Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Zucchini Hummus

10246624_10152533456531663_1569040507761602305_n Our neighbor and cruise planner extraordinaire Anne, recently brought some Zucchini Hummus to a neighbor’s gathering and I was beyond delighted as it not only fit in perfectly with my diet but it was crazy delicious!  I couldn’t stop eating the hummus and those who tasted it side-by-side with traditional hummus made with chickpeas, preferred the Zucchini Hummus.  This Zucchini Hummus is wheat, egg, dairy & legume free so healthy, delicious and safe for all in the Cook Lisa Cook house.  We changed Ann’s recipe a bit, increasing the amount of zucchini and garlic in relation to the tahini & olive oil, really just to cut the calories somewhat.  Ann’s recipe was a bit more rich but this version has all the wonderful flavor of hummus but extra oil and tahini can be added if you choose.

1958262_10152533456446663_6587160204962088639_n Zucchini Hummus

Peel and slice the zucchini into half rounds.  Place into a colander and salt well coating all pieces.  Allow the zucchini to sweat for 20-30 minutes.  Discard the accumulated liquid and rinse the zucchini well then quickly pat dry and add to the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cumin and puree until creamy smooth.  Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and salt.  Place in serving dish and sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve with sliced veggies for dipping.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu

10436009_10152509977261663_8086085425085612435_n I swear that just a week ago here in Georgia, we were still sporting long pants and sweatshirts.  I don’t like being cold so I'm thankful that the warmth of summer has finally arrived. It was one of those cold days though when it came time to cook for this month's Secret Recipe Club so we were looking at recipes which were healthy, easy, warm and hearty. That's how we decided on Beth's Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu, it fit all our criteria. Beth's blog, It's Good to be the Cook is my assigned blog this month.  Beth has lots of wonderfully delicious looking and sounding recipes on her blog and had the weather been warmer we probably would have made her Emily’s Chicken Marinade and Thai Slaw with Spicy Peanut Butter, both of which will probably now be made as the weather is thankfully warmer.  We have been following Beth’s blog for quite a while as she cooked from this blog last September when she made two of our recipes, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and Strawberry Soup so it was fun to now cook from hers.    

Getting back to the ragu, we stayed pretty true to Beth’s original recipe, just doubling the amount of poblano and cumin we used as we tend to like dishes more on the spicy hot side.  In the end though, the sauce wasn’t spicy at all, just well balanced, flavorful and delicious.  We also changed around the preparation method a bit just to make it easier for us and the way we cook but either method would work just as well.  We enjoyed the ragu over zucchini pasta, totally delicious!  This is a great make-ahead recipe as we enjoyed the ragu the first night but totally loved it as leftovers once the flavors really melded.

10334280_10152509977491663_5788123173885144084_nRoasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu  (adapted from here)

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle with a little coconut oil or oil of your choice.  Put the tomatoes and garlic cloves on the prepared pan and stir everything around so that all is covered with a light coating of the oil.  Dust with salt & pepper.  Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the tomatoes are a bit browned and the garlic is tender.  While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, char the poblano on either the grill or on the burner of a gas stove.  Char the skin on all sides and then place the poblano in a plastic bag so that it can sweat. 

In a skillet, add a small amount of coconut oil and then add the diced sweet peppers and onion.  sauté until the onions and peppers begin to caramelize.  Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the ground beef.  Season the beef with salt and pepper as it browns then stir in the cooked peppers and onions into the browned beef.

Once the roasting vegetables are finished, scrape all of the tomatoes, garlic and accumulated juices into a blender or food processor.  Remove the skin and seeds from the poblano and add that to the tomatoes and garlic, along with the can of diced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin & parsley.  Pulse until blended but still a bit chunky.  Season to taste with salt & pepper. 

Pour the contents of the blender into the pan with the beef, peppers & onions and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.  Season as needed with additional salt & pepper.

Serve the ragu over pasta of your choice.


My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries 
Zesty Zucchini Skillet 
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk 
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
Home Style Chicken Curry

Secret Recipe Club
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