Quick & Easy Hummus: 1 Recipe, 3 Ways

Hummus is one of those foods that I like to keep on hand. It makes the perfect snack, and I love to serve it when entertaining, too.

I’m not a fan of most store-bought hummus, however. It just doesn’t taste like the real thing. Plus, why buy from a store, when it’s so quick and easy to make?

Today I’m sharing my favorite hummus recipe, plus two easy variations. You are going to love it!

Quick & Easy Hummus

Quick & Easy Hummus: 1 Recipe, 3 WaysIngredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, lightly drained
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Salt to taste

Place the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Mince garlic for hummusAdd remaining ingredients to the garlic and process until mixture is completely smooth and creamy. If needed, add a little water to thin the hummus out. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Quick & Easy HummusI like to serve the hummus drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a dash of smoked paprika. Pita bread or chips and fresh veggies are the perfect accompaniment.

Variation 1: Black Olive Hummus

Black Olive HummusAdditional Ingredient:

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped olives (I like kalamata, but other types work, too.)

Add the olives to the completed hummus and process just until the olives are finely chopped. Avoid over-processing: you want to see some chunks.

Variation 2: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper HummusAdditional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
  • Cayenne, optional

Add the peppers and optional cayenne to the completed hummus and process just until the peppers are finely chopped. Avoid over-processing: like the black olive hummus, you want to see some chunks.

That’s it. In five minutes, you have my favorite hummus! If you are looking for other recipes for easy entertaining, make sure to check out my Creamy Ricotta-Blue Cheese Spread.

OK, who wants to come over? I have a refrigerator full of hummus!

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Creamy Ricotta-Blue Cheese Spread

I love to entertain, but I tend to get a little type-A about it. It’s fun to put out an impressive spread, serve tasty wine, and show off an impeccable apartment. Unfortunately, that usually means scrambling beforehand, because let’s get real: my apartment is never spotless, and it’s a lot of work to prepare a great meal.

Lately, I’ve been doing things a little differently. I like to start things off with a great dip or spread, served with fresh veggies and crackers. Then I follow things up with an easy dinner (like pizza made with premade crust) and finish with a dessert from the bakery. How simple is that?

Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite dips.

Creamy Ricotta-Blue Cheese Spread

Creamy Ricotta-Blue Cheese SpreadIngredients:

  • 1 15-oz. container ricotta
  • 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Ricotta blue cheese mixture.Mix well, breaking up any large chunks of blue cheese.

Serve with crackers and veggies. The spread is also delicious spread on toast for a snack (my favorite way to eat it).

Creamy Ricotta Blue Cheese SpreadEasy EntertainingCome back next Monday. I’m sharing another recipe for easy entertaining: my favorite hummus!

What is your favorite easy recipe to serve guests?

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Treat Yourself: Spicy Chocolate “Cookies”

I have a massive sweet tooth. Unfortunately, I can’t be trusted around a lot of sugar, so in an effort to eat somewhat healthy, we don’t keep a ton of sweets around our apartment.  I love it when my husband brings home a treat though!

The other day, he surprised me with a package of Emmy’s Choco Chili Macaroons. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical at first (raw and vegan do not always equal super yummy), but the macaroons were really delicious, and the ingredients were pretty healthy, too. If you see them anywhere, definitely pick up a package.

Anyway, my mind immediately started spinning, and I set about recreating the macaroons.  Here is my version – I’m calling mine cookies. Give them a try. You’ll love these lightly sweet treats. They make a great, healthy snack (as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting).

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

Spicy Chocolate CookiesMakes 18

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • cayenne
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted, if solid)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Combine almond meal, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add a few dashes of cayenne, to taste (I added 7).  Mix well.

Add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir until combined. It will have a slightly crumbly texture, but shouldn’t be totally dry or too soft.

Mixing Spicy Chocolate Cookie IngredientsRefrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and form your cookies. Take about a tablespoon of the “dough,” and press it firmly together and gently form it into a small cookie, smoothing out any jagged edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Shape Spicy Chocolate Cookie Dough into Cookies

Spicy Chocolate CookiesThat’s it – enjoy! Store the cookies in the refrigerator to keep them nice and firm.

Notes: If your mixture is too dry and won’t hold together even after you refrigerate it, add a little extra coconut oil.

Almond meal is made from almonds that are ground into a fine, floury texture. You can purchase almond meal (or flour) at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or the natural foods section of many other grocery stores. If you can’t find it anywhere, make your own by grinding blanched almonds in a food processor until very fine.

Spicy Chocolate CookiesDo you have a favorite healthy snack?

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Lifesaver Recipe: Easy One Pot Pasta

Do you ever find a recipe so good that you make it over and over? This One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta is one of those recipes for me. The first time I tried it, I loved it so much, that I made it again later that same week.

What I like so much about this recipe is that it’s very easy, I usually have the ingredients on hand, and most importantly, it’s super delicious. Basically, you throw all the ingredients into one pot – including the pasta – and cook everything together. It’s the perfect meal to make in summer when you don’t want to be standing over a hot stove.

One Pot Pasta with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

The recipe is easy to customize, as well. For the pictures shown, I used fire-roasted tomatoes in place of regular diced tomatoes, and I added about a cup of olives. I didn’t have fresh basil, so I used dried. When the pasta was cooked, I tossed everything together with some feta. It was so good!

One Pot Pasta with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

Here are some other ideas:

  • Use a large package of cherry tomatoes in place of the canned tomatoes.
  • Try other pasta shapes. I’ve used shells, and they worked great.
  • For a puttanesca style sauce, leave out the basil and oregano and add a 1/2 cup quartered kalamata olives and 2 tbsp. capers.
  • Replace the basil and oregano with dried thyme and add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  • Add a jar of marinated artichoke hearts to the pot along with the other ingredients. Toward the end of the cooking process, stir in a bag of baby spinach leaves.

The possibilities are endless!

Do you think you will try this recipe?

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