Carrot Hummus

carrot hummus

 This carrot hummus recipe is quick, easy and delicious!  It’s especially wonderful when made with carrots fresh from the garden or Farmer’s Market! It’s super healthy, attractive, packed with protein and an excellent addition for a weight conscious diet.

Carrot Hummus

1 cup (packed) cooked carrots

1 can garbanzo beans (save liquid)

¼ cup tahini

2 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)

2 garlic cloves, minced (I use 4)

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp fresh parsley

 

Put all ingredients except parsley into food processor and blend until smooth. If consistency is too thick, thin with saved liquid from garbanzo beans. Add parsley and pulse a few times.

 

Refrigerate.

Prepare at least 2 hours before serving for flavors to blend.

Serve with chips or vegetable sticks.

Museli – the Breakfast of Champions!

Museli is one of my favorite summer breakfast foods. I especially love it with fresh blueberries from the Farmer’s Market or with raspberries from my own garden. Yum!!! It’s really good any time of the day. This recipe makes quite a lot so I keep it in the refrigerator for a few days, eating daily this already prepared delicious breakfast. It’s also a good choice for anyone on a weight loss plan because it is low in calories, very healthy, and provides protein which is an important way to start your day along with fruit, dairy, and a good carb (rolled oats). Enjoy!

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup ground almonds

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)

3-4 grated apples

½ cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lemon

3-4 Tbsp milk or cream

Honey – to taste

1 tsp. cinnamon

Add any fresh fruit you desire.  (Blueberries are great!)

Mix all together except fresh fruit.

Let sit overnight for oats to absorb liquids and time for flavors to blend.

Stir in fresh fruit.

(Fresh granola sprinkled on top is also delicious!)

Lemongrass/Citrus Rice Pudding

I LOVE Indian food!  I also thoroughly enjoy Rice Pudding yet the type served in Indian Restaurants is way too sweet for me. I adapted this recipe to make it healthier with a fraction of the sweetening and sugar.  It’s fresh take on a more traditional Rice Pudding recipe.  When served chilled in small ramekins or dessert dishes with orange, lime and lemon zest sprinkled on top, it’s also a beautiful presentation.

Serves 8  

 

3 (5”) length fresh lemongrass, finely chopped

3 cups 2% milk

3 ½ cups coconut milk, not low fat (a bit less than two 13 ½ oz cans                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (You may also use 4 cups unsweetened coconut beverage and 2 ½ cups milk)

1/2 cup sugar (or ¼ cup Agave)

1  ½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio or Basmati rice, rinsed with cold water and drained

1 ½ Tbsp combination of grated lemon, orange and lime zest. Use more to top individual servings

2 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp ground cardamom

 

1.      Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

2.      Place lemongrass on a small piece of cheesecloth, form into a bundle & secure with kitchen twine.

3.      In a medium size heavy saucepan, add milk, coconut milk and salt. (Also add sugar if using sugar instead of Agave.)  Stir and bring to a strong simmer over medium heat but do not boil.

4.      Pour the hot mixture, lemongrass sachet and rice into slow cooker. Stir well.  Cover and cook on low until the rice is completely tender, about 2 hours. There should be some liquid left.

5.      Remove from heat; discard lemongrass sachet and stir in agave, zest, vanilla and cardamom.

6.      Let cool slightly, then pour into individual serving bowls, cover and refrigerate until cold.

7.      Garnish with additional zest before serving.

Summer Salad with Cumin Crusted Salmon

This delicious salad takes some time to prepare but it’s worth every minute. It’s also a salad/meal full of color, nutrition, texture and flavor.  Yum!!! When I serve it to company, my guests ask for the recipe.

Salad:

2 oz. pine nuts

5 cups mixed greens

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup scallions, sliced

1  lg orange, cut in 1” chunks

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup cilantro, chopped

 

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate

4 Tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. cumin

1 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ tsp salt

 

Cumin-Crusted Salmon:

1 ½ Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed

 

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet, add pine nuts and stir until toasty, about 5 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning.
  2. In a large bowl, place all salad ingredients except half of the cilantro and half of the pine nuts for garnish.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir dressing ingredients together.
  4. Combine cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a flat pan or plate.
  5. Cut salmon in 8 strips and coat with spices.
  6. Grill (or cook in a non-stick skillet brushed with oil) until cooked through and crusty.
  7. Toss salad and dressing: divide on plates.
  8. Top with salmon and reserved cilantro and pine nuts.

 

Serves 4

Beet Burgers

      Beet Burgers are one of my favorite summer meals. I buy enough fresh beets, carrots and onions at the Farmer’s Market to make a double batch so I can freeze the extras. If you’re not a fan of beets, this might not be the recipe for you! Check out some of my other delicious healthy vegetarian recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Beet Burgers

2 cups grated raw beets

2 cups grated raw carrots

½ cup grated raw onion

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. tamari

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 Tbsp flour

¼ cup oil

Herbs to taste: garlic, cayenne, parsley

Salt & Pepper

 

(To make gluten free – use gluten free tamari in place of soy sauce and substitute oatmeal for the flour.)

Toast sunflower and sesame seeds in dry skillet several minutes at med/low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.  Mix all ingredients together, form into patties, and bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your patties.  Burgers do not need to be turned during baking unless they are very large.

Yield: 8 large burgers

Beet burgers can be eaten plain or in a bun in place of a hamburger patty.

(I double this recipe after buying beets, carrots and onions at the Farmer’s Market and freeze the extras.)

 

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

I adapted this recipe from a Weight Watchers recipe. I made some changes to add flavor and also made it into a slow cooker recipe. It’s so quick, easy and yummie and also a good addition to a weight loss menu!

vegetarian chili

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

 

1 ½ cups dry lentils

32 oz beef, chicken or vegetable broth – low sodium

1 lg onion, chopped

1 green or red pepper, diced

2 Tbsp minced garlic

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp kosher salt

Opt: ¼ tsp cayenne or hot sauce to taste

29 oz canned fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

 4 oz can diced chilies, undrained

32 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained

14 oz garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Cilantro, fresh and chopped

 

Place all ingredients in slow cooker except beans and cilantro. Stir.

Cook on low overnight or for 8 hours during the day until lentils are tender. You can add the green pepper closer to the end of the cooking time.

Add beans and heat thoroughly.

Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top of chili.

 

Serves 8

Weight Watchers – 1 cup serving = 6 points

 

Oven Fried “French Fries”

6 large potatoes
¼ cup oil (or less)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese (opt)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub potatoes well and cut into strips. Dry with towel or paper towels.
Combine oil, cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper in a large plastic bag.
Add potatoes and shake to coat.
Spread strips on 2 cookie sheets in single layer.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes (depending on how thick the slices are) or until golden brown and tender, stirring once.
Place on paper towels and serve.
This recipe has been one of my family favorites for years!

Vegetarian Lasagna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               12 lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
2 eggs
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Couple dashes hot sauce or cayenne
1 zucchini, grated
16 oz can tomatoes, chopped
6 oz. tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Optional:

Broccoli – chopped
Carrots – 2 grated
Spinach – 10oz frozen, chopped

Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles until almost done. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust oven rack to upper part of oven.
Sauté onions and garlic until onions are tender. Stir zucchini, peppers and any other vegetables into the onion mixture.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 beaten eggs.
In a heavy saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, sugar, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Oil 9×13 pan. Spread 1 cup of tomato mixture on bottom of pan.

Assembly:

Layer of noodles, overlapping 1 inch.
Layer of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture.
Layer of vegetables.
Sprinkle layer of cheese.
Layer of tomato sauce.
Repeat layers one more time.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top.
Cover lasagna with foil and bake approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove foil, brown under broiler.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving. (It slices better.)