Homemade hummus

I’ve been meaning to try to make my own hummus for a while now. I finally remembered to buy tahini and gave this recipe from Simple Recipes a twist. I roasted half the chick peas for a little extra flavor and it turned out great!


  • 2 cans chick peas – 1 roasted, 1 rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cups tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add all the ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth. I like to use the immersion blender for easy clean up.

Use as a dip with crackers or veggies, or use as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.

*Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian


Roast chick peas

These are a great little healthy snack and super easy to make. I saw them first on the How Sweet It Is blog and have tried a few variations since then. I’ll usually make a big batch and split them up to take to work for the week.


  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Cracked pepper
  • Lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat your chick peas in olive oil and add pepper and lemon juice to taste. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Shake the baking sheet once in a while so they roast evenly.

Let cool and enjoy.

*Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Apple honey bake

Its almost the end of apple season but I wanted to work in a few more treats. I made this bake for the first time visiting my aunt in North Carolina. I was tasked with dessert and this is what came out of the ingredients at hand. It was a hit.

You can make as many servings as you like, this recipe is for one large serving.


  • 1 large apple, cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3-4 chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in an oven safe bowl and bake for 45 minutes or until apples are tender.

Serve alone or a la mode.

*Dairy free (sans ice cream), Gluten free, Vegetarian, Vegan (with butter and honey substitutes)

Kale chips

My aunt loves these healthy chips and now we do too. I’ve seen lots of recipes and finally had a chance to try one. There are several variations where you can add different flavors like teriyaki or parmesan. I kept this one simple – salt and pepper.

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and patted dry
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the stems and any tough pieces from the kale leaves. Then cut or tear the kale leaves into one-inch pieces.

Coat the kale in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the kale gets crispy. Keep an eye on the oven so the chips don’t burn.

Crunch on!

*Dairy free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian

Turkey Crockpot Chili

Sheldon Cooper would say this isn’t really a chili recipe because it has beans, but thats what I’m going to call it anyway. Sorry Sheldon.

I love an easy crock pot recipe, especially a hearty warm one like this on a cold night.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can beans (red kidney beans work well)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 package frozen veggies (I like carrots, corn, green beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tsp chili powder depending on how spicy you like things
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Cook the turkey in a pan first. Then put the browned turkey and everything else in your crock pot. Cook on low for about 8 hours and dig in. Its good by itself or over rice.

*Gluten free, Dairy free

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Fall is here. There is a nip in the air and the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red. Its time for all things pumpkin. This is my new favorite healthy snack. Its simple, delicious, and has my favorite fall flavor – pumpkin.

  • 1 cup yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix everything together, chill, and enjoy.

The original recipe was posted by Baked Bree. She’s right, its good with apple slices and graham crackers. I’m thinking it would also be a great sauce over vanilla ice cream.


Happy fall!

*Gluten free, Vegetarian

Mole Rice

As soon as I saw this recipe at the Tasty Kitchen Blog I knew I had to try it – I mean it has chocolate and bacon, how could it be anything but amazing.

Like the Lucky Lentil Soup, its not the most photogenic meal but its so good that doesn’t matter. Plus its one of those recipes you can make all in one pan – a big plus for me, who usually dirties every pan in the house when trying a new recipe for the first time.

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 strips bacon (chopped for quick cooking)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups mushrooms (sliced or roughly chopped)
  • 3-ish cups broth
  • 6 ounces (small can) tomato paste
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (chopped or as chips/morsels)
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green onions and parsley for garnish (optional)

First you want to toast your spice mix. Add the oregano, cumin, allspice, and sesame seeds to a skillet and heat for 30-35 seconds over medium heat. Set your spices aside for now.

Cook your bacon until crispy and set that aside too.

In the bacon fat (of course), cook down the pepper, onion, and red pepper flakes until soft. Add the garlic toward the end so it doesn’t burn. Once the mix is all softened, add the mushrooms and cook  down until those are soft too.

Increase to high heat and add broth, tomato paste, chocolate, and your toasted spice mix. Bring to a boil. Add the uncooked rice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30-35 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir as needed so it doesn’t stick. Add more broth if needed, I used about 3 cups over all adding more as it was absorbed by the rice.

When the rice is tender turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Dish up and add your crispy bacon bits for savory, bacony, chocolaty goodness in a bowl.

On a side note the word mole (pronounced mo-lay) reminds me of my favorite fish, the Mola mola, or sunfish. I have a feeling my food and marine biology interest won’t cross paths too often so I wanted to share.

*Gluten Free, Dairy Free, could be Vegetarian and Vegan if you use vegetable broth and leave out the bacon.

*Photo from Daniel Botelho at National Geographic, via Facebook.