Archive for June, 2010

Hummus & Tahini

June 29, 2010

I recently experimented making hummus.  I am so glad that I finally gave it a try because it was so easy and very yummy.  The recipe calls for a can of garbanzo beans.  Those work well, but I also really like to buy dried beans and make them up myself.  I soak all day, drain soaking water, add new water and cook in the crock pot on low overnight.  They store well in the freezer, just drain before storing or they will get mushy.

I also made my own tahini.  It was so much cheaper than buy a large jar that I knew would take me forever to get through.  Sesame seeds are really cheap when you get them from the bulk foods bins.


  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Tahini- this recipe can be reduced to half or even less
  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes in a pan on the stove top, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.


Stuffed Bell Peppers

June 21, 2010

When we ran into some big bell peppers at the farmers market last week 3 for $1 I knew stuffed bell peppers were in our future.  I hadn’t actually ever made them before so I made up the recipe and it turned out pretty well.  Since I made it up and wasn’t measuring I don’t have exact quantities on the ingredients.

saute onion, garlic, and carrots (other veggies too if you are adding any) in a skillet with very little olive oil

brown ground turkey in a separate pan, drain and rinse well

combine veggies with turkey, add some tomato sauce and salsa or hot sauce and cook until sauce thickens up a bit.  Add cooked brown rice to mixture.

Gut out bell peppers and add mixture.  Replace tops.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

June 20, 2010

It is Saturday and we wanted a treat.  Pizza isn’t in our normal repertoire these days so we thought it would be fun.  We loaded with  veggies and went light on the cheese.  We are also completely addicted to Hormel turkey pepperoni and think it could almost be considered healthy!

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. italian seasoning

Put the ingredients in the bread machine on the dough setting.  Roll out crust and pre-cook the crust for 5 min at 500 degrees. Then add toppings and cook for an additional 14 minutes at 425.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

June 15, 2010

original recipe from Clean Eating with adjustments by me

1/3 c. low sodium soy sauce

2 T honey

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into chunks

1 large bell pepper, chopped into chunks

1 small onion, chunked

1/2 a can of chunked pineapple

Whisk together first 5 ingredients and heat in a skillet.  Add chicken and cook through.  Add vegetables and cook until tender.  Drain juices into a small saucepot and thicken with cornstarch (original sauce was too thin).  Serve 1 1/4 c. chicken mixture over 1/2 c. of brown rice.

In 1 1/4c. of chicken mixture there are 161 calories, 1.5g fat, 17g carbs, 21g protein

Vegetable Casserole

June 10, 2010

This was really yummy.  It was a great way to use the garden vegetables that were spilling all over our counters.  James found this at I believe.  We really can’t figure out why it is called “Mexican”- hot sauce, cheddar cheese?  Who knows.  We did cut back on the cheese that we put in the casserole and did not sprinkle any on top and it was still yummy.  Next time I will probably try and add more herbs of some sort.  Oh and several dashes of hot sauce to James meant 20.  It was pretty spicy, but doesn’t have to be.


1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. water
1 c. each yellow summer squash & zucchini
1 lg. tomato, chopped
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
In medium saucepan combine corn, onion, green pepper and water. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. DO NOT DRAIN. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine chopped squash, tomato, 3/4 cup cheese, cornmeal, milk, eggs, salt, pepper and pepper sauce. Add undrained vegetables to cornmeal mixture; mix well. Turn into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes or until done. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven until melted only. Yield: 8 servings. Only 160 calories per serving.

Healthy Cobb Salad

June 7, 2010

Cobb Salad doesn’t have to be bad for you!

Lettuce- I like a mix of green leaf and red leaf

kalamata olives


avocado- a small amount

low-fat feta

egg whites

chicken breasts or white fish


2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard- we add more

juice of one lemon

Whip it all up with a wisk.  So yummy!  Really I just wing how much of each ingredient I put in, but I know some people need exact amounts.  I am light handed with the olive oil and heavier handed with the mustard and vinegar.

Energy Bars

June 6, 2010

James and I are working on eating healthy.  I am hoping one of these bars paired with a hard egg or egg white will make a good snack.  This recipe comes from who got it from  I followed the recipe except I didn’t have any plain non-fat yogurt so I used vanilla low-fat (so there will be some extra calories).  I also substituted whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour.

While I was making these I thought of a few more things that I would like to add- some vanilla or unflavored protein powder, vanilla extract (for next time when I do have plain yogurt on hand), raw sunflower seed or another seed/nut.  I would also like to try cutting out the brown sugar and using something else.  Stay tuned for updates.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, fat-free
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick spray. Mix dry ingredients together with hands and then add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly until combined.

Place approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter in each muffin cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes 24 “bars”
138 calories each