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Vegetable Hummus Dip

This vegetable hummus dip make store bought hummus taste incredible!

vegetable hummus dip

I love to entertain. The whole process de-stresses me. I’m not one of those people who sits around ruminating about what to serve and how to present it and how to time everything just right. I just kind of wing it. Easy entertaining is one of the things people ask me about all of the time. Well, this dip is for all of you who want a great easy entertaining recipe to serve your guests while you are getting dinner ready.

This recipe is like a “food hack”. What I mean by that is that it easily takes a store-bought ingredient and turns it into something super awesome. I mean really, really awesome. So-good-that-everyone-will-be-asking-you-for-the-recipe awesome.

The base of this vegetable hummus dip recipe is store-bought hummus. Add then we add a bunch of stuff to it. And we make it pretty. And we spice it up.  And serve it with beautiful crunchy vegetables for dipping. And amazing sprouted grain crackers. And it’s truly incredible.

I saw a version of this dip on one of my favorite blogs (Minimalist Baker) and I took some creative license and made it suit my needs. My guests loved it and I’ve made different versions of it many times since (even when I didn’t have any guests)… it’s really that good. I really feel like I’m spoiling myself when I make this just for my family.

If you are looking for another great use for chickpeas, try my Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Stew. 

vegetable hummus dipvegetable hummus dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this vegetable hummus dip:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. Black sesame seeds are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This recipe uses tahini sauce, which is a paste made from sesame seeds and oil (I buy this read-made in a can or a jar).

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

vegetable hummus dip

Vegetable Hummus Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, easy entertaining, Greek, Mediterranean
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from:Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect easy-entertaining dip. It takes store-bought hummus to amazing new heights. And it's healing and delicious and so pretty...
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1-tsp for the veg salad topping
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought hummus
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of ½ a lemon, plus a bit extra for the veg salad topping
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the chickpeas in a small bowl with the oil, coconut sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are beginning to brown and get a bit crispy (mine took about 35 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce: stir together the tahini, lemon juice, almond milk, dill, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Make the salad for the top: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, tomatoes, scallion, 1-tsp of olive oil and a quick squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Spread the hummus on a serving platter.
  8. Top with the tahini sauce mixture and the vegetable salad.
  9. Garnish with a bit of hot sauce if you like.
  10. Serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables to dip.

vegetable hummus dip

Berry Fig Yogurt Parfait

Parfaits are fun. And this berry fig yogurt parfait is delicious and energizing!

berry fig yogurt parfait

It’s getting to be the dog-days of summer — but if you’re a dog lover like I am, it’s not a bad thing at all! Yes, I know, nobody likes those ridiculously hot and humid days — the ones where the air is heavy and everything seems to move in slow motion. But summer is awesome! Even when it’s hot! You can go outside with nothing but shorts and a tank. You can walk down the street drinking the hugest iced coffee or smoothie. You can smell that warm, sweet, summery scent of the flowers and trees…

And here, in NYC, where everyone aspires to leave the city in the summer, I am happy as a clam. I’m not crazy though. I don’t turn on my oven much, and I stick to the shady side of the street. And, I eat things like this awesome berry fig yogurt parfait.

I hesitate to even call this parfait a recipe — because really you can make it however you like — but I am including the recipe for how I made this one because it’s so delicious and cooling and refreshing.

By the way, I made my parfait dairy-free by using the most delicious coconut yogurt I’ve ever had. I used Anita’s coconut yogurt — it’s so good, I might even say it’s life-changing!

If you’re feeling really ambitious, here’s my recipe for Homemade Coconut Cinnamon Yogurt.

berry fig yogurt parfait

This parfait is as easy as it is healthy:

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus.

Figs have the highest amount of calcium of any fruit and are a good source of fiber. They are good for anemia, constipation, indigestion and fever, and they are also good at fighting fatigue and boosting memory retention.

All berries are good for you and contain antioxidants. As a general rule, the darker the color, the more antioxidants, making blackberries even better than other berries at fighting cancer and other illnesses. Blackberries also can help relieve intestinal inflammation and diarrhea, and they are good for your skin. And, even more importantly, they taste great…

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can. I know there are differing opinions as to whether bee pollen is vegan; so if you would prefer to leave it out, that’s just fine.

berry fig yogurt parfait

Berry Fig Yogurt Parfait
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, grain-free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This is the perfect summer breakfast, snack, lunch... anytime treat. It takes only a few minutes to prepare and it's healthy and refreshing!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place a little bit of each topping in the bottom of a glass or bowl.
  2. Spoon half of the yogurt on top of those toppings.
  3. Add more toppings, then more yogurt, then more toppings.
  4. You are done!
  5. Enjoy!

berry fig yogurt parfait

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

This truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe!

world's best nut butter recipe

I don’t think I’ve ever called any of my recipes “the world’s best”. I mean, I love a lot of my recipes, but I try not to be cocky about any of them. And it’s pretty easy not to be cocky when I have so many kitchen fails… and I do. Way too often. You just don’t see them…

But this recipe calls for some kind of special treatment when I talk about it. When I started blogging as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends and family years ago, this was one of the recipes I first posted. Everyone wants this recipe. This nut butter used to go with my daughter to camp and now it goes to college with her. It gets re-made over and over again by my friends who don’t cook. It’s a staple in my fridge at home. It truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe.

Sometimes when I make it I change up the variety of nuts, and it always comes out good. The only nuts I stay away from are peanuts. But I’ve made this with some hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts… and it has always been incredible.

Did I talk you into it?

All you need is a food processor. Really, you must try it.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a great recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly  into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you want to try another great nut-based vegan spread, try my recipe for vegan cream cheese!

world's best nut butter recipe

Here’s why this homemade nut butter is so good for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Pecans are good for energy and they can also help you get rid of a cough. They are also good to help combat constipation, lower back pain, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. Coconut oil is my go-to for so many things and it works great in this nut butter.

world's best nut butter

If you make this World’s Best Nut Butter recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

The World's Best Nut Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread, nut butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 1 pint
 
This truly is amazing nut butter. Let your food processor do most of the work, use whatever mix of nuts and seeds makes you happy, and enjoy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and roast the nuts for 12 minutes, making sure they don't burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape the nut mixture into the food processor and process until the mixture in finely ground and starts to stick together a bit. This may take a little time. Be patient. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times.
  9. Once it starts to stick together a little bit, add the coconut oil and the salt and turn the processor back on. Let it process until you get the consistence of a thick nut butter. Again, be patient -- it will happen!
  10. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

world's best nut butter recipe

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge

Keep this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in your freezer and you’ll always have an awesome healing dessert ready to grab!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge-0012

Open your freezer right now. Look in. Is there a healthy grab-and-go bite-size dessert in there? If not, think how happy you would be if a tray of this deliciously creamy no-guilt fudge was starting at you.

This is how it works. I make at least one tray of petite freezer-friendly dessert every week. After dinner or when we are binge-watching TV shows, I don’t have to worry about it when Steve grabs his idea of healthy snacks (which somehow he can rationalize as being fried chips with a whole tub of dip), because I can just open the freezer and grab the best desserts ever.

This fudge is not one of those desserts that “tastes good for something that’s healthy.”

It IS really good… even if it wasn’t healthy you would grab it. I mean it. Really.

With this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in the freezer, the chips in our cabinet went stale. Yup, this one’s a winner and even trumped the chips in flavor.

A great thing about this fudge: you can  have 2 or 3 pieces without killing your diet. It’s actually good for you, tastes like a combination of decadent peanut butter fudge co-mingled with an ice-cream bonbon, and no cooking experience is required.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (single)-0047

I’ve made many batches of healthy fudge, but this one is my favorite. Here’s what’s in it and why it’s so good for you:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this fudge I used cashew butter and it really is just perfect — I like the creaminess it lends to the fudge and it tastes awesome. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates. This fudge requires no sugar because we fill it with dates — amazing, really!

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this fudge should be fine for anyone.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (closer)-0044

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, fudge
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18 pieces
 
It's like a dream come true: fudge that will actually heal your body. And it tastes like real fudge. Amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 6 Tbs cashew butter
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • For topping:
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbs raisins
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (through maca root powder) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.
  3. Top with nuts and raisins.
  4. Let set in freezer at least a few hours or overnight.
  5. Cut into squares.
  6. Keep leftovers on a tray, covered in freezer.
  7. Enjoy!