Tag Archives: tahini

Apple Tahini Toast

Eating breakfast is a common resolution people make when trying to eat healthier. For most of us, it is a good idea. Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day as we get overly hungry. It helps wake us up and give us energy we need for the day to get going.

The big problem most people have is having time. This Mediterranean diet inspired breakfast is super fast but still delicious. Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds (think peanut butter to peanuts). It’s really delicious and is a major ingredient in hummus. Try it and you will be surprised at how good it is. If you can’t find it, you could substitute your favorite nut butter here.

Enjoy!

Apple Tahini Toast (Serves 1, easy to make more)

Apple Tahini Toast

1 slice whole wheat bread or 1 whole wheat English muffin
1 ½ tablespoons tahini
½ apple, sliced
1 teaspoon honey

1. Lightly toast bread or English muffin.
2. Spread tahini over bread. Top with apple slices.
3. Drizzle with honey. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information: (toast)

Calories: 278
Protein: 8 g
Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 168 mg

Nutritional Information: (muffin)

Calories: 337
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Fiber: 9 g
Sodium: 269 mg

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Israeli Nachos

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was quiet and filled with lots of delicious food. Couldn’t have asked for more.

For as long as I can remember, New Year’s Eve has meant a dinner of appetizers. As a kid, I loved that. We got to eat in front of the TV, which never happened. My husband and I have continued the tradition, although our selection is pretty different from what I had growing up. We vary some items, but some sort of chip/dip/nacho combo is always in there.

These are what I loosely call “Israeli” Nachos. They were originally inspired by nachos my husband got at Middle Eastern restaurant and then riffed off of this online recipe. I like that there is some substance, but easy on the cheese. The hummus kind of acts like the guacamole, the Israeli salad like the pico, and the yogurt sauce like sour cream. Whether you could find anything like this in Israel, I don’t know. But I’d eat it if I did.

If you are looking for other appetizer ideas for your New Year’s celebrations, look here.

Israeli Nachos (Serves 4)

Israeli Nachos

½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ red onion, diced
½ jalapeno, diced small (seeds and membranes removed if preferred)
1 clove garlic, mincedd
1 can reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder (to taste, based on heat of your curry)
Tortilla chips
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about ¼ cup per person)
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
¼ red onion, diced
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 recipe hummus

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and jalapeño until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 clove garlic, cooking 1 minutes. Add chickpeas, garam masala, and chickpeas. Saute until combined and heated through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Spread tortilla chips evenly over baking sheet. Sprinkle chickpea filling evenly over the top. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

4. While cooking, prepare yogurt sauce by coming yogurt, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and tahini in a blender until smooth.

5. Also prepare salad: combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and remaining olive oil and lemon juice.

6. Serve nachos with hummus, yogurt sauce, and salad.

Recipe notes: Pita chips seem like the logical choice here, but I remember them being tortilla chips at the restaurant. Either would work of course. You notice I didn’t put nutritional information on this one. This one is a little complicated, since it is very variable on how many chips you like and how much of the dips you use. You will have a lot more dip than bean topping. So, you could double the topping. I didn’t have any, but I think some chopped flat leaf parsley in the salad would be really nice.

Source: adapted from memory from Laffa restaurant in Tulsa (If you are ever in Tulsa, go there please. Yum!) and here

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Carrot Salad with Chickpeas

One of my favorite parts of summer is all of the yummy salads that are served at cookouts. I love being able to taste all of the different kinds. Vegetable salads, pasta salads, makes no difference to me. However, I don’t know that I’ve ever tried carrot salad before. I think because every version I’ve seen before has raisins in it. While I like raisins, carrots and raisins seem like an odd combo to me.

This salad was amazing. Great Mediterranean flavors that come together very quickly. My toddler even ate some, which is always a miracle. Take it to your next summer event. You’ll definitely have a unique offering that will be a big hit. Enjoy!

Carrot Salad with Chickpeas (Serves 8 or more)

Carrot Salad with Chickpeas

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat oven to 425.

2. Toss chickpeas, one tablespoon olive oil, and cumin together. Spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven until crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Toss occasionally during cooking. Revue from oven and set aside.

3. Place carrots in a large bowl. Toss with cilantro, walnuts, and chickpeas.

4. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Toss with the carrot mixture. Can serve immediately or chill.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 172
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 109 mg

Recipe Notes: I used a food processor on the carrots, which made the process go much faster. If using a regular grater, use the larger holes. The chickpeas can get a little bit soggy as it sits, but not horribly.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Chicken Shawarma

As part of my schooling, I participated in several cultural sensitivity programs. Food and diet are a huge part of every culture, so it was important to try to understand different cultural groups before trying to treat them. However, I think the thing I learned most from these programs was how culturally insensitive we all are, on purpose and completely on accident.

Ethnic-inspired recipes on this site are an area where I verge on being culturally insensitive. I hesitate to even use the traditional name for dishes, since I know that I have made changes to each dish. So please be aware, dishes on my site are often inspired by flavors from around the globe. But I don’t feel restricted from adding my own personal flair to dishes.

Chicken shawarmas are no exception. I first ate shawarma in London and fell in love. Juicy meat, chewy bread, an assortment of vegetables I didn’t recognize, and some sort of sauce that leaked out purple on my hands came together in a beautiful harmony. I’ve tried a few at a variety of restaurants since, but none have lived up to the one in my memory. This recipe is more of an homage than trying to recreate what I had in London. But it makes for a delicious, hearty dinner. Enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma (Serves 4)

Chicken Shawarma

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
4 whole grain pitas or flatbreads
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ recipe of roasted red pepper hummus
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
12 tomato slices
½ red onion, thinly sliced

1. Combine lemon juice, curry powder, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and cloves in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Toss to coat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, up to 24 in the fridge.

2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Once chicken is done, lightly grill pitas until just warmed through.

3. Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until combined.

4. To serve, spread about 1 tablespoon of hummus on flatbread. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 453
Protein: 43 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 87 mg
Carbohydrates: 47 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 816 mg

Recipe Notes: You could marinate and grill the chicken breasts whole, and then slice when ready to serve. They will just take longer to cook that way. I was too lazy to make or buy pitas when I took this picture. This was some leftover naan bread I warmed up from the freezer. Not traditional in any way, but a decent substitute. You will not use all of the yogurt sauce. But it is delicious on salads, sandwiches, etc.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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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

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