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Yup, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas. Not a typo, not a mistake, all kinds of delicious!

A few months ago I picked up the cookbook Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward and I have been hooked by her lovely recipes! It is a plant-based cookbook and although I am not on a specific plant-based diet, I aspire to have more plant-based recipes in my repertoire and want to incorporate more good things and less bad things into my meals. This cookbook has definitely been a great investment :)

This particular recipe is one of my favorites and it shows because when I make these chickpeas, I have a hard time not eating them all in a day! You can either eat these by themselves or as Ella does, she sprinkles them in her salads and soups.

Enjoy!

Picture from my Instagram feed

Picture from my Instagram feed

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups canned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes**
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Drain the chickpeas and place them on a large baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the paprika, cumin, chili flakes and salt and pepper onto them and then drizzle over the maple syrup, lemon juice and some olive oil, stirring well to ensure that everything is evenly coated.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the chickpeas are nice and crunchy.

Makes 1 large jar.

**The first time I made this, I added the 2 teaspoons of chili flakes. But since I like a little less spice, I now only add 1 teaspoon instead of the called for 2 teaspoons. Still spicy, just not as much ;) It is up to you on how much of the chili flakes you are a fan of

⇒Recipe adapted from the book Deliciously Ella

Backstory

So, 4 months is quite a long time to be away so let’s catch up shall we?

Well, last summer my family moved to Oregon from Southern California and we currently live in a suburb outside of Portland. We’ve explored all our new area has to offer and having rain during the winter with some nights hitting lows of 29 degrees has definitely been interesting!

I have loved having Powell’s Bookstore within driving distance. I have loved the good food Portland has to offer. I have loved my library and my daughter and I are there all the time checking out books and movies :)

I get why people love Fred Meyer’s. I get why people love the beautiful green trees and fresh air. I get why people absolutely fall in love with Oregon. I really, really do.

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But…

(You knew one was coming, didn’t you?)

Life is full of decisions you make at any given time. You make decisions all day long. What you are going to eat for breakfast, are you going to work out today, should you get the oil changed today or tomorrow, and on and on. Pretty mundane in the decision-making department, right?

But then there are the life-changing decisions that you make, that you feel are the best for that particular moment in time. Whether you quit a job, or say yes to an engagement or decide to go back to school and get that degree you’ve always wanted. Moving, whether it is to a new city, state, or country, ranks right up there with the whole altering life kind of thing.

Needless to say, after long consideration my husband and I decided that Oregon is not the best choice for us after all. My family and I are going to be moving back to Southern California.

Yes, I am going back to Cali, Cali, Cali…

Oregon is an amazing place and I have nothing negative to say about it all. It is a great place to live and raise a family.

But it just never felt right…

For our family, we need to go back to our roots and those roots are back in California. We miss our extended family and our friends. We miss having a support system. We thought those things would be things that we could just work through but it was becoming apparent that that just wasn’t the case.

Also, for reasons I am unable to disclose, there have been some personal issues for our family that were magnified here and it is best for us to go back to our home.

Our real home. Under the California sun.

Our decision to move to Oregon was made with the best intentions. We felt a calling to come here and plant roots here. We felt a calling to put down our stakes and make a new life here amongst the tall and beautiful trees.

But sometimes that whisper you hear, or that knot that starts forming in your stomach, simply cannot be ignored. And part of the hesitation in admitting that a decision is not working out, is that one does not like to feel like they made a mistake.

And that’s okay. Because I don’t see our move to Oregon as a mistake. I see it as a stepping stone onto something bigger and better.

In fact, ever since we came to the conclusion that going back to SoCal was in our best interest, it really and truly feels like a weight has been lifted off of us.

As for specifics on our move back to California, I don’t have a date yet. We are planning to move in the next few months, but we have some things to take care of here before we hit the road.

Sometimes you have to go through it to get to it, if you know what I mean. But that’s okay.

I am so happy to be going back to my home. My real home.

Hey, I’m Back!

Hey guys, I am back! I know, can you believe it? :)

Honestly, when I wrote my last post back in February, I really didn’t think I would make it back to this space. I mean, I loved blogging, but I was totally and honestly just burnt out. Blogging is something that is a part of you as a blogger and every blogger experiences from time to time what they call “blogger burnout”. Usually bloggers just take a few days or a few weeks off and they come back refreshed and rejuvenated. And I had done that before, but this time, a few days or so wasn’t going to cut it.

I needed a massive break.

And wouldn’t you know, it was just what the doctor ordered? :) I missed writing. I missed sharing. I missed other bloggers. I missed the interaction with readers.

I missed my space

That’s the feeling that I was waiting for to come back. And thank goodness it did!

So I am back. I hope y’all didn’t go too far away ;)

Goodbye For Now…

I can’t apologize enough for my lack of posting and the “radio silence” that has become my blog. The truth of the matter is, I really haven’t felt like blogging and this medium has ceased to really be a part of my identity.

I want to write here, I really do. I want to share new recipes with you and share my creative writing pieces with you all. I miss interacting with you and I miss the camaraderie.

But I have to be honest with myself and honest with you.

I’m not sure blogging is for me anymore.

As of this moment, I am not going to delete my blog. I am going to leave it up for awhile and see if maybe at a later date, I will get that rush of the love of blogging and share a bit of my world with you. And feel free to peruse the blog for encouragement, funny stories or a good recipe!

But for now, I am going to say goodbye.

XO, Mackenzie

P.S. I am still hanging out on twitter and instagram, so come say hi :)

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into the meal plan. I know not everyone is a fan of quinoa and even though that’s what the recipe initially called for, I substituted brown rice for the quinoa. Brown rice is less expensive and I don’t use quinoa often enough to justify the purchase.

If you are going to use brown rice instead like I did, just substitute the quinoa with 1 cup of cooked brown rice and continue with the rest of the directions.

Enjoy!

bellpeppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 6 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, doesn’t matter)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ cup grated part-skim mozzarella (I used cheddar because that’s what I had on hand)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Boil 1 ¹/3 cups water in a saucepan; add quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep covered; set aside. Remove pepper tops, stems and seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peppers, boil for 5 minutes and drain. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; cook for 3 minutes. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in spinach and beans. Remove from heat and mix in quinoa and chili powder.

Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and place upright in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Add just enough water to form a very thin layer in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

 

**Recipe adapted from SHAPE magazine

Guess what dear readers? I haven’t been inside a Target store a.k.a. the bulls-eye store in over 3 months!

*Cue the ticker tape parade and the celebrations!!*

I know, I know, it is absolutely physically impossible to stay away from that store, with everything all bright and shiny and begging you to take it home. But I did it.

I have not been inside a bulls-eye store since September.

How did I do it, you ask?

The answer to that question is two beautiful little words: Fred Meyer, a lovely wonderful store that they have here in Oregon.

Now before you think I substituted mindless shopping at one store for mindless shopping at another store, hear me out: I do not mindless shop at the Fred Meyer store. Not once have I ever mindless shopped at Fred Meyer.

See, when I would go to target to get toilet paper or cat litter or food items, other things would appear in my bright red shopping cart. Magazines and books would end up in my cart. Cute little $8 t-shirts would end up in my cart. And so on and so on. I’m sure you all can relate :)

Even after we moved to Oregon, the whole month of August was making back and forth trips to the store with the bright red shopping carts to get things we needed. After all, we moved up here with barely anything and things like shower curtains, were a necessity.

But in September, in that glorious month of September, my husband and I needed to get groceries and we were like, “Hey, let’s just go to Fred Meyer to get our stuff”.

And we’ve never looked back.

When I go to Fred Meyer, I get exactly what I am going there for. Do they have cutesy t-shirts and beautiful scarves and the newest best-selling books? Yup. Do they have oh-my-goodness-those-are-the-cutest-boots-I’ve-ever-seen boots at Fred Meyer? Yup, they have ’em and guess what? They haven’t ended up in my cart.

I  Fred Meyer, I really do. That store has everything, and I mean everything. But the mindless shopping just doesn’t happen here. The end caps of items calling my name like they do at the bulls-eye store…it just doesn’t phase me at Fred Meyer.

Maybe at Target we are blinded by the bright red shopping carts. Those bright red shopping carts that call our name begging us to fill them up with mindless junk.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for Target. After all, they’ve taken so much of my hard-earned cash, I could be a stock holder or something by now ;)

But I am glad for my pocket book, that I haven’t been in that store for months now. And it’s not to say that I will never go in that store again. But it has been a breath of fresh air to not be holding a Target receipt and shaking my head and grumbling under my breath.

Do you have a love/hate affair with the bulls-eye store? Are you hypnotized by the bright red shopping carts? :)

Holy guacamole! The Random Path is 3 years old! I can’t believe that this lil ‘ol blog that I started in December of 2011, is still my own and a space that I write and share

I admit that blogging hasn’t always been easy, and sometimes life gets hard and messy and that it doesn’t always allow time for getting behind that keyboard. But us bloggers, we persevere right? ;)

I have learned a lot about myself as a writer, and as a person. And this blog has also allowed me to make the online friends, my real-life friends, which is a huge plus!

Also a HUGE thank you to ALL of you dear readers of The Random Path. It means a lot that you want to read my words and want to share this space with me

And I must give a special thank you to Tonya, Anna, Shannon, and Tanya. You girls have been absolutely amazing in your support and friendship and I just wanted you to know that I truly appreciate it :)

XO,

Mackenzie

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