Tag Archives: caramelized onions

4 Hummus Variations

My toddler is in the “dip” phase of eating. Everything is better if she can dip it in something. Red dip (ketchup) and white dip (ranch dressing) are her main go-to’s, but she is willing to branch out. Today, she asked me for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch with red dip. Gross.

While her obsession can be frustrating, I have to admit that I love dip myself. Chips and dip, veggies and dip, soup with a sandwich to dip, rolls to dip in gravy…really I could go on. The biggest problem with dip is the addition of empty calories. Hummus falls into the traditional dip pitfalls by being somewhat calorically dense, but does at least provide some protein and fiber along the way. I have found that if I pack it full of flavor, I don’t use as much dip either, which reduces the calories.  Here are four different variations on hummus we have been enjoying lately (with only pictures of three because I don’t always think things through).

Enjoy!

Basic Hummus (Makes about 2 cups)

Basic Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup tahini
¼ cucumber
1 clove garlic
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water (or more)

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor. Blend, adding water to achieve desired consistency. Serve or chill until ready to use.

Nutritional Information (Amount per 2 tablespoons):

Calories: 26
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 36 mg

Variation 1: Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion (where I forgot to take a picture.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Take a whole head of garlic. Slice off the bottom to expose the cloves inside. Drizzle ½ teaspoon olive oil on it. Place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Let cool.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add one thinly sliced onion. Saute until beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

4. Prepare hummus as above, omitting original garlic. Substitute up to half of the cloves from the roasted head of garlic. Add in the onions. Blend to desired consistency.

Variation 2: Roasted Red Pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1. Preheat a grill or broiler to high. Lightly coat a red bell pepper with olive oil. Grill or broil, turning every few minutes as each side is charred. Once done, place in a paper bag for 5-10 minutes. Remove from bag. Peel off skin. Remove stem and seeds. Chop red pepper.

2. Prepare hummus as above, adding in chopped red pepper.

Variation 3: Sun-Dried Tomato

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1. Prepare hummus as above, adding ⅓ – ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (preferably dried, not packed in oil).

Recipe Notes: Don’t be afraid to add water to get the consistency you want. I also found that this solidifies a bit when refrigerated, so maybe err on the thin side if you are not serving immediately.  You could also try these variations with my baba ganoush recipe with yummy results.

Source: Adapted from various sources online

3 Comments

Filed under Recipes

French Onion Soup + Lightened up Grilled Cheese

I asked my husband what his favorite vegetable was once.   He thought for a long time and said, “Peas, corn, and maybe carrots.”  This is the man that has NEVER eaten a dish that he thought had too many onions, and believe me I have tried. I would guess that most of us forget that onions are even a vegetable, and yet, many of us eat more onions in a year than about any other vegetable.

Onions add to the rainbow of color I mentioned last week.  High in vitamin C, fiber, and several phytochemicals, onions are nutritionally beneficial beyond the flavor they add to your food.

I know onions can be strong, but caramelizing onions takes away the strong onion flavor and enhances the natural sweetness.  Caramelized onions are great on sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs as well as in chili and some pasta dishes.  This french onion soup is the perfect soup for a multi-course holiday dinner – full of flavor but very light.  You could serve this with a more traditional cheesy toast on top, but I prefer a grilled cheese.

Enjoy!

French Onion Soup  (Serves 4-6)

IMG_5977label

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 cups low sodium beef broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. In large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until beginning to lightly brown. Add salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until they are a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.

2. When onions are sufficiently caramelized, add garlic powder. Sauté for about a minute, until fragrant.

2. Add broths, water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaf. Scrap bottom of pot when adding broths to get any brown bits off the bottom. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in vinegar. Serve warm. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 161
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 268 mg

Recipe Notes: I’m including a process shot for those who haven’t caramelized onions before. This took at least 20 minutes, and I’d keep going. Caramelizing onions takes patience. Take deep breaths, and give them time. It kind of looks like a watery mess at some points. That is just the water coming out of the onions, which is good. I know this seems like a lot of onions. But they are kind of like leafy greens – they shrink a lot when cooked.

IMG_6096label

I would be fibbing if I said this was my favorite soup ever. It was very tasty. I’m just more of a soup-as-a-meal rather than soup-as-a-course person.

Source: Adapted from Keeping Up Cookbook

Lightened Grilled Cheese (Makes 4 sandwiches)

4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1. Combine cream cheese and shredded cheese. Divide evenly between 4 bread slices. Top with remaining bread for sandwiches.

2. Heat a skillet to medium to medium-high heat. Place ¼ teaspoon of olive oil on skillet and place 1 sandwich on top, swirling sandwich a bit to coat with oil. Repeat for remaining sandwiches. When browned, flip sandwich, putting another ¼ teaspoon of olive oil under each sandwich mid-flip. Brown second side.

Nutritional Information (Amount per sandwich):

Calories: 341
Protein: 18 g
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 412 mg

Recipe Notes: You could use whatever shredded cheese you prefer. Swiss cheese and french onion soup are a classic combo. These are a little more intense than traditional grilled cheese, I know. But they are very good and cut quite a bit of fat.

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes