Bean-Free Spiced Pumpkin Hummus

pumpkin hummus 2With the arrival of fall, I am turning more toward squashes and harvest produce for inspiration. As I said last week, I’m still not quite ready to dive into pumpkin spice everything, but I’m inching my way into the season with touches of cinnamon and winter squash (check out my harvest bowl recipe from last week if you haven’t). This recipe features both flavors, and makes for a lovely autumn twist on my original bean-free hummus recipe. Speaking of my other hummus recipe, I had been making repeated batches of it, but now, I’m switching it up and putting this one on repeat. It is incredibly tasty, though the other one is too!

Enjoy this hummus with veggie slices, plantain chips, grain-free tortilla chips, mixed into salads, on top of eggs, etc. There are many possibilities, so eat it however you like!

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. I went back on KATU Afternoon Live on Tuesday, September 26 and made my harvest bowl recipe that I mentioned above. Watch the replay of my segment HERE.

pumpkin hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Raw pumpkin seeds to garnish, if desired
  • Extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to garnish, if desired

Directions:

Place all ingredients except the garnishes in the food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and blending again, as needed. Pour into bowl and garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Harvest Bowl with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette

harvest bowl 3Tomorrow is the official first day of fall and to commemorate, I threw together this lovely harvest bowl. It’s filled with cinnamon-roasted butternut squash, chicken breast, apple, pecans, and mixed greens, and is topped with a creamy, dairy-free maple vinaigrette. It is splendid and I can honestly say it’s my newfound love. I will definitely be making it over-and-over again for a while.

I wasn’t ready to go full-on pumpkin spice mode and all that jazz, but I had to honor where we’re at, so a little cinnamon, maple syrup, and some seasonal goodies did the trick. Pumpkin spice can wait until next month. I do enjoy fall, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m ready for summer to end. I really love summer…like a lot, but onward I go with the change of seasons, and I’m taking this harvest bowl with me!

In other news, I will be making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live next Tuesday, September 26. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!close up harvest bowl

For the bowl:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups leftover boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
  • 2-3 small Gravenstein apples or other variety of choice, diced
  • 1/3 cup raw pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 cups mixed greens

For the maple vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which is gum-free)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place butternut squash on large baking sheet and drizzle with the avocado oil. Season with cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper, and mix well. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool once done.
  2. Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake to mix. Alternatively, you can whisk it together in a bowl. If possible, make the dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to marinate.
  3. Assemble the salad by dividing the mixed greens among three bowls. Then, divide the chicken, pecans, apples, and squash among the bowls. Just before serving, drizzle desired amount of dressing on top. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Yields: 3 servings

 

Citrus Herb Chicken & Veggie Bowl

Mark this as another delicious one-pan meal to add to your list of easy, healthy recipes. It’s a great go-to anytime, but especially on a busy day. One pan, a complete meal, reasonable number of ingredients, and lots of flavor. The citrus herb marinade really works its magic and takes this dish to the next level. You can find the marinade online at Thrive Market (get 25% off your first order HERE) or at Whole Foods.

On a separate note, I am so excited for tomorrow because I’m going to see Jim Gaffigan live here in Portland! I can’t wait to laugh a lot, kick back, and spend quality time with Jesse and our close friends (we’re going with another couple). I won’t go into details, but life has been a bit heavy lately, so this comes at the perfect time. For those who don’t know, Jim Gaffigan is a comedian and one I’ve been wanting to catch live for a long time. My opportunity is finally here! Meanwhile, if you need a good laugh, check out some of his clips on YouTube.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large broccoli crown, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup The New Primal Citrus Herb marinade (find HERE and get 25% off your first order)

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a couple minutes. Then, add the diced chicken and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook for about 5-6 more minutes, until chicken is nearly done.
  2. Add the sweet potato and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the broccoli and marinade, and more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Cover again and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Check doneness of broccoli and sweet potato, and if need be, let cook a little longer.

Yields: 2 servings

 

Bean-Free Zucchini Hummus

The idea of zucchini hummus is nothing new to me, yet this is my first go at it. I’ve had cauliflower hummus before, which I remember liking, but I definitely like the zucchini-based version better. Zucchini has a neutral flavor and doesn’t need to be steamed beforehand, so it works extremely well and simplifies things. And, if you’re wondering about the no beans thing, keep in mind that it isn’t the beans (garbanzo beans, usually) that make hummus, hummus — it’s the tahini. This version has all the flavor of traditional hummus, minus the bloat. It’s less starchy too.

I have to laugh and reflect a little on the mention of the bloat thing because in my days as a vegetarian, there were numerous summers when my sister and I ate loads of homemade hummus. She was the skilled, creative hummus-maker and I always enjoyed the fruits of her labor. But, I consistently was left with a stomach ache afterward, yet I would continue to eat it day-in and day-out. Live and learn, right?

Meanwhile, I enjoyed this hummus with fresh veggies, sautéed greens, plantain chips, and even dolloped on top of eggs. There’s lots of ways to eat it!

Keep in mind, this hummus is a bit thinner than bean-based hummus because of the lack of starch. It will thicken a little after being in the refrigerator, but if you want your hummus to be thicker, feel free to experiment with ingredient ratios. But, know that even then, the texture will still be different.

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On a completely different note, please imagine rain drenching down on the massive Eagle Creek fire engulfing our beloved Columbia River Gorge here in Oregon (started by firecrackers during a no burn season). The fire has now covered 32,000 acres and is zero percent contained. It’s so smoky here in Portland and the city has been blanketed by ash “snow.” Really, there is just so much chaos going on in our country right now. Send the love and positive vibes, please!

Ingredients:

  • 3.5-4 cups zucchini, diced (peel if you like, but I left mine unpeeled)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Black pepper, to taste

*Note: you can peel and add the garlic whole, but watch out for any pieces that miss the blade in the food processor. I had this happen before and ate a huge chunk of garlic!

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides, if needed, and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. If you like, garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling of smoked paprika before serving.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Spanish “Rice” and Chicken Bowl

Spanish rice 2

Spanish rice is something I enjoyed growing up and a recipe I kinda forgot about until recently. My mom used to make my Great Aunt Leona’s recipe and baked it inside of bell pepper halves. I was never a fan of the bell pepper part as a kid, but loved the rice. I’m sure this recipe would work well stuffed and baked inside a bell pepper too, but I didn’t opt for that since bell peppers really do not agree with me (or my husband). You could just add some bell pepper to the pan if you want that flavor, but don’t want to bother with the baking part. Then, everything still stays in one pan!

Meanwhile, mark this recipe as an easy weeknight go-to. It’s a complete meal that comes together quickly and tastes marvelous. And, again, it’s all in one pan. I hope you enjoy this twist on Spanish rice and if you do, give me a shout-out in the comments or on social media!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp homemade vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 16 oz bag cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened, no salt added tomato sauce (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Dried oregano, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for a couple minutes. Then, add the diced chicken, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook chicken for several minutes, until browned.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cauliflower rice. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, combine the tomato sauce, chili powder, and homemade vegetable bouillon in a small bowl. After the cauliflower has cooked for a couple minutes, add the tomato sauce mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Remove from heat and garnish with dried oregano.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Smoky Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

sweet potato wedges 2These smoky roasted sweet potato wedges are a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish, burgers, sausage, and more. They’re great for the remaining days of summer, yet versatile enough to eat all year long. The flavor is perfectly smoky with a pleasant dash of turmeric spice and garlic (and of course, salt!). I enjoyed these dipped in yellow mustard, but also thought they tasted fantastic on their own.

Meanwhile, I hope you were able to catch the eclipse this past Monday. In my neighborhood here in Portland, I got to witness it at 99.3%. It was phenomenal and bizarre to feel the temperature drop, see the light fade, and hear animals around me create a stir. It was powerful and I couldn’t help but be moved to tears!

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. Catch me on KATU Afternoon Live tomorrow, August 25! I’ll be making my cashew butter and jelly bars!

wedges close up

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 mid-size sweet potatoes, sliced into wedges with skin on (I used white sweet potatoes, but any variety will work)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules or garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or rectangular dish, combine all the ingredients and toss well with tongs. Then, line in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for about 17.5 minutes. Flip and bake for another 17.5 minutes. (Note: if your oven runs hot, you may want to check the sweet potatoes a bit sooner).

Yields: 2-3 servings

 

Cashew Butter and Jelly Bars

My gosh, these bars are something special, and my inner child is especially satisfied by such a delightful treat. These take me back to PB&J days as a kid, something that was often a staple in my lunchbox. Mom almost always used homemade jam and her strawberry was my favorite. It was probably the sandwich I ate most growing up (side note, but I also used to like bologna and ketchup sandwiches).

Back-to-school time isn’t too far away and that’s what inspired this rendition of a classic creation. I don’t have kids of my own (I do have two fur kids though), nor do I plan to have kids, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a back-to-school treat! But, back-to-school or not, kids or no kids, these are wonderful anytime and for all. Also, I will be featuring this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live later this month, so stay tuned! UPDATE: watch the replay of me making these on KATU Afternoon Live HERE.

Feel free to experiment with almond or sunflower seed butter, if you prefer. If you eat and tolerate peanuts, you can even use peanut butter, of course. The cashew butter is so good in this recipe though and a nice change of pace — at least for me (I really don’t eat cashews or cashew butter very often). The strawberry filling is so fresh and jammy tasting, but not overly sweet. And, overall, the bars as a whole are not too sweet either. If you ask me, these are just right.

Cheers and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Filling:

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, sliced and hulled (if need be)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp water

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew butter (I used this brand)

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened cashew butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped (note: I dry toasted mine beforehand, but that’s optional)
  • Light sprinkling of fine Himalayan salt, optional (if using salted cashews or salted cashew butter, you may not need)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add strawberries and honey to medium saucepan over medium heat. Mash strawberries with a potato masher to break up the large pieces and release juice. In a small dish, dissolve the arrowroot powder into the water. Then, once the strawberries are mashed, but still a bit chunky, add the lemon juice and dissolved arrowroot mixture, and stir. Simmer over medium-low for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a food processor, gently pulse together the coconut flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Then, add the coconut oil, cashew butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pulse until mixture forms a ball.
  4. Press dough into bottom of 8×8 pan with fingers (note: greasing pan isn’t necessary, but feel free to line with parchment paper for super easy removal, if you like). Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until light golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and pour strawberry filling on top. Then, dollop cashew butter on top in teaspoon-sized increments (8 tsp total). Gently swirl cashew butter around with a chopstick or spoon handle. Sprinkle with the chopped cashews and the Himalayan salt, if using. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until strawberry topping is warm and bubbly.
  6. Let cool completely (about 2-3 hours) and then cut into desired-size squares. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.