Saturday, September 6, 2014

garlic black bean hummus

So, it's been a while and I haven't been able to update this blog. I've been busy with my photography and writing, but haven't had the chance to document much about food lately. Now that I'm living in Washington, D.C., I'm ready to start posting about my cooking/baking exploits once again :)

I'm starting off simple with this more-than-easy Garlic Black Bean Hummus inspired from Pinterest and A Beautiful Mess.

What you need...

Food Processor

1 Can Garbanzo beans (drained with their soft "shells" off)
1 Can Black beans (drained)
3-6 Cloves Garlic (depending on taste)
1 Tbsp Lemon juice 
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Paprika
Slat and Pepper to taste
1/4-1/3 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Drain the beans and "shell" the garbanzo beans (it takes time but makes the hummus smoother). Chop up the garlic (amount will vary to your taste) and brown in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. I'd suggest "shelling" the garbanzo beans while the garlic browns (gotta love multi-taksing).

Add all the ingredients into the food processor except the olive oil. Then blend it up! It'll take a minute or so but you want it to be nice and smooth.

As they say, "stream" the olive oil in through the top while you're blending. Add additional water depending on how thick it is.

Bam. Done! So simple - right? I'd recommend cutting up celery and carrots to dip in the hummus (so tasty). You can also take a tortilla and bake it in a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan until it's slightly crispy. Works great for dipping.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

featured recipe

Hey Tasty Idea readers and followers - I have a special announcement for you :)

Today, my Super Tasty Cookie recipe is featured over at Recipes for Rhonda's Collection which is a super cute blog for authors and writers to share recipes on.  Wednesday is her "healthy" post day and I thought - why not share my cookie recipe with her?

Do me (and Rhonda) a favor and stop by [HERE] to check out the recipe and her blog!  If you'd like, send a shout out to me there as well - I'd love to see you there!


Friday, November 30, 2012

single lady apple crisp

This one's for "all the single ladies" (hehe - couldn't help myself there).

Ok...ok you can all stop dancing now and get back to making this amazing, simple, and don't forget tasty treat!! I don't know about you, but often times I find myself craving something sweet for dessert but I know how dangerous it is to have sweets in the house all the time so I hate to make something full-sized and have it go to waste.  Because of that very problem, I've started making a lot of desserts and meals "single lady" - sized.  In fact, these sizes would probably work for two as well, I just keep the left overs and eat them the next day.

Anyway, back to the yummy.  I'm telling you ladies (or you single guys out there) this crisp is SO good.  I made it for myself just last night and enjoyed it and a cup of mulled cider.  Apple overload maybe, but it was all around delicious so make sure you give it a try.

What you need...
1 Cute little mini-loaf pan
     (I'd suggest checking out Michaels which is where I got mine last Christmas season.  They were $1 and I have never regretted getting two!!  They are also great for baking & gifting.)

1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Tbsp Raw Sugar (I use Zulka)
Sprinkle of Cinnamon & Nutmeg

1/4 cup oats
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
1 Tbsp chopped pecans
1 Tbsp butter (cut into small pieces)
Sprinkle of Cinnamon & Nutmeg

Turn your oven on to 375°  
Peel & cut up the apple (I like to cut mine in half then peel it - I find it's easier to peel that way but...?).  Toss the apple chunks in a bowl with the raw sugar and cinnamon & nutmeg and set aside. 
Put the oats, brown sugar, pecans, spices, and cut up butter into another small bowl.  Use a pastry cutter to cut-in the butter and mix this all up. 

Put half of the apples in the loaf pan and sprinkle with half of the crumble mixture.  Then put the rest of the apples in and top with the rest of the crumble mixture.  

It's so cute :)
Bake in oven for about 18-20 minutes.  I'd suggest checking after 15 and adding foil to the top if it's starting to get brown.  It's done when the apples are soft and the top is golden brown. 

I hope you enjoy this super tasty treat for one (or two, but I'd hate to share it!). 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

mini-pumpkin bread

It's fall!!  I'm currently enjoying the rainy weather and am excited to post one of my favorite seasonal treats - pumpkin bread!  I created this recipe (adapted from a larger recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook) to fit my needs.  I don't know about you, but when there's just one of you (or maybe just two) it's hard to know what to do with two HUGE loaves of pumpkin bread unless you're baking for a small army.  I decided to adapt it and this is what I did. 


What you need...

2 small loaf ramekins/pans

1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar (I actually used Zulka -raw cane sugar - and it worked out quite well, but you can also cut back to 1/2 cup sugar if you don't want your bread to be too sweet)
1 egg

3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves

3 tbsp water

1/2 cup pumpkin 

**Note: You can also use butternut squash if you don't have enough pumpkin - I steam my pumpkins or squash, scoop them out and then blend them in a food processor [shown to the right].  I find it's not too difficult of a process.

Turn the oven to 350°. 
Put the sugar and oil in a mixer and mix until combined (I used a hand mixer but feel free to use a Kitchen Aid or other mixer).  Then add egg and mix again.

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (or use 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice) in a separate bowl.

Alternate between adding part of the flour mixture and part of the water until all ingredients are combined (if mixture is not moist enough add an extra tbsp of water).  Once all ingredients are mixed add in pumpkin and combine.

Divide into two mini loaf pans and bake between 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick (or thin knife) comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

**You can add in chocolate chips to the badder or to the loaf pan individually to make one with and one without chocolate.  But lets be honest - chocolate makes everything better!

And that's that - it's such an easy recipe and perfect for those of us living in small households who just want a taste of pumpkin bread and not two full-sized loaves! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

super simple and tasty chili

Ok, so I just made chili from whatever I happened to have on hand tonight - it's cloudy and a bit cooler out so it felt appropriate to make something warm and tasty!  A friend of mine asked me to send her the recipe and, once I'd typed it up for her I realized I might as well add it to the blog - right?  So here it is - a super simple recipe for tasty chili!  Hope you enjoy ;)

What you need...
3 hamburger sized patties of ground beef, about 3/4 to 1 lb (which I happened to have in the freezer)
1/4 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can of tomatoes, Italian seasoned (I actually had made my own chunky tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes and it was frozen and already seasoned with Italian seasonings so that's what I used, but I'd say it was equivalent to a can)
1 can garbanzo beans (drained)
1 can pinto beans (not drained)
1 can kidney beans (drained)  *I'd bought these accidentally and never thought I'd use them...

2 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
a sprinkle of chili powder
1/2 tsp or so of paprika
To thicken, I used some corn flower (masa harina) diluted in water, about 2 tsp - you could use cornstarch or regular flour

I cooked the beef until it was cooked through on medium heat then tossed in onions, peppers & garlic and let them cook a bit. 

Once the onions and bell pepper have begun to soften, add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Once it's fully mixed, add the seasonings and stir it up some more.  Feel free to taste at this point to adjust the seasoning.

Reduced the heat a little and let it simmer for a bit (10 to 15 min, stirring intermittently).  You can add the thickening agent at this point and then let it bubble on medium low heat to help some of the liquid evaporate.  Once it's to a desired consistency, just turn it down to low until you're ready to eat/serve it.

*Notes: The seasonings can be adjusted to suit your tastes easily.  If you are not a fan of spice, omit the chili powder or if you like it hot, add more and/or add 1 to 2 cup up chili's when the green pepper is added.  Also, feel free to mix and match bean wise.  If you've got a can of black beans or navy beans, throw them in.  If you don't have kidney or garbanzo beans that's ok too.  Pintos are always a great staple bean though and can be substituted for any of these beans (proportionally speaking).

To serve, top with cheese, sour cream, Frito or corn chips, pour over cornbread, or eat it plain!

I know you'll enjoy this super simple and really tasty chili :)  Let me know if you make it - I'd love to hear you take on it!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

hearty apple & fig muffins

This is my (slight) adaptation to Abundant Harvest Organics recipe for Apple & Fig Muffins - just want to make it's all clear that I was not the genius who made these up (unfortunately ha!).  They are super tasty and the perfect recipe to use fresh figs for when you have no idea what to do with them me and my roommate ;)

What you need...
1 cup vanilla yogurt (I used 3/4 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt - it was all I had- and added 1/4 cup milk)
1/3 cup butter [melted]
1 egg beaten

2 cups flour (I prefer white whole-wheat flour for this)
1 cup brown sugar (feel free to substitute 1/2 cup dried & food-processed dates with 1-3 tablespoons water - as shown in THIS recipe - and 1/4 cup sugar of choice or no extra sugar if you don't want added sweetener)
1 tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups finely chopped apples
1 1/2 cups chopped figs 
1/4 cup chopped pecans**
1 tbsp flax seed**
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 - 2 tbsp butter melted

Turn your oven to 375°.  
Now, most recipes tell you to combine your dry ingredients and set them aside.  Maybe this is just a testament to how lazy I am, but I never do that (*gasp*).  Instead, I start with the wet ingredients and mix them togehter.  In this case, the yogurt (I'd suggest starting with the Greek Yogurt and milk if you are taking that route),  the 1/3 cup butter, and the egg.  This would also be the place to add the dates if you have decided to sweeten it naturally. 
I now turn my attention to the dry ingredients.  Unless the dry has specific instructions (like with some cakes that advise adding dry, then wet, then dry etc.) I will start with the flour and add it in (at about 1/2 cup intervals) stirring well in between, then I'll add in the rest - the sugar, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  
Add in the apples, figs, and nuts and combine completely.
*NOTE* When I made this, I found that my dry ingredients vastly outweighed my wet... To offset that, I slowly added milk until it reached a moist consistency yet was not runny. 
Mix together the ingredients for the topping and set aside.
Spoon into greased muffin tins (unless you're using liners) and top with the dry topping. 
Bake these little beauties between 12 to 18 minutes or until a tooth pick stuck in the center comes out clean.  Let them cool a bit and serve!  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

the super tasty cookie

This recipe is a special request for one of my best friends mothers.  If you were looking for a cookie with an incredibly long list of things it is and is not- you must search no further!  These "No-Sugar-Added, Gluten-free, Vegan Cookies" may sound like all the fun's been taken out of them but that is definitely not the case.  They are super moist and will help you satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your healthy eating habits.

What you need...
1 cup rolled oats (blended until fine)

10 dates (blended with 2 tbsp water)

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted if it isn't already)
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp light coconut milk

2 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 or less tsp nutmeg (I use a few scrapes of a nutmeg nut across a grater) 
2 tbsp dried cranberries

Add ins...
You can add any or all of these to the recipe but you may need to adjust the liquid (the coconut milk) to account for extra dryness - up to 1 tbsp or more if needed.  
*1 tbsp chopped pecans
*1 tbsp flaxseed 
*1-2 tsp wheat germ
*Vegan chocolate chips (thought this takes away the "no-sugar-added" part)
*1 to 2 tbsp cane sugar (again, takes away the "no-sugar-added" part but some people like sweeter cookies so I thought I'd have a suggestion for it here)

Turn on the oven to 375°.  
Blend the oats first and set aside. 
Then blend the dates and, after they are chopped, add in the 2 tbsp water.  The dates will congeal to look like the picture to the right.  Add more water if it's still not moist enough. 

Add dates, dried coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, and coconut milk.  Use a fork or spoon and mix it all togehter.  Once it is all moist, add in the cranberries. 

Using your hands (because the mixture will still be a bit crumbly and sticky) shape out the cookies onto a small cookie sheet.  This batch will make about 12 medium sized cookies.  Bake the cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes. 

Enjoy these amazing and tasty little cookies!!