Greek Lamb Chili


Dc weather is always been a little finicky and when it starts to get chilly I crave soup. This Greek Lamb chili is no exception and my take on the traditional beef and bean version. I think of my Yiya every time I made this chili because I think she would have loved it. It would have been a fitting addition to our Sunday suppers we had when I was growing up in Jersey. As most soups and chilies, this lends well to making a big pot of it and freezing it eat as leftovers. 

1 lb ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup harissa (I used Cava’s brand)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes  
1/2 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups black wild rice
1 cup gigante beans
2-4 cups water (as much as needed)
Salt, to taste

1 bunch scallions, diced
1 can chickpeas
Greek yogurt


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and smoked sea salt. Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until crispy. Start the black wild rice in the rice cooker - 2 parts water to 1 part rice. 

Add a little bit of olive oil to a pan on medium high heat and saute the garlic and onion, add the lamb until cooked through. Drain out the excess liquid. 

Start the chili base by combining the harissa, can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, gigante beans, and about 2 cups of water. Add the meat and cover and simmer for about 20-30 min.

If you want the chili to be a bit spicier add more harissa. If it seems too thick add more water. Too watery, add more tomatoes or beans. Add the rice to the pot when finished steaming. 

Once the chili is done top with diced scallions, crispy roasted chickpeas, and greek yogurt.


Steamed Jasmine Rice Bowl with Eggplant

Grains aren't the easiest thing to make correctly, and I used to avoid cooking rice, lentils and quinoa because I resented the level of attention required to steam them to perfection. 30-45 minutes of constantly checking on the pot to make sure the bottom of you pan isn't scorched and creating that dreaded half burnt, half crunchy layer is tedious. Enter my newest and most favorite kitchen gadget (at the moment until the next one comes along): the rice cooker. I'm slightly obsessed. You can really take Ron Popeil's "set it and forget it" mantra to heart here. It even sings to you when the rice is done cooking and will switch over to warming mode to keep everything perfectly steamy until you're ready. I should also mention, the rice cooker does so much more than just cook rice and grains. You can slow cook meats, steam veggies and even bake (steam?) a cake!


Needless to say, ever since this magical stream machine came into my kitchen I've been making a lot more bowls. They're the perfect 30 minute dinner. While the self-sufficient rice cooker does its own thing, you can get to work prepping the rest of your meal. I'm excited to share with you my alternative to chinese/thai takeout. I saute eggplant, onions, mushrooms, and whatever other veggies I have on hand in coconut oil, garlic, chili paste and soy sauce and then top it off with a sesame oil and tahini spicy sauce and rice seasoning. This makes for a healthy and even better stand-in that takes half the time to make as waiting for the delivery guy to knock on your door. 



1 cup white jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 medium eggplant, chopped (about 2-3 cups)
2 cups shiitake/maiitake/cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chili oil or chili paste
Optional: More veggies! - carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, go crazy
Optional: Rice seasoning

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp chili oil


Rinse the rice in water and then combine with water in the rice cooker. Set it to cook white rice, hit start and get started on chopping the eggplant, onion, mushrooms and any other veggies. Mince the garlic.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan; when you flick water in the pan and it sizzles that means the pan is hot enough. Add the vegetables and garlic, stir and continue to cook while the rice steams, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes). Make the sauce while the vegetables and the rice are cooking. Mix all ingredients together and stir until the consistency is smooth.

When you hear the rice cooker singing, it's time to assemble your bowl! Add the rice in a large bowl and add the vegetables

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

Start with rice on the bottom, top it with the veggies and drizzle with the spicy sesame sauce. Top with rice seasoning or sesame seeds if you'd like. Serve and enjoy!



Union Market is my go-to weekend destination to pick up some of my favorite DC food things. I usually hit up Red Apron for charcuterie, Honey Comb for ramen noodles and Neopol for a smoked whitefish sandwich because I'm so hungry checking out all the vendors there. Union Market also has this cool warehouse space called Dock 5 that hosts different events throughout the year. Creative Mornings hosted their last breakfast lecture there, Drink the District (which is coming up December 11 & 12!) is here, and this past Sunday Emporiyum went down. Emporiyum is a artisinal food bazaar featuring local food and drink spots as well as vendors from all over the country. You could nosh on Creminelli salami from Utah and then venture down another aisle to snag a pork bun from DC's Maketto. There was so much food to sample and so many cool spots to check out, some familiar and some new. I went with my friend Melissa and we were stuffed after going to every stand once.. ok maybe twice.

I must have looked tired because the guy from Slingshot offered me a full sample cup of his coffee, which I very much appreciated. The coffee was so good, as was the deal, that I bought four bottles that moment. If I don't drink all of them myself maybe I'll give some away as Christmas presents. Across from Slingshot was Misfit Juicery which I've been meaning to try every since they popped up at the marketplace at the end of my street, Pleasant Pops. Misfit takes the ugly fruits and veggies most people shun and turn them into cold-pressed juice amazingness. Their pear juice was surprisingly my favorite since pears aren't usually a fruit I gravitate towards. I'm so glad I got to sample this flavor and I'm excited to buy it next time I'm at Pleasant Pops and need a health boost.

I must have tried 100 samples, but when I spotted someone with a steamed bun from Ekiben I knew I had to buy one. The meatballs were outstanding, they had so much flavor and the papaya slaw was a great compliment. I'm hoping their super long line will convince them to open a location in the district.

Emporiyum was a great way to discover some of DC's local spots I haven't had a chance to try like Craft Kombucha and District Doughnut. I left knowing some new favorites, very full and with a shopping list for Union Market downstairs.

Coming Soon.. I promise!

Please bear with me as I get some content up. In the meantime, a haiku..

I can always eat
Never one to refuse food
But always hungry