Simple Hummus

Simple Hummus

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite things. Meet hummus.

It wins the contest for one of the easiest and quickest things to make.

With the end of school, this is a great quick snack that you can make all through summer with your kiddos. It’s a simple one for them to get involved in too. What kid doesn’t like to experiment by adding extra ingredients?! This simple hummus recipe is easy to personalize by adding different spices, beans, or veggies.

I love that it’s filling, it’s flavorful, and it can be used to amp up your veggies. I love that it can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a dressing for a salad, and a party dip. Let’s face it, hummus around here doesn’t go to waste. All it takes is a couple of tips and you’ll be making your own hummus too.

I literally eat this almost every day as part of my lunch, so I’ve made it lots and lots of times. Every once in a while I’ll splurge and buy some pre-made, but I more often like to make my own now. Sometimes it’s fun to buy a new flavor combo and then try recreating it at home. If you’re a hummus addict like I am, then you’ll be saving money if you learn how to make this at home. Points for extra fiber and protein plus extra points for saving money. I always like the sound of that.

Simple Hummus

Simple Hummus

Quick tips to make your hummus successful:

1.  I use my food processor or vitamix to make hummus. I’ve also used a kitchen aid blender before. It doesn’t get quite as smooth in the blender, but it gets the job done.

2. If you use a vitamix, you’ll need to add more water than if you were using a food processor. I don’t recommend using a regular blender for this one. It’s a little to thick to mix without the high-power. Add a Tbsp of water at a time until it’s creamy and combined…. 

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Quick Vegan Nachos

Vegan Nachos with creamy sauce and guac

These quick vegan nachos are amazing.  It’s really the fusion of textures that makes them so good. The crunchy pita chips for the base, the spiced beans combined with peppers, the creamy sauce (that was purposely not an imitation of cheese), and some homemade guacamole with cilantro to top it off.

Vegan Nachos

I like that you can eat these with your hands or if you’re not feeling up for the mess, you can also grab a fork. They are exciting for kids and especially husbands! This recipe is actually my husband’s request.

At work, Tyler often gets to sample food products that are being promoted. It’s a cool reason to eat in the cafe when the menu is always changing. At the same time, his research group will also have occasional banquet served lunches. He came home from one of these saying I had to figure out how to make some vegan nachos. Thanks for this one, Tyler. Love you babe…. 

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Creamy Cashew Dip

Cashew Dip / good for veggies and vegan nachos

I really don’t know if anyone can love a homemade ranch dip as much as I do. Forever ago I made cilantro lime ranch that is to die for. But then I kinda went mostly vegan, so that doesn’t work very well anymore.

I’ve tried making a dill flavored dip but haven’t succeeded yet. Just you wait…just you wait.

In the meantime, I’m pretty pro at this dip. I dip my veggies in it, I use it as a sauce on salads, nachos, or enchiladas. It’s creamy, it has cilantro in it, and it holds up to the other flavors and textures in a dish.

Cashew Dip

I’m okay that I use cashews in so many sauces, they are amazing. I love discovering different foodie ideas because I had no idea that this was ever a possibility. Before I went vegan-ish, I never thought about cashews outside of their beany form. The broader I make my food spectrum and desire to experiment, the more I have to learn.

I have  s o  m u c h  t o  l e a r n. But that’s a good thing…. 

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Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce

Cashew Kale with Peanut Sauce \\ Carrot Bowl

I’m a sun worshipper. I love the feeling of sun-kissed skin and the hint of sunscreen that lingers with us through the day. It’s 90 degrees here today and I finally caved and turned on the air conditioning. I love the hot warmth that makes shade seem so much cooler. With the sun shining so hot this week, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. This cashew kale with peanut sauce only requires a short stove time. You could even make it in a cooler morning or evening and save it for the next day as a cold salad.

I love the peanut flavor mixed with the cashews, I love the kale all wilted in the spicy asian flavors, and for some reason the peeled carrots make this dish super exciting to me. You’ll like it and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make. Seriously, it’s probably about 10 minutes…. 

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Red Lentil Curry with Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potato Cubes

Red lentils are so easy.

They are fast cooking, easily spiced, and have lots of good healthy things in them. Fiber, iron, and protein are just a couple of the good things they give. This dish is super tasty, so that helps too. My kids love this meal and thought the sweet potato “french fry” cubes on the top were a fun addition. But if you’re not a sweet potato fan, leave them off and you still have a great curry.

We love this with some heated naan. I’ve made my own naan using this recipe, but have been getting the mini naan packages from costco recently instead. It’s fast, delicious, and everything warm bread should give you.

Speaking of bread – kids love bread.

I don’t know if your kids love bread as much as my kids, it’s pretty intense.

Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potato Cubes

When we have dinner, I don’t let them have any of their bread until their greens are gone and half of their other dish. Otherwise, the bread is gone and everything on the plate is left. We’ve done this for a while and it totally works. The kids know that this is what happens. They are incentivized to eat some good food and the carb heavy bread is a top off, rather than the meal. I’ll heat this bread and cover it in a towel to keep it warm until we’re ready to eat it…. 

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Berry Banana Smoothie // Vegan

Berry Banana Milkshake

Sometimes a recipe with 3 or 4 ingredients is pretty amazing. This is one of those times. I was with some friends for a girls’ night out (who is up for another one soon?) and we started talking about blogging. One friend said she made this awesome smoothie and I should really post about it. Shout out to Kristin and a possible blog in the works! :) And she was right, this is awesome.

Lots of people love my peanut butter oatmeal smoothie and I know you’ll like this one too. It’s perfect for breakfast, an after school snack, or a healthy dessert. The kids definitely bought into this. Making smoothies is a super simple way to get your kids in the kitchen.

Speaking of buying, we recently got a vita-mix and I cannot tell you how amazing it is. It is my single most favorite kitchen tool. I thought my food processor was my favorite thing. Nope. Most days I rinse and reuse it 2 or 3 times. What I’m really telling you is that it’s worth every precious penny and I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

This said, my blending capabilities have grown. If you have a regular blender all smoothie recipes here will work, but they might need more liquid added to make it blend. It’s still totally worth the effort. I’ve done the mix, stop the blender, stir with spoon, mix again, stop, stir, mix, etc, etc with regular blenders to know what you go through. Now go, make yourself a mid-day smoothie and enjoy some sunshine (at least if you live in the Portland area)…. 

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