Roasted Garlic Hummus

Well this was an interesting weekend for sure.  On top of all the regular busyness, and the holiday busyness our computer decided to die.  Well not really, a virus took over and really wreaked havoc making it unusable for over a day.  Silly me for not having everything perfectly protected, I guess.  In any case I think it’s all fixed now and it seems to be running fine.  Thank goodness.  At the exact moment I realized the computer was infected I was about to buy hosting for this site, so I’m glad I didn’t get to it.  But now that things are up and running again I’ll be moving to a self hosted site fairly soon.  If any other bloggers that have done this have any tips or recommendations please let me know.  I’m sure I’ll need all the help I can get.  I would love any emails or comments.  Thank you!

I can’t wait to post more about the weekend, but I don’t want to overload this post.  And hopefully I can get some pictures before I post about… Baby goats!  😀

Who in the blog world doesn’t love hummus?  Seriously, you can adapt it to any flavor really.  I don’t know anyone that thinks chickpeas are offensive, but maybe that’s just because I don’t know many people 😀  In any case, this is what we’ve been snacking on lately.  Just with plain raw veggies.  My son even asks for it so it must be good.  And the baby?  Well, she just sucks the hummus off the veggies.  Sometimes I can convince her to take a bite of celery or carrot but I don’t mind her double dipping this stuff 🙂

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 1 15 oz can(or just under 2 cups) chickpeas, drained reserving some of the liquid and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3C tahini
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil(plus more to roast the garlic)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the very top of the head of garlic off, exposing all the individual cloves. Place the garlic on a small square of tin foil and drizzle it with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and then wrap it up and place it on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  Once it’s done unwrap it and pull the cloves of garlic out.  I like to roast a few at a time and then keep them in the fridge to use, or you can freeze them for later use.  If you’d like to use raw garlic in your hummus you can substitute 2-3 large cloves of garlic in place of the entire head of roasted garlic.

Roughly chop the onion and throw it and everything else into a food processor.  Blend till smooth adding a little of the reserved liquid from the can of beans(or your home cooked beans).  Don’t be afraid to add liquid as I find it’s better when it’s got a little bit more because it firms up in the fridge.  Refrigerate 3-4 hours before serving to give the flavors a chance to come out.  Serve any way you like with a pinch of smokey paprika on top(to make it pretty ;)), with fresh veggies, on crackers, in sandwiches, with soft fresh pitas.  Or by the spoonful, I wont judge 😀

Posted in Dips/Spreads/Toppings, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Red Beans And Rice

I love one pot meals.  While this isn’t totally a one pot meal as you have to cook the rice and beans… it can be if you’re using leftovers that are already cooked and waiting in the fridge.  I don’t know what it is, one pot meals aren’t always that much easier, but there’s something about sitting down to a bowl full of something that feels so good, especially when it’s a complete meal in a bowl.  Although I do like to serve it with a salad or some extra veggies.  With the leftovers I like to cook up some vegetables, usually roasted broccoli or cauliflower or whatever else is in the fridge and just serve them on top of a bowl of this.

One note though, you might want to go easy on the Cajun seasoning.  I make my own and so I tone the spice down to a level we’re comfortable with, but I know store bought Cajun seasoning can be really spicy.

Red Beans and Rice

Serves at least 4 as a main dish

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped, or a poblano pepper for less heat and a different flavor
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt(more to taste)
  • 4 C tomato puree or a 32 oz can
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 C dried kidney beans, cooked(or approximately 1 can of kidney beans drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 C cooked brown rice
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid smoke(optional)

Cook the rice and beans separately and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.  In a large pan heat the oil.   Once it’s hot add the onion and cook a few minutes before adding all the other veggies.  Mix well and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Add all the herbs and spices and the tomato sauce and paste and mix well.  Once everything is evenly distributed bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes until all the veggies are tender.  Then add in the rice and beans and heat through.  Add the liquid smoke if using and mix everything well.  Serve hot with a little bit of parsley on top.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Gluten Free, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Healthy Mocha Oatmeal(and the Versatile Blogger Award!)

I’m always coming up with new ideas for oatmeal.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with the original oatmeal with milk and a little brown sugar, but I like to be creative with my breakfast and usually I don’t want a sugar topped breakfast to start my day.  I’ll be posting more oatmeal ideas in the future too.  I just tried this the other morning and I will be making it again for sure.  The kids couldn’t stay away either 🙂

Quick and Healthy Mocha Oatmeal

Serves one, but can be scaled up easily

  • 1 serving of your favorite kind of oats, cooked
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4-1/3 C frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder(or slightly less depending on how sweet your banana is)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • a small splash of vanilla
  • 2 tbsp+ your favorite milk(I use almond)

What I usually do at some point is cook up a big pot of oats. I love steel cut oats, but they take a fairly long time to cook, and I am not a morning person usually.  So I cook a big pot and then put it in the fridge for the following mornings.  I believe it works out to about 1/4 cup of dry steel cut oats that I use in the morning if you want to make it all in the morning before assembling the rest of the ingredients. Or you can use one serving of regular old fashioned rolled oats or whatever kind you like best.

I put the banana in the bowl and mash it up well.  This time I reserved a couple slices for the top, you can do that if you like.  It looks nice, why not? 😀  To the well mashed banana I add the cocoa, coffee, vanilla and milk and mix it well.  Then you can either mix in the hot oatmeal(if you’ve just cooked it) or mix in the cold oatmeal that’s been refrigerated.  You can put it in a pot and heat it on the stove for a couple minutes or you can put it in the microwave for a minute or two.  Serve with strawberries on top.  We used frozen which was really nice with the hot oatmeal, but it really doesn’t matter.

Now to show you why I’ve kept my regular post fairly short… The lovely Lauren over at Peanut Butter and Ginger awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award!  How exciting!  I’m so honored, thank you Lauren!  Be sure to check out her blog, she has so many delicious ideas!

Here are the rules of accepting and passing on the Versatile Blogger award:

  • Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post.
  • Tell 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the award on to 15 new found bloggers.
  • Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so.
  • Let the giver of the award know you accept it…or not!

So here are my 7 random facts:

1. I’m an only child.  This might be(only a part of) why I love my inlaws so much.  My husband is one of 5 so… siblings!! Yay!

2. I don’t like pickles.  Pickle lovers, don’t hate me!  I love anything else pickled, beets, carrots, those little white onions… But actual regular pickles… Yuck!

3. I’ve always had long hair.  Well, I did cut it short once or twice when I was pregnant with my daughter, but it was still long enough to tie up.  I love my hair long, I’ll never cut it off again.  It may be curly and wild, but I love it.

4. I’m not quite 5’2″.  People make fun of my shortness… But again, it’s something I love about myself.  I have no desire to be taller.

5. I hate math.  It is just not my thing.  At all.

6. I love rain.  There’s something super cozy about being inside on a really rainy day.  Or maybe I love it so much because I grew up in Vancouver.  Isn’t that like, the rain capital of the world?  Ok, maybe just Canada 🙂

7. I have no allergies.  I can’t think of a single thing that makes me sneeze, itch or break out into a rash.  I’m super fortunate that way.

I’m adding a number 8… I’m really shy(or used to be – I’m trying not to be!) It was so difficult to think of 7 random facts, haha.  Probably much harder than it needed to be.

And now to pass it on… well actually a lot of bloggers that I’d like to nominate have already done it so I’ll just pass it on to anyone that reads my blog(is that cheating?  Or being lazy… maybe).  If you haven’t gotten this award, or done this before, I nominate you!  I’d love to come read your 7 facts on your blog so if you do this, leave me a link so I can come learn about you 😀

Posted in Breakfast, Gluten Free, Uses for old bananas, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I really think the problem with most healthy cookies is the lack of oil.  I love some “muffin top” type cookies that are soft and fluffy and like muffins and I’ve successfully made some of those that are really good with very minimal added fat.  Unfortunately, your average cookie needs something more.  And with these cookies, it’s not too much.  You don’t feel weighed down after eating a couple of these like you do with traditional cookies.  It’s only a few tablespoons(plus the peanut butter) for a big batch of cookies.  A pretty fair amount for some super yummy cookies, I think 🙂  You could even substitute some dried fruit for the chocolate chips if you really wanted to.  And the original recipe had no added maple syrup so I’m sure you could leave it out(and add another tbsp of oil) and they would still be fantastic 🙂

So I went a little crazy with the picture taking for these.  Seriously?  I brought out a coconut and a banana(and hid that picture at the bottom, haha).  I’m not sure what I was thinking(who thinks a brown hairy coconut looks attractive anyways?) but the picture was clear so I added it.  Oh well.  I had no idea cookies were so photogenic, but these ones were for sure.  And not just photogenic.  So yummy!  My husband doesn’t like banana baked into anything, but excluding him, everyone in the house absolutely loved them.  And by everyone I mean myself and the two kids.  They didn’t last long enough to share with anyone else 😀

Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Kitchen Karate

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen small cookies

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil(or substitute any flavorless oil like canola)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 C old fashioned rolled oats(certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/3 C shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips
  • up to 1/2 C other add ins(dried fruit, nuts, or more chocolate chips) Optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mash the bananas in a large bowl and combine with peanut butter, liquified oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients and then add to the banana mixture and mix well.  Add in the chocolate chips and anything else you want to add in and stir just till everything is evenly dispersed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop cookies by spoonfuls 1″ apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes just till set.  I baked mine till the edges of the oats on top turned golden.

Make sure they’re completely cool before putting them in an airtight container.  I’d even recommend leaving them on the counter for a couple hours because the bananas in them will make them soft if they’re covered too soon.

Posted in Bite Sized Sweeties, Dessert, Gluten Free, Uses for old bananas, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Dilly Cucumber Salad

I took the kids for a walk today.  I don’t know if I mentioned it but we live at the bottom of a hill and the entire town is uphill from us.  So we walked for about 45 minutes and then turned around and came home.  We did the same thing yesterday and we were itching to get out of the house again today.  But if you’re jealous because we must have had nice weather to go for such a long walk…  No.  We actually put it off and put it off all morning because it snowed last night.  Not much, but it did.  And even on our walk it snowed a little bit on us.  Good thing we were walking fast enough to stay warm.  I think my son is going to be a runner – he has to run to keep up with me but rarely complains.  Ahh, that’s what getting some exercise should be like.

I have to admit, I have a problem.  I buy herbs and use a little bit(or none at all) and then slowly watch them deteriorate in the fridge.  Who doesn’t love having fresh herbs on hand all the time?  But I have to say I’d much rather grow them because then I can forget about them for 2 weeks and they’re still yummy.  I love dill.  It is so good.  In bread, on potato salad, even on a green salad.  But somehow I still have a problem using it up.  Around the holidays my husbands Opa came to visit and made a really simple cucumber salad that my little sister in law and I couldn’t stop munching on, even after dinner, until it was all gone.  This was my attempt to recreate it, and though it wasn’t as good, it still makes for a nice salad(that will be amazing in warmer weather) and it’s super quick.

Simple Dilly Cucumber Salad

Makes 2 large servings or at least 4 small servings

  • 1 large long English Cucumber, cut into ribbons with a mandolin or vegetable peeler(or you can cut it into thin rounds)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp sugar or honey(to taste)
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh dill(or you can substitute 1+ tbsp of dried dill)

In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients and leave them while you cut your cucumber.  Cut your cucumber however you like.  This time I did long noodle like pieces, but the last time I made it I took a veggie peeler and sliced 2″ long “noodles” all the way around the cucumber till I got to the end.  Or you can just slice the end to get thin rounds.  Just before serving mix the cucumber with the dressing.  If you can, try to drain the cucumber before adding the dressing as there’s a lot of juice in the bottom of the bowl usually and you don’t want it to be too watery.

Posted in Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments