Creamy Hummus Dip

Traditional HUMMUS DIP
by Christine Hughes

I love this #hummus recipe because it’s very #traditional and #withoutcumin!


1-14.5 oz can of chickpeas (undrained)
1-14.5 oz can of chickpeas (drained, but reserve liquid and a couple of chickpeas for garnish)
1 large clove of garlic (for garlic lovers, add more to taste)
1 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of tahini (try to use Lebanese tahini bought at a Middle Eastern market #Mediterranean Bakery in Alexandria, VA or the Greek tahini, #Krinos , found in the grocery store)
Juice of 1 Fresh lemon (do not use lemon juice from bottle)
Extra Virgin Olive oil-Garnish


Add 1 whole can of chickpeas (undrained) in a food processor and let process for about 1 minute. Add the 2nd can of chickpeas (drained), but reserve the liquid. Process for about 30 seconds. Add tahini, salt, garlic, and lemon juice and process for about 1-2 minutes. Add very small amounts of the reserved liquid until mixture has reached the desired consistency and keep processing until creamy, about another minute. Be sure to add small amounts at a time to avoid making hummus too thin. Add more salt to taste. Once the hummus is ready, serve in a platter and sprinkle with paprika. Garnish with parsley, an olive, or a couple of chickpeas and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil for a nice touch.
Serve with warm pita bread, pita chips, or some fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, and red bell peppers.


Rice Noodles with Vegetables in a Garlic and Chili sauce

Do you ever have a craving for Chinese noodles? Rice noodles are a good alternative to egg noodles because they’re gluten-free and are a lighter option. I’ve been trying to eliminate wheat from my diet to see how it affects my body. Here is one of my fast 15 minute “Go to” recipes. Add any meat to it for added protein,but this recipe just has vegetables, specifically sugar snaps and bean sprouts. You might think that this recipe calls for quite a bit of bean sprouts, but I always use a lot of bean sprouts in noodle recipes and reduce the amount of noodles since it’s a little healthier. Feel free to use less bean sprouts or eliminate the ingredient altogether.


4 oz of rice noodles (medium)
1 cup of sugar snaps
1 cup of fresh bean sprouts
2 green onions (chopped with white and green parts separated)
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon of hot chili oil
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of rice wine (not vinegar)
2 tablespoons of water
2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped

First, cook noodles like you would spaghetti, except only cook for a minute or 2 and check for texture. You want to cook the rice noodles until right before they are “al dente” because the noodles will continue to cook while you are sauteeing. Drain and run under cold water and set aside.
For the sauce: In a bowl, whisk the chili oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, and water together and set aside.
In a wok or large saute pan, heat sesame oil in a wok or frying pan on high heat for about one minute, then add garlic and white parts of green onion, and cook for another minute or two, constantly stirring the ingredients. If you are going to add tofu, poultry, or meat, do it before you add vegetables and cook until almost fully cooked, set aside in a plate, and then add vegetables to the same pan. Add sugar snaps or snow peas and bean sprouts and continue to sauté for about one minute. I like using sugar snaps because they are really crunchy and still hold much of that crunch after heating. Add noodles and green parts of onion to vegetables and saute for about a minute and toss until everything is mixed evenly and then pour sauce over the noodles. Toss in sauce for about a minute or two, but be careful not to mix too much because the noodles will get too soft. Serve with chili oil (with little specs of chili in it) on the side for added heat.

Green Bean Stew (Loubia B’Zeit)

Green Bean Stew (Loubia B’Zeit)

Difficulty: Very Easy
Serves 4

1-28 ounce bag of frozen cut green beans (Family Size)
2 teaspoons of Ground Allspice
1 cup of onion, diced
2 teaspoons of salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon of dried mint flakes
1-8 ounce can of tomato sauce (Hunts is best)
½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup of water (more if necessary)

Sauté onions on medium-high heat with mint, allspice, salt, and pepper until onions are almost fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add green beans, water, and tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes or until beans are tender. Add more water if needed in ¼ cup increments until mixture resembles a thick stew. See picture below:

10-minute Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Makes about 4 servings

1-14.5 oz can of Hunts Natural Tomato Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, cut in halves
sea salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon of oregano
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of good quality extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Let sauce cook while pasta cooks to maximize time. Heat small sauce pan on medium heat. Pour olive oil into sauce pan and add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds making sure not to burn the garlic. Do not brown the garlic. Add tomato sauce and remaining ingredients and cook until sauce comes to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook until pasta is ready to serve.

Corn Salsa

This corn salsa is a very fresh summer appetizer to serve with blue corn tortilla chips or the “Scoops” by Tostitos. It can also be used as a topping for grilled tilapia, chicken, or shrimp. I just love the lime taste to it. To make it really “gourmet”, grill fresh corn on the cob, but if you don’t have the time or resources, you can use Green Giant canned white shoe-peg corn.

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Yields: 8-10 servings


3-11 oz cans of Green Giant White Shoe-peg corn
2 cups fresh vine ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 bunch or fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp garlic
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp of fine sea salt

Combine all ingredients and toss salad. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chayote Squash Salad

This is a very refreshing salad if you like vinaigrette dressing. Chayote Squash is used in many South American and Caribbean dishes. In my family we cook Chayote squash in soups and stews, but it was at a little Brazilian cafe, where I was introduced to the idea of using it as a side dish with oil and vinegar. Unfortunately, the cafe is no longer open, but the memory of the salad still stays with me.

Chayote Squash Salad

Yields: 4 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes

2 Large Chayote Squash
1/4 cup onion
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (add more if salad is too tart to taste)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper
Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional)

Slice Chayote similar to the photo above. Dice onion. Combine the rest of the ingredients and toss salad.

Tabouleh Salad

Yields 3-4 Servings

4 cups finely chopped parsley (about 2 large bunches)
3 cups chopped vine ripe tomatoes (about 5 tomatoes)
1 cup of finely diced scallion (green onion)
1 cup fine Bulgur wheat (Note: Eliminate this ingredient for Gluten-Free Tabouleh)
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon or 2-3 small)
1/4 cup of diced pickling or english cucumbers (Use as a substitute for wheat or if you just love cucumbers)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp of fresh mint
1 tsp salt or to taste
Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce for wrapping

Pick parsley and remove large stems. Place in colander and wash. Leave in Colander while water drains and parsley dries. Set aside. Use a bowl that can hold about 4 cups of liquid to soak the wheat. Place the wheat in a bowl or 4 cup measure and add water so that there is about the same amount of water on top of wheat as there is wheat. Set aside and wait for wheat to absorb the water and rise.
Dice tomatoes, green onion, and cucumbers and place in a 3.5 quart or larger bowl.
Chop parsley by hand or use a large food processor. See the pictures below for what the parsley, tomatoes, onion, and cucumbers should look like.

Diced Tomatoes

Diced scallion (green onion):

Diced cucumbers:

Add the parsley to tomato mixture and add the wheat, oil, lemon, mint, and salt. Toss the salad and serve with lettuce similar to that of a lettuce wrap. Tabouleh can keep for 2 days. Some people think it tastes better the second day! Enjoy.