White Bean Red Pepper Hummus
Making your own hummus is super easy, and beans contain a lot of protein. This makes a great snack, or you can add it on top of chicken or a salad. Traditional hummus is made with chickpeas which you can find cans, I used white beans, which also come in a can. You can add tahini, which is like a sesame nut butter, you would find that in the aisle next to the other nut butters. If you want, you can add in roasted red peppers ( I got these jarred), or you can add in sun dried tomatoes. Mix it up with whatever you like!
Tip: If the hummus comes out too thick, add a little more water until smooth.
Healthy tip: Beans contain a good amount of protein and fiber. Fiber is good for lowering cholesterol, and for healthy digestion.
Olive Garlic Tapenade
Enjoying this quarantine? I have been using this time to create various dips and recipes from frozen or canned/jarred items. Olives are one of those foods you can get easily in a jar or a can. Tapenade goes great with crackers or focaccia bread. You can use fresh or jarred garlic, and fresh or dried parsley. It is easy and delicious! Serve on a Mezza plate with hummus and other appetizers like nuts/cheese.
Tip: Grow your own herbs in the backyard to save money at the grocery store. Grab what you need!
Healthy tip: Olives contain Omega-9 healthy fats, great for your heart, skin, eyes, hair, and brain.
Cilantro Cucumber Jalapeño Guacamole
I love a great homemade guacamole, especially with fresh cilantro. I like to use my marble mortar and pestle to combine the ingredients. If you don't have one, you can just use a fork or a garlic masher. This particular guacamole has fresh flavors like cucumber which is cooling mixed with the spicy pepper. I also like to add fresh garlic, onion and tomatoes as well as the fresh lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips or cut up celery for a low carb option. I like to use this on top of my Lettuce Fish Tacos.
Tip: The way to know if an avocado is ripe, is to feel the outside of the shell and if your finger easily dents the avocado then it is ripe. Cut the avocado with a knife around the width, and remove the pit.
Healthy tip: Cilantro is a great detoxifying herb for the liver. You can add it to a smoothie or as a garnish on top of any recipe with avocado or lime for a fresh pop of flavor. It also acts like a diuretic to help reduce water retention.
Black Raspberry Chia Jam
Traditional jam is full of sugar and so I like to have a fresh homemade alternative. This recipe uses chia seeds and water mixed with fresh local fruit. Black raspberries look like blackberries but they taste just like regular raspberries. I used chia seeds because they absorb whatever liquid is there and creates a thickened jam.
Tip: If you like jam a little sweeter, then add some granulated sugar or honey for flavor. The longer you let the fruit cook down the sweeter the jam will be.
Healthy tip: Dark berries contain resveratrol which is excellent for cardiovascular and vessel health.
Stores in the fridge sealed in a jar for at least 1 month. I like to serve this on top of homemade Panna Cotta dessert, or with a scoop of peanut butter as a snack.
Fresh Garden Herb Pesto
I love having a garden this summer. In fact I had an entire section just for herbs. Typically I use herbs in cooking or sometimes I will add them to my iced tea. I made this pesto with a few different types of herbs and it came out great. Traditional pesto is made from solely basil but I like to change up the flavors and experiment. Spinach or kale makes a great addition, as well as lemon balm. I think cilantro or parsley would also add great flavor. Use garlic and lemon, and instead of parmesan cheese I substituted walnuts which makes it creamy. Try it out on chicken or pasta for an excellent flavor booster.
Tip: The olive oil and garlic give it flavor, feel free to add a little more if it seems not a smooth enough texture.
Healthy tip: Lemon balm is an herb that is a natural calming "anxiolytic". You can use it in a tea or in cooking to help you relax, and even get to sleep easier.