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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Long time no see! The last few months since I started my new job I have been trying to play catchup in life and have not been very inspired to cook. This usually happens when I start a new employment until I start to get into a routine. But as of late I’ve been eating out a lot and finally am getting sick of it. So now I’m creating. 🙂
Last night I threw together an experiment and hoped for the best. Thankfully it was a winner! 😀 Thankfully it’s really easy to make as well. The flavors in this salad are perfect for summer as it’s very fresh and light. This dish was inspired by a conversation about the Mediterranean Diet someone at work has been on lately. I think I might look more into it!

I call for “cans of”, but if you want to put in the extra time to cook your garbanzo beans I made mine in a “beyond rice, cooker” crockpot so it could soak for 3-4 hours and then cook for a minimum of 3 hours. I cooked mine in water, pink hymilian salt, and dropped a vegetable bouillon cube in for added protein and flavor.
Give it a try and plan a picnic on a beautiful day. I paired this with red lentils and green beans. Rinse and cook red lentils in chicken broth for 10 minutes, adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme. Once cooked, add in cooked and drained green beans, and a little olive oil and that’s it. It packs a lot of protein in these two dishes and no meat had to be thawed (which is the main reason I barely eat meat…lack of planning lol!)
So now on to the recipe! 🙂

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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Ingredients:
• 1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
• 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (I got the ones in water to cut the cost)
• 1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
• 1 green onion, diced
• Lemon zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 a lemon
• Olive Oil to coat (3-5 Tbs)
• 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate in the fridge overnight. It will taste good when freshly made, but even better if you marinate it.
Serves 4-6

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring and cooking fresh homemade meals. It really is an investment to your health to cook instead of eating out. I just feel better when I know what goes into my food instead of hoping I don’t get sick from an ingredient someone forgot to tell me, or cross contamination.
Also a recent change to my diet, I have been off corn for almost six months now if not longer, and cheating doesn’t even appeal to me anymore. It really made a difference in my digestion. When I ate corn it was organic as much as possible, and even that bothered me. Now I am starting to cut out nightshades too. I do notice when I eat potatoes on how much it effects my alertness and pain levels. Potatoes are my #1 comfort food too. But I do want to feel even better than I have been and hopefully one day the weather changes will not effect me as much as it does.
Look forward to more creations coming up and fresh meal ideas.
Thank you also for hanging in there while my life was put on hold.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I can’t believe this month went by so fast! I have been so sick lately with stomach issues and then my normal stuff x10 so it’s not been a fun one. I have had no motivation to cook or anything lately and basically been living on raw veggies and hummus. One good thing out of all this is that by no mental effort, I’ve hit my goal weight. (Sorry if that offends anyone!) So I’m happy about that, but I wish my stomach would cooperate! I still have a bunch of tests to run to figure out the problem. Sometimes I feel like a genetic defect and they should just start over and hit the reset button!
I have a feeling my diet will be changing drastically in the next few months, so there might be some yummy recipes coming. (Here’s hoping!)
I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try a kale basil hummus…and it was not that tasty, so I’ll spare you from trying it too. I think mainly my beans weren’t cooked enough and the consistency was not great (I cooked mine in the pressure cooker). But this one is great and two of my co-workers were loving it today. 😀
I’m also glad it’s payday week because I just had to clean out my veggie drawer that wasn’t looking too happy. 😦
So here’s the recipe, now back to being conformed to my work chair another 5 hours.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
• 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 3-4 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick-peas), drained
• 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
• 1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 red pepper seeded, chopped & roasted (I did mine in a toaster oven on broil)
• 1/2 tsp salt (if using dry beans, 1/4 tsp if using canned)
• 1/4 tsp dried parsley
• 1/4 cup olive oil (add however much you like for consistency)
• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/8 tsp cumin

How to:
– To prepare garbanzo beans in pressure cooker, add 7 cups of water/chicken broth to 2-2.5 cups dry (rinsed) beans.
– Seal top, and cook according to your pressure cookers instructions for 25-30 minutes.
– Rinse, de-seed and cut in large chunks your red pepper and put on broil until it’s looking roasted. Maybe 15 minutes? I didn’t put mine right next to the heat so it could take less time, just keep checking it.
– Once all that is ready, drain beans, peel garlic, juice lemon, dump all ingredients and spices in food processor except oil.
– Turn on to low setting until it’s starting to look smooth.
– Turn up to high setting and drizzle in olive oil from the opening in lid until it starts to get the consistency you like.
– Taste test to see if it needs tweaking, then either refrigerate for an hour to enhance flavor, or devour and leave no trace behind. 😉

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I hope you are having a great week and leave any suggestions for hummus experiments in the comments or yummy ones you have tried. 🙂 Thanks!

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Don’t knock it till you try it! Vegan recipe

So I saw a new recipe that looked really good! But funny enough most people don’t agree with me. Well I just tried it out and it’s FABULOUS! 😀
It’s got a sweet tangy taste to it. You can make different variations of it. But the main part is consistent: BBQ chickpeas, cranberry sauce, wrap. Mmmmmm!
I added a little bit of onion to the BBQ sauce as it was heating up, cut some apple for on top, and made my cranberry sauce from scratch….although I didn’t see till recipe was in the making that you have to chill cranberry sauce for 3 hours to get it to gel. Oops! Well mine went into the freezer cuz I was hungry!
So first I’ll start out with the cranberry sauce, cuz that going to take the most time…
I got it off of Betty Crocker App.
• 1 cup orange juice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 cups cranberries

Boil OJ & brown sugar for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Then add cranberries. Boil for 5 more minutes until berries pop. Do NOT turn your back on this or cover with lid or you will not have fun cleaning the mess!
Like me…

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Now here’s the “meat” of the matter. I can’t remember where I got this recipe, maybe Pinterest? But I didn’t pin it so who knows…

BBQ Cranberry Chickpea Wrap
makes two wraps, vegan

2 GF wraps, extra large/thin
1 can chickpeas, drained
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I used a spicy/sweet sauce)
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 Tbsp vegan mayo
3 Tbsp whole berry cranberry sauce (I used this recipe for Cranberry Concord Sauce)
bowl of chopped romaine lettuce and/or arugula

To Make:

1. Add the chickpeas and BBQ sauce to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Or you can simmer on your stove top if you have time. Set aside to cool.
2. Prep your veggies: lettuce, onion and tomato.
3. Warm your wraps. I like to heat mine over a gas flame for about 10 seconds on each side. Be very careful if you do this though. You can also simply warm in your oven or microwave.
4. Start assembling your wraps. Add 2 Tbsp of vegan mayo (Vegenaise) and 1 1/2 Tbsp of cranberry sauce to each wrap. Spread evenly. Add in 2-4 heaping scoops of the warm BBQ chickpeas. Top with a palmful of onions, tomato and finally, lettuce. Fill the wrap as full as you can – but make sure you can still roll it up!
5. Roll. Slice. Serve!

Add-in Ingredients:
Try avocado, vegan cheese, shredded carrots, spinach, mandarin oranges, rice, quinoa and more as other yummy ingredients to this wrap!

It may not look appealing, but it all goes to the same place! So try it out and tell me what you think! 😉

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