Friday, March 30, 2012

under construction

Made a few changes to the blog...and I foresee it changing some more! I hope the pages make it a little more user friendly and easy on the eyes. I even learned some fancy html and added a shnazzy Facebook like button. 
I'd gladly welcome any feedback or suggestions! Thanks for stopping by and for your comments--never unappreciated. Have a nice weekend!

anabel xx

Monday, March 26, 2012

white bean and chicken chili

Nothing like a warm bowl of chili on a cold, rainy day. Served with some corn bread and this pretty much seals the deal for me. I omitted/substituted a few ingredients from the original (found here) per user comments and because I didn't have some of them handy. The outcome still delivered a tasty alternative to the normal tomato based kind. The combination makes for a super hearty and flavorful chili, with a slight kick. I love the texture and crunch the corn adds to the whole thing.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds of chicken breast, chopped (or you could use rotisserie chicken, just add it later in the cooking process)
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) kale or Swiss chard, stems removed, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Lower heat if they start to brown too quickly. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add chopped chicken, salt, cumin, oregano, and chili powder, and stir till chicken is cooked through.

Add beans, kale or Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Stir ingredients and bring to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits that got stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for about 40-50 minutes until the stock has reduced by half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon into a large bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley and enjoy thoroughly.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ensalada azteca


There’s a vegan restaurant in my neighborhood that, along with this recipe, makes me believe I could live off vegan food, climb trees, climb mountains, etc. all the live long day. (I say this with the caveat that they have these awesome nachos, corn bread, a decent cheesecake as well).

This salad was the first thing I had there…and tried to recreate a few months later for one of my first dates with Abe many a years ago. My memory failed me as I ended up with a bowl of romaine, quinoa and honey mustard dressing. Fail.
Anyways, redemption came when I found this recipe on the Native Foods Blog here. It’s all kinds of crisp veggies, and the raisins and sunflowers add an unexpected flavor and texture to it; not to mention the subtle kick from the cayenne. Pow.
Altogether, I’m a fan. The ingredient list seems long, but you’ll have leftover dressing and a big, heaping, delicious, beautiful salad at the end of it.

For the Mango Lime Dressing:
Combine the following ingredients in a mixer and blend till smooth. Allow the dressing to sit before serving so the flavors can come together. *Note that the dressing comes out pretty thick, so you might have to use a spoon to drizzle it over your salad (vs. pouring it out of the blender or bottle).


1 cup of fresh (or frozen) mango
½ cup sunflower oil (I used canola; any neutral flavored oil will work)
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Tomato Mixture:
Combine the following ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled + chopped
1 cup jicama, chopped
1 cup avocado, chopped
½ cup red onion, minced
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

Additional ingredients:
2 cups of mixed greens
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to instructions and cooled

4 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
4 Tablespoons raisins or chopped dates
Slices of fresh mango
Cayenne pepper (optional)
To assemble Salad:
Divvy up the mix greens onto 4 plates. Top with equal amounts of quinoa, then drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of dressing.
Top with Tomato Mixture and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with sunflower seeds, raisins, and fresh mango. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne pepper if you don’t mind a kick. Serve and enjoy.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

happy first day of spring!

{Pictures from my mom's most beautiful garden.} 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

chevron details

Eye catching chevrons. How beautiful is this wall? It makes me want to own a home...or at least just an entryway. :)
1) Apartment Therapy | 2) UO | 3) UO
4) Pretty Tape | 5) Pinterest via Brandi via Note to Self

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

roasted vegetables with a lemon-tahini dressing

Another David Lebovitz (<3) recipe. The dish he created in an effort to clear out his refrigerator, is now one of my favorite, staple recipes. I'm trying to eat less meat/chicken these days, so this has been in frequent rotation when I'm looking for something flavorful, filling, and vegetarian . You can use any combination of vegetables and add more herbs, like dill as David suggests for a more Mediterranean feel. I'm back on my kabocha pumpkin kick so added that to the mix, but besides a few minor adjustments, I stuck pretty closely to the original. I think I'll add some Garbanzo beans next time. 

3/4 cup wild or mixed brown rice
6 cups peeled and cubed root vegetables (I used carrots, kabocha pumpkin, beets. Broccoli also tastes great)
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
2 spring onions or green onions, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and chives (or other favorite herbs)
Toasted almonds or sunflower seeds (optional)

To make Lemon-Tahini Dressing, combine:
1/4 cup Tahini (essentially a sesame paste; also used to make hummus)
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
*Add more lemon juice or salt if needed. 

Cook rice according to instructions. After cooking, move rice into a bowl and let cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Spread the vegetables in an even layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Stir once or twice while baking to keep vegetables from burning. Remove from heat and let cool.

This dish is best served at room temperature. When you're ready to serve, arrange rice in a bowl, top with plenty of vegetables, drizzle with a generous amount of dressing on top, and add a few spoons of the green onion/herb mixture. Finally sprinkle with almonds! Stir and feast. :)

Make ahead: If you plan on making enough for leftovers or for the lunch the next day (which I always do), just keep all the elements separate (rice, vegetables, and dressing). Otherwise, the tahini dries out the dish.

Serves 4-6. 


Monday, March 12, 2012


Wyoming | Brandi
CA | Anabel 
Bangkok, Thailand | from the archives...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

italian chicken salad

Sorry to have been m.i.a. last week. Things got bizzay!...and sleep became the priority over blogging. Anyway, I'm back now...with an easy, light appetizer recipe from my girl, Giada

I made this recipe a while back for Abe's birthday dinner. I was looking for a quick recipe to add to the other Italian-ish themed dishes (although I'm not quite sure what makes this Italian besides that fact that Giada says it is...oh, or maybe the Italian parsley?) Regardless, it's a keeper. I was craving it again recently, so my measurements are for 1 rotisserie chicken, which is still a lot. But it's light, super simple, and versatile. Serve in a lettuce cup, with crackers, or even in a sandwich. I tweeked it ever so slightly (namely just took out the capers and reduced the oil in the vinaigrette). Enjoy.

Shredded chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken 
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup chopped roasted red + yellow bell peppers
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped 
Salt + Pepper
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
butter lettuce leaves

For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bow and whisk with a fork; slowly add the oil until well incorporated. 

For the Chicken Salad, toss together the shredded chicken, bell peppers, onion,
parsley. Add enough vinaigrette so the mixture is not dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Scoop into lettuce cups and top with almonds. [I like to add the almonds on top right before serving, but feel free to mix them in the step above.]  That's it. :)

This can be made a few hours ahead. Just keep refrigerated and scoop into lettuce cups before serving. 


Monday, March 5, 2012


NYC | David
Jackson, Wyoming | Brandi
Seoul, Korea | James
Boston, MA | Helen
California | Anabel



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