Homemade Hummus

For some reason, homemade hummus has always sounded daunting to me. But whenever I really thought about it, I knew it was probably the easiest thing to just blend everything together in the food processor. My thinking was right, but it does take a lot of time to end up with a batch of hummus (if you used dried chickpeas). I think it’s strictly the convenience of buying a tub of hummus at the store that kept me doing that. Now that I’ve finally made it at home, I think I’ve been converted.

Purists say that you can only used dried and cooked chickpeas to make authentic hummus. Again, for convenience sake, a lot of bloggers say that canned chickpeas work just fine and don’t really make a difference in the outcome. I used dried and cooked chickpeas for this hummus because J bought a ton on sale at the grocery store, but you do you! Whatever works best.

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Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz), drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water (and more as needed)
  • 1 large garlic clove or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency. Taste as you go and add more garlic, lemon juice, salt, water, tahini, based on your desired tastes and consistency.
  2. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, and herbs. Serve with pita, veggies, or what have you.
  3. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.

     

    You can easily make this hummus into whatever you want. If you’d like to add roasted garlic, do it! Or add some roasted red peppers. Or substitute some chickpeas for other beans. Honestly, you can experiment with whatever flavors you want.

Beet and Sweet Potato Galette with Almond Crust

Galettes are just rustic one crust pies. Or at least that’s what I think. They’re my lazy, often savory, pies.

I’m a huge lover of buttery crust so I’m always on board when a dinner is tasty and has a ton of crust. It’s probably not the most healthful thing, but oh well, I’m eating all my veggies too in this one!

In order to make myself feel slightly better, I made the crust with mostly almond flour. You can let me know whether or not that’s actually “better.” 🙂

Ingredients

For the crust

  •  cups almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca or all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • tablespoons cold grass-fed butter, cubed
  • egg cold

For the filling

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 medium beet, peeled
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper and thyme, for garnish
  • Feta or goat cheese, optional
  • Honey, for drizzling, optional

Instructions

  1. Combine the almond flour, flour, seasonings, salt and butter in a food processor, or use a pastry blender in a bowl. Pulse or blend until the texture of coarse meal.
  2. Add 1 egg and pulse/mix again until dough comes together. If you’re mixing in a bowl, you may want to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end. Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, paprika, thyme, garlic, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Thinly slice the sweet potato and beet in rounds.
  6. Roll out the dough into a rough circle about 1/4″ thick and place onto a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
  7. Spread the cream cheese filling on the bottom, leaving about 1″ of dough around the circle.
  8. Arrange and layer the sweet potato and beet slices over the filling, piling it up in the center. Sprinkle the sliced onions on top and the cheese if using.
  9. Gently fold the edges up, creasing the dough together as you go. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  10. Bake the galette in the oven for approximately 40-60 minutes until sweet potatoes and beets can be pierced with a knife. This largely depends on how thinly you sliced them and how full your galette is.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before digging in! Feel free to drizzle some honey if you like the flavor combo.

Scallion Pancakes

My late grandpa used to make delicious scallion pancakes for our family. He taught my mom his recipe and she has been making them ever since. Growing up, I would often have them in the freezer at the ready. My mom would also bring them to me during her visits when I was in college and onward. Scallion pancakes have gotten me through plenty of empty refrigerator/pantry times throughout the years.

I introduced these to J when we were dating, and now he probably likes them more than I do. I finally got around to asking my mom for the recipe so now I make them whenever we have extra scallions. They take a bit of time but it’s always nice to have a stack of scallion pancakes in the freezer for when you want a snack. We often eat them for breakfast with a fried egg too.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil or neutral oil
  • 3/4 – 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
  • Oil, to cook the pancakes

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing the dough. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour and cup of boiling water with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a sticky dough forms. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.
  2. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it forms a cohesive, smooth dough. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the flour and oil roux by combining the oil, salt, and flour. It needs to have the consistency of a paste–continue adding more flour if needed to get desired consistency. Set aside.
  4. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece out into a thin circle. Next, take about 1 teaspoon of the roux and spread it across the entire circle of the dough. Take about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the chopped scallions and spread them generously and evenly over the roux.
  5. Next, roll the dough up into a log and then shape that log into a spiral (see photos). Using a rolling pin, roll out the spiral to desired thickness of pancake. Be gentle but don’t worry if the scallions tear through the layers. Just stuff them back in and keep rolling. Repeat with the rest.
  6. At this time, I’ll often stack the pancakes with layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper between each, stuff them into a plastic bag, and then freeze them for future use.
  7. When ready to cook, heat a pan over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the pancake in the pan. The pan should be hot enough so the dough is sizzling, but browning slowly. Move the dough around the oil to cook the sides of the pancake. When the bottom is slightly browned, turn the pancake over gently and let brown on the other side.
  8. Remove pancake and enjoy! If you like, now’s the time to sprinkle some extra salt on top to taste.

Homemade Vegetable Stock

I’m learning a lot about how to reduce waste and be more sustainable in the kitchen. We recently switched over to washcloths and rags instead of sponges and paper towels. We’re also utilizing our glass and produce-preserving tupperware instead of plastic wrap, Ziplock bags, and foil. Something else I noticed was how often I was throwing away vegetable scraps. I wish I could go back and save all the scraps I’ve thrown away throughout the years…it makes me sad to think how much I could’ve saved by making my own stock.

Anyway, it’s good to start somewhere. I’ve been saving all of my veggie scraps and peels and tossing them into a tupperware that I keep in the freezer. Once it’s full, I dump it all into a pot with some seasonings, garlic, and water. Let it simmer for an hour or so and voila! I have vegetable stock. I store them in mason jars in the freezer.

The first time I made this stock, I made the very stupid move of straining almost all of it into the sink. I’m so used to straining pasta that I didn’t even realize that all of the precious stock I had painstakingly made was all going down the drain…until the pot was almost empty. Sigh. Needless to say, I never forget a big bowl to catch the strained stock now. Don’t be like me!!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vegetable scraps (carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, kale stalks, onions, garlic)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Additional chopped carrots and celery, if you have them
  • Bunch of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water

Instructions

  1. In a big pot over medium-high heat, add some olive oil. Dump in all the vegetables and garlic and saute until everything is fragrant and onions are translucent.
  2. Add enough water to cover vegetables and easily stir them (my pot holds about 3 quarts).
  3. Add in thyme and bay leaf. Bring to boil then simmer for about an hour, covered.
  4. Strain the stock into a large container and pour into jars or containers. Let cool then store in refrigerator or freezer, fridge up to 5 days and freezer up to 3 months.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad

This is one of the most tasty “salads” I’ve ever made. I really like the flavor combinations and the roasted eggplant gets nice and caramelized. It’s a perfect summer meal, especially if you get fresh tomatoes from the farmers market!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled and divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • Brown rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning). Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the parsley leaves, tomatoes, and most of the cheese, reserving a little.
  4. Spread the finished salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved cheese crumbles and scallions on top.
  5. Serve alongside brown rice, if desired.

Adapted from The Kitchn.