Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Okay, I have a newfound love.  My name is Carmel, and I love hummus.  I'm addicted, I am telling you.  At least it's a healthy habit, right?  Lots of protein and fiber, and its a low-glycemic food so it doesn't make my blood sugar spike fast.  And oh so delicious.  There are so many ways you can make it with so many different flavor profiles. And it's completely vegetarian, gluten free, and soy free....so it's friendly for most eaters out there, low risk of allergy troubles.  Try this recipe out, I like it, and so did my friends at church.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1-16 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 red bell peppers
1 jalapeƱo, seeds removed and sliced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your desired heat level
3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste--you can usually find it near the peanut butter in your grocery store)
1/2 c olive oil

Turn your oven on to the broiler.  Cut the tops off the peppers, and then pull out the seeds in the center, and cut them in half.  Place them skin side up on a baking sheet, and broil for 10 to 15 minutes, til the skins are charred on the outside.  Once done roasting them, place them in a bowl with plastic wrap tightly stretched on top.  Let them sit in the bowl and steam for about 15 minutes, this will let them cool, and make the skins come off easily.  Remove the skins, and set the peppers aside til needed. (if you have a gas stove, you can also roast them by just doing this on your range instead of in the broiler.  Just leave them whole, place them over the heat and turn them as each side chars on the outside.  When they are blackened on the outside, steam them just the same as I mentioned before.)

In a food processor, blend garbanzo beans til smooth.  I usually pulse them until they are chopped and then blend them the rest of the way.  Add your bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, onion, cilantro, and spices.  Blend til well combined, and then add your olive oil and tahini, and blend til smooth.

Chill in refrigerator til ready to serve.  Serve with pita chips, veggies, or spread inside a falafel or any other sandwich of your choosing.  Delicious!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lemon Bars

I love this recipe.  By far my favorite version of lemon bars.  My mom has made these since I was little and they have always been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.  I can't give mom full credit, since she got the recipe from Joy, our favorite cookbook on the planet. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Lemon Curd Bars

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c powdered sugar
3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)

6 eggs
3 c sugar
zest of 1 lemon (I used two, I like the extra lemony flavor)
1 c plus 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh is best.  (about 5 lemons worth)
1/2 c all purpose flour

powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk together 1 1/2 c of the flour with the powdered sugar.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is combined well and comes together in clumps like small peas.  Press this into an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.

While baking the crust, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined and a light yellow color.  You may want to use a mixer for this.  Add your lemon zest and juice and whisk again til well combined.  Add last half cup of flour and mix well.  When the crust is done baking, remove from the oven and pour the custard filling over top, then bake again for 35 minutes at 300 degrees.

Chill for at least an hour, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into 1 inch squares.  Serve cold.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mini Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, and Asparagus

That's what we had for dinner tonight.  It was pretty good, so I think I will blog it for you all.  You can always use the same recipe to make a big meatloaf (or rather, normal sized meatloaf), I just had a husband who wanted what he called "pub steaks."  So I did my best and it was more like meatloaf, I just didn't add bell peppers or mushrooms or other things I sometimes add to meatloaf.  I should clarify that when I make meatloaf, it's never really a specific recipe.  It's more like whatever I have in the fridge that I think will be good in it, which means anything that tastes good with beef.  Sometimes I will even do half sausage and half ground beef....it just depends on my mood and what I want it to taste like...  So here is tonight's recipe.

Baked Potatoes

(not really a recipe, but we adopted this method from Alton Brown from Good Eats on Food Network and we will never go back)

1 potato per person eating (I did a few extra to make fries or hashbrowns with later)
olive oil
coarse ground kosher sea salt

Wash and poke potatoes with a sharp knife or fork.  On a cookie sheet or baking sheet, place your potatoes.  Pour a little olive oil on each one, and then rub it all over the potato, and then sprinkle the salt to cover all sides.  Place baking sheet in a 400 degree oven, and bake for an hour.  The result will be tender fluffy potato inside, and a nice crisp crusty peel....yummy!

Mini Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1/2 a white onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 c oatmeal or plain breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (I use my hands, but you can also use a spatula or something).  Shape into mini loaves or little football shapes, and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.


1 bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced fine
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1/4 c water

Over medium high heat, heat olive oil.  Add your asparagus and then your garlic.  Saute just til asparagus is almost bright green.  Add your water, and then the dijon, along with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Continue to cook til asparagus is bright green and water is fully absorbed.  Serve hot with baked potato and your mini meatloaf.