Get ready for potluck season. 

I will be sharing lots of salad ideas that are healthy but also really safe to sit around in the summer weather better then the neighbors devil eggs crusting away in the sunshine. ☜ yikes,!? right we all see it happen. Is it just me, maybe all those years in professional kitchens made me really value my friends and families health. I don’t put out that cheese salad unless it’s gonna go fast and most likey never in the sun… get my drift here? 

So with that I give you the first post of a summer series called “Summer Salads” Nice to take away on a picnic or over to a friend’s house.

This warmer weather is calling for tasty salads that hold up in the heat. This one came with us to a BBQ today. I know you’re going to love most about this salad is that you can prepare the ingredients in advance, well before you plan on serving the salad, and then just assemble it at a more convenient time. Keeps well for lunch the next day too.

Roasted Beet and Broccoli Salad is slightly sweet, definitely savory and completely healthy! So quick to put together once you have your beets roasted. 

serves 8-10

2 small heads of steamed broccoli, cut small

2 small roasted beets, red or golden or both colors

1/3 cup of dried cranberries 

1/4 cup of pepitas 

1 shallot or green onion, small cut rings

1 lemon (zest and juice) 

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste, i used a pinch 


Beets- Roasting time will depend on the size of your beets; small beets are more tender and take less time. Take the beets, drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and place them in a single layer in foil and cover or i use my dutch oven. Roast them at 400° for apx. 40 minutes. Start checking your beets for doneness at 30 minutes by piercing the largest beet in the bunch with a toothpick. If the toothpick easily and smoothly glides through the center of the beet, they’re ready. If not, roast another 10 minutes. Cool and when they are still a bit warm remove the skin  then cool in the fridge.

Steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until just tender with a little bite to it. Chill in the fridge. 

Once your ready to go ahead and make this, place the broccoli, shallot, lemon, olive oil, garlic, cranberries and pepitas in a bowl. Toss to coat well then add in the beets and gently toss. This will help the whole salad from turning red, you can use golden beets too (I love both)  

Some Health Benifits of these veggies are: and were only hitting the top of the iceberg here… 

 broccoli – Can aid in treating cancer, strengthens the immune system, helps maintain a healthy heart and much more.

 

beets – Helps prevent skin, lung and colon cancer. Reduces birth defects and can boost your health system and a healthy heart.

pepitas – Antioxidant support, can decrease oxidative stress and great source for zinc and iorn. 

shallot – Increases energy level, aids in regulating blood sugar and beneficial to maintaining low stress levels in the body.

lemon – helps to strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, helps respiratory disorders, and high blood pressure, while it also benefits your hair and skin.

olive oil – Boost metabolism and digestion, reduces heart problems, helps in weight loss, reduces bad cholesterol and slows down the aging process.

cranberries – The antioxidants in dried cranberries can help reduce inflammation and low-sugar dried cranberries can help regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. 

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Hummus

File Apr 22, 6 30 24 PM.jpegHummus is definitely a staple around this house. It’s one of those foods that you can easily put together yourself. So diverse and adaptable in many ways, you can really take the taste in any direction you would like to go. It’s convenient to buy a plastic container of hummus at the store, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to whip up at home. You’ll save a few bucks and know exactly what’s in your hummus.

Chickpeas are usually  hummus’s main ingredient. They give you a good source of protein, B vitamins and fiber. These tasty legumes routinely top lists of the world’s healthiest foods. Now if your ready to get really creative, let’s combine chickpeas and roasted cauliflower into a hummus! Wow, go super Foods go! Eating more plant foods is good for you. People who make that a habit are less likely to get certain diseases.

I’m not a big fan of canned beans, but for whatever reason canned chickpeas are not bad at all, and I always keep some on hand so I can make a batch of this at the last minute, to use as a dip or a spread. Make sure to at least grab the can that’s Organic and low sodium if this is the route you take. The other choice would be Dried chickpeas, if you have the time and inclination, I encourage you to try it. You’ll need roughly 1/3 pound dried chickpeas that’s about two cups of cooked chickpeas for a decent amount in a recipe.

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Basic Hummus

– makes about 1 and 1/2 cups
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup  well-stirred tahini, (If you don’t have any tahini, leave it out. A chickpea purée without it is still quite delicious. Just add more olive oil. Another option is to use a natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter in its place)
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons water, depending how thick you like it
Dash ground paprika, for serving, I like smoked paprika but totally optional

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more.

Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and salt, (I use a half teaspoon of salt) to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and Creamy. Most likely it will be to thick so just add a little bit of water, with the food processor on.

This is a good step to stop and add anything you might like to flavor your hummus with. Instead of water you could of added a equal amount of lime juice, roasted red peppers or cooked spinach! The possibilities are endless, we will get to that later.

Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. I keep the hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week but it never lasts.

Now let’s have fun with our hummus

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Carrot Hummus

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup) you can steam them or roast but cook till soft!
2-3 Tablespoons water
2 small cloves garlic
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tbsp. tahini or sub. all natural, no salt creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ginger paste (or 1/4 tsp. finely minced ginger)
*pinch cayenne – optional or curry powder*
1/4 tsp. Sweet paprika to sprinkle on top- also optional
Instructions

Add the cooked carrots, water, and garlic into the food processor and puree.
Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, and salt to the processor and puree until smooth. I like this hummus in a wrap or sandwich but the kiddo will eat it with a spoon.

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Chipotle Lime Hummus

1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and washed
2 tablespoons Water
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 large chipotle peppers in adobo sauce , about 1-2 tablespoons worth (adjust according to the amount of heat desired)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, about 1 medium size lime’s worth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

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Beet Hummus Ideas 💡 

Add a small amount of fresh spinach, cilantro or other greens to classic Hummus to add extra nutrition, the kids won’t mind.

Add roasted beets, feta and dill to classic hummus to brighten both the flavor and color.

Add roasted golden beets and 1/3 cup nutritional yeast to classic Hummus for bright yummy yellow Hummus

Try replacing the garbanzo beans with Edamame!

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Ingredients:

1 bag frozen organic shelled edamame (equal to 3 cups)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used a whole lemon and the zest)
2  tbsp tahini (stir well before measuring)
2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed (I used 3T) or olive oil! Or both. Up to you. (I added 1/4c olive oil too)
1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste (I used 1/2tsp)
1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, or white pepper optional

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1. If starting with frozen edamame, simmer in a pot of water until edamame is heated about 2-3 minutes. Rinse and drain before using. You can also remove the skins of the edamame for a slightly smoother spread, but I don’t.

2. With motor running on food processor, drop in 2 garlic cloves to mince.

3. Then add edamame, lemon juice, water and tahini to the processor and process until somewhat smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.

4. Add olive now, with the processor running if desired, and them more water if needed and let the processor go for a bit so it gets nice and smooth.

5. Add salt to taste along with optional pepper.  Process again until combined.

Leftover Hummus?

Here are just a few ideas for you to play with.

1.  Toss veggies into hummus, roast them and enjoy a new way to eat veggies and hummus.

The key is to roast at high heat, and to preheat the baking sheet, which will accelerate the caramelization of the veggies. Usually, I just toss the vegetables with the hummus in a large bowl with my hands. If you need to, thin out your hummus lemon juice or water to make a “batter” to coat the veggies completely.

Flavored hummus, doesn’t usually need extra flavor, but you could stir in extra garlic, herbs or spices (a spoonful of pesto is delish).

CRUNCHY HUMMUS ROASTED VEGGIES

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup bell pepper slices (red or yellow preferred)

1 small onion  peeled and quartered

1 cup prepared hummus

Garlic, pesto or spices if desired (optional)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside the oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees, with the sheet pan in the oven. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the hummus, (and any optional garlic or spices if using), using your hands to coat the veggies. Do not worry if the mixture is a little clumpy or uneven. Once the oven is hot, remove the sheet pan, and carefully lay out the coated vegetables on the tray. Return to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven, and quickly turn the vegetables over. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast until desired tenderness, about 10-15 more minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice, and serve.

 

2.  Another idea is to use you Hummus on a sandwich or in a wrap. Great for a trip to the park.

3.  Deviled eggs.

Use hummus in your deviled egg recipe in place of mayo to boost protein. For 8 egg yolks, use about ¼ cup hummus and a ¼ cup olive oil.

4. Chicken Breading.

Make hummus crusted chicken by slathering hummus onto chicken breasts and baking at 450°F until hummus is golden and meat is cooked, 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Top baked potatoes