Edamame Hummus

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For those of you who didn’t see, my boyfriend and I were vegan for Lent. We wanted to try something new, and practice a discipline that also respected the environment. Thus, everything I have posted since Valentine’s Day has been vegan! Check it out!

The hardest part about being vegan for lent was no milkshakes, cheesy pizza, or chai tea lattes.  However, I loved trying some new vegan recipes, several of which I still have to show you!

Hummus is one of those perfect vegan recipes, and one of my all-time favorite snacks.  There are dozens of ways to make hummus, with countless variations of beans and spices.  This recipes calls edamame beans, which when blended make a very light and fluffy hummus. Much healthier than store bought hummus, no more expensive, and with zero prep work- this is one recipe that you could (and should!) easily work into your weekly schedule. Give it a try, and have fun with it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (500g) bag frozen shelled edamame (equal to 3 cups thawed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3-4 Tablespoons water, to thin as needed
  • ¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander seeds, optional
  • 1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Optional garnish: smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, whole edamame beans

Directions:

  1. If using thawed edamame, rinse and drain.  If using frozen edamame, empty the beans into a pot of water and simmer until the edamame is heated through, just a few minutes; then, rinse and drain.
  2. Set aside a handful of whole beans for the garnish.
  3. Using a food processor, blend the 2 garlic cloves until well minced.
  4. Add the edamame to the food processor and process until somewhat smooth. Periodically, you may want to use a spatula to rearrange the edamame in the bowl, and scrape the sides, allowing for a more even blend.
  5. Stir the tahini well, and then add to the food processor, along with the lemon juice and water. Process for a few minutes until smooth.
  6. Add the spices and process again. Taste to see if you would like more of anything (I added more cayenne pepper!)
  7. Scoop the hummus into a bowl and garnish as desired. Serve with toasted pita chips, pretzels, raw vegetables, or crostini. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

Superfood Guacamole

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Day 3 of Five Days of Appetizers for the Holidays!

Day One: Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip

Day Two: Brie, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Bruschetta

I know that health is often one thought that gets pushed to the back of our minds over the holidays, at least until it’s time for our New Year’s resolutions. With all those cookies and parties around, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet! However, with recipes like this, you don’t have to sacrifice your health to the holidays. Forget the rich cheeses and dips- this superfood guacamole will provide you with a full dosage of antioxidants and vitamin c for the day and won’t leave you feeling guilty!

With pomegranate in season over the winter, there’s no better time than now to enjoy this delicious guacamole. With only 5 ingredients, four easy steps, and a delicious taste, this is definitely a treat you’ll want to make again and again. Happy Holidays, from my kitchen to yours.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped (I used purple onion!)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Seeds from one pomegranate (about 3/4 cup)*

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the two avocados with the back of a large spoon.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mashed avocado with the onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Cut the pomegranate into quarters.
  4. Over a shallow bowl of water, begin pulling the seeds out of the pomegranate. You do this step over a bowl of water because the seeds will sink to the bottom, while the pulp will float on top. Separate the seeds from the pulp and gently mix the seeds into the guacamole.
  5. Serve with chips and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip

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Well, it is officially the holiday season! As of yesterday afternoon I had completed five exams, one college a cappella concert, and three loads of looong-overdue laundry. All of the sudden I am home with clean sheets, an evergreen tree, and it feels like Christmas.

With this beautiful holiday season comes invites, potlucks, holiday parties, and numerous family gatherings. As if there already wasn’t enough to do in the month of December, additional holiday parties means additional cooking! Thus, for the next five days I will be posting a new appetizer recipe- perfect for any holiday party or potluck!

To kick the week off- a delicious Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip! With fresh roasted peanuts, and the perfect combination of sweet and salty, this dip will be a crowd pleaser! Easy to make, healthy, and delicious, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Happy holidays! Be back tomorrow for another tempting appetizer recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor.* Blend or process until smooth.
  2. For a smoother consistency, add a few Tablespoons of coconut milk to the sauce.
  3. Do a taste test and add any flavors you desire more of. I added more cayenne pepper lime juice to the mix! If too salty for you, add more sugar, if not salty enough, add more soy sauce or cayenne pepper!
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with raw vegetables such as sliced red pepper, baby carrots, and snow peas.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4-6 servings as a dip
  • Using a blender works perfectly well for this dip! However, if you want a perfectly creamy consistency I suggest a food processor. A blender creates a slightly grainier dip, although equally delicious.
  • The tendency for this sauce is to thicken as it sits. Add a little water or coconut milk to the dip to thin it out!
  • Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for a later date!
  • An alternate way to use this sauce is to serve warm over pasta noodles! It makes for a delicious Thai dish!
  • Adapted from: Darlene Schmidt
  • If you like this recipe, check out these!: Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Filo-Wrapped Asparagus (with two dipping sauces!) 

 

Filo- Wrapped Asparagus (with Two dipping sauces!)

I had several friends come over for a potluck this week. We gathered to celebrate the return home of a good friend who studied abroad this semester.  It was a very festive occasion with lots of laugher and paper plates piled high with food.  My contribution to the event were these baked filo-wrapped asparagus spears served with two complimenting dips. I love asparagus, just about any way you prepare them. When I decided to prepare a vegetable side dish for our party, this dish was the immediate choice. It is easy to serve and prepare, easy to eat while mingling and talking, and it’s often something new for most people. A win-win-win! This recipe comes from the cookbook “Easy Vegetarian,” which also provides a dipping sauce to accompany this dish, however I concocted two of my own instead. Check them out! And here’s to summer nights on front porches, coming back home, and a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Ingredient for the asparagus:

  • 20 asparagus spears
  • 1 package of filo dough, thawed if previously frozen
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Wash asparagus and remove the woody ends from each spear. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off any woody parts of the skin as well.
  3. Unroll one sheet of filo dough onto a clean surface and brush gently with water
  4. Place an asparagus spear at the top of the filo sheet so that the head of the asparagus is visible. Roll the asparagus until it is enclosed in a few layers of filo dough.*
  5. Repeat step four until all the asparagus are wrapped in filo dough.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pastry is a golden brown.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges on the side or one/both of the dipping sauces below.

Ingredients for the Sour Cream Citrus Dip: 

  • Juice from ½ of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 1 small tub of sour cream (8 – 10 oz)

Combine the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl, mixing completely. Flavor it to taste. If lemon is not your favorite flavor, do less lemon juice and sub out lemon zest for orange zest. Also, feel free to play around with spices! Throw in a few dashes of garlic or paprika if you prefer, try diced cucumber! Every time I make this dip it’s different, this is simply a guideline. However, it has never failed to work well with this dish.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip:

  • 8 ounces of plan low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (dice if you prefer smaller chunks!)
  • ½ can of cranberry sauce

Mix the above ingredients in medium sized bowl. Slowly add cranberry sauce and dried cranberries to the cream cheese until the mixture has turned a light purple/red and is well blended. Store in the refrigerator until serving.

Notes and Tips!:

  • For a lighter version of this recipe, use less filo dough. Spread a filo dough sheet out on a clean surface. Using a pizza cutter you can cut the sheet in half vertically or horizontally. If you cut the sheet vertically and roll the spear from the top of the sheet to the bottom, towards you, you will have fewer layers of filo dough. If you cut the sheet horizontally, and roll the spear from left to right there will be more layers of filo dough. Either way is delicious!
  • Choose your dip based on your taste preference! The cranberry cream cheese dip is a sweet dip while the sour cream citrus dip is much more tangy.
  • Spoiler alert! I actually created the cranberry cream cheese for another recipe that will be posted soon. I had a good amount left over and decided to try it with these asparagus. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you! Thus, good news! There will be more uses for that dip coming your way soon.
  • The dip shown in the photos is the Sour Cream Citrus Dip