromatic flavors going on without any spicy heat. I always have homemade preserved lemons on hand, these, in my opinion are a must anytime you make Moroccan-inspired food, bringing a beautiful tangy, bright, zesty citrus flare. I also recommend adding golden raisins, when serving, their sweetness is a beautiful compliment to the spices and the tart preserved lemon. You can serve this stew over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, or just as is. This makes a great meatless weeknight meal, but you could also serve it as a side dish with roasted chicken, lamb, beef or some baked fish.