Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is amazing.  You can always find a fresh batch of hummus in our refrigerator.  A patch this size used to last about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.  However, now that Max enjoys eating it too I find myself making it almost every week.  I typically use raw garbanzo beans (soaking them overnight speeds up the cook time for the following day). However in a pinch, canned beans are fine.  Try to be sure the can says BPA Free. The less chemicals in your body, the better.

This hummus is so creamy and flavorful. I believe once you see how delicious and easy it is to make, this hummus will become a staple in your home too.

The Ingredients:

4 cups garbanzo beans (3 cans)
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
2 garlic cloves or MORE!
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper

The Variations:

1 cup or MORE roasted red peppers
1 cup or MORE artichoke hearts
1 cup or MORE kalamata olives

In a food processor, combine beans, tahini, water, olive oil and lemon juice.  Blend until smooth.  I mean really smooth.  Smooth and creamy. Pausing to scrape the sides 1-2 times.

Add the garlic, salt, cumin and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Add roasted red peppers or any other variation you would like. Blend again.  Note – the plain version is fantastic too.

Refrigerate in air-tight container.  This hummus can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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Banana Ghostling

bananaghostling

Is there a Honey Crisp Mummy behind me?!  Banana Ghostling are the easiest to make and the best part, there is chocolate involved.

My favorite part of Halloween is how fun and creative it all can be.  It makes me so happy to see everyone letting their artistic side shine.

Hope you all have a fun, safe and SPOOKY Halloween!

What you’ll need:

Bananas, cut in half (so you can stand them up)
Chocolate chips

It’s that easy!

Enjoy!

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Honey Crisp Mummy

HoneyCrispMummy

Have you every tasted a Honey Crisp Mummy before?  They may be scary but they are still delicious!  In my opinion Honey Crisp apples are the most crunchy, very tasty and they make a great Mummy.  Here is a simple way to spook up your apples no matter which kind you prefer.  Halloween is the perfect time to get creative and maybe even a little silly with your fruits and vegetables.  It is also a great way to trick those kiddos into eating some healthy snacks.  Stay tuned for more spooky Halloween fruit.

What you’ll need:

apples
a vegetable peeler
googly eyes (remove before serving. No choking accidents please.)

Peel one side of the apple in the shape of an “S” then cut little holes where you would like the eyes.  Place googly eyes in the holes.  If you prefer to use edible eyes maybe try some nuts, chocolate chips or even pretzel sticks.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!

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Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

PumpkinSeedsllll

These Spicy Pumpkin Seeds are so delicious you’ll be impressed you made them yourself.  Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I was a kid.  Every year I would look forward to the first chill of the season, the candy, the leaves crunching beneath my feet, the candy, the Halloween decorations, the candy and just the feeling of the holiday season beginning. Oh and did I mention the candy?  Nowadays, candy is far from my mind.  I have come a long way from that little girl who used to see how many Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I could fit in my mouth at one time.  I now get excited for the whole food snacks and homemade treats.  These Spicy Pumpkin Seeds have become a family favorite and I hope you enjoy them too.

The Ingredients:

1 c pumpkin seeds, dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

First, rinse the seeds thoroughly.  Removing every bit of pumpkin flesh.  This can be daunting but it is necessary.  Spread all the seeds on a flat surface overnight to dry them out.  I used a brown paper bag.  The next day, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the seeds in a small saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a low boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Note: boiling the seeds first will aid in digesting the outer shell.

PumpkinSeeds

Next, remove the seeds from the heat, strain and pat them dry.  In a small mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients listed above.  Add the seeds and mix well.  You can either use a spoon or your hands until every seed is covered.

PumpkinSeedsl

Lastly, place them in the oven for 20-30 minutes stirring them every 5-10 minutes.  This will help prevent burning.  Remove from heat and serve.

PumpkinSeedsll

These seeds can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.  Though they most likely will not last that long.

Enjoy!

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Protein Packed Bars

ProteinEnergyBar

I’m back!  After a long few weeks of running to new activities with my little guy and traveling to the east coast to visit family.  I am finally back home and settling into our usual routine.  I must say I have very much missed blogging, cooking and being creative in the kitchen.  It is good to be home.

I have had several recipes up my sleeve ready to show you but could not decide which to publish first.  By popular vote, it was decided these Protein Packed Bars would kick off my return.  They are easy to make and so tasty!  Whether you are looking for a 3 o’clock pick me up, a snack after working out or just a little treat, these little bars will hit the spot.

The Ingredients:

1 1/2 c gluten-free oats
1 1/4 c rice crispy cereal
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 c pepita seeds
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c dried cranberries
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 c brown rice syrup
1/4 c peanut butter

In a medium-mixing bowl whisk together the first 9 ingredients.

Next, warm the brown rice syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk together until creamy and smooth. Just as the sauce begins to bubble remove from heat and pour over the ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Mix well then spread the mixture onto a baking sheet or baking dish.  Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes then cut and serve.  You can store these bars in the freezer for up to a month.

Enjoy!

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Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

SunDriedTomHummus

Ah hummus!  I cannot get enough of this stuff.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, what I love most about hummus is it is so versatile.  There are so many different varieties out there you can find something for everyone.  I enjoy making my own large batches of hummus.  For one, you know what exactly is going into the recipe.  Second, especially with this recipe, you can truly experiment.  I love finding a new tasty hummus and coming home to try to recreate it.  This Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus is one of my latest experiment.  I hope you enjoy it!

The Ingredients:

4 cups garbanzo beans (3 cans)
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
2 garlic cloves or MORE!
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper

Other Variations:

1 cup or MORE artichoke hearts
1 cup or MORE roasted red peppers
1 cup or MORE kalamata olives

In a food processor, combine beans, tahini, water, olive oil and lemon juice.  Blend until smooth.  I mean really smooth and creamy. Pausing to scrape the sides 1-2 times.

Add the garlic, salt, cumin and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Add sun-dried tomatoes or any other variation you would like and blend again.

Refrigerate in air-tight container.  This hummus can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 – 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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Easy Homemade Granola

Granola

About a week ago, I learned something new about my husband.  He LOVES granola!  I had told him I was thinking of creating my own Easy Homemade Granola recipe and he nearly jumped out of his seat with excitement.  I am not sure how this has never come up in the 12 years we’ve been together.  Being that I thought I had known everything about him.  Though, it was refreshing to learn something new about my partner.

My first attempt in making this, I mixed all the ingredients (including the raisins) and cooked them on the sheet tray.  Rookie mistake.  The raisin became extremely dehydrated and too hard to eat.  Not yummy at all.  My second attempt, there was not enough of those delicious clusters in my husbands opinion.  Third time’s the charm!  I added a bit more liquid and the granola turned out perfectly.  It was devoured within 3 days.

The Ingredients:

3 c gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/2 c pecan halves
1 c raisins
3/4  c coconut oil (melted)
1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place all ingredients (except raisins) into a mixing bowl.  Mix ingredients until everything is nicely coated.  Pour mixture onto a sheet tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Stir about every 15 minutes.  Once the granola is done, transfer to a glass bowl and toss in the raisins.

Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

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Popcorn Seasoned with Nutritional Yeast

Popcorn Seasoned with Nutritional Yeast

The days of salty, buttery popcorn are over.  Once you try this Popcorn Seasoned with Nutritional Yeast you may not ever want butter on your popcorn again.

I was introduced to this popcorn about 7 years ago.  My initial reaction was, “You are going to put What on the popcorn?”  I was told, “Just try it!”  To my surprise I loved it.  After that night I decided to drop that greasy, salty popcorn and converted to this nutritionally packed goodness.

In the recipe below I added a tasty ingredient.  Kelp.  Yes, that is seaweed.   I added kelp powder to give the popcorn a little extra nutrients.  If you did not know, Kelp is really good for you.  It is rich in vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K) and minerals (calcium, chlorine, potassium and magnesium).  It is a source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Kelp helps to lower cholesterol and blood sugar as well as has anti-cancer benefits.

As for the nutritional yeast, it too, is great for you.  It is a complete protein, a great source of B-12 and folic acid, high in fiber, best of all its gluten-free.  It has a cheesy taste and that is why I love it on my popcorn.

The Ingredients:

1/4 c organic popcorn kernels (non-gmo is best)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp kelp powder
pinch of sea salt

Melt coconut oil in stove top popcorn popper then add popcorn.  Turn the handle until all kernels are popped.  Transfer to a big bowl and season with nutritional yeast, kelp and salt.

Enjoy!

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Heart-Shaped Open-Face Avocado Sandwich

Valentine's Day - Heart Shaped Avocado Open-Face Sandwiches

This Heart-Shaped Open-Face Avocado Sandwich really puts a smile on my face.  It is such a simple and delicious dish.  We all know that saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?”  Well, have you ever considered an Avocado a day?  Avocados are right up there with the Apple when it comes to their nutritional benefits and keeping us healthy.

Avocados contain heart-healthy (are you seeing a pattern here?) monounsaturated fats.  They are great for both the eyes and brain.  They boost the immune system and help to stabilize blood sugar.  Avocados are also rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins E, K, C, B, folate and copper.  Best of all they are anti-aging.

Have you had your avocado today?

The Ingredients:

2 slices of gluten-free bread
1/4 avocado
Splash of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

I have yet to find a gluten-free bread that did not need to be toasted.  There are some brands out there that claim to be “no toasting needed.”  However, in my opinion all packaged gluten-free breads need a little toasting.  The only bread that does not need to be toasted is fresh homemade gluten-free bread.

So…toast the bread.

In a small bowl mash together the avocado, lemon juice and salt.  Spread on toast and sprinkle fresh cracked pepper on top.

Enjoy!

 

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Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Have you ever wished your grandmother would’ve had something a little healthier in those candy dishes around her house?  I mean, those Werther’s Originals were amazing!  All that sugar and artificial goodness, who could resist?  I know I couldn’t.  I’d always end up with a stomach ache.  Probably because I’d eat the entire bowl.  Ah, kids and sugar.

How about this Super Bowl Party, try trading in your traditional huge bowl of M&M’s with a healthy trail mix.  Don’t worry, it contains some chocolate morsels so your need for chocolate while watching the game will be met.

All the ingredients are raw.  So, no salt, roasting or added sugar.  I find the chocolate and dried fruit are sweet enough to satisfy those taste buds.

Ingredients:

1 c sunflower seeds, raw
1 c pumpkin seeds, raw
1 c chocolate chips
1 c mixed dried fruit, unsweetened
1 c peanuts, raw

Shake shake shake and serve!

Enjoy!

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