I had the pleasure of attending a fun plant based, zero waste cooking demo with the lovely Scheherezade Daftary of The Delightful Table. Held at the Sky Lounge of the newly opened Line Lofts in Hollywood, it was an intimate setting with Scheherezade leading our group, teaching some useful knife skills, practical food storage tips and hands on prep with veggies so as to focus on meal plan and prep. We even had a fun cooking contest of sorts with everyone in the group making their own creations with the ingredients provided to enjoy a community lunch after. If you know me, I organize my weekly meals on Sundays and enjoy the freedom that gives me during the week to focus on my work and other professional commitments. Sharing here some of my takeaways from the day and two quick and easy recipes she shared with the group that I’ve already made a staple in my kitchen!
Five Key Takeaways From Meal Plan/Prep Tips:
Now on to the recipes!
Crispy Spiced Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a staple in my kitchen, mostly eaten in the form of a hot spicy Indian curry with steamed rice or rotis. I will sometimes throw them into a salad but that’s about the only ways I prepare them so this recipe was welcome change. The chickpeas really do turn out crispy and add a nice crackle to a salad or some spiced rice or even your roasted veggies:
2 cups of cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans, well drained (from a can, drained or or cooked and cooled)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons za'atar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons maple syrup
zest and juice of half of one lime
- In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic powder, za'atar, salt and black pepper. Set aside
- Pour enough vegetable oil into the bottom of a pan to coat it with a thin layer. Heat over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer.
- Carefully add the chickpeas to the pan. Let them sit undisturbed until they begin to brown, then carefully turn the chickpeas so that they get brown and crispy all over.
- Don't stir them too much or they can break apart and you'll have an oily garbanzo mush rather than crispy individual garbanzos.
- Once they are done browning, toss them in a bowl with the spice mixture and then add the lime zest, lime juice and the maple syrup.
- Stir to coat the garbanzo beans and then taste. Add more salt if needed. DONE!
- Serve as a side dish or use it to top salads, toast, soups, and more.
Gomasio (Toasted Sesame Topping)
Sesame was banned in our home growing up – my father was allergic to the darn thing so we had to be careful to ensure the house was sesame free. The few times we ate out there would be careful cross examination with the wait staff to ensure there was not even a hint of it in the food. So it would be fair to say I was properly introduced to sesame only as a grown adult and a married woman managing my own kitchen. I luckily do not have any allergies to any food, and enjoy the change to taste and texture that a versatile ingredient such as sesame provides. I really liked this version she taught us:
6 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
2 tablespoosn shoyu, tamari, soy sauce or soy sauce substitute
2 tablespoons mirin
1 pinch of salt
- In a small dry frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and stir to make sure you don't accidentally burn the seeds.
- Then transfer the seeds to the bowl of a mortar and pestle, spice mill or other crushing or grinding tool (you can also smash them in a bowl with a spoon).
- Grind the seeds up until the oils are released and the seeds are very fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth.
- Taste and adjust the salt as needed. DONE!
- Can be used as a topping for sushi rolls, steamed or sautéed veggies, soups and more.
If you’d like to follow Scheherezade, she offers vegan, organic cooking classes that not only focus on zero waste and ecological and sustainable farming practices, but also the creativity she puts into each dish unmasks flavors you may not have known existed. Her conversational and friendly style certainly put this home cook at ease, and her tricks and techniques were all things I could head home and practice right away.
PS. If you get a chance to check out the Sky Lounge at the Line Lofts Hollywood, you are in for a treat. Great location for a party or to host sessions like this one. And if you live there, you are lucky! The management team does a great job of hosting community events on the regular for tenants to enjoy!