Sunday, August 28, 2016

Easy Homemade Roasted Garlic Hummus

Hummus is delicious and so easy to make that I promise you'll never go back to buying pre-made stuff at the store again!

There are only a few ingredients involved, and it is quick and simple to put together.

I just made a batch of roasted garlic hummus for the kids' lunches for the week. It's super easy to double or triple the recipe too, depending on how much you plan on eating.

Easy Homemade Roasted Garlic Hummus
- 15 ounce can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained with fluid reserved
- 1/4 cup tahini, stir well before using
- juice of approximately 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (can use prepared - use about 2 tsp)
- salt and pepper
- sesame seeds

Drain garbanzo beans and reserve the fluid. Run the drained beans through a blender or food processor, adding a bit of the reserved fluid to break down all the beans.

Saute garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add processed beans, olive oil and garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together, adding reserved fluid as desired until the consistency is what you would like. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve with cut veggies or crackers (or pretty much anything you'd want to dip in hummus). If you don't eat it all at once, store in the fridge.

Easy Variations:
- You can omit the garlic. If you do, reduce the olive oil to 1 tbsp and add it directly to the mixture.
- Roasted red peppers - either using fresh roasted and peeled peppers or drained jarred peppers, run 1/2 of the peppers through the processor or blender with the beans. Mince another 1/4 cup and sprinkle on top.
- Olives can be added to the mixture in the processor and sprinkled on top.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Leeks in a Garlic Wine Sauce

I am a huge fan of spaghetti squash to begin with, always looking for new ways to incorporate it into meals. We are moving towards more vegetarian meals in our house. This recipe wasn't exactly the one I intended to make last night since I ended up changing a lot as I cooked, but it came out delicious. The best part?

All the kids ate it...and they didn't just eat it, they liked it!

This recipe could easily be converted to a vegan one, if you swap the butter for olive oil and omit the cheese.

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Leeks in a Garlic Wine Sauce
Do not be intimidated by the title of this recipe. Honest. It seems like a lot, or like it's going to be complicated. I promise it isn't. I got the whole thing done, start to finish in about 30 minutes. (not including the time the squash was roasting...because the oven did that, not me).

Also, I am going to tell you what I made, with the quantity of ingredients I used. If you want to cut the recipe in half, it could be done fairly easily. As it stands, this served 6 hearty portions with enough leftovers for 2 lunches.

  • 2 medium spaghetti squashes, roasted and separated into strings
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • 1 good handful of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 pound of cremini mushrooms (or sub out whatever mushrooms you prefer), rough chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage, chopped and rubbed
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan or romano cheese

First, roast the squash. Set your oven to 400 degrees, and cut the squash in half. Place them cut side down on a cookie sheet with some water. Put them in the oven for about 45 minutes. They are done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. 

When they have about 15 minutes left to cook, start chopping the other ingredients. 

Happy little leeks

Mushrooms, sage and spinach

Saute the leeks in olive oil and butter on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until softened. Around now, the squash should be done. Take it out of the oven, flip the cut side up and let them cool.

Add the spinach, mushrooms, sage and garlic. Stir and saute all ingredients together on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, then add in the wine. Turn up until boiling, then lower to medium again. Cook until the liquid reduces, about 5 minutes.

Around this time, the squash should be cool enough to handle. Scoop out the seeds, then separate the squash into strings with a fork. Add squash into the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste, then add in some cheese. Stir and heat through for about 5 minutes.

Serve with additional cheese on top. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Homemade Tomato Soup

Soup season. Yes.

I made this a few nights ago, then realized that I had not shared it here yet.

It's quick and easy and delicious. Once you start making it yourself, I promise you won't go back to the canned stuff.  Makes six hearty servings. We eat it with grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course.

When tomatoes are in season, or if you're lucky enough to be in an area where fresh ones are available year round, use them instead of the canned tomatoes here in the recipe. If you're ambitious enough to make your own puree too, do it. You won't be disappointed.

Homemade Tomato Soup
- 1 large can of tomato puree
- 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 3-4 cups of chicken stock
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk
- cornstarch
- basil, fresh or dried
- 1 tsp sugar
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste

Saute the garlic in butter in a large stockpot until it becomes fragrant. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Add in sugar, one bay leaf and a handful of fresh chopped basil or a heaping tablespoon of dried basil. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Measure out a cup of milk and mix into it 1-2 tbsp of cornstarch. Stir it until completely dissolved, then slowly add it to soup mixture while whisking so that no chunks form. Allow soup to thicken slightly, then remove bay leaf and serve. Add salt and pepper as desired for taste (amount of salt will depend on the stock you use).

I do toss Sriracha in my bowl as well, because Sriracha.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh, my poor neglected recipe blog. I'm sorry. My bad.

I'm going to try to post something new here once a week or so.

I was planning to make meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner last night, but one of my littles wasn't feeling good...and when one of my littles isn't feeling good, they always tend to ask for the same thing. Chicken noodle soup.

I've been making my own soup for a while now, and realized just how spoiled my family is when we went up to a cabin a few weeks back. I took canned soup for dinner and they all made the same dissatisfied face when I served it to them. They wanted the good stuff. I can't really say that I blame them.

This recipe is a few years in the works now, and is a million times better if you use homemade chicken stock. Every time I roast a chicken, I make stock and freeze it if I will not be using it within a few days. If you don't have fresh or frozen stock, you can absolutely use prepared stock or bouillon.

I make a huge pot of soup. It feeds my family of 6 (plus the baby, so like 6.25), with leftovers for a few bowls. You can cut the recipe if you'd like. I just make enormous amounts of food, so I measure in pots, not cups. ;)

Ingredients for Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 cups chicken stock, more as needed (can use dried bouillon and water as well)
- 4 cups water
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
- 4-5 medium carrots, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- egg noodles

Before I tell you all how I make this, I will confess that I'm a lazy chef. I toss the frozen thighs into a pot, covered with about 4 cups of water. I bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a solid simmer for about an hour or so. As the meat defrosts and cooks, the water evaporates. I keep an eye on it, and the meat is generally cooked around the time that most of the water has disappeared.

When most of the water has evaporated, I add a little bit of oil and brown the edges of the chicken in the same pot. After the edges are just a bit crispy, I remove the chicken from the pot and chop or shred it. Return the chicken to the pot with another bit of oil, and toss in the onions. Stir around, cooking in the oil until the onions are transparent.

Add the mushrooms, celery and carrots, along with the stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft (but not mushy). I then add the scallions and noodles. (Depending on what I have on hand, I may cook them separately first or just toss them directly in the pot with a little extra water...the tiny noodles used here were just tossed straight in with a few extra cups of water).

Simmer again until noodles are done. Remove bay leaf, check to see if you need to add salt and pepper and serve. I always serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches (made with mayonnaise instead of butter...sounds nasty, but trust me, you'll never go back).

Mmmmm, comfort food.

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