Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Features - It feels like summer - Hummus recipe

Okay, Spring only sprung a couple of weeks ago but today it felt almost like summer. And, oh, we've waited so long here in Northwestern Nevada USA. I really feel for those in the Northeastern USA who are still getting winter's bounty. I hope a warm Spring springs for you soon!

Last night I was so determined to get at least one chapter revised on my next book, A DADDY FOR LUKE, that I forgot Thursdays are the day I post my Friday Features. And it was such a nice day today that I forgot again. 

With temps in the mid 60s, no wind, and robin's-egg-blue skies, I had to be outdoors. I watered a few of the big trees (we have 25), I swept out the garage and organized the recycling. I watered the little strawberry plants that made it through winter (under straw), watered the iris and lavender, and pruned the grape vine, which I should have done last fall.  

So, in hopes of a wonderful Summer-like Spring, here are some Summer kitchen tips and a recipe for carrot hummus. I've made hummus and enjoy it, so I'm going to add this recipe to my list. I also make salads like the chopped salad below a few times a week. It's very Nutritarian, which I strive to be. 

This Summer, Keep it Simple in the Kitchen

(Family Features) Once the stress of the school year fades away, everyone has easy summer living on their minds. For Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD, LDN, summer is all about convenience in the kitchen. “When my daughter has a less structured schedule and the sunshine is calling my name, I always make sure mealtime is hassle-free but still healthy and delicious,” says the culinary savvy dietitian.

Prepare meals without the mess

No-cook meals are the best solution when you would rather spend time outdoors than toiling in the kitchen. “Grains like bulgur and whole wheat couscous can be cooked using only hot water,” Segrave-Daly says. “Add nuts, beans, sliced fruit or vegetables, and toss with canola oil, pepper and salt to create a balanced meal.” Should you prefer a greens-based salad, try a mix of different lettuces or raw kale. And chopped salads topped with green beans, corn, and pinto, black or kidney beans make for a refreshing, meatless and fuss-free entrée.

Grill to perfection

Backyard cooking is a foodie’s favorite summertime activity. In addition to grilling lean meats, barbecue vegetable and fruit kabobs for healthy alternatives. Portabella mushrooms make a great alternative to burgers when brushed with olive oil. Fruits like pineapple, peaches, pears, apricots and plums are delicious when grilled and drizzled with honey.

Make multi-purpose meals

Save time by following Segrave-Daly’s golden rule of flexibility: cook once and eat twice. “Take leftover green salads, add cooked shrimp or chicken, and stuff into a wrap for a tasty sandwich,” she says. Bean and vegetable dips, like Smoky Carrot Hummus, can also double as sandwich spreads or a mayonnaise alternative in a potato or pasta salad.

For more healthy summer recipes, visit Libby’s Table on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Smoky Carrot Hummus
1          can Libby’s® Sliced Carrots, drained and rinsed
1          can Libby’s® Organic Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
2          tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
2          garlic cloves
1          teaspoon smoked paprika or curry powder
1⁄2       teaspoon cumin
1⁄8       teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4       cup extra virgin olive oil

In food processor, blend together carrots, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin and pepper. While processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil. Process until smooth.

To make sandwich, spread 2 tablespoons of carrot hummus on slice of whole grain bread. Top with avocado, tomato, turkey and sandwich fillings. Top with piece of whole grain bread.

Keep remaining spread in sealed container for up to 10 days in refrigerator.

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