Crunchy!

Posted on May 17, 2017. Filed under: Appitizers, Snacks, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Let’s talk snacks. Pretty much all of my posts are either healthy meals or desserts. I never really write anything about snacks. Which is weird, because I LOVE snacks. Like a lot. Especially if they’re crunchy. Even better if you can dip them in something. My favorite? Tortilla chips and queso dip. Or Unos croutons in bleu cheese (judge me, but it’s sooo gooood).

But, when I cut out processed carbs (save a mocha with whipped cream, and yesterday’s rhubarb loaf, I haven’t had any) I had to figure out what to eat for a post show/work snack, or even a during work/show snack. I bought some flavored cashews and almonds, but I wanted more. Then I remembered, I had chickpeas. You know what chickpeas makes? Hummus.

Hummus is such an easy dip to make I’m almost embarrassed to say I had been buying it. But why buy it? It only has a few ingredients, and they’re all pretty easy to find. I say pretty easy because in Chicago, Tahini sauce is pretty common, thanks to the diverse population.

This recipe is very easy, as I said. You can serve it with pita chips, or as I’ve been doing some crunchy veggies.

Sriracha Lime Hummus

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpeas
Tahini Sauce
Garlic
Lime Juice
Sriracha

Sriracha Lime Hummus

1 can of chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Sriracha
Salt, pepper, paprika

  1. Put everything  (including the liquid from the chickpeas) in your food processor and blend until it’s your desired consistency. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve with your favorite veggies.

I’m very proud of myself. I generally have very good self control, except of course when it comes to my favorite snacks. That being said, I’ve now been grocery shopping twice and haven’t even looked at the chips. I did have a dream that I was eating Oreos, but I don’t really crave the bad stuff. Tonight some friends and I are going to Kuma’s Korner for burgers, that’s going to be interesting. Mainly because I haven’t had anything really fatty in a while. Last night I ate a lot of the loaf batter (because, you have to) and my stomach kind of hurt after. So we’ll see how my stomach will deal with cheese burgers.

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Hummus? You Barely Know Us!

Posted on February 18, 2016. Filed under: Appitizers, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

According to Facebook, 8 years ago yesterday, my college roommate, Katie and I cooked all the food. For not that many people. I get like that sometimes, I start cooking and I can’t stop. Yesterday was another one of those days. I used only half of the sweet potato for my frittatas, and I didn’t want to just leave the rest of it.

So, I decided to make chips. And with chips, I need something to dip the chips in. I have a bad addiction to dipping things. I get made fun of at one of my jobs because I’ll get fries and about 6 different sauces. Anyway, I had seen avocado hummus online before and had all the ingredients, so why not?

This is very easy to make, and very healthy. The chips are oven baked and everything in hummus is good for you, packed with protein and fiber.

Garam Masala Spiced Sweet Potato Chips with Siracha Lime Avocado Hummus

Here’s what to get from the store:

Sweet Potato
Garam Masala
Chickpeas
Avocado
Lime
Tahini

Garam Masala Spiced Sweet Potato Chips

1 sweet potato
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Garam Masala, Tumeric

  1. Slice the sweet potato into rounds using your mandoline, if you have one. Toss them in the oil and spices and spread on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, making sure to stir. The thinner you cut the chips, the more crispy they will get, but make sure not to burn them!

Siracha Lime Avocado Hummus

1 1/2 avocado (you can use 1, I had a half lying around)
1 can chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, Pepper
Siracha

  1. In your food processor, dump the can of chickpeas (liquid included), the avocado, garlic, tahini and lime juice. Blend until smooth, then add seasonings and siracha. Blend again, then taste to adjust seasonings.

I may have over done my yoga last night, my back is very sore today. It’s not awful, it’s kind of nice.

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Addiction

Posted on May 4, 2015. Filed under: Appitizers | Tags: , , |

So, I have this problem where I constantly think about a food until I just break down and eat it. Recently it’s been food that I’ve been making and NOT crappy fat food (thank GOD). This week it’s been hummus. Hummus is one of my favorite things to eat because it’s healthy and so customizable it’s insane.

I saw this picture on Pinterest for spinach hummus and I’ve been thinking about it all week. I only had a huge can of chickpeas so I made a huge batch of it, which is fine. I didn’t really measure anything for this recipe; most of the time I was just eyeballing everything.

Here’s what to get from the store:

Chickpeas
Spinach
GarlicLemon juice

Spinach Hummus

1 large can chickpeas
3/4 bag spinach
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Siracha, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil

  1. Put the chickpeas with the garlic in the food processor and turn it on low. Once they have been ground down enough, add the spinach, spices and lemon juice and turn it back on. Drizzle the olive oil in while it is blending and blend until smooth.

I’m randomly off on a Sunday night and I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but hey, it’s kind of nice at the same time?

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What is that, a frankfurter wrapped in a waffle?

Posted on February 27, 2015. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , , |

I had a manager when I worked at KFC who would always walk around saying “What’s a falafel, a frankfurter wrapped in a waffle?” No idea where he got that from…

So, when I make something, I tend to go a little over board. I’m going to let you in my thought process when I decide to cook something:

“Oh, I have extra chickpeas! I should make home made falafel.”
“Well, I can’t have home made falafel and store bought pita, it can’t be that hard”
“I’m going to get extra chickpeas, I’m not sure if I have enough, and Greek yogurt to, why not”
“Oh, I have a cucumber, I can make tzatziki!”
“I already had enough chickpeas, might as well make hummus too..”

That’s how it happens every time, I can’t stop it, kind of don’t care in a way. Having a weird thought process like that has brought me to some really good food, like my whole dinner. I’ve always loved falafel and I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried to make it before; it’s actually really easy. I didn’t deep fry them like the recipe says; I actually pan fried them in a little olive oil to make it a little more healthy and a little less greasy. That, and I didn’t have any oil for my deep fryer.

This meal is vegetarian, and if you don’t get real Greek yogurt, it’s vegan. It’s full of fiber so it’s VERY filling, I’m stuffed. Mediterranean cuisine is very healthy for you, and just plain amazing in flavor.

Don’t be afraid of the amount of steps in these recipes; they really aren’t that hard and there’s a ton of down time. I am going to post recipes in order of how long of a down time there is.

Falafal with hummus and Pita

Here’s what to get from the store:

Whole wheat flour
Yeast
Chickpeas
Onion
Cilantro
Parsley
Garlic
Greek yogurt
Cucumber
Dill weed
Lemon juice

Pita Bread
(From the Food Network)

1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water (approximately 105 degrees F)
2 cups whole wheat flour
About 4 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. You will need a large bread bowl, a rolling pin, and unglazed quarry tiles or several baking sheets, or alternatively a castiron or other heavy skillet or griddle at least 9 inches in diameter.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bread bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, then 1 cup white flour. Stir 100 times (one minute) in the same direction to activate the gluten in the flour. Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours.
  3. Sprinkle salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add white flour, one cup at a time. When the dough is too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured bread board and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to a lightly oiled bread bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least double in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Gently punch down. Dough can be made ahead to this point and then stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 5 days or less.
  4. If at this time you want to save the dough in the refrigerator for baking later, simply wrap it in a plastic bag that is at least three times the size of the dough, pull the bag together, and secure it just at the opening of the bag. This will give the dough a chance to expand when it is in the refrigerator (which it will do). From day to day, simply cut off the amount of dough you need and keep the rest in the refrigerator, for up to one week. The dough will smell slightly fermented after a few days, but this simply improves the taste of the bread. Dough should be brought to room temperature before baking.
  5. This amount of dough will make approximately 16 pitas if rolled out into circles approximately 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4-inch thick. You can also of course make smaller breads. Size and shape all depend on you, but for breads of this dimension the following baking tips apply:
    Place unglazed quarry tiles, or a large baking stone or two baking sheets, on a rack in the bottom third of your oven, leaving a one inch gap all around to allow air to circulate. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide dough in half, then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide dough into eight equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter. You may wish to roll out all eight before starting to bake. Cover rolled out breads, but do not stack.
  6. Bake 2 at a time (or more if your oven is larger) directly on quarry tiles or baking sheets. Bake each bread for 3 or 4 minutes, until the bread has gone into a full “balloon” or until it is starting to turn lightly golden, whichever happens first. If there are seams or dry bits of dough – or for a variety of other reasons – your bread may not go into a full “balloon”. Don’t worry, it will still taste great. The more you bake pitas the more you will become familiar with all the little tricks and pitfalls, and your breads will more consistently “balloon.” But even then, if you’re like us, it won’t always “balloon” fully and you won’t mind because the taste will still be wonderful. When baked, remove, place on a rack for about five minutes to let cool slightly, then wrap breads in a large kitchen towel (this will keep the breads soft). When first half of the dough has been rolled out and baked, repeat for rest of dough, or store in refrigerator for later use, as described above. You can also divide the dough into more, smaller pieces if you wish, to give you smaller breads.

Tzatziki Sauce
(From Food.com)

3 cups Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of one lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large English cucumber, diced (the long, skinny ones)
1 tablespoon salt (for salting cucumbers)
1 tablespoon fresh dill (or both, depending on preference) or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

  1. Peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend.
  3. This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.

Falafel
(From Epicurious)

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish

  1.  Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3.  Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4.  Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.
  5.  Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.

Hummus
(From Food Network)

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas
8 dashes hot sauce
  1. Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Lost of steps, but don’t be scared! I started the pita dough last night, and most of it is just letting it rise. Everything else is a lot of cleaning your food processor in between making the other items. The result is going to be a very good dinner that you’ll be proud of.

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I may have a problem

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: Dining | Tags: |

I really like hummus, in case you couldn’t tell. The other day I decided to make hummus with basil and dill and ended up eating it on tortilla chips (my mom bought them and we were out of salsa, don’t judge me) and it was really good. I just made another batch and am probally going to eat it all.  Right now. Before work. I feel bad for my coworkers.

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Back to the Health food!

Posted on August 18, 2009. Filed under: Appitizers | Tags: , |

I love hummus. It’s fast and easy to make, and very healthy. It comes in so many different varietys its hard to get bored. I stumbled on  a new recipe for some today and had to make it. What a great dinner!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

(orginally from http://pinchmysalt.com/2009/08/08/roasted-red-pepper-hummus-recipe/)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded*
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon tahini
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  You may have to stop to stir and/or scrape down the ingredients a few times.
  2. Leftover hummus can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days.  I’ve also heard that it freezes well, but we never have any leftovers!

Homemade Pita Chips
(orginally from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/homemade-pita-chips-recipe/index.html)

3 pitas, cut into 8 wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut pitas into 8 wedges. Pour olive oil into a bowl and add garlic, salt and pepper. Brush pita chips olive oil and garlic mixture. Arrange pita chips on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes
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