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.

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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

 

Smoky Sweet Potato, Kale & Pineapple Salad

This salad is a mix of sweet, smoky and spicy, and just the thing to share at an upcoming Memorial Day barbecue or other gathering this summer. I recommend making it ahead of time, so that it can sit in the fridge for a few hours before eating. The salad becomes much more flavorful, although it’s still good if you don’t have time for that…or aren’t patient. I really enjoy this side dish with chicken, but think it would pair well with nearly any protein.

Meanwhile, you can catch me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live on Friday, May 26! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato (I used a jewel), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt-free mesquite seasoning blend, separated (I used this one, which is unsweetened)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed curly green kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread sweet potatoes onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp of the mesquite seasoning, and sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  3. Place in preheated oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside to cool completely.
  4. Add the kale to a large bowl and generously season with sea salt. Massage the sea salt into the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes (this helps the kale soften and makes it more flavorful). Then, add the olive oil, red onion, pineapple, and remaining 1 tsp of mesquite seasoning. Stir well.
  5. Once sweet potatoes have cooled, add to the kale mixture and gently stir. Taste and add more mesquite seasoning, sea salt, black pepper or olive oil, if desired.
  6. If possible, allow flavors to marinate in the fridge for at least a couple hours before serving. When ready to serve, I recommend sprinkling on a dash more mesquite seasoning, but this is optional.

Thanksgiving Decisions: A Recipe Round-up

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve been contemplating what to make. The turkey is a given and in fact, this is the first time I’ll be preparing a whole turkey. I’m a tad intimidated, yet excited. I’m most excited because it’s a local, pasture-raised turkey. Since it’ll only be Jesse and me for dinner, I reserved a petite one (6 – 9.99 lbs) versus a small one, which range a bit bigger. I realize, I now need to get a roasting pan because I do not have one. Luckily, it’s a little turkey, so I won’t need anything gigantic. Meanwhile, if you have any great recipes or suggestions for Thanksgiving turkey, please share! Like I said, this will be a new experience for me, so I’m open to recommendations and advice.

So, I’ve got my bird, but what do I pair it this year? With recipe options like these below, how does one choose? I can’t make them all, but everything looks so good! I’ll probably stick with a classic, crustless pumpkin pie (I use the SCD recipe from the book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, but cut use less honey). Jesse and I love this recipe! I serve it with homemade 24-hour half-and-half yogurt (as our “whipped cream”). I also know I’ll be making my mom’s spiced cranberry relish. Other than this, I can’t make up my mind. Also, the recipes I included here are only skimming the surface. I’ve come across so many wonderful recipes, but this post will be miles long if I include them all.

*Click on each image to find the recipe.

Acorn squash roasted in bacon fat from Katie Did.
Broccoli apple salad from FastPaleo. A delicious way to use homemade mayo, which I conveniently have right now.
Thanksgiving savory bacon butternut squash souffle from PaleOMG.
This raw pumpkin pie recipe from Sweetly Raw sounds really good. I’m tempted to try a different dessert, but I love the pumpkin pie and yogurt combo I make.
Grain-free stuffing from The Detoxinista. I’d sub something else for the parsnips because they are SCD-illegal. Too bad … parsnips are so good.
For something refreshing, an apple and fennel salad with bacon vinaigrette from Eat Nourishing.
Green beans with bacon and mushrooms from A Girl Worth Saving.
Bacon pecan brussel sprouts from PaleOMG.
Squash with cherries from Elana’s Pantry.
Okay, this pecan pie from Modern Paleo Warfare looks awesome too. I’d just sub raw honey in place of the maple to make it SCD-friendly.
Holy cow … butternut squash with spiced honey marshmallows (homemade!) from The Urban Poser. This would be more like dessert to me than a side, as I’ve never been one to eat or make the classic marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes. I’m really intrigued by these homemade marshmallows. Will I be making these though? Probably not, especially because it’s just Jesse and me. This recipe needs to be shared!
Kale with cranberries from Elana’s Pantry. *Use unsweetened or apple juice sweetened cranberries here.
Roasted butternut squash with kale and almond pecan parmesan from Oh She Glows. If I make this, I’ll ditch the nutritional yeast … I detest that stuff. I think it tastes horrible. Plus, it’s not SCD-friendly.
Cauliflower and leek mash with bacon from Rubies & Radishes.
Kale, apple and pancetta salad from Serious Eats. Sub honey for maple syrup to make it SCD-friendly.