Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Now where did I put that recipe? My filing system is hardly fool-proof, and probably completely incomprehensible to anyone other than me, but rarely do I lose recipes entirely. All works in progress are always digital, at least, so there aren’t a hundred scraps of splattered and stained paper piled high on tables or shoved into desk drawers. Most are now carefully organized into the graciously all-inclusive cloud, always searchable and instantly backed up, putting my anxious mind at ease. That’s why it’s confounding when things still slip through the cracks, despite the care taken to prevent such disasters. Misplacing a recipe for something as stunningly delicious as this hummus recipe, for example, was nearly a snacking tragedy.

Dramatic words indeed, but this particular mash-up of both that beloved garbanzo bean spread and cool, creamy cucumber tzatziki exceeded even my own expectations from the very first batch. Lighter and fresher than the typical dip, crisp cucumbers added textural contrast so often missing from hummus. Zesty lemon and dill brightened the flavor profile considerably, imparting an unmistakably summery flavor, even if made in the heart of winter. I had made it numerous times before and thought for sure that such a winning savory delight must have surely made it on the blog already. Searching through the archives turned up precisely zero matches though, much to my growing fear, and the hunt was on. Nope, not in the aforementioned cloud. Not on the laptop. Not on the external hard drive. Not even published anywhere- Which it truly deserved to be. How could I let something as wonderful as that hummus go extinct?

Dejectedly accepting that it was gone for good, it was only then that the recipe found me. Hiding in the darkest corner of the desktop computer, in a long forgotten file, there it sat, waiting patiently to see the light of day. Introductions are long overdue, but thank goodness you can finally meet the one that almost got away. Snatch up the recipe and save it well! After trying it just once, you’d feel the sting of longing if you misplaced it, too.

Yield: 3 1/2 - 4 Cups

Hummiki (Hummus-Tzatziki)

Hummiki (Hummus-Tzatziki)

Lighter and fresher than the typical dip, crisp cucumbers added textural contrast so often missing from hummus. Zesty lemon and dill brightened the flavor profile considerably, imparting an unmistakably summery flavor, even if made in the heart of winter.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Vegan Yogurt
  • 1 15-Ounce Can (1 3/4 Cup) Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
  • 2 Large Cloves Roasted Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Zest and Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Dill
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Cup Seeded and Finely Diced Cucumber

Instructions

  1. Toss all of the ingredients into your trusty food processor or blender, except for the cucumber, and puree thoroughly, until silky-smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to get everything mixed in, and give the machine ample time to blend. For the best consistency, it may take as long as 5 – 10 minutes, so be patient.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir in the chopped cucumber by hand, and chill for at least 2 hours before serving for the best flavor. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week… If you can resist eating it all long before then.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

When Food Bites Back

Eggplant, my dear, you are one cruel mistress. I’ve professed my love to you time and again, but nothing will tame your harsh bite; the most delicate preparations or careful peeling does little to lessen the fire. I’ve come to realize that it’s honestly not you, eggplant darling, but me. The burning sensation that inflames my whole mouth, throat, and stomach, comparable to an intense and wide-spread heartburn, is the sign of an intolerance.

Given the prevalence of food allergies, and allergies in general, I’ve been incredibly lucky. I can eat my gluten with gusto, and relish my peanut butter-smeared apple slices, unlike many Americans these days. Complaining about something so mild as a slight discomfort when eating eggplant feels incredibly petty in comparison. It’s nothing life-threatening, does no permanent damage, but only removes a beloved vegetable from my diet. Admitting that though still stings a bit, too. Sometimes the pain will be worth it, and I’ll dive into that plate of spicy, garlicky, and meltingly tender Chinese eggplant anyway, but now that I’ve given it a name and told the internet about it, I may not be able to do so as easily anymore.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, once the brief mourning period passed I set to work devising ways to work around that purple nightshade. Closely linked in my mind, for their mild flesh and similar squash lineage, zucchini has now started vying for the title of “most popular vegetable” in my fridge these days.


Dishes provided by Steelite

Baba ganoush was my first introduction to eggplant, before I even knew what was in the mellow, smoky dip, and is still a top pick. Given that the squash would be mostly ground up, it seemed like a good test to see how my new zucchini friends would fare, replacing that original love. Anticipating from the get-go that nothing would ever replace those eggplant, or even come close, I was startled at my first taste. The simple addition of smoked salt helped to pick up the deeper, woodsier notes that the delicate flesh couldn’t replicate alone, and it made all the difference. With a flavor far closer that I could have hoped to come to the original inspiration, this mild but wonderfully savory, lightly roasted taste sensation gives me hope for life without eggplants.

I’ll admit to secretly holding out hope that the intolerance is just a passing phase, but until there’s actual evidence of that, I think I’ll get along just fine with my glorious, green zucchinis instead.

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 – 2 Cups

Zuke-anoush (Zucchini Baba Ganoush)

Zuke-anoush (Zucchini Baba Ganoush)

For anyone avoiding nightshades, this eggplant-free take on baba ganoush is for you. Lightly roasted zucchini is blended with smoked salt and tahini for an incredibly accurate take on the original inspiration.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Zucchini (About 2 Large or 3 Medium)
  • 6 – 8 Garlic Cloves, Separated From the Head but Not Peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Plus Additional to Garnish
  • Pinch [Table] Salt and Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fine Grain Smoked Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds, and toss them in the oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Lay them out in one even layer, with no pieces overlapping, on your prepared baking sheet. Place the whole cloves of garlic grouped in the center of the sheet so that they don’t burn. Roast for 30 minutes, until the zucchini are nicely browned. Let cool.
  3. Once the vegetables have come to room temperature, peel the garlic cloves, and toss them into your food processor along with the roasted zucchini. Add in the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and smoked salt. Pulse to combine, until you create a rough and chunky sort of paste. You don’t want it to be smooth, so err on the side of less processed if you’re not certain. It should only take about 5 – 10 one-second pulses, depending on your machine.
  4. Transfer the finished dip into an air-tight container, and ideally let it cure in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. It’s delicious eaten immediately, but the flavors do meld and improve with a bit of time. Serve with an additional drizzle of olive oil over the top, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 37Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Curry in a Hurry

Few fast-casual eateries can lay claim to formulating their own signature curry powder, creating a distinctive blend of both warming and sharp spices unique to the establishment. Naturally, Health in a Hurry is no typical grab-and-go place, despite having all the speed and ease of ordering there. Though far from the only spice blend that we utilize in the kitchen, it has captivated me with its subtle sweetness and mellow heat; an incredibly flavorful mixture without the harsh bite of more potent chilies. It’s what keeps our signature Lemon Curry Rice on the menu year round, and a perpetual best-seller, too. With so much spicy potential right within arm’s reach every time I came in to work, I couldn’t leave this one alone. Pinching off a small container of the powder with permission from the wonderful chef and owner, Sue Cadwell, I took to my own home kitchen and began to play.

Keeping it simple was the best course of action to allow the delicate balance of ingredients to really shine. Hummus, that perfect blank canvas and familiar friend, is an ideal way to showcase such an ingredient. Gentle enough to embrace the most timid of palates, a similarly sweet curry powder is key here. Though I can’t divulge the secret formula of spices ground and mixed in-house, there are plans in the works to make bottles of the finished blend available for purchase online. For the time being, go with your favorite homemade blend, or Madras curry powder.

Yield: 2 Cups; 4 - 8 Servings

Curry in a Hurry Hummus

Curry in a Hurry Hummus

Give your average hummus a kick with curry!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.5 Ounce) Can Chickpeas, Rinsed and Drained
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Curry Powder, such as Madras
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Tahini
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley or Cilantro, Chopped

Instructions

  1. Measure out and reserve a tablespoon or two of the drained chickpeas for topping. Take the rest of the beans, along with the garlic, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and combine them in your food processor. Pulse until the beans are mostly broken down. Add in the lemon juice, tahini, 1 tablespoon of the water, and salt as needed.
  2. Puree thoroughly, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to make sure everything is getting incorporated, until completely silky-smooth. To achieve the best texture, have patience; this could take 5 – 8 minutes. Add in the remaining tablespoon of water if the mixture seems too thick for your taste.
  3. Transfer the creamy puree to a serving bowl, and top with the reserved chickpeas, remaining tablespoon of oil, and chopped herbs. Finish with an additional light sprinkle of curry powder if desired.

Notes

Though best when allowed to sit and chill for at least 24 hours, the hummus is still quite delicious if served immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Hummus Lovin’

The internet needs another hummus recipe like I need another final exam to cap off this grueling school semester, and yet, like a moth drawn to the light, I simply can’t help myself. Enlivened with fresh veggies, roasted gently to reveal their natural sweetness, that humble bean dip has reinvented itself and squeezed its way back into my chickpea-loving heart. It’s like a familiar tune played on a new instrument; comforting, beckoning, yet altogether novel once again.

After the sparks had waned and the romance dwindled over a frigid winter season, it only makes sense that the love affair should resume alongside spring fever. Warm weather calls for cold food, plus the call for potlucks and outdoor dining demand an agreeable staple that needs little fussing over in advance, and so returns hummus, with a vengeance. I have yet to meet a more perfect spring or summer party companion than well-chilled hummus.

Just like a proper primavera, what’s so endearing about this little number is that nearly any fresh, seasonal veggies that are ripe and ready are ideal for swapping in. Think asparagus, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, even fresh peas! My only advice is to keep the shiitake, onion, and garlic constant, and they make up the backbone of this flavor profile, quietly hinting of umami in the background.

Yield: About 4 Cups; 16 - 32 Servings

Hummus Primavera

Hummus Primavera

Just like a proper primavera, what’s so endearing about this little number is that nearly any fresh, seasonal veggies that are ripe and ready are ideal for swapping in. Think asparagus, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, even fresh peas! My only advice is to keep the shiitake, onion, and garlic constant, and they make up the backbone of this flavor profile, quietly hinting of umami in the background.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Medium Carrot, Peeled
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 4 Fresh Shiitake Mushroom Caps
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 14-Ounce Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Water (If Needed)
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Roughly chop the zucchini, carrot, and onion, and place in a large bowl. Add in the mushroom caps, whole, peeled garlic cloves, and toss with the oil to coat. Spread all of the veggies out in one even layer on your prepared baking sheet, and roast for approximately 30 minutes; until the vegetables are all fork-tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place the chickpeas in your food processor along with the lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, and spices. Blend to combine, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. The mixture should be somewhat dry at this point, as the veggies will add a lot of moisture. Introduce about half of the roasted vegetables to the food processor, and thoroughly puree, until super smooth. Have patience, because depending on your machine, this may take up to 5 minutes.
  4. Once silky-smooth (or as smooth as you can get the consistency), add in the remaining roasted vegetables, and pulse to incorporate. I like to leave it a bit chunky so that you actually know what you’re eating here, and to give it a bit more color and texture. Add more water only if needed, along with a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and parsley to taste. Transfer to an air-tight container, and thoroughly chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

32

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g