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Spicy chickpea and onion donburi

Achievement unlocked!

I have absolutely hit on a divine combination with this one.  I cannot believe that from such humble stuffs arose this magical creature.

I started by chopping a whole onion and two cloves of garlic and let them start to brown in sesame oil. When they were just starting to caramelize I threw in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.

After those had a few minutes to warm up I added a generous swishing of soy sauce, a tsp. or so of rice vinegar, two squirts of hoisin sauce, and a few teeny dollops of chili garlic sauce.

After a few more minutes the sauces had reduced and glazed the chickpeas and onions with a spicy, salty, sweet coating.

It sits on a bed of jasmine rice, fluffy like a pillow. Toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions top it all off.

This was one of those dishes where I had little idea what I was making until I was halfway there. I assure you it will go swiftly into the “make again” file, it’s just too easy and too good!

Spicy chickpea and onion donburi

Chickpeas and onions glazed with a spicy sauce, served over rice.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • approx. 1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • sesame oil for sauteing

Cooking Directions

  1. Saute diced onion and garlic in sesame oil.
  2. When onions begin to caramelize, add chickpeas and sauces.
  3. Allow sauces to heat up and form a glaze over the chickpeas and onions.
  4. Serve over jasmine rice and top with scallions and toasted sesame seeds if desired.

It’s glorified rice and beans, people!  And it’s insane!


Dinners with friends

So, speaking of how differently I eat at home versus at restaurants…

Friday, Jeff and I went out with some friends to Cafe di Sol in the Poncey-Highlands area of town. It’s a cute place with a fantastic patio for people-watching, and a pretty fabulous menu as well.

We started with an app for everyone called Devils On Horseback.  It’s rum-soaked dates stuffed with pistachios, honey, and gorgonzola, wrapped in bacon.

These were pretty good, but a little too sweet. I had one and a half.

Then we got to the good stuff.  Jeff had the same sandwich he gets every time which is a turkey burger with cranberry sauce on pumpernickel bread.

And I went all out and got the Antipasti Plate…

So Good!  3 types of charcuterie, camembert, roasted peppers, a beet-pickled deviled egg, olives, marinated mushrooms, toasted pistachios and pinolis, all with crusty bread.

I should have ordered the soup and salad like I was thinking, but I have little self-control when it comes to meals like this.  Bread with cured meats and fancy cheeses is seriously one of two meals I would choose from to be my last meal.  The other is toasted sesame bagels with cream cheese and lox.  I have no intention to ever deny myself my favorite meal, but it’s a treat food now, and I probably won’t have it again for a while.

We had a great time at Cafe di Sol, we need to remember to go there more often.

Well, that was Friday. Last night we had dinner with a different set of friends at Taqueria del Sol (what’s with all the di Sol, del Sol names?) This one’s right in Decatur so we were able to walk.

We had chips and guac for the table…

And a pitcher of these to go around…

I don’t like salt on my margaritas.  I know, I’m weird.

What I did have was the fish tacos.  They come with tons of super-hot pickled jalepenos and cilantro cream. Jeff was stealing bites every time I set it down!

He always gets the enchiladas with red sauce…

They really are excellent. The sauce has a deep roasted flavor. I was surprised that he chose to get one of his enchiladas with bean-only filling instead of his usual all-beef.  I think all the vegetarian meals I’m making at home are rubbing off on him!

I’m realizing in looking at these pictures that I need to be better about capturing ourselves and our friends in them.  I just could not wait to eat and didn’t wanna fool around with the camera for very long.

Well, that was our weekend.  How was yours?


Salmon over honey-soy soba with onions and shiitakes

It’s official, I hit the trifecta!  After an amazing oatmeal breakfast and an epic sandwich at lunch, dinner did not disappoint.

I found this recipe a few days ago on a recipe aggregator site and thought it would be really easy to just substitute shiitakes, a mushroom I always have on hand, for the chestnut mushrooms it calls for.

Lemme show you what I did.

First I put a piece of salmon rubbed in sesame oil and soy sauce in the oven at 400 degrees.  It takes about 20 minutes to bake, just enough time to do the rest.

I sauteed half an onion in sesame oil…

Then sliced my shiitakes…

Love the little curls at the end of the caps, so cute!  Anyway, I brought some water to a boil to add my soba noodles to…

That is what the package calls two servings, but really it comes out to more like 3 and half or 4.  Something I learned.

I chopped a HUGE clove of garlic, this was probably 2 or 3 regular cloves.

At this point the onions are mostly caramelized.  I threw in the shiitakes and garlic and let them cook down a bit too.  Then I added a splash of rice wine vinegar, about 2 tbsp. of honey, and a generous sloshing of soy sauce.  I firmly believe that; for the most part, if you are measuring ingredients while you are cooking you are doing it wrong. Baking is the opposite, but that’s another story.

Here I am mixing the onions and mushrooms in the sauce…

And here I am smiling because Jeff says I don’t appear in/ smile enough in my own blog…

Can’t you see I’m busy cooking???

Jeff drained the soba that was roiling away…

And I tossed it in the sauce mixture to create this glistening vista…

Here’s what I had for dinner!…

Oh my, yes.

I am a huge fan of onions, raw and cooked.  This was an ode to the onion, for sure.  Loved the sweet caramelized onion sugars flavoring the salty savory sauce.

It has been a successful food day all around.

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