Curry Chickpea Sandwiches on the Hiking Trail

This idea was in not one, but two of my favorite magazines last month.  Though I do not particularly care for the squeaky dryness of garbanzo beans out of a can, the idea looked great to me.  Fiber, vegetables, protein, vegetarian, and something new?  So, I took the idea and ran with it.  I ended up with curry chickpea salad.  I also do not care for sandwiches, but I cannot get enough of this one.  Delicious.

Start with a can of organic garbanzo beans.  Strain and pour into bowl.  Crush it with a fork.  We don’t want to puree it or we have hummus, just crush it so you have a nice chunky base.

This base can be changed and improved upon depending on taste.

I added a good dollop of mayonnaise (and a bit of chipotle mayo too).

Add a chopped celery stick and half a shredded carrot.

Sprinkle on garlic powder, dried minced onions, a little salt, lemon pepper, and a tablespoon of curry powder.

Blend well.  Smear on seeded whole grain sandwich bread.

Other ideas:  Use grapes and almonds for “chicken” salad. Or add relish and a bit of mustard, and a good sprinkling of fresh dill.  Be creative!

Some days now are perfect to pack a basket of sandwiches, fruit, and drinks and head to the hiking trails.  We did this just this last weekend and it was beautiful.  Good to know spring always comes. (Doug took some great photos.)


The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey (a field trip)

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Sometimes one needs to run away, to have a change of scenery, and to put the day to day chaos away and perhaps have a glass of wine!  A change of place can create calm in thought and help bring on new ideas.  We haven’t had a field trip to a winery in some time, so Doug and I with our friends, Rodney and Pat, headed up to Canyon City to explore one in our own back yard.

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The Holy Cross Abbey is a beautiful gothic structure that used to house monks and a boarding school, but as it declined the grounds were left to a viticulturist and the abbey now rests while the winery does the work now.

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We enjoyed the VIP tasting (surprisingly affordable) which included eleven pours to taste most of the wines produced there, from a luscious Petit Sirah to a sweet Apple wine made from local apples.  As we walked outside to the place that the tasting would be held we immediately took in the quaint picnic table set for four with wine glasses.  The vineyard directly behind buzzing with life.  The perfect early autumn air and the smell of nearby mountains and flowers made the event seem as if it were written out of a magazine.

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Our delightful hostess, Elise, was a charming addition to the tasting as we compared stories of herbalism, homesteading, and future dreams.  Her aspirations include starting a community organization that brings like minded people together and turning her parents’ property into a lively homestead for them.  We took to her sweet spirit and enthusiasm immediately.

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It was a day of laughter, good weather, friends, and wine.  We sat in the sun, enjoyed a meal together afterwards, and sang karaoke into the night.  The perfect day.

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If you are in the area the Holy Cross Winery is a lovely place to stop.

Lunch Creativity (seeking it!)


Ahh, lunch.  My nemesis.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind going out to lunch!  But standing in my kitchen at lunchtime trying to figure out what to prepare always leaves me baffled.  Once farmer’s market season starts (next week!) I have to pack lunches.  Oy, then it really gets fun.  We go out a lot during farmers market season.  Now, since I have to be saving up money for the entire year, it seems silly to be spending a fair amount on breakfast and lunch.  Breakfast is a little easier.  I could make some banana bread, or pack some biscuits and coffee, but lunch…It also looks bad that we are at our booth selling delicious, healthy fare, then running over and grabbing fast food.  Contradiction!

I always start out with good intentions, I always envision a full cooler of delicious fare.  Then farming season hits full swing and our herbal business takes off!  I am too tired to pack anything come a week into the whole venture.  This year, I am doing one or two less markets.  I am going to embrace healthy living…all the time, and saving money.  Here’s my problem and that is where you can help.

I don’t care for most sandwiches.  I don’t like the consistency of mushy bread.  It is a little hot for soup.  I can only eat so many salads and then I am starving and go get something else.  I need creativity, ideas, wise housewives to give me a clue!  Surely that is not the entire makeup of lunch!  My friends out there, please reply with your favorite lunch ideas.  Particularly ones that I can pack easily.

If you were going to a farmers market at 5:30 and wouldn’t be home until 2:30, what would you pack?  Don’t forget the thermoses of coffee!  We also need filling food.  We work really hard in the summer and are always hungry.  And since we are working while eating, something easy to eat.

Thanks ahead of time for the ideas!

(I love this picture from Williams-Sonoma!)