Hummus! Roasted Garlic and Dill Hummus

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Hummus. Need I say more?

This tasty, creamy, and protein packed snack doesn’t need too much of an introduction. The go-to snack and salad/sandwich topper transforms anything it touches into a meal that is hard pressed to beat! It takes the typical quick snack or meal and turns it into something that will fill and satisfy all your needs and nutritional wants. Hummus does pose the problem of controlling yourself to only eating the recommended serving of 2 TBSPS. To be honest, once you dip those crunchy carrots or sweet bell pepper strips into this dip you don’t want to stop! Or least that’s the case for me!

I use to hunt the isles of Whole Foods and Fresh Market to try and find that perfect flavor to satisfy my hummus craving, but most of the time I would just settle for what ever they had in stock. Finally, after many disappointing trips to the market, I decided to learn just exactly how to make my very own hummus. Since then my world has been changed, and only for the better!

Once you learn the basic components of hummus your possibilities are ENDLESS! Mixing and mashing flavors to test those not so typically, and sometimes a little odd, flavor cravings, will become addicting and something that if don’t done then your day is just really not complete! Trust me, this has happened to me on more than one occasion! This instant burst of inspiration could appear at any moment, such as during your morning routine of drinking your coffee or tea and watching Kelly and Michael. A combination of peanut butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon could pop into your head, forcing the immediate reaction to run into the kitchen, grab your food processor and chickpeas, and start testing those ingredients. Did I mention this has happened to me? When I say it has happened to me I mean while I was writing this the other morning drinking my green tea and watching Kelly and Michael, I jumped up in a fit ran to the kitchen and made some hummus!

Now don’t worry I am not giving you the recipe for my sweet and salty hummus (which by the way was an amazing topper to my “fried” un-fried cinnamon sugar pita bread. It’s sweet and salty and had protein so I could feel a little better about the amount of sugar I consumed in one sitting!), but instead an amazing roasted garlic and dill hummus!

Now let me give you a little warning: if you are making this to impress a crush on your first date keep some gum or breath mints on hand because again…THIS IS A GARLIC DELICIOUSNESS based hummus.

On to the good stuff!

  Roasted Garlic and Dill Hummus

Roasted Garlic and Dill Hummus

 Ingredients:

1-15 OZ can of organic and low sodium chickpeas/garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)

1/3 cup organic, Vegan, and Gluten Free tahini (this is just sesame seed butter, most all brands are Vegan and Gluten Free since this is a very pure butter, but a KEY ingredients so DO NOT omit)

1 head of roasted garlic (you will need olive oil, salt and pepper, along with aluminum foil to roast properly)

2 TBSP lemon juice

2 TBSP olive oil + more for garnishing

2 TBSP water (more may be needed)

1 ½ – 2 TBSP dill + more for garnishing (I used dried dill since that was all I had on hand, feel free to use fresh just add more since dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs)

1 TBSP fresh parsley + more for garnishing

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the top third of the garlic head off and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return the top third to the base and wrap in an aluminum foil bundle. Place in your preheated oven and roast for 30 mins.
  3. Once 30 mins has passed remove the foil bundle and set aside.
  4. In the base of a food processor (or mixer if you have a high powered mixer) add your drained and rinsed beans, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, water, 1 ½ – 2 TBSP dill, 1 TBSP parsley, and 2/3 of your roasted garlic head (all you have to do is squeeze the base of the garlic and it pops right out! No mess or fuss!).
  5. Once starts to combine and gains a smooth consistence add your water 1 TBSP at a time to get the consistency you desire.
  6. 6.    Taste the hummus at this point to decide if more seasoning is needed. Here is also where you can add the remaining roasted garlic if you wish for a stronger garlic taste.
  7. Once the hummus is smooth but still thick, remove from food processor and transfer to a dish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins before serving. Trust me chilled hummus is much better than warm hummus!
  8. Before serving, drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with more dill and parsley.
  9. ENJOY!

Now that you know the basic components of hummus, chickpeas, tahini, a liquid, spices, and a vegetable, you can really let those creative juices flow and become one of the few and self acclaimed hummus masters!

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Emma’s Identity Crisis Tri-Bean Sweet Potato Chili

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Soup-A-Palooza continues!

This excites me more than it probably should, but with the weather getting down to 18 degrees last night I think soup is a must! For me, nothing sounds better than crawling under all 50 of my blankets and turning on Breaking Bad or one the million cooking shows I have recorded and eating a big ole bowl of the soup-of-the-day! I mean warm, hearty soup in your belly, what could possibly be more enjoyable on a freezing winter day? Well, maybe two bowls of chili, a fire, and not having to go to work, but I think I’ll settle for my soup and warm blankets for now!

At this point in our relationship I know you understand, or at least accept, my love for soup, but I don’t think we have established that my all time favorite soup has to be….CROCK POT CHILI. The versatility of chili is only one of the amazing characteristics of this warm, hearty, and comforting soup. The possibilities are endless when creating your perfect chili. You can go spicy, sweet, smoky, Indian, classic, white, Mexican, South West, Southern (full of meat and well everything but the kitchen sink as my mama likes to say), Meatless (obviously my favorite along with all the different spice variations), or even bean-less (I have never been a fan of bean-less chili, mainly because once you leave out the beans it transforms into more of a veggie soup vs. a chili. My brother, however, can put down some bean-less chili!).

Now it’s also best to use veggies that are in season, but you can always use whatever combination satisfies your tummy’s deepest desires! In my case this means a smoky, South West meets Memphis meets Indian spice black bean and sweet potato chili! I know you might be thinking I’m slightly insigne and should just pick one flavor profile, but why when I can have the best of ALL worlds! I love the combinations of corn, black beans, roasted pepper, chili peppers in adobo sauce, and curry powder in a crock pot of goodness. Once the soup has been marrying for about 8 hours in the crock pot of love (the crock pot wears many different hats in our relationship: goodness, love, happiness, right hand man, time saver, oh dad-gum I need to leave in 20 mins but have nothing prepared for dinner tonight, and my favorite ole trusty!) the final product will literally knock your socks off!

With ole trusty by my side and a smorgasbord of local fresh veggies, a variety of spices, and for those of us for have lots of organic canned beans and tomatoes on hand (organic and all natural is a MUST if you do go the can route and a quick time saver. Remember, just because you are saving time doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice good quality products), the possibilities are endless and the final product is ALWAYS AMAZING!

I’m sure you’re ready to get to the good stuff at this point so here goes!

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Emma’s Identity Crisis Tri-Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients:

1-15 oz can of organic low sodium black beans (or simply soak your beans overnight and measure out 15 oz when fully soaked), make sure to rinse and drain before adding to the soup.

1-15 oz can of organic tri-bean (typically black, pinto and kidney beans)

1-15 oz can of organic low sodium pinto beans (or simply soak your beans overnight and measure out 15 oz when fully soaked), make sure to rinse and drain before adding to the soup.

1-28 oz can of organic diced tomatoes

1-6 oz can of organic tomato paste (100% natural)

1 small can of organic mild diced green chilies

2 ½ chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1-15 oz can of organic yellow corn (if corn is in season I HIGHLY recommend using fresh local corn that has been roasted on the grill top use 1-2 ears, just depending on how much corn you would like in your chili.)

2 cups of vegetable stock (you can easily make your own, but if you do use the boxed make sure to purchase low sodium. You really want to be in control of the amount of salt in all your dishes, not the manufacture.)

1 medium-large green bell pepper, roasted and roughly chopped

1 medium-large red bell pepper, roasted and roughly chopped (now when I made mine I only used ½ of the red bell pepper, but feel free to use the whole roasted pepper.)

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic

2-4 to 5 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 TBSP Chili Powder

1 TBSP Cumin

1 tsp (1 ½ tsp if you like the taste a lot) Curry Powder

Directions:

  1. Roast your red and green bell peppers over an open flame on the stove. Make sure you use long tongs and rotate the pepper until all the skin has a nice black char. Once you have roasted your peppers, wrap them in paper towels and place each pepper in their own sealed plastic baggie. Let these sweet while you prep your other veggies.
  2. Finely chop your onion and garlic cloves.
  3. Peel and roughly chop your two sweet potatoes.
  4. Chop your chili peppers in adobo sauce.
  5. Throw all of your prepped veggies into the bowl of a crockpot. Then add the drained and rinsed corn, beans, and the entire can (including the juice) of diced green chilies.
  6. Add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable stock.
  7. At this point return to your roasted peppers. Taking one out of the bag to work with at a time, use the dampened paper towel to remove a majority of the black char. * I like to leave a little of the char to add to the roasted smoky flavor. Once the char has been removed chop your peppers and add them to the pot.
  8. Add all your spices and give it a good mix. Here is where you can taste your mixture and decide if you need to add a little extra spice love.
  9. Cover your chili and let it cook on low for 8 hours.
  10. Once the agony of waiting 8 hours to eat this is over, bust open that crockpot and fix you a big ole bowl! (Just be careful not to burn yourself!)

 

This is a great go to chili that freezes very well, but don’t worry if none actually makes it to your freezer because well, I somehow manage to destroy the entire crock in only a few short days! There is no self control when it comes to me and chili…but hey….at least it’s ORGANIC!