Muhammara with Za’atar Pita Chips

You know what’s really fun?  Listening to your husband try to say fun new words like muhammara and za’atar.  To be fair, it wasn’t until a few days ago that I even read the word muhammara let alone ate it or said it out loud and za’atar is a little funky with that apostrophe.

It’s mu (like in mud) ha (like in hum) mar (like in mark) a (like in uhhh) and za (like the end of pizza) a (this is silent… don’t say it) tar (like the black sticky stuff).

I’m not a linguist folks.  I just like words.  And food.  Always food. Muhammara with Za'atar Pita Chips | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

DIY Wednesday: Roasted Salsa Verde

After 2 years of Spanish in Jr. High, three years in high school, and two semesters in college I can say this with certainty: verde means green.  Therefore, that means salsa verde is green salsa.  Mind-blowing things revealed on my blog today, I know. DIY Wednesday: Roasted Salsa Verde | Life Healthfully Lived

In my brain I understood that salsa verde had to be made with some kind of green vegetable but I never really thought about it.  I just ate my regular salsa and left my green dip needs to guacamole.  Then I saw a sale on tomatillos at my grocery store, bought a few on a whim, and then headed home to figure out what to do with them.  After a little research AKA Google search, I realized tomatillos are what make salsa verde, well, verde.

I also found out that roasting them was common and helped bring out their flavor.  Since I am the Queen of roasting any and everything, I roasted them up, blended them up, and then ate them up.

That’s how simple this recipe is.  If you’ve never worked with or had tomatillos before, don’t be intimidated.  They come in a papery husk and kind of look like a giant green berry.  Like this:DIY Wednesday: Salsa Verde | Life Healthfully Lived

All you have to do is peel away the husk, like this: DIY Wednesday: Roasted Salsa Verde | Life Healthfully Lived

Rinse it off and you’re good to go!  I kept this really simple but you could add other things like jalapeno peppers if you want a kick, roasted apples if you want a little bit of sweet, or stir a little salsa verde into your guac for a delicious twist.

Roasted Salsa Verde: DIY Wednesday: Roasted Salsa Verde | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 3 to 4 medium-sized tomatillos
  • 1 small onion, about 1/2 a cup cut into quarters
  • 3 to 4 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Peel the husk off the tomatillos and rinse with cool water.  Dry completely.
  3. Place the tomatillos, quartered onion, and garlic cloves into a large bowl.  Drizzle a little olive oil and toss until everything is coated.  Sprinkle with salt and pour everything out onto the baking sheet.
  4. Roast everything for about 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatillos are a little brown around the edges and soft.  It’s ok if they explode a little while roasting.
  5. Remove from the oven and let everything cool for about 10 minutes.  Then, pour the whole pan into a blender, add the chili powder and blend.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

This salsa is awesome on tacos, with homemade tortilla chips, and even as a dip for plantain chipsDIY Wednesday: Roasted Salsa Verde | Life Healthfully Lived

 

My Favorite Hummus

Hummus has almost a cult like following.  People can’t get enough of the stuff and will put it on any and everything.  I am one of those people.  I love the creamy texture and garlicky, smokey taste.  I like dipping things into it, spreading it on anything, and adding it to any meal that I can.  It’s pretty much amazing.

But there is one problem.  I have had a really hard time recreating the texture at home.  Store bought hummus is so smooth and creamy and that’s what makes it so addicting.  I really like making my own though because it’s cheaper and I control the ingredients.  It seemed every time that I made my own the taste would be just fine but I would end up with a dense and thick paste instead of smooth and creamy.  Not so good.

After a lot of testing out a ton of recipes and techniques I think I finally found the best method to make the perfect hummus.  It’s actually a combination of a few techniques out there to help make that perfect texture.  This is a little labor intensive, but I promise it’s worth it.  You can make a really big batch so it will last longer and you will always have hummus on hand.  Now onto the hummus!

Perfectly Creamy Hummus

You will need at least 24 hours to soak the chickpeas. Don’t skip this step!!

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  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (freshly ground if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water, reserved from cooking the chickpeas

1.  24 hours before you want hummus, place chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with water.  Stir in the 1/2 tsp of baking soda.  Cover and place the bowl into fridge.

2.  After 24 hours, drain and rinse chickpeas and place into a large pot.  Cover with at least 5 to 6 cups of water.  Add in the 4 whole garlic cloves and bring the water to a boil.  With a slotted spoon, skim off any foam/skins that floats to the top.  Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 3 hours.  The chickpeas should be super soft at this point.

3.  Drain the chickpeas and garlic, reserving at least 1/2 cup of the water.  Now at this point you can remove some of the skins off the chickpeas if you want.  I have tried it both ways and haven’t noticed a huge difference.  Place chickpeas and garlic into a food processor or blender.  Add in the rest of the ingredients except the water.  Pulse a few times to start to combine everything.

4.  Turn the processor on and slowly add in water.  This will turn the hummus into that wonderfully creamy texture.  You might need less water, but I have found the full 1/2 cup makes the creamiest version.

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Yes, it seems like a lot to make hummus when you can just go to the store and buy some and be on your merry way.  But it is really hard to find hummus that doesn’t have weird ingredients or preservatives, and it can get expensive to support a serious hummus addiction with store bought.  Take the time to make this and you will be rewarded with a delicious hummus that is half the cost and ready to be used in any way you want!

Have a great Friday and wonderful weekend!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

Necessity is the mother of invention right?  Well that’s how this simple recipe came to be.  I decided that I wanted a snack of celery and hummus and I was absolutely positive that I had some homemade hummus sitting in my fridge.  Sadly, I was mistaken and there was no delicious hummus for me to eat my celery.  So was left with two choices.  I could eat my celery plain, but what kind of crazy person eats plain celery?  Or I could find some substitute for my non-existent hummus.  I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make a new batch of hummus but I did have a few things that I was able to throw together in less than 5 minutes and make a tasty dip.  I bet that you probably have most of these things on hand now, so if you have some plain celery you have a hankering for go make this super easy dip!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Dip

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  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp mustard (I used hot mustard, but you can use whatever you have on hand)

1. Ready?  Mix this all together in a bowl and eat.  That’s it!

You can adjust the amounts to your taste and the amount of dip that you need to make.  This was a single snack size serving for me.  This would be a really great dip for a crudite plate for a holiday gathering.  I also used it as a topping for my lentil loaf last night and it added a really great flavor.  So whip this up and enjoy!