White Beans can Crostini

My next recipe comes from Light and Healthy and is a continuation on the crostini recipe I wrote about months ago.

This recipe challenges you to not be a basic with your tiny garlic bread and instead asks you to be extra vanilla with white beans and arugula.

I’m not so sure that joke worked. Maybe I need to get my money back from that comedy class I took.

What you’ll need

  • 1 large baguette, cut on the bias into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, one un-cut and two minced
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 shallot minced (3 tablespoons worth)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 ounce of arugula, chopped (1/2 cups worth)

The first step is to mix the beans, oil, lemon juice, and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. It’ll look a lot like hummus by the time you’re through.

Next, combine this mixture in a bowl along with the cayenne and shallot. Feel free to also season with salt and pepper as well.

Once this is combined, cover the bowl and allow it to rest under room temperature for about an hour.

When you’ve got 10-15 minutes left waiting for that mixture to settle go ahead and prepare your crostini by following the crostini recipe I mentioned earlier.

When that basic recipe is complete, your bean mixture should be well settled. Take a tablespoon of the bean mixture and spread it on each slice. Then sprinkle arugula on top and you are finito!

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This is a little larger than crostini, but the taste will be the same

As you can see in the photo, I purchased bread that was little bigger than what is called for. You’ll actually want to select a baguette that’s about half the width of what I ended up with.

If you want to be a goody two shoes and follow the rules that is. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter. I can assure you it’ll still taste great.

So how is the taste?

Pretty damn good. As I mentioned earlier, the bean spread reminded me of hummus and that follows through in regards to taste as well, but my favorite part of this recipe is the arugula.

I love arugula. It’s springy and tastes so fresh and green with it’s slightly nutty flavors. Combine that with a bean spread and you just feel…I don’t know…one with nature I guess.

Like you’re just meeting mother nature and your nonna for a light picnic. That’s the best way I can describe it.

So go ahead, plan your fantasy picnic and be one with the universe.

 

 

 

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Crostini, aka tiny garlic bread

My next recipe comes from Light and Healthy and the good news is that mini garlic toast doesn’t need much tweaking if you need to lay low when it comes to food consumption.

The only tip Light and Healthy has given us is to use olive oil spray so one can control the amount of oil and avoid infomercial level embarrassment like below

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We’ve all been there

Other than that this is your standard garlic bread recipe which consists of rubbing garlic on bread.

In case you don’t know how to do that, here’s what you’ll need.

  • 1 large baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • olive oil spray
  • salt and pepper

The first step is pre-heat the oven to 400 and place your rack in the middle.

Once the oven is heated, place the toast on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. You’ll want to turn them over half way through this process as well.

When baking time is up, take them out of the oven and immediately rub the garlic on each toast. You only need to do one side as well.

After the garlic rub, spray each toast with oil, lightly season with salt and pepper, cross your fingers, throw salt over your left shoulder, and then you should have some mini garlic bread.

For those of you who are not aware of my sarcasm, you don’t have to do the last two steps.

My point with the jokes is that this is elementary cooking my friends and I have faith each and every one of you can make this.

It’s so easy that I don’t know how to elaborate more on this or how to even end this post. So, on that note, check out this cute cat plate with crostini and have a good day!

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Crostini makes kitties happy

 

 

 

Homemade Chips and Salsa

Chips and salsa are a favorite eating pastime of mine. I’ve known how to make my own salsa for a few years now, but this was my first attempt to make my own chips.

The greatest news about this chip making recipe is that it comes from the Light and Healthy Cookbook, so you can feel a little less guilty about eating a giant bowl of chips and salsa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Not that I ever do that or anything.

What you’ll need for the salsa

  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes (5-6 medium), cored, seeded, and chopped medium
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup of minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder

What you need for the chips

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

The fist step in making the salsa is to place the tomatoes in a strainer with a bowl underneath the strainer. Sprinkle salt on top of the tomatoes and let them drain for about 30 minutes. Discard the liquid once the 30 minutes are up.

While the tomatoes are being softened with salt, you can combine the onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and chili powder in a medium bowl.

Side note, if you like things hot like I do, don’t discard the jalapeno seeds. If you’re truly like me, you’ll add another jalapeno as well.

Put one-third of the drained tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Then add these tomatoes to your onion and chili bowl you created earlier. Then add the chunky tomatoes and mix it all together.

Cover this mixture and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.

We are now ready to make our chips!

Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 350. Place your chips as evenly as possible, spray with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake until they are slightly browned which should be around 8-12 minutes. Flip the chips when this occurs and bake for an additional 8-12 minutes. By this time the chips should be ready to eat, but if they aren’t just tackle on more time in the oven. You want to make sure they are nice and crisp.

Whether you need more time or not, they will need to cool before consumption which should work out with waiting on that delicious salsa you just made.

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Overall, I was happy with this recipe. I prefer salsa that isn’t quite as chunky most of the time, but I like how the chunky tomatoes sort of spritz juice in you mouth. It makes me feel light and refreshed.

My chips were not consistently crisp which was disappointing, but I blame myself. I didn’t bake them long enough and didn’t realize they weren’t really as crisp as they seemed. So be sure to really check those chips out before taking them out of the oven.

I’m sure if I made this again, I’d have more success and as much as I love greasy fried chips, it’s good to have heatlhy alternatives you can make yourself.

Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier; The Final Chapter Resident Olive

The epic saga of hummus in the tales of Light and Healthy has now reached it’s final chapter. Will the forces of Olive defeat the evil empire of Garbanzo?  Stay tuned to find out.

Starring,

  • 1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh parsley or cilantro
  • A jar of pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Previously on Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier we discovered Princess Hummus was trapped in the evil Kingdom of Garbanzo. How did she get there? Click the link to find out.

Meanwhile, our hero, Resident Olive along with two tablespoons of his coarsely chopped olive friends have made there way to Isle of Food Processor where they joined rebel garbanzo beans in an attempt to combine forces to save Princess Hummus from their evil emperor. Once combined, they traveled to Princess Hummus’s prison bowl. Upon arrival, Resident Olive realized they would need more allies and called on two more tablespoons of coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives. When the allies arrived, the evil emperor fired bolts of fresh parsley on them in attempt to overtake the rescue.

Princess Hummus counterattacked this spell by casting a delicious hummus summon spell which caused a human to save everyone and return the people of Hummus to their rightful home, The Kingdom of Rachel’s Stomach.

All rejoiced and lived a happy, wonderful life.

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Resident Olive and his army of olives and garbanzo beans

 

Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier Part III The Roasting of Red Pepper

The same drill applies to  Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier but this time with roasted red peppers.

Like the last two times, straight tahini sauce seems to evade me. I swore I saw some somewhere though. I thought it was Trader Joe’s. I thought maybe they made it a seasonal thing or maybe they read my blog and felt bad. I don’t know, but I swear I saw it somewhere.

I’m probably just hallucinating. That happens to crazy people.

As I said, follow the recipe link above and add 1/4 cup of jarred roasted red peppers. These peppers will be chopped up in the food processor, along with everything else.

So far, this is my favorite hummus I’ve made. The red peppers give the hummus a nice small kick that is barley noticeable for me, but I have a high threshold for spice. I enjoy the pain. I would not be impressed with Mr. Grey’s playroom. I’d be like, “What no ghost pepper?!”

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Let the massive redness entrance you!

 

Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier; Part II includes more Lemons!

This is part II to Light & Healthy’s hummus recipe. You can refer to Hummus Part I by clicking the link.

There aren’t any major differences compared to the first recipe. Like the first time around, I was unable to find tahini and had to use tahini sauce from Trader Joe’s. The sauce has lemon in it as well, so all I ended up doing for the lemon hummus was add the juice of a whole lemon. Then I added a 1/4 of a cup of parsley and mixed it with the hummus.

There’s not much else to say about the recipe. It is definitely full of lemon and you can garnish with lemon zest to make it even more lemonful. I chose not to and that was fine with me.

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Hummus, A Healthy Snack Made Even Healthier

My next recipe come from Light & Healthy. As I’ve said before, this cookbook is sweet because they experiment with different ingredients until they find healthy and tasty alternatives. I’m a big believer in, if you don’t like how light alternatives taste then don’t torture yourself with it.

I was unaware that hummus needed any tweaking in the healthy department though. To be fair to myself, there isn’t a whole lot of tweaking in this recipe. They basically use less olive oil and tahini. I guess that’s where all the fat is.

What you’ll need for this recipe are 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, 5 tablespoons of water, 1/4 cup of tahini, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 small minced garlic clove, salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, a pinch of cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of parsley.

The first step is to put the chickpeas, water, tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cumin and cayenne in a blender or food processor.

I should note that I could not find straight up tahini, so I ended up using Trader Joe’s tahini sauce. If you do the same just check out the ingredients in the sauce and adjust accordingly. For example, if it has olive oil in it, don’t add in the full amount of olive oil in the recipe.

Either way, you are going to blend this mixture until smooth. After it’s been smoothed you let it settle by transferring it to a bowl and refrigerating for about an hour.

After that’s done you just sprinkle it with some parsley and it’s ready to serve. I also sprinkled mine with more cayenne, but that’s because I’m a spice freak.

The final result is a fairly basic hummus dip. I don’t have much to say about it. It wasn’t amazing, but it did the job. I paired it with pita chip wheat thins, but feel free to do whatever you wish with it.

Well maybe not whatever you wish, but you get the idea.

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Hummus!