Hummus

 

So, I spend a lot of time at our local Family YMCA.  Between Yoga, Body Pump and Zumba, I put in about 6 hours a week–and I work out at home a couple of days.  Anyway, sometimes our Y staff will provide copies of healthy, easy recipes for the patrons to take home.  I have tried a few and they usually turn out pretty tasty.  This hummus is no exception.  I think it took about 5 minutes or so to put together.  It took longer for me to do the “photo shoot” than it did to prepare the recipe.

This is an easy dish to customize, so if you DO like hummus–it’s an acquired taste–and you want a little something extra, try these:

  • Roasted Garlic–for a more mellow flavor, roast the garlic in the oven or on the stove top before adding to the chickpeas.
  • Roasted Red Pepper–use a small jar of red pepper strips (pimientos) and mix most of the peppers in with the hummus in the blender. For more flavor you can use the liquid in the jar in place of some of the oil.  Garnish with a few pepper strips.
  • Southwestern–Decrease the salt and pepper.  Add about 1/8 t. of cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper.

 

Hummus
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Ingredients
  1. 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. a few drops of sesame oil
  4. 1 t. fresh minced garlic
  5. 1 T. lemon juice
  6. 1/2 t. salt & 1/4 t. black pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Combine the chickpeas, oils, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender.
  2. Process to desired consistency, scraping down the sides of the food processor a couple of times during the blending.
  3. If texture is too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil or a small amount of water.
  4. Scoop into a bowl, stirring in salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Serve with pita chips, pretzels, or vegetables for dipping.
Adapted from unknown source
Adapted from unknown source
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Salsa Verde

salsa-verde

 

Saucy Recipe #2!  Okay I warned you last week we would have two sauces in a row.  Can I just say QUE RICO!  That means, another yummy recipe for you to try  out.  This is a tasty, fresh, cooked version of what you might have had in your favorite Mexican restaurant.  Hope you enjoy this dish!  Adios!

Salsa Verde
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. green tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  2. 2 garlic cloves peeled
  3. 2 serrano chilies, or more for taste
  4. 1 c. cilantro leaves
  5. 1/4 c. white onion, roughly chopped
  6. 1 t. kosher or sea salt, to taste
  7. 2 T. safflower or corn oil
Instructions
  1. Place the tomatillos, garlic cloves, and chilies in a pot and cover with water. Place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium for about 10 minutes, or until tomatillos change color from a bright to a pale green, are cooked through and are soft but are not coming apart.
  2. Place tomatillos, garlic and chile (start with one and add the other if you need more "heat") and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Add the cilantro leaves, onion and salt and process again. Adjust for taste with salt.
  4. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once it is hot, but not smoking, pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, until it thickens and deepens its flavor and color. Turn off the heat.
Notes
  1. Sauce can be stored in a closed container in the refrigerator for weeks. However, the heat level of the sauce will fade with time.
Adapted from Pati's Mexican Table
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

avocado-cilantro-dressing

 

Feelin’ a bit “saucy” today, so you get two sauce recipes a week apart.  It’s been that kind of week and these are quick and easy to do–lucky for me since I am trying to post these ahead of time so I can do all the other stuff I have  get to do this week.  ’nuff said, let’s get crazy with this delish, multi-purpose dressing!

Avocado Cilantro Dressing
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Ingredients
  1. half of an avocado
  2. 1/4 c. Greek yogurt (plain)
  3. 1/2 c. water (more if needed for consistency)
  4. 1 c. cilantro leaves & stems
  5. 1/2 t. salt
  6. 1 small clove of garlic
  7. squeeze of lime juice
Instructions
  1. Blend together and enjoy over salad, on sandwiches, with tortilla chips...
Adapted from 71 Toes
Adapted from 71 Toes
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Easy Caramel Sauce

easy-caramel-sauce

Have you ever tried a new recipe?  Have you tried a new recipe when guests were coming over in a few hours and there was no time to make anything else if it failed?

Sunday morning I had high hopes for the Apple Fritter Bread.  The recipe pics looked amazing!  But here’s the thing about trying new recipes:  you gotta make sure you have all the ingredients and you gotta actually follow the directions!

Both situations got me in trouble.

I didn’t have enough fresh apples so I subbed some freeze dried apples.  And this normally is not a big deal because subbing works well with freeze dried if you refresh them first and then drain them well.

I was in a hurry.

So I didn’t prep the apples well AND I didn’t read the recipe well in my rushing around.

So here I was with dry, ugly apple-cinnamon bread for dessert.  

It was okay.  I mean, it wasn’t gross.  It just wasn’t….right.  And I had no time to make anything else.  What was I gonna do?

Have I told you how much I love Pinterest?  I’m so visual and that’s always the easiest way for me to narrow down a search…Google is just…too many words!  I thought maybe a caramel sauce would do the trick…I could still serve the apple bread, salvaging it with a buttery rich sauce to hide the #recipefail.

So happy to have found this recipe.  I can’t believe how ridiculously easy it is to make, and it tastes delicious!  And NO CANDY THERMOMETER!!

It’s like caramel sauce for dummies! 😉

 

Easy Caramel Sauce
An easy, rich dessert sauce that whips up in no time in the microwave!
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a large microwaveable bowl (I used my large Pampered Chef batter bowl), microwave the butter till it is mostly melted.
  2. Add brown sugar and cream and whisk well until smooth.
  3. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir. Return to microwave for another 2 minutes.
Notes
  1. Serve it warm, but you may want to let it sit for a few minutes to thicken a little.
  2. Your microwave time may vary; you just want it to be bubbling and start to thicken a little.
  3. Store any leftovers in the fridge; reheat in the microwave to serve again.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Enchilada Sauce

enchilada-sauce

So, this beach trip my son-in-law wanted me to mentor him in making Chile Rellenos from scratch.  I was glad to do it, since no one realizes how much work that is and having another family member aware of that will score more points for me on Christmas Eve when I am in the kitchen all day preparing our traditional Mexican meal.  I told Allen I would provide the sauce if he would do everything else.  I found this recipe on my Thrive website and I already had all of the ingredients, so it was easy to take the ingredients to the beach and make the sauce there.

Enchilada Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 c. water
  2. 1 t. chili powder
  3. 1 t. cumin
  4. 1/8 t. cayenne (or chipotle powder)
  5. 1/4 t. THRIVE Chef's Choice
  6. 1 T. THRIVE Chopped Onions, Freeze Dried (I had to use fresh onion this time)
  7. 1 T. minced garlic
  8. 1 t. THRIVE Tomato Powder
  9. 2 T. THRIVE Green Chili Peppers, Freeze Dried
  10. 1/3 c. THRIVE Espagnole (Savory Beef Gravy)
  11. 1 1/2 t. lime juice
  12. 1 T. THRIVE Cilantro
  13. 14 c. sour cream
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pan, except sour cream, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes.
  2. Puree sauce in blender until smooth.
  3. Return to pan and heat to a simmer. Turn off heat and fold in the sour cream.
  4. Use as a sauce for enchiladas or chile rellenos.
Adapted from Thrive Recipes
Adapted from Thrive Recipes
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Easy Queso Blanco

queso blanco

Sometimes you just need some oozing, melty cheese.

Now, to get this one right and achieve oozing, melty nirvana you really do have to use White American cheese.  

Wanna know how I know that?  

Failed attempt.  That’s how I know that.  I tried subbing Monterey Jack and queso fresca and ended up with a big ol’ blob of seized cheese curd.  Even after a trip to the blender, it just couldn’t be saved.  

Time of death: five minutes before I ran to the store to get the good stuff.

Using the microwave makes this a super easy dish.  I mean, you can really do this in less than 10 minutes, you know?  

And it’s a crowd pleaser.  

Wanna know how I know that?  

Successful attempt.  That’s how I know that.  Multiple children crowded around dripping oozing, melty nirvana all over my kitchen counters.

Yep.  Sometimes you just need some oozing, melty cheese.  And maybe an ice-cold Dr. Pepper to wash it down with. 😉

Easy Queso Blanco
Oozing, melty cheese nirvana. From the microwave--easy!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.25 pounds of White American Cheese
  2. 2/3 cup whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup cold water
  4. 1/4 cup diced green chilies
  5. 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  6. 1 Tbsp. pickled jalapeno juice
Instructions
  1. Cut the cheese (ha ha ha......sorry) into 1" cubes and place into a large microwave-safe bowl with the milk and water.
  2. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping two to three times to stir the melting mixture.
  3. Use a whisk to incorporate the melted cheese fully into the milk/water.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine.
Notes
  1. White American cheese can be purchased at the deli counter. My grocery store only had Boar's Head brand, but it was super tasty.
  2. I had never heard of pickled jalapenos before! But there they were, right in the Hispanic food aisle. I had to hunt a little bit, but I found one brand--La Costena.
  3. You can serve this as a dip OR as a sauce for a Mexican dish.
  4. Store any leftovers in the fridge and simply reheat in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring well, until it's heated through.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Salsa

Anna's Salsa.jpg
 

This recipe first posted on July 28, 2011.

Since we are getting ready to launch our new blog, I thought it would be fun to share the very first recipe I ever posted.  Haha.  The photo quality isn’t all that, and I did have a date stamp on the photo.  Didn’t know about PicMonkey back then or I would have cropped that out and done a little more editing!  But still, this is one of my favorite recipes.  Hope you enjoy it again!

 
 
(Sorry about the date stamp! I’m a newbie.)
 

When I left El Paso, TX  9 years ago, one thing I brought back to North Carolina was a good salsa recipe.  I learned how to make it in a Relief Society Homemaking  mini-class (the Relief Society is the women’s auxiliary of our church).  I loved our Hispanic members and learned so much from them, including how to make homemade tortillas.  This recipe started there, but I have tweaked it along the way.

Salsa
Muy picosa!
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Ingredients
  1. 6-8 roma tomatoes
  2. 1-2 fresh jalapenos
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. Fresh cilantro (I use a handful)
  5. Lime juice, to taste
  6. Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Roast the tomatoes and jalapenos in the oven until skins are nice and crispy. I put mine in a toaster oven. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle them.
  2. Peel the tomatoes and "gut" and de-stem the jalapenos. If you leave the seeds in the peppers you will have a spicier salsa--muy picosa!
  3. Place tomatoes and jalapenos in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and process to desired consistency. I prefer slightly chunky. You can add water to thin it.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. A few tips--a squeeze or two of lime juice is all you need. Salt to taste, but take into consideration the saltiness of your chips. I buy a dozen or so jalapenos at a time and roast them and then keep them in the freezer so I can have them on hand when I need a salsa fix or when my sister Amy comes to visit.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

 

 Check out this cook cilantro tip!
 

Salud!

Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut Sauce

For this post, you get two recipes in one! The chicken satay recipe came from here. And the most amazing Thai Peanut Sauce recipe came from here.

Thai Chicken Satay:

2 normal to large sized chicken breasts
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 wooden skewers
Directions:
1. Soak the skewers in water while prepping your chicken and sauce. This will help keep the skewers from burning when you place them on the grill. 

2. Cut the chicken into thin slices. 

3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, add the chicken and massage. The chicken does not need to marinate in the sauce for very long, in fact only a few minutes. Place the chicken on skewers and drop them on the grill at medium heat. Flip the skewer just before you start to see grill marks on the chicken. This makes for the perfect “doneness” without drying it out. 
This marinade also goes great with shrimp! 
For the Thai Peanut Sauce:

One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) of Thai red or Massaman curry paste
¾ cup unsweetened (natural) creamy peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter or anything with added emulsifiers. I get mine fresh ground in the bulk section at Winco.)
½ tablespoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else — not even rice vinegar)
½ cup water
Instructions:
Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.
Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve the sauce with satay or fried tofu.
Notes
This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully.

 

North Carolina BBQ Sauce

This sauce was a huge hit at our daughter’s graduation pig pickin’.  We cooked the pig in the sauce but you’ll want to add more to your plate when you eat your pork because it is that good!

Ingredients:

4 c. cider vinegar
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/3 c. ketchup
1/4 c. butter
2 T. hot pepper sauce
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
2 t. mustard powder
1 t. salt
1 t. fresh ground pepper

Directions:

1.  Place all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the stove and pour into a heat-proof bowl.  Cover and refrigerate the sauce for 2 days.

2.  Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove the red pepper flakes.  Store the sauce in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

***I did not remove the red pepper flakes and I thought it was delicious that way.

Source:  www.fullybooked.com

Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

This is a great sauce and it’s full of healthy fat and flavor.  I served it with some cubed, cooked chicken and rice vermicelli noodles (since I’m avoiding wheat).  But you could serve it with any noodle you wish and have it as a main dish or as a pasta side dish.

Ingredients:
1 ripe medium or large avocado (pitted and scooped out of the skin)
1/2 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

(Begin cooking your pasta before you start the sauce.  By the time it’s al dente, your sauce will be all ready to go!)

In a food processor blend the garlic, the juice from the half lemon, and the olive oil.   Add the avocado, basil, and salt.  Process until smooth.  If too thick, add water a couple of Tbsp. at a time through the feed chute until it reaches the consistency you want.

Garnish your pasta and sauce with zest from the lemon half and with extra chopped basil if desired.  You may also want to add some salt and pepper.

Mine was pretty thick even after about a third cup of water added, but once it was mixed in with the pasta it was perfect!

Source:  greatist.com