Mini Hummus Pizzas

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Well, the past few weeks have been so hectic and I haven’t had the time to make anything super yummy or creative. It’s pretty much been pasta or take out every night. But I finally got the chance to experiment with these delicious (and quick!) pita pizzas yesterday. Now, I went out on a limb here as this is not your traditional pizza. I made these personal pita pizzas (how’s that for alliteration?) with hummus, sautéed veggies and feta cheese. This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly food blogging event that encourages food bloggers to try new things! Hope you enjoy this experiment!

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Dietary Info: Dairy-Free Option

Yields: One personal pizza

Time: 20 minutes

•1 flatbread pita
•1/2 cup Hummus
•3/4 cup chopped vegetables of your choice (I did red pepper, onion and asparagus)
•1/4 cup feta cheese*
•1 clove of garlic, minced
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•Chopped cilantro, for garnish
•Salt and pepper for sprinkling

*For a vegan option, omit cheese or use a dairy-free alternative.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush flatbread pita with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

2. While pita is baking, sauté garlic and vegetables in a small skillet.

3. Remove pita from oven and smother with hummus. Next, top with veggies and feta.

4. Place your hummus pizza back in the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes (or until pita is golden brown), allowing the feta to melt a bit. Let cool and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

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Homemade Cilantro Salsa

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Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Yield: about 2 cups

Time: 10 minutes

  • 4 red vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced OR 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 dash of cumin
  • 1 dash of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Throw everything into a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients come together. I usually pulse about 10 times in a food processor to get my desired chunkiness. Serve with chips and enjoy!

    Quinoa Tabbouleh

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    Tabbouleh salad is a staple at most every Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern restaurant. My Mom has been making this yummy blend of herbs, grain and veggies ever since I was a little kid. Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat but I used quinoa in this recipe, making it gluten-free (and better in my opinion, as I’m not really a fan of bulgur). Note: This is a healthy side-dish and it also goes great in a wrap with some hummus and greens!

    Dietary Info: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

    Serves: 3-4

    Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. In a small saucepan, add uncooked quinoa + 3/4 cup water, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir together. Allow quinoa to boil then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. This will yield about one cup of cooked quinoa.

    2. While quinoa is cooking, chop vegetables and herbs. Note: I find mincing the herbs to be so tedious, so I usually just throw the parsley and mint into a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Scrape the sides, and process for 10 more seconds. Repeat once more so that the herbs become finely minced.

    3. Once quinoa has cooked, allow to cool completely. Throw herbs, tomato, cucumber, scallions and garlic into a mixing bowl. When quinoa has cooled down, add it to the herb mixture and stir with a large spoon until completely combined. Optional: Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Personally, I don’t think this is totally necessary. Tabbouleh can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

    Mulled Wine

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    More snow today. A LOT more snow. I’m not sure it will ever stop. Since I was trapped inside all day, I decided to experiment with mulled wine. I received about 12 bottles of wine for my birthday last month and still had a few (okay, two) left so I thought I would put them to good use! I was skeptical at first of how it would turn out (warm wine? ew.) but sure enough, it was delicious! Definitely helped with the cabin fever. Note: To make this recipe sweeter, use sugar instead of honey. Curl up with a book and stay warm with this mulled wine recipe!

    Serves: 3-4

    Time: 20 minutes

    Dietary Info: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

    •1 bottle of red wine (any red table wine works)
    •1/4 cup honey
    •1 cup water
    •3 whole cloves
    •3 whole allspice
    •2 cinnamon sticks
    •1/2 naval orange or 1 clementine, sliced

    Add all ingredients except for the wine to medium saucepan and boil for one minute. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. Add red wine and stir for a minute. Remove from heat. Optional: Pour wine through a fine mesh strainer to remove orange pulp and whole spices. (I don’t mind this so I didn’t bother). Serve with a ladle and enjoy!

    Moroccan Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Kale

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    It just so happens that January is soup month! I love soup more than a lot of things in this world, which might be why I’m a January baby. This January has been especially frigid. In fact, today was 7 degrees (!!!) here on the east coast. So I thought, what better way to warm up than with a big bowl of hearty lentil soup? In celebration of soup month, I have made this vegan version of Moroccan Harira soup, traditionally made with lamb and served at Ramadan. Note: I added chopped kale but spinach is great too. Also, if you happen to have any garam masala laying around it really adds a lot of flavor!

    Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

    Serves: 6-8

    Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • 1- 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 28 oz. can tomato purée
  • 7 cups of water
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 large celery sticks, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional: 1 large pinch garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

    1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then, add carrots and celery and sauté for another 3 minutes.

    2. Add tomato purée, water, spices, salt, pepper, bay leaves, lemon juice and lentils. Bring to a boil for several minutes. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    3. Add chickpeas, kale, parsley and cilantro. Simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: The soup will be very thick by now, much like a stew. Add water if you would prefer it to be thinner. Remove bay leaves and serve, garnished with fresh parsley. Enjoy and stay warm!

    Traditional Tzatziki

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    Dietary Info: Gluten-Free

    Yield: about 2- 1/2 cups

    Time: 5 minutes

    The other day, I was thinking about a trip I took to Greece a couple of years ago and I have been on a Mediterranean kick ever since. The food there was wonderful, the people were incredibly hospitable and the country itself was absolutely gorgeous! In Greece, tzatziki is traditionally served with gyro meat but it is also often served with pita for dipping. The cucumber makes tzatziki very refreshing and the yogurt makes for a tangy flavor. Quick and easy to make, I recommend serving this tzatziki with veggies (baby carrots and sliced peppers are great) but pita chips are yummy too!

    • 1- 1/2 cups Nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 1 large cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon dill, minced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Throw yogurt into a bowl, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine well. Optional but recommended: refrigerate for an hour, allowing tzatziki to thicken. Serve with veggies or pita chips. Tzatziki can be refrigerated, covered, for about 3-5 days. Enjoy!

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    A panoramic of Athens photographed from the Parthenon. Such a beautifully sunny day! Definitely the best trip I have ever taken.

    Baked Tofu Stir Fry with Sesame and Ginger

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    Serves: 4-6

    Time: 1 hour

    Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

    It has recently occurred to me that I do not experiment enough with meat substitutes. So, I decided to make this baked tofu stir fry. As far as meat alternatives go, tofu is really not my favorite thing in the world ….but if its prepared just right it can be pretty damn yummy! When it comes to tofu, the firmer the better so I use extra firm tofu. I baked it for about 30 minutes in order to release most of the moisture. Note: if you are short on time, you can drain the tofu the night before and allow it to marinate overnight. You can serve this recipe over rice but I think this stir fry is delicious on its own! I made this recipe with broccoli, carrots and bell peppers but you can certainly mix it up by using your own variety of veggies!

    For the sesame ginger sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Gluten-Free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

    For everything else:

  • 1 12 oz. package of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 small crown of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, sliced for garnish

    1. Slice tofu block in half and lay both halves on a flat surface, covering with a cloth. Place a large cast iron skillet or a stack of books on top of the tofu. Allow tofu to drain for 15 minutes. While tofu is draining, whisk together all ingredients for the stir fry sauce.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place drained tofu in a large bowl or roasting pan and pour half the stir fry sauce overtop. Allow tofu to marinade for about 15 minutes, flipping once.

    3. Slice tofu into rectangles, about 1/2 inch thick. Place sliced tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning tofu halfway through. While tofu is baking, prepare veggies.

    4. In a large skillet (or wok), add about 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce. On medium heat, add veggies and stir frequently. Gradually add the rest of the stir fry sauce. Cook for a total of 5-7 minutes so that vegetables don’t get soggy.

    5. Serve baked tofu overtop veggies and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

    Spiced Zucchini Carrot Loaf with Walnuts

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    Brrrrrr! The “polar vortex” that has hit the Northeast has certainly kept me indoors (and dreaming of springtime) for the past few days. However, being cooped up inside has given me the opportunity to make some real yummy things! This zucchini carrot bread is the perfect winter treat, especially delicious right out of the oven! Note: You can change things up by adding 1/4 cup nuts (pecans would be good too!) and 1/4 cup raisins.

    Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices)

    Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    • 1 cup grated zucchini
    • 3/4 cup grated carrot
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate zucchini and carrots and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs. Add sugars, vanilla and vegetable oil. Continue whisking until combined. Grease a 9-by-5 inch pan with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and set aside.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add flour mixture to the large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined using a large mixing spoon. Add grated zucchini, carrot and walnuts. Stir to combine.

    3. Gradually pour mixture into greased 9-by-5 inch pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (baking times may vary). Allow bread to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack by inverting. Note: You may want to loosen the bread by using a spatula or knife. Allow bread to cool several minutes longer and then slice! Bread will stay fresh for up to 3 days. I usually cover mine in foil. Enjoy!

    Stove-Top Mediterranean Frittata

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    Dietary Info: Gluten-Free

    Serves: 4

    Time: 20 minutes

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

    1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, dill, salt, pepper and cheeses. Set aside.

    2. Heat oil on medium heat in a small(ish) skillet. Add onions and cook for two minutes, then add garlic. Cook for two minutes then add spinach, stirring frequently. Cook for three minutes then pour in egg mixture. Once egg mixture has been added, do not stir.

    3. Using a rubber spatula, lift the edges of the mixture toward the center of the pan, allowing the liquid egg to flow underneath. Continue to do this until there is no liquid left, shifting the pan as you lift up the edges.

    4. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Divide into four separate slices and serve. Enjoy!

    Kale Salad with Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash

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    I’ll be honest, I have been eating like a pig for the past few weeks. I’ve been spending way too much time by the dessert table at holiday parties. I love sweets and I love baking so I’ve also been making my fair share of holiday treats. While I love making holiday cookies for my family, I thought it might be time to balance out the baked goods with a superfood salad. This kale salad is topped with Candied Pecans, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted butternut squash making this the perfect salad for the holiday season (a great starter for Christmas dinner, perhaps?) The honey balsamic dressing adds the right amount of sweetness to help balance out the bitterness of the kale. Note: You can use agave instead of honey for the dressing (which also works great as a marinade)!

    Serves: 4

    Time: 45 minutes

    Dietary Info: Dairy-Free option, Gluten-Free

    For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and cleaned
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Candied Pecans
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese*

    *Omit for a dairy-free recipe.

    For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients and stirring vigorously.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, add butternut squash and 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat butternut squash. Add butternut squash to a roasting pan and place in oven for about 35 minutes or until squash is tender.

    3. While squash is roasting, prepare the salad. Throw kale into a large salad bowl, followed by cranberries, pecans and goat cheese. When butternut squash is tender, add to salad. Toss gently and serve immediately. Drizzle with sweet balsamic dressing. Enjoy!