Archive | August, 2010

Herb & Garlic Hummus

30 Aug

Ingredients: Garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil, whole lemon, sea salt, mixed ground peppercorns, water, garlic, white wine vinegar, Italian parsley, basil, and Greek oregano.

Don’t let the number of ingredients deter you from trying this! It’s really simple to make.

Start with two cans of garbanzo beans in a colander. Rinse them well with cold water. Then pour them into a food processor and add 1/4 cup of tahini, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup of water, one whole lemon (peeled and seeded), one teaspoon sea salt, lots of fresh ground mixed peppercorns, eight cloves raw garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, a handful of Italian leaf parsley, nine fresh basil leaves, and a couple leaves of Greek oregano.

Blend it till you reach the consistency you like. My family eats this with everything! Try it as a dip with fresh cut veggies of all kinds. Or as a spread on sandwiches or wraps instead of mayonnaise. Serve it with warm grilled pita or on cracker bread with deli meat. Or put a heaping spoonful on a salad instead of dressing.

Experiment: Try varying proportions of herbs, sea salt, garlic, lemon, and peppercorns. Or try adding other herbs you like. You could also try adding roasted garlic instead of raw or roasted red pepper, pine nuts, dried herbs instead of fresh… The possibilities are endless.


Sugar Freeze

23 Aug

Ingredients: Unsweetened chocolate squares, crunchy unsweetened peanut butter, honey, vanilla, milk, oats, wheat bran, and salt.

Start with a small saucepan over low heat. Melt 4 squares unsweetened chocolate with about one cup crunchy unsweetened peanut butter, 3/4 cup honey, about a tablespoon of vanilla, and enough milk to make the mixture saucy—up to 1/4 cup. It should whisk fairly easily.

In a mixing bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups of old fashioned raw rolled oats, 1/4 wheat bran, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Stir the chocolate sauce in with the oat mixture. Then spread it into a baking pan. It doesn’t really matter the shape but no bigger than a nine by thirteen rectangle. It’s thick but, once you get it spread most of the way out, you can take a piece of wax or parchment paper, place it over the surface, and use your hands to press the batter into the edges and make it level. Either leave the wax paper on or cover it with saran wrap and put it in the freezer to set. It takes at least an hour to set and it’s best served after two hours.

Experiment: Try using almond butter instead of peanut butter. Add whole roasted chopped peanuts to give it even more peanut flavor and texture. Use flax seed meal instead of wheat bran for a gluten-free version. Add 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut. With almond butter, these taste like Almond Joy candy bars. Substitute soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk for regular milk.

Buttermilk Blackstrap Molasses Pancakes

16 Aug

Ingredients: Spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, honey, blackstrap molasses, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.

You’ll need two medium sized mixing bowls to start.

In the first bowl, mix three cups spelt flour with three teaspoons of baking soda, two teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

In the second bowl, whisk together three cups of buttermilk, two eggs, 1/4 cup of melted butter, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, one tablespoon of honey, and two tablespoon of blackstrap molasses.

Combine the two bowls into one and whisk well. Let it set for about five minutes before you begin grilling them. These proportions make about eighteen big pancakes.

Experiment: These are very flavorful so, instead of sugary syrup, try serving them topped with fresh fruit, almond butter, plain yogurt, applesauce or a touch of honey. Try adding some spices to the dry ingredients if you like. Maybe cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or ground ginger. Stir in mashed banana or other fruit. Or try mixing the flour and butter milk in a bowl the night before and leave it on the counter to soak and then add the remaining ingredients in the morning before grilling them. This makes the pancakes super yummy and easy to digest.

Shopping Tips: I buy spelt flour in my grocery store’s bulk section and blackstrap molasses in the nutrition section.

Avocado & Peach Salad

9 Aug

Ingredients: Peach, avocado, cilantro, lime, white onion, and sea salt.

This is a really simple salad to make and the fresh flavors are so tasty! I used one peach, one avocado, a small handful of cilantro, the juice from half a lime, half of a white onion, and sea salt to taste. It can also be eaten with tortilla chips–like salsa.

Experiment: Try different proportions of all these ingredients. Also, try adding other colors to it with diced tomato or different color peppers. If you want to spice it up a bit, you could add Mexican chili powder, Tabasco sauce, jalapeño, etc. And definitely try substituting a champagne mango for the peach! They have a bright orange/yellow skin as opposed to green/red skin and are much sweeter and softer.

Savory Cilantro Sauce

2 Aug

Ingredients: Cilantro, jalapeño, lime, olive oil, onion, garlic, sugar, sea salt, avocado, and water.

Note: This recipe makes a lot.  (We’re a family of seven and we like “green sauce” on almost everything!) So you may consider halving or quartering this recipe.  The picture above shows about a fourth of what this recipe will make.

Either a standard blender or food processor work really well for making this sauce nice and smooth.

First, I put three jalapeños in my blender. (I remove the majority of the seeds from them but leave some so it has some kick.) Then I add two big bunches of well-washed cilantro, the juice from 2 1/2 limes, 3/4 cup of olive oil, six cloves of garlic, half an onion, half a tablespoon of sugar, about one tablespoon of sea salt, 2/3 cup of water, and one avocado. I let it blend until it’s the consistency of a smoothie. Then I give it a taste to see if it needs more salt or lime juice.

This sauce is SO versatile! It’s great with tortilla chips or served along side any Mexican dish. It also pairs well with Asian dishes. I like it over fried rice to add a bit of spice. It’s delicious over grilled chicken or with fish. I’ve also mixed it with a bit of mayonnaise and buttermilk for a salad dressing. I’ve even had it over certain egg dishes for breakfast!

Experiment: Try adding more garlic cloves, if you’re a big garlic fan. Or, if you like really spicy stuff, add more of the jalapeño seeds. Green chilies could also be used to add a different twist.