Basic Hummus

I got back from the Blathering last night and I needed something healthy after a weekend of indulgences. This hummus is my go-to basic recipe. It takes two minutes and costs under $2 to make. You can jazz it up with roasted garlic or sundried tomatoes, experiment with fresh herbs, add some spice, or even throw an avocado in for some creaminess if you're feeling crazy. Or you can keep it simple like I often do.

Buzz the following in a small food processor:

1 can (398mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 clove fresh garlic
juice of two lemons
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Serve with fresh veg for maximum smug hippie points.

 

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Zucchini Bean Dip

The zucchini madness continues! I turned zucchini into a nice, hearty dip. Think hummus but earthier. 

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Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 shallots, sliced

2 medium zucchinis, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 Tablespoon tahini (not the end of the world if you don't have tahini, just leave it out)

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed (chickpeas would work too!)

small bunch of fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add onion and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until onion is transparent and zucchini is softened, about ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and buzz until smooth, adding olive oil if the mixture is too thick.

Serve with crudites, bread, or crackers. Also works well as a sandwich spread.  

The Almost Healthy Cheeseball

My friends JenTairalyn, and I love to cook and bake and we thought it'd be fun to see what happens when we take one recipe and approach it three different ways. I like to play with ingredients and try to find healthy(ish) alternatives to traditional ingredients (but you'll have to pry butter from my cold, dead hands.) Jen is a ninja when it comes to substituting healthy ingredients to truly healthify recipes. And Tairalyn is taking one for the team by making the recipes in their full sugary, buttery glory (she really is a saint.) This month we're tackling the cheese ball

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The original recipe sounded tasty but a little boring: cream cheese, bacon, mayo, green onion, pecans. I wanted to boost the flavour while cutting the fat as much as possible. 

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp plain yogurt

1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

4 green onions, diced

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1/4 tsp salt

grated zest from 1 orange

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Method

Mix together cream cheese, yogurt, dried cranberries, green onions, rosemary, salt, and orange zest. Form into a ball and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight.)

Place chopped walnuts on a sheet of plastic wrap. Put cheese ball on top of walnuts and bring the sides of the plastic wrap up and around the ball, pressing the walnuts into the cheese. 

Serve with crackers or bread. I made this bread with half whole wheat flour, orange zest, and fresh rosemary. The flavour combination was heavenly. 

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Check out Tairalyn's cheesy bacon-y goodness here and Jen's veggie-packed cheese ball here.

Guacumus

What is better than guacamole? Guacamole with protein and a high fiber content. A guacamole / humus hybrid. It's guacumus o'clockumus, people. (Yup, went there.) 

Ingredients

1 - 398 ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 2 - 3 limes (depends on how zingy you like it) 

1 - 4 cloves fresh garlic 

2 - 3 avocados

salt to taste

Variations

Time to get crazy, kids. Add hot sauce, red pepper flakes, cumin, fresh cilantro (if you hate me,) green onions, chives, whatever you like. 

Method

Buzz everything up in a food processor, adding more olive oil or lime juice until you reach the consistency you desire.  

Serve with fresh veg and pita bread (or tortilla chips, or as a sandwich spread, or eat it straight with a spoon while your feral toddler runs around pants-less. This is a safe space. No judgments here.)

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