#TripleSBites: Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

This caesar salad, made with tender spring mix and hearty kale, is full of flavor and spice! A perfect starter to any meal.

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Welcome to #TripleSBites! For the next week, I’ll be sharing some fun, romantic recipes. Now, my definition of romantic might be a little nontraditional, but my husband LOVED every recipe I’m sharing so that works for me. :) For more details about this week, and to enter the giveaway, go here now!

#TripleSBites | thepajamachef.com

To start things off, I thought I’d share a salad. Salads have a reputation of being a boring way to eat veggies, especially if they are just a side salad. They don’t have to be boring though! I think it’s all in the toppings and dressing! To set the stage for this caesar salad, I made a fresh dressing that is just out of this world… just lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, and some seasoning. Simple and fresh, just how I like it. [The recipe is from Melissa D’Arabian’s new cookbook so you know it has to be good!!] After tossing the dressing with my greens of choice [this time, spring mix and kale], I added the star of the show: fried chickpeas. [And gigantic shreds of parmesan cheese. Ben was in charge of that, haha. :)]

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Now, for these fried chickpeas I used one of our sponsor products: Acala Farms Chili Cumin Oil. This oil is awesome! It’s an infused cottonseed oil and is slightly spicy, so it gives a great flavor to those chickpeas as you fry them up in a skillet. I also seasoned them with dried parsley so they’d look a little prettier and to cut that spice a bit. Acala Farms also sent me a Cilantro Oil to try and I can’t wait to play around with that!  If you don’t have time to fry up some chickpeas as a salad topper, did you know that you can buy crispy chickpeas that are kinda sorta the same thing?!? Another #TripleSBites sponsor is 2 Armadillos [what a fun name, btw!] and they make all sorts of flavored crispy chickpeas: rosemary, spicy cayenne, tomato basil, and cinnamon toast. So far, rosemary is my fave but I haven’t tried cinnamon toast yet so we will see! They’re perfect for a snack or to put on salad. I’m wondering about trying to bake with them too… as a crust or in granola or something?! Hmmmm… Since the package arrived the other night I just want to snack on them all. the. time! Who would’ve guessed chickpeas would be so tasty?! I truly loved the oil and the chickpeas, and don’t want my blog to read like an ad but simply must say… you need to try these products! I love buying from small businesses and really appreciate how the internet has made purchasing from smaller companies SO much easier. Hope you check them out! 2 Armadillos is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Acala Farms can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks to these great sponsors! 

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Well, that’s all I have today but be sure to come back later this week for more #TripleSBites recipes, and check out the linkup below for more recipes from other #TripleSBites gals! Happy Monday!

one year ago: Chili Relleno Casserole
two years ago: Baked Jalapeno Popper Ranch Dip
three years ago: Fried Eggs on Pesto-Parmesan Toast
four years ago: Mini Meatloaf

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Print

dressing recipe from Supermarket Healthy by Melissa D’Arabian


  • 1 tablespoon Acala Farms Chili Cumin Oil
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 4 cups lettuce, kale, or spinach [I used half spring mix and half kale]
  • shaved parmesan

for dressing

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add chickpeas [make sure they are dry!]. Season with parsley and fry for 10-12 minutes, tossing occasionally and allowing all sides to get browned.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Whisk together lemon juice, dijon, and garlic. While whisking, pour in 1 tablespoon oil. Season with red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add extra oil and/or water to thin as necessary.

Toss dressing with lettuce. Serve with shaved parmesan and fried chickpeas.

Check out these other yummy #TripleSBites recipes!


Disclosure: I received some infused cottonseed oil from Acala Farms and some chickpea samples from 2 Armadillos as part of my participation in #TripleSBites. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own. 



Welcome to #TripleSBites!

Welcome to #TripleSBites! For the next week or so I’m participating in a fun blogging event hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. TripleS? What’s that? Spicy, saucy, sexy food…for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

There are twenty fun bloggers participating, including:

A Day in the Life on the Farm
A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Cheese Curd In Paradise
Cooking In Stilettos
Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Curious Cuisiniere
Dancing Veggies
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Eliot’s Eats
Famished Fish, Finicky Shark
From Gate to Plate
Making Miracles
Summer Scraps
The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
The Pajama Chef
The Spiffy Cookie
The Weekend Gourmet
Things I Make (for Dinner)

Longtime readers might recognize some of those names from #10DaysofTailgate in the fall! Just like that event, we have sponsors and a giveaway for #TripleSBites! Camilla is AWESOME, you guys. :) Thanks to all our amazing sponsors! You guys are the best!!

2 Armadillos
Acala Farms
Gourmet Garden
Intensity Academy
Kitchen IQ
Mekenita Brands
Not Ketchup
Out of the Weeds
Pirate Jonny’s
Spicely Organics
Voodoo Chef

#TripleSBites | thepajamachef.com

And now for the giveaway…

Terms & Conditions

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment [below] and tell me What’s your favorite romantic dish to cook for your sweetheart? Many more ways to enter in the Rafflecopter widget [below].

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, age 18 and older. This #TripleSBites 2015 giveaway runs from Monday, February 2, 2015 12:00am PT through Monday, February 9, 2015 at 6:00pm PT. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced on February 10, 2015. Winners will also be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond to the email. If a winner does not respond in that time a new winner will be chosen. For more information, see the full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget.

 Disclaimer: All prize packages were provided free of charge. Participating bloggers received complimentary product(s) for their #TripleSBites posts. All opinions stated are my own.

 Please click on the arrows in the rafflecopter to scroll through the prize packages!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What I’m Into (January 2015 edition)

I always love other blogger’s What I’m Into posts, so I decided to start participating for 2015! WOOHOO!

One of the best parts of this month: an impromptu, somewhat late night date with Ben at The Cheesecake Factory after Bible study. Appetizers and cheesecake. Mmm, felt like college again!

What’s Been Happening

Lately things have been REALLY busy around here. I’m training for my fifth marathon–in Nashville this April, so running has taken up an extraordinary amount of time, especially on the weekends and before work. I’m so glad the days are getting longer… makes running before work much easier, plus I hate driving home everyday in the dark. Ben’s also coaching basketball for his school. Seeing him as a coach is so fun! Let me just say that fifth graders playing basketball is adorable.

What I did while "watching" the national championship game. #paperflowers #craftycrafty #papercrafts #diy #gobuckeyes #thatsforben

A photo posted by Sarah K. // The Pajama Chef (@thepajamachef) on

I’ve loved crafting all my life, but haven’t done it very much as an adult. But during the Ohio State National Championship football game [that Ben was OH SO thrilled about!], I made those paper flowers for a decoration for my office. They make me smile everytime I walk in. :)

What I’m Reading

I’m a big reader, and have read some great books this month! My reading goal on Goodreads [follow me?] is 120 books this year. I’m interested in seeing if I can do it! :) Last year I read 100+ so this is somewhat of a jump up, but not too bad. This month I finished 11 books and am reading several more.

What I'm Into | thepajamachef.com

The best books I read this month were the first two of Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series, A Trace of Smoke and A Night of Long Knives. If you like mystery/thrillers and WWII-era books, you will love this series set in 1930s Berlin. I have the third book waiting to start too!

I listen to audiobooks during my commute, and my favorite new series is a sweet Southern series set in Charleston, South Carolina by Karen White. The first installment is The House on Tradd Street and the narrator on the audiobook is great! Her accents are spot on and makes the somewhat ridiculous nature of this series [a realtor who lands herself an old house to restore and encounters ghosts in the process] easier to bear. A good, light read to counter my traffic woes!

I’m in the process of reading several other books. I like to read multiple books at once so I can pick up whatever suits my mood at the time. Though I have a numerical reading goal for the year, I also am going to join in with the reading challenge on Modern Mrs. Darcy to read books in various categories this year. Two of my current reads fit into this challenge–And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie [for a book that my mom loves!] and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis [for a book I’ve been meaning to read foreverrr].

What I’m Watching

I haven’t had much time for tv this month, but I faithfully watched the last four episodes of Parenthood in January. So sad to see this show end, but I do love the closure. Have you seen this article from E! Online about elements of the finale? It’s always interesting knowing why writers/directors make the decisions they do. I have to say, I love Sarah/Lauren Graham’s wedding dress. Gorgeous. If I got married all over again I would totally love that dress.

We’ve also been watching 24 again! We’re on season 5, and got stuck there sometime last year when Netflix took it off. Sooo when Amazon Prime was on sale last weekend, we took advantage so we could watch it again. No spoilers please! :) This has nothing to do with the show, but Netflix’s format on the Wii is miles better than Amazon Prime’s. Ugh. Amazon Prime seems to skip a lot more too. Boo!

I’ve also been catching up on my cooking shows: Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Damaris Phillips’ Southern At Heart are my fave! On Netflix I’ve been slowly watching Bones and Gilmore Girls. This may be sacrilege to many of you but I couldn’t get into Friends. I really tried! Yesterday, the last day of the month, after my 12 mile run I camped out on the couch and watched two movies for the first time in forever… Safe Haven [a la Nicholas Sparks] and Mulan [yes. Aminated Mulan. I love this movie so much!]. That was fun!

What I’ve Been Cooking

This month I’ve been cooking a lot on Sundays so we have leftovers for the week. Evenings have been consumed with all sorts of things–I have to work one night a week [we rotate evening duty at the library], Bible study is another night, Ben has basketball practice another night… it seems like we’re hardly home which is just not my style. I love being home. So I’ve made all sorts of things on the weekends–Skinny Lasagna, Black Beans and Rice, Mediterranean Lentils and Rice [still owe you the recipe, it’s from a Food Network magazine!], and soups out the wazoo. My sister’s Creamy Zuppa Tuscana Soup was SO good, as were these Morning Glory Muffins. Since it takes me forever to blog recipes, I created a Tested Recipes board on Pinterest to save all my, umm, tested recipes. Haha!

Whole wheat #pancakes for a #mondaymorning. Mmm! #yum #ilovebreakfast 🍴☕️

A photo posted by Sarah K. // The Pajama Chef (@thepajamachef) on

Oh I can’t believe I almost forgot… we LOVED these Whole Wheat Pancakes for Two. I think about them everyday and wish I could make pancakes everyday!

What’s On The Blog

My most popular new recipe of the month was Southwest Veggie & Taco Rice Casserole. No doubt because that stuff is good! 

Southwest Veggie + Taco Rice Casserole | thepajamachef.com

My top three popular recipes from the archives were: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Buffalo Pretzels, and Linda’s Ritz Bits Caramel Crackers.

What were you into in January?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. 

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix

This cheesy chicken and mushroom dinner is perfect for company, but also for a nice weeknight dinner for your family. It’s also nice to have some of this Rice a Roni mix in the pantry for an easy side dish too!

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix | thepajamachef.com

Two recipes in one day! Whoa there, this is crazy! So last fall I read Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist and that book just makes me want to COOK! And eat, but that’s no surprise. It’s a collection of essays knit together thematically around the idea of food, community, friendship, and growth. Though it’s written from a Christian perspective it’s really not in your face Christianity, if you get my drift, and it’s just a lovely book. Being a librarian I pretty much ALWAYS check books out to read from the library prior to purchasing them, and I think this one is good enough to go on  my to-purchase [read: Christmas/birthday present] list. Though I made this dinner just for Ben and myself, it’s truly a company-worthy meal. Though it’s weeknight-doable, the flavors are rich, intoxicating, and delicious. It feels like a fancy escape from the week, even if only at the dinner table.

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix | thepajamachef.com

As I sit here thinking about what I just wrote, I wonder… why do we consider things to be “company-worthy meals” or not? At the root of it definitely is our innately human desire to put on our best face for everyone and to receive compliments/praise/glory/affirmation of how great we are. Somewhere in there is a desire to treat others well. And why shouldn’t we do that for our families on a regular Tuesday? I know people are busier than ever but I still think regular family dinners–even if it’s just you and your husband–are so important. They don’t have to be fancy. In the same vein, “company meals” don’t need to be fancy either–they just need to be made with love, like this meal. This chicken dish only took about 40 minutes to put together, and much of that is baking time. Using a few pantry ingredients, some mushrooms, and cheese, it looks so special! And the homemade Rice a Roni mix is awesome too! Hope you give it a try–and check out this book. :) Enjoy!

one year ago: Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies
two years ago: Buffalo Pretzels 
three years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
four years ago: Crispy Honey Ginger Chicken

Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Print


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts [I cut one large 16 ounce chicken breast into 4 smaller cutlets]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried tarragon
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced [I used shiitake but regular white mushrooms would be fine too]
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced or shredded swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil. Season one side of each chicken breast with pepper and tarragon, then sear chicken for a minute on the seasoned side. Flip to the other side, season, and cook for a minute. Remove chicken to an oven safe baking dish.

In the same skillet, add more olive oil if necessary and reduce heat to medium. Cook mushrooms and onion for about 5 minutes, until soft, then add garlic. Cook another 30 seconds until fragrant. Season with more pepper and tarragon. Add water, vinegar, and molasses and bring to a boil, letting most of the excess liquid cook off, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon mushrooms, onions, and sauce overtop chicken.

Cook for 10-20 minutes or until fully cooked. When chicken is almost done, top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts.

Serve with homemade Rice a Roni [below].

Homemade Rice a Roni Mix

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Print

from Fabulously Frugal


for mix

  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup small pieces of angel hair, vermicelli, or thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 6 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder OR 3 tablespoons poultry seasoning [original recipe called for the former but I didn’t have any so I improvised]
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

for preparation

  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 cup of rice a roni mix [above]
  • 2 1/4 cups water or chicken broth


Combine all ingredients in a large airtight jar or plastic storage container. Breaking apart the noodles was probably the most difficult part. I found it easiest to break just a few at a time, while the measuring cup was in a taller bowl. I used maybe 1/3 of a 16 ounce box of pasta. Orzo or another small pasta would be a good substitute I think.

To make the rice, heat 2 tablespoons of butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 cup rice a roni mix and stir. Cook, constantly stirring, for about a minute until pasta begins to turn golden brown. Add water and bring to a boil, then prepare as you would rice–reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.




Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties

Enjoy homemade turkey sausage patties seasoned as you like. My version includes a little sweet [brown sugar], a little spicy [cayenne pepper], and a little herb [oregano]. Mmm!

Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties | thepajamachef.com

When creating my 30 before 30 list last spring [and BOY am I running out of time…yikes!], I put homemade sausage on my list because I thought it was, ya know, hard or something. Umm, no. Not really. Well, maybe there’s something that makes real sausage legit… but this? It tasted pretty good to me. Pretty much like sausage. These sausage patties are sweet and savory with a lil bit of spice. You should definitely try this for your next fancy breakfast or brunch. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them!

Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Quick & Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice
two years ago: Healthy Mexican Hot Chocolate Breakfast Bars
three years ago: Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese
four years ago: Pork Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 1 hour + overnight
  • Print


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper – optional
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste


In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Season with pepper and salt to your taste. Divide in half, then in half again, and in half again to form 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into small patties and place on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour if not overnight. When ready to serve, cook on the stovetop until no longer pink inside.


Seasoning amounts are VERY flexible. Adjust as desired–especially the cayenne pepper. Sausage patties can be frozen for another day if desired.