Beet Salad

1 beet, cooked, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned
1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 apple, julienned
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Combine all the fruits and veggies, then add the salt, pepper, oil and BV to taste.  Toss and serve. Quick, healthy and YUMMY…who could ask for more?  Makes a big lunch salad or a few sides for dinner!


A Fun Filled Afternoon: Homemade Tahini, 2 Kinds of Hummus and Pita Chips

I have tried making tahini before and it turned out awful.  There was bits of sesame seeds and it was not smooth at all.  It was because my food processor wasn’t made to grind up something so fine.  A bottle of it is normally $8 and I really wanted to make hummus.  Then it dawned on me…my coffee grinder!  I used it to grind up lentils, rice and steel-cut oats to make my Homemade Protein Powder (in recipe folder). I toasted two small 1.5 oz. bags (they didn’t have bulk where I was) of sesame seeds on a baking sheet at 350° for 5 minutes.  After cooling for a few minutes, I put them in the grinder.  The trick is to pulse them and shake the gender around so it all grinds but doesn’t get too pasty too quickly. 



Then I added it to a food processor, combining slowly with 1/4 of Extra Virgin Olive Oil until smooth.  It is close to peanut butter in texture and made about 1/2 cup.  I needed 1/3 cup of it for one hummus recipe and stored the rest.


I decided to soak and cook Garbanzo beans at home and not only were they cheaper, but they tasted better and you can control the amount of salt and add other flavoring.  I added salt and turmeric!  This is where I got the process from.  Always give credit where credit is due!

Here’s the first hummus recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1 1/2 cups Garbanzo beans
2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (I used jarred ones because the juice has a kick to it, but freshly roasted would be good too)
Salt and pepper

Combine all in food processor until smooth.


This other recipe is not vegan, but it is vegetarian.

Mediterranean Hummus
1 cup Garbanzo beans
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all in food processor until smooth.  This one can be made vegan by omitting the feta (just add the olive oil slowly and monitor the consistency because you may need to add less oil).


Since the first has tahini, which has a lot of olive oil already, you only need a bit more to combine.  Since the second had no tahini, it needed something to smooth it out, so you add more oil.  You can make so many different flavors of hummus, most of which are vegan or vegetarian.  It can be used as  a healthy spread for sandwiches or even dip.  I used it for all of the above!

For the pita chips, I took a package of thin pitas, separated them and quartered them (as best I could).  I laid them out on a sheet pan, drizzled olive oil using a marinating brush to spread it around and only added salt and pepper to them. I baked them at 375° and started out for 5 minutes on one side, flipped them, then 5 more minutes on the other side but that overdid it.  It can be done for 5-6 minutes with no flipping.  Those still came out crunchy and golden brown, not brown brown.



Sugarless, Flourless Cookies

1 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Bananas, mashed
1/3 Cup Raisins
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (see applesauce recipe)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine all.  Form 10 balls and put on a cookie sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.  I sprinkled extra cinnamon on top. It will seem “underdone” in the middle, but I like regular cookies like that so this was no exception!



1 Hass Avocado
1/8 cup Tomatoes, diced
Pinch of Ground Cayenne
2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
A few small sprigs of Cilantro
Salt and Pepper

Mash avocado and put in a small bowl.  Add the remainder of ingredients and combine.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes so the flavors infuse.  This made a small amount for tacos, so for bigger amounts, a bit of math is all it takes!


Strawberry Dressing

10-12 Strawberries
4 tbsp Water
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp Lemon Juice (the recipe I reference calls for lime, but I didn’t have any and the lemon still turned out great…think strawberry lemonade)
6 tbsp EVOO

Blend the first 5 ingredients until smooth.  Slowly add the oil while blending.  Holds for 7-10 days and makes 5-6 servings (depending on size of salad).