Tag Archives: hummus

Food Matters Project Wrap-Up

This week is a wrap-up of the Food Matters Project.  It’s the final week of posting recipes from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Rather than another recipe, I’ve spent some time thinking of what I’ve learned doing this project, so here are some conclusions (in no particular order:

Mushrooms

1. My favorite and most memorable recipe: Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese.  I loved the blue cheese and fig combination in a pasta, and I can’t wait to try this again when figs are in season!

2. We finally learned how to make our own pizza.  Thanks to the post on whole wheat pizza, we’ve explored other toppings and new pizza crust recipes.  This has definitely been a staple in a our house a couple of times a month.

3. We made hummus from scratch.  Although it wasn’t my favorite recipe at that time, we’re recently added a Vitamix into our kitchen- can’t wait to try making it again!

4. Bruschetta comes in different varieties- it’s such a time saver when you’re hosting a dinner party!

5. Chimichurri is another awesome dish when you have friends over for dinner.  Quick, easy and delicious- what more could you ask for?!?

6. We tried anchovies for the first time, and they are delicious in a salad.  Don’t miss out!

7. My favorite dessert adventure was due to FMP- we made kumquat sorbet.  It was delicious, and I am now less intimidated to break out my ice cream maker.  Sorbets on the porch, during a DC summer, are a perfect way to wrap up the day.

8. Give cookbooks without photos a chance.  They encourage your cooking imagination and creativity- it was so much fun learning this for over a year.

This was a wonderful opportunity, and I’m so glad our blog continued to participate in this project (although sporadically).  The idea of eating less meat should be encouraged in more households, and I hope we spread Mark Bittman’s words a bit more.  Definitely play around with more foods, especially vegetables.  There are flavors and textures out there you may not have ever tasted, but don’t be afraid to try.

Start with what we’ve made before, there are a number of delicious dishes out there!  Or check out the other participants blogs to see what they’ve made!

Recipes We’ve Made via the Food Matters Project

Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Seasoned Popcorn
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Hummus
Curry with Vegetables
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetable & Bean Casserole
Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Asparagus & White Bean Soup
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Bruschetta
Chicken in Green Salsa
Vegetable Burritos
Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce
Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip
Fresh Corn Salsa
Chicken & Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Greek Panzanella Salad
Veggie Stir Fry
Summer Tabbouleh Salad
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Broccoli & Cherry Rice with Acorn Squash
Polenta with Mushrooms
Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage
Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Provencal Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Central American Red Beans & Rice
Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Potato & Corn Fritters
Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

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Monthly Review: April 2013

I feel like April went by in a flash, where did it go?  Fortunately, it looks like spring is (finally) upon DC, and I’m looking forward to some warmer weather!  Check out what photos I have capture on my iPhone this month!

Interested what we did in the past?
2013: January February March
2012: May June July August November December

Monthly Review: April 2013 1

After running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC, I needed some new shoes.  For running apparel, one of the best places to go in DC (or Virginia) is Pacers.  After trying out a bunch I chose these Mizuno‘s- they’re probably a little flashier than I prefer, but fantastic to run in!  What races are others running?  Any favorites one’s you’ve done before?

While training for a full or half marathon it’s important to get some delicious food, here are some suggestions for great fueling: Garlic Hummus, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Fall Granola, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole.

Monthly Review: April 2013 2

Spring days are the best for exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants.  Which is exactly what we did when we stopped by Union Market’s Rappahannock Oyster Bar– check out what we ate in our blog post recap!  I also mentioned Union Market in the March review, see what I got then!

Monthly Review: April 2013 3

I had a great Sunday night dinner party with some DC bloggers (Anne, Ericka, Sarah, Sarah, Amy).  Sarah, of Why Food Works, wanted to spread the word about her new business in DC, and we got to see how her dinner parties work.  Definitely check out the post-  Why Food Works: A Dinner Party, and call Sarah to book a fun Friday night activity!

Monthly Review: April 2013 4

This month was busy for our new house, we had a housewarming with our friends, a brunch housewarming with Sam’s family, and both of our families came to check out the new digs!  It was a little hard to choose recipes for people to snack and nibble on (so many choices)!  Here are some links to what we made for our visitors: Herbed Almonds, Cream Cheese and Arugula Baguette Bites, Mediterranean Turkey Balls with Herbed Yogurt Sauce, Creamy Ranch Dressing, Lemon Bars, lox and cream cheese, Smokey Quiche, No-Bake Coconut “Cheesecake”, vegetables, fruit.  What are your favorite go-to ideas when you host parties?

Monthly Review: April 2013 5

Thanks to some expert advice from Emily, we tried making a pizza on the grill!  So delicious- would anyone be interested in a post on how to do it?  What are your favorite pizzas?  Some of our creations include: Apple & Smoked Cheese on Whole Wheat and Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza.  The one in the photo above is actually a “clean out your fridge” pizza.

Monthly Review: April 2013 6

When my parents were visiting DC, we took a day trip to Annapolis.  As we wandered through the cute city, we stumbled upon Seasons.  It’s an olive oil and vinegar taproom- a way to sample delicious oils and vinegars.  After trying out some, we each bough a couple to try out in our salads!

Monthly Review: April 2013 7

Coincidentally, salads have been taking over our Food Matters Project posts!  But they are all so delicious!  Check out the Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado (above) or the Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette.  Or see what other recipes we’ve made from the Food Matters Project.

Monthly Review: April 2013 8

I went to Nashville, Tennessee this past weekend to run the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  Thanks to a great Food & Wine article and from Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil, we got some great food recommendations.  I’ll be doing a post about the delicious meals soon.

Monthly Review: April 2013 9

Lastly, while at the expo- we got to hear Kara Goucher speak and take a photo with her!  It was really exciting for all of us.  The girls running weekend turned out great, even though we had some crummy weather.  Thanks for an awesome time: Becky, Beth, Cassie, Katie, Katie, Lianne, and Sarah!  (two of these ladies are bloggers, so definitely check their blogs out for more Nashville fun)

Whole-Wheat Pitas

Just like hummus, I have always bought pitas at the grocery store.  I had found that Trader Joe’s carries fresh and fluffy pitas.  The kind you can’t wait to rip open and sit with a giant tub of hummus and eat away.  I stay away from all others.  Why?  Too many times I have picked up a bag of really thin, limp and not fresh pitas from all grocery stores, definitely not an enjoyable snack.

So when hummus  was chosen for the latest Food Matters Project, I started thinking about getting a little crazy in the kitchen and trying out pitas.  Lately, I’ve had some extra time on my hands, so why not try something new?

As I read over the recipe, I saw that the ingredients included bread flour and whole-wheat flour.  I had neither.  For about 2 seconds I contemplated of not adding those 2 items to my grocery list, but I did.  I’m very glad I did.

When I had made the dough, I had this terrible feeling that it wouldn’t rise (which is why I bought extra packets of yeast).  But I wanted to try it until I succeed (I think the chickpeas got me in a groove).  To my surprise the dough rose, beautifully!

Then came the next part- baking.  It all went fairly smoothly.  I rolled out the dough, sprayed the baking pan, and turned on the heat in our oven.  Of course I couldn’t have picked a better day- it was 70 degrees outside, and even hotter in our condo.  In went the pita, and about 8 minutes later when I pulled it out it looked perfect.  Of course, before I could jump for joy our fire alarm sounded- ooops!  I think a chunk burned on the baking pan.

The recipe makes 8 pitas, and we can’t eat them all in one sitting (although I’d like to!).  So the dough pieces which we didn’t heat up, I divided into sandwich bags and froze them.  So the next time we bring home (or make) some more hummus, or want a fresh and fluffy pita, all I have to do is defrost and bake.  I cannot wait!

And I don’t think I’ll be buying any grocery store pitas ever again!

Whole-wheat Pita
Adapted from: Cooking Light (March 2009)

1 tbsp sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 cup & 2 tbsp warm water
10 oz bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
4.75 oz whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in the 1 cup & 2 tbsp of water water.  Stir it around until all of the granules have dissolved.  Allow it to stand for about 5 minutes.

I had used our stand mixer with the dough attachment (looks like a hook), but you can do this using your hands.  Into the sugar-yeast liquid, slowly add all of the bread flour, about 3 oz of the whole-wheat flour (3/4 cup), yogurt, oil and salt.  Keep mixing the ingredients until the dough is smooth.  If you did this in a stand mixer, take out the dough and knead it until the dough is elastic (about 5-10 minutes).  As your kneading it, keep adding the rest of the whole-wheat flour, a little at a time (until the dough stops being sticky).

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, and drop the dough ball inside.  Flip the dough around, so all of the sides are coated with the cooking spray.  Cover the bowl and allow it to rise in a warm place.  Leave it out until it has doubled in size, for at least an hour (I left mine out for about 3 hours).

Once the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces.  Preheat the oven to 500ºF, and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Take each portion one at a time and roll it out into about a 5-inch circle.  If the dough is sticky, use some flour on the rolling pin, your hands and the surface you’re working on.  Place the dough circle on the baking sheet, and into the oven on the lowest rack.  Bake the pita for about 8-10 minutes, until it has puffed up.  Take it out and let it cool before cutting into it.  Enjoy it with some hummus.

Food Matters Project #6: Hummus

It’s another recipe idea from The Food Matters Project!  I’m slightly delayed, but I’m blaming it all on the chickpeas.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Erin of Naturally Ella.  She has a beautiful blog, with wonderful pictures that everyone should check out!  Erin had chosen the Hummus Served Hot recipe from Mark Bittman’s book- Food Matters CookbookCheck out the comments section to see what others had made.

The original recipe was hummus served hot, which Mark Bittman discovered while visiting Turkey.  He also suggested a variety of different flavors for the hummus, not just the plain one.

Although hot hummus in a sandwich sounds wonderful, we’ve been trying to make our own hummus for a while now, with a number of failed attempts.  Most of the time we can’t get the texture right, although that hasn’t been our only issue.  Of course when making this, we have another failed attempt- but the kitchen disasters are what makes cooking fun!

We’ve been trying to use less canned goods, and trying out more dried lentils and beans.  So I picked up a couple of bags of dried chickpeas from the grocery store.  Per package instructions, I intended to soak them overnight.  But we had somewhat of a busy weekend, and about 48 hours later, when we checked out the chickpeas they had a weird smell to them.  Yes, they began fermenting in their water, yes the 2 pounds of dried chickpeas.  Which is why I’m blaming this delayed post on the chickpeas- I had to grab another bag from the store yesterday.


Round 2: Rinse of the chickpeas.  Soak the chickpeas in water and 1 tsp of baking soda (mix it up) for about 3.5 hours (or longer).  Rinse off the chickpeas.  Add them into a large pot, fill with water well above the chickpeas.  Heat until the water boils, and then lower the heat to medium-low.  Boil the chickpeas for about 2 hours, or until they are soft and mushy when you try them.

Yes, we won over the chickpeas!!!  My excitement doubled when I made pitas from scratch yesterday- and they worked on the first try.  But that recipe will have to wait for tomorrow.

Garlic Hummus
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 356)

1 lb chickpeas (canned or cooked)
1 head of garlic, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Add the chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice into a food processor.  Purèe until the texture is smooth.  Then slowly add the olive oil and water, do this a little at a time- you don’t want to hummus to get too soggy.  Continue to purèe until the consistency is to your liking (this means you can use less/more water or olive oil).

*Note: I am allergic to tahini, but it is usually added to hummus.  You’d add it in with the chickpeas and garlic, about 1/4 cup.