Monday, May 30, 2011

Spicy Hummus

I love hummus.  There are about as many varieties of hummus as there are ways to spell it!  Hummus is a transliteration of the Arabic: حمّص; also spelled hamos, hommos, hommus, homos, houmous, hummos, hummous, or humus.   In this recipe, we will add smoked paprika.  If you haven't tried smoked paprika yet, you are in for a treat.  It is becoming more common in your local grocery store.  Find it, buy it, use it on almost everything and you won't be disappointed.
Back to the hummus.  I use sesame oil instead of olive oil and tahini to help cut down on the fat content.  By adding extra lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and reserve bean liquid, you can get the desired texture and a lot of flavor.   You can also add roasted peppers, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, or use black beans instead. It is limitless!!!   

Enjoy the hummus with fresh veggies and pita. 

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"
Paprika Spice Hummus 

1 c Garbanzo beans  (chickpeas), drained but save liquid from canned or cooked
3 T Garbanzo beans liquid (see above)  or water
3 T Lemon juice   
1 T Sesame oil   
2 Garlic cloves, chopped  
1/8 t Paprika , smoked (opt)  
1/2 t Parsley or cilantro  

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Add additional garbanzo bean liquid or water until desired consistency is reached. 

Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty level: Easy
Serves 16 with 1T servings size


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dreamy Creamy Lemon Pie

A better title would be Dreamy Creamy Grapefruit-Orange-Lime-Lemon Pie because all of those citrus varieties work!  I do have to admit I didn't try to juice kumquats to see if the recipe worked with them.  I wonder how many it would take to obtain a half a cup of juice?  If you know, please post!

Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C (as we all know) and folic acid, as well as being a good source of fiber. They have many more nutrients.  Read more about lemon nutritional facts. 

Fat content is lower than other lemon pie recipes by using low fat graham crackers, no butter in the crust, and egg whites with only one full egg instead of 2 full eggs.  As with many recipes, you can change it to make it your own by using a different citrus fruit, adding butter to the crust or additional egg yolk to make it a little more custard like. 

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"
Dreamy Creamy Lemon Pie
1/2 c Graham cracker crumbs, about 3 crackers, low fat
11 oz Sweetened condensed milk, fat free

1 Egg   
2 Egg white   
1/2 c Lemon juice  (Can also use lime, orange, or grapefruit juice)
1 T Lemon zest   (Use matching citrus zest)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Press graham cracker crumbs evenly into the bottom of a 9" pie pan.  Or use approximately 1T at the bottom of tart dishes for smaller individual servings.  Set aside.

Beat the milk and eggs until smooth.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest until incorporated. 

Gently pour into the prepared crust.

Bake for 15 minutes.*  Cool before serving.

Prep Time: 10 min
Bake Time: 15 min
Serves 10
* May need to bake longer if use deeper dishes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Roasted Hazelnut Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Butternut squash is sweet and creamy espceically in a ravioli.  The hazelnuts (also known as filberts) add additional nuttiness to the nutty flavor we get from creating the brown butter.  The sage brings in a wonderful earthy flavor with a bit of crispiness from the pieces we put in at the beginning of the browning process.  This dish is It is a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Copper and Manganese.  

Getting the packaged ravioli makes it easier to prepare this recipe.  Fresh sage is a must.  Dried sage will not have the same impact but in a pinch you gotta do what you gotta do.  Other nuts are an option but I really enjoy the combination of the butternut squash and the hazelnuts.

Prepare the Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Toasted Hazelnut Brown Butter Sage Sauce and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Roasted Hazelnut Brown Butter Sage Sauce

2 1/2T Butter, cut into small squares
Butternut Squash Ravioli, one 18 oz package (approx)

Fresh Sage (at least 20 leaves)
1/8 c Hazelnuts, chopped
1/8 c Parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)
Sal y Pimienta or Olive Oil (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring12c water to boil in large pot.

Over low heat in a large pan, place butter to melt slowly.  Add 1/4 of the sage.  As butter begins to brown, add another 1/2 of the sage. Watch the butter because we don't want it to get too dark.  It should be caramel in color.  The toasty taste of browned butter is a perfect complement to the natural sweetness of squash.  Takes about 15 min.

Spread the hazelnuts out in a single layer across the pan or baking sheet. Place in oven.  Check at 5 minutes.  They should be lightly browned.  It should not take more than 10 minutes.

Once water is boiling, add ravioli and cook for 8 minutes.  Drain.

Once the butter has browned, add the toasted hazelnuts.  Stir.  Add the cooked ravioli and the remaining sage, saving a few for garnish.  Stir to coat with butter.  Continue to cook over low medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Turn ravioli over.  Cook for another few minutes.  Serve in a shallow bowl or a plate. Garnish with sage leaves on each dish, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time:  25 min
Serves 4

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pumpkin Flax Bread - Vegan

This is vegan.  This is healthy.  And this is a tasty bread that is easy to make. 

The flax seed are a great, healthy, natural egg replacer.  Letting them sit in the water after whisking makes them thick like eggs.  They are high in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.  Applesauce is a great replacement for oil.  The pumpkin and whole wheat flour add fiber to the recipe.  Walnuts are also a great source of Omega 3’s for vegetarians. 

You can omit the cranberries and walnuts or substitute something else such as dried cranberries and almonds.  

Pumpkin Flax Bread

2T Flax seed meal
6T Water, room temperature

1/2c Applesauce
3/4c Sugar
1c Pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
5/6c All-purpose flour
5/6c Whole-wheat flour
1t Baking soda
1t Ground cinnamon
3/4t Salt
1/2t Baking powder
1t Ground nutmeg
1/2t Ground cloves
1c Cranberries, fresh or 1/3c dried cranberries
1/2c Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Whisk together flax seed meal and water for about a minute at a med high speed.  Mix in applesauce, sugar, and pumpkin.

In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; mix until smooth in a medium speed.  Add walnuts and cranberries; stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 70 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Prep Time: 10 min
Bake Time: 70-75 min
Difficulty level: moderate
Serves 10
(5pp w/ fresh cranberries, 6pp w/ dried cranberries)
Pumpkin Flax Seed Printable Recipe

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goat Cheese Pizza Spread

Growing up in Buffalo, as kids we would make pizza spread.  We'd take some cheap bottled or canned pasta sauce, add shredded mozzarella, and just melt it in a sauce pan on the stove.  Of course, it would be served on top of toasted white bread. At that time, I would add that good Buffalo pepperoni, not made from Buffalo meat but the hearty spicy pepperoni that is hard to find elsewhere, that comes in this big stick that you'd have to peel the casing off of to be able to eat it.  

Oh, how times have changed.  Now, I might add some veggie pepperoni if I feel the need for the spicy flavor and chewy texture that it adds.  I also use a pasta sauce with natural flavor and minimal or no sugar.  Read the labels, make sure sugar is down on the list of ingredients.  I'm still searching for a great homemade marinara recipe and will keep you posted.  If you happen to have one, please send it to me!!  The goat cheese in today's recipe just instantly makes it a creamy rich comfort food appetizer.  I like the crunchiness and chewiness of the ciabatta.  If you can find a whole wheat one, all the better.   Have fun transforming a childhood favorite into a healthier, tastier adult version.  I did!

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"
Adult Pizza Spread

5 oz Goat cheese
1 c Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (or another pasta sauce of choice)
1 Ciabatta loaf bread, 1/2" slices
3 Garlic cloves, minced (optional)
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread about 1/8 c of the pasta sauce on bottom of baking dish to help prevent sticking.  A 5" round dish with a 3" depth is a good size.  Pad goat cheese into a ball and place it the middle of the baking dish.  Add the remaining pasta sauce around the goat cheese.  Don't cover the cheese completely, have about 1" above the sauce level. 

Bake uncovered at 350¡F for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the sliced ciabatta bread on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil and then spread the minced garlic on the top.  Bake for 10 minutes (just put bread in oven with cheese and sauce 15 minutes into baking) to toast it. 

Prep Time: 10 min
Bake Time: 25 min
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves 6 as an appetizer

(3pp.  Add 2pp per slice of bread.)