Roasted Carrot Garlic Hummus & Tomato Basil Hummus

In the past, Jake had purchased hummus every week to include in his lunch. He had stopped it for a while, but recently, he had the urge to bring hummus back as a staple into his diet. No opposition here! I really don’t know how healthy the store-bought ones are, so I decided that I would make my own. I tried to find recipes that had basic ingredients.

I landed on a chickpea, roasted carrot and garlic hummus that doesn’t require any tahini. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

The other one I chose was a tomato basil hummus. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

Both were really good and we even used them in some zucchini hummus wraps for dinner one night.


Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup chopped orange carrots (about 3 medium sized)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas/garbanzos,
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons of canned chickpea water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • dash of black pepper

First, peel and chop the carrots and place with the garlic cloves in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit. Roast until the carrots are soft, about 15 minutes. The original recipe doesn’t call for additional cooking of the garlic cloves, but I would recommend cooking those for a bit longer. The garlic flavor in the end was very overpowering and I think roasting the garlic a little longer would’ve helped give it an even better flavor and tone down the raw garlic taste.

Once the carrots and garlic are done roasting, peel the garlic and plop it all into a beldner. Add the other ingredients: the chickpeas, chickpea water, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Blend well until the consistency is as you would like. You may choose to keep it a little chunky or try to get it smooth. And that’s it! Very simple. This had a deep flavor and was pretty thick/substantial (in a good way). I was surprised, since it didn’t require any tahini!

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Tomato Basil Hummus

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Salt & pepper

I ended up using campari tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. I think it did alter the flavor a bit from what was intended, but overall it was still really good. Since I used a larger tomato, I cut into smaller pieces and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees Farenheit until cooked and a bit wilted. (You may see from the photo above that I actually roasted these at the same time as the carrots and garlic for the other hummus. These were done first, so I took them out after about 10 minutes.

Then, except for the olive oil, all the ingredients were added to the blender. As the blender was going, I streamed the olive oil in.

This had a brighter flavor than the carrot hummus, so it actually worked really well in the wrap with the more muted flavors of some of the other veggies I used in the wrap.



Here’s a photo of the wrap with the carrot hummus! Yummmmmmm!

I hope you can find some insirpiration with these hummuses like I did and enjoy having something you can use a few different ways for lunch and dinner during the week!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

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Leftover Pasta with Quick Bolognese Sauce and Herb Garlic Bread

I know I’ve written about pasta and garlic bread in the past, but I really wanted to share this because of two things: the quick bolognese sauce using leftover meatballs and herb garlic bread.

First, Jake’s mom had given us four large meatballs that we kept in our freezer for a few weeks. So, instead of needing to buy and cook ground meat, I crumbled two of the meatballs and cooked as part of the sauce. I left two meatballs so Jake and I could each have one with our dish. I didn’t follow a bolognese recipe exactly this time, but I did remember most of the steps involved with the one I used last time and used that as my basis. (Here’s the link to the recipe I used previously.)

The garlic bread I made was based on an herb garlic bread recipe that I absolutely LOVE. I made a modified version of it because I didn’t have all the ingredients. This time, it was only OK, but I highly recommend that you try the actual recipe. (Here’s a link to the original recipe.)

And, of course, to start off, we had smoked gouda cheese, pecorino  romano cheese, prosciutto, and crackers. Yum!

For the sauce, I sauteed chopped onion, celery, and carrot.

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After that, I crushed the meatballs in before adding the various liquids. I then added in about 1 cup of whole milk and let that cook down. Then, I added in about 1 cup of cooking wine and let that cook down.

Finally, I added 28 oz chopped Italian tomatoes, some basil, rosemary, oregano, and a bay leaf. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes. This is the quick version because the original asks you to cook each of those elements down at barely a simmer, which took forever and then the final simmer with everything was supposed to be 3 hours. I found that increasing the heat a bit to speed up the reduction processes and shortening the final simmer didn’t make a huge difference.

Toward the end, I added the last two meatballs into the sauce to simmer together. I grated a little pecorino romano on top.

I forgot that we also bought shrimp to add, so I ended up stirring everything and the shrimp together. The shrimp were already cooked, so they just needed to warm through.

The herb garlic bread is much better made in the blender, but I didn’t feel like taking out and cleaning another appliance. So, I fine chopped the basil and green onion together. My basil was on its last legs, so I think perhaps wasn’t as potent as fresh basil would be. I sliced up some garlic, and grated a little more pecorino romano. Together with about 1 Tbsp of butter, I used my fingers to mix everything together to make a spread.

I then spread each half of fresh french bread. To cook, I put the two halves back together and wrapped in tin foil. I baked for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit. Then, I took the tin foil off and split the halves apart again and sprinkled more grated cheese on top.  I broiled to get some brown color. This didn’t work as well this time because the edges of the bread browned faster than the cheese. Next time, I’ll try a low broil.

I sliced into wedges before serving.

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The last step was to cook the pasta. I took out three 3-oz nests from the freezer and boiled then in salty water. Then, it was time to plate each dish and ENJOY!

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I hope you enjoy, too 🙂

Sincerely,
Fu’d

 

 

 

 

Oh My! Homemade Pasta and Sauces, Carbonara Arancini, Caesar Dressing, Sausages, Chargrilled Oysters & Clams

Next weekend, Jake and I will be hosting a mini Oktoberfest, mostly as an excuse to make sausages and enjoy some time with friends. So, this past weekend, we had our friend, Lindsay, over to do some sausage prep. And of course anytime Lindsay comes over, we have ourselves a cooking fest. This is what was on the menu Saturday night (linked to the recipes we followed, if applicable):

Sausages

We recently bought a stainless steel sausage attachment set for the stand mixer and were excited to try using it. Jake first prepared the meat by cutting it up into smaller pieces and then he placed them in the freezer for a little bit so they would get really cold. He also put the grinder attachment in the freezer to get that nice and cold. While waiting for that, he ground a lot of the spices needed, like fennel, caraway seed, coriander, marjoram, etc. Since we don’t have an herb grinder, he used the coffee bean grinder that we have. I think it might all be the same thing anyway.

Then, he ground all the meat. For the chicken and apple, he actually fed some of the apple through the grinder, as well. Then he added all the different seasonings. These were then placed back into the refrigerator to keep them cold.

Finally, he stuffed the casings. And in the case of the chicken and apple sausage, he used vegetarian casings! The verdict is still out on how all of these sausages taste, since we won’t be cooking then until next weekend, but they look delish!

Arancini

Lindsay made arancini for the first time and it was fantastic! She prepped the risotto and the filling before coming to my house. The filling calls for pancetta, but she used prosciutto. I think it gave the same overall flavor profiles, except probably less smokiness than intended. It did give a sharp saltiness, which was do good and complimented the smoother, creamier flavor of the risotto.

She did the two-step breading with egg first, then rolled in breadcrumbs. A

And instead of pan frying, baking, or deep frying, we decided to use my handy air fryer! Success!

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Homemade Caesar Dressing

With all the heavy foods, lindsay and talked earlier in the day about trying to incorporate some greens/veggies into the cooking day. She also tried another first for her. She made a caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing. It was really good! Unfortunately, I was so full by the time it was done that I only just tasted it and didn’t get to eat a lot! She was originally going to plop all the ingredients into a blender, but we used the immersion blender instead. This was so easy and really should be a simple weeknight meal for anyone – just a few chopped romaine hearts and this dressing, maybe with chicken on top. Perfect!

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Chargrilled Oysters

The third dish Lindsay made was charbroiled oysters and clams. The intent was to just do oysters, but all the stores she went to were low on oysters! The inspiration was a trip to New Orleans this past March for my bachelorette party; we had grilled oysters that Lindsay wanted to recreate. (In my opinion, the ones Lindsay made last weekend were sooo much better.) We employed Jake to try to shuck these, but the oysters were too hard, so we ended up cooking them for a few minutes to get then to open up a bit. Then, we opened them and added the butter sauce. Ugh, these were so good, too!! I’m telling you, we really had a feast. I love seafood in general, but pair it with butter, garlic, parsley, and cheese…incredible. I swear you could put those ingredients on dirt and it would still taste delicious. Haha!

Bolognese

I actually prepped the bolognese sauce earlier in the day because I luckily reviewed the recipe and saw that it needed to simmer for 3 hours. This was simple, but time consuming! Waiting for the milk to first boil down, then the wine to boil down, then the 3 hour simmer…I could’ve taken three naps! It was a really nice recipe and totally yummy, but it didn’t taste like I expected for some reason. I think I’m more used to some of the bolognese recipes I’ve had at restaurants (authentic or not) that don’t have the carrots, celery, etc. I expected it to be a little thinner//less tomato-y. I’m not sure I’d make this again, only because I think I’d like to experiment with more bolognese recipes. I’m determined to find the right one for me!

Pesto

The pesto was so easy and, oh my goodness , it was so fantastically good. I was hesitant about making the pesto because I’ve always been a little “iffy: on the flavor, but this sold me. This was a nut-free recipe, so it really let the basil and cheese shine. In fact, I’m about to drizzle this over our Monday night’s shrimp dinner.

Then, I made two different pastas. One was a two-ingredient pasta I wanted to try because it sounded so easy. It was just one can of pumpkin puree and 3 cups of flour. I found that I needed more than 3 cups. I added the extra flour slowly to the mixture. So, if I had to guess, I probably used a total of 3.25 – 3.5 cups of flour so that the dough wasn’t too wet. And wow, this batch made A LOT of pasta. I ended up with probably 24 oz if I had to guess. I froze 6 bundles of about 3 oz for Jake and I and for Lindsay. Then, we probably cooked about another 6 oz. The pumpkin flavor was very subtle and the texture was perfect. I was very pleased with this!

Spinach and Basil Pasta

I was also loving the other pasta, which was made with blended spinach and basil. The color was amazing and the smell was divine. I thought eating it with the pesto would be basil overload, but it wasn’t. Lindsay had it with some bolognese; that didn’t look as pretty, but was still so good!

 

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Now, the diet starts on Monday again and lasts until next weekend’s mini Oktoberfest. You NEED to follow or check back to see what we’re cooking up that day.

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Pasta Infused With Tomato Puree and Basil

After debating for a year about purchasing a stand mixer, I recently went ahead and did it. The first attachments I really wanted were the pasta attachments, which Jake got me for my birthday last week! The set comes with a roller and a cutter for fettuccine and another for spaghetti.

I decided to put it to use last night. I knew I wanted to do an infused pasta, but I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand and I was feeling too lazy to head to the store. I promptly searched Pinterest to see if there was anything I could do with the ingredients in my fridge. We still had four fresh tomatoes that Jake’s parents had given to us and I was delighted to find a pasta dough recipe that called for tomato sauce and dried basil. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

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Instead of using tomato sauce, I made a tomato puree from three of the tomatoes we had on hand. I cut the tomatoes into large pieces (I got four slices out of each tomato) and scooped out all the guts. I didn’t de-skin the tomatoes, just tore off pieces of skin where it was a little rougher. I then boiled the tomatoes in water until they were soft, drained them, and tossed the tomatoes into the food processor until pureed.

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I followed the pasta recipe, although I ended up tripling it because the serving size in the recipe seemed small. I think I could’ve gotten away with doubling it because I ended up with some leftovers. Jake and I eat generously, so that may give you an idea of how much you need.  The recipe called for optional vegetable oil and an optional egg. For the tripled recipe, I ended up using about 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 eggs. I would suggest that you fully mix or let the stand mixer fully mix the dough before deciding if you need to add in more tomato puree. At first, it would seem dry, so I would put in a tiny amount more of the tomato puree. Then, it seemed too wet, so I added a little flour to balance it out. In the end, I think I could’ve just stuck with the original proportions.

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I used the fettuccine cutter because I like the slightly thicker noodles. I also went with the 7 setting on the cutter for thickness. Next time, I think I’ll try going down to a 6. Because I made extra dough, I ended up with 6 batches. (I followed the guidance of using approximately 4 ounces of dough for each batch. Picture below of what ~4 oz looks like. I have petite hands.)

I was stumped as to what kind of sauce I should use with the pasta. I thought about tossing a can of San Marzano tomatoes into the food processer, but I didn’t feel like doing that and thought it might take away from the pasta flavor. I ended up making a lemon and white wine garlic sauce. I didn’t follow a recipe for that – I melted some butter with olive oil, put in 2 cloves of minced garlic, a little bit of parmesan, and added a splash of white wine and  lemon juice. Then, seasoned with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (which were homemade and given to us by Jake’s coworker). I only made a small amount because I didn’t want to overpower the pasta.

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I happened to have a chicken breast in the freezer, which I thawed out earlier that day. I cut it into chunks and air fried them to toss with the pasta. I also cut up the last tomato for some freshness in the pasta, as well.

As a side note, we had ears of corn that we bought last weekend and wanted to use those up, so I made a semi-Mexican street corn. I say “semi” because I didn’t have all of the right ingredients, but used what we did have. If you’re interested, here’s a recipe that I’ve used in the past that came out well.

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The end result was a really good pasta dish. I have to say, though, that the pasta didn’t carry much of the flavors. I think if I had used a different type of tomato that packed more flavor, like Roma tomatoes, and fresh basil, I might have had a different result. Either way, pasta is pasta and we enjoyed it!

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Good luck!

Sincerely,
Fu’d