The BEST Spring Lemon-Herb Orzo Salad

The BEST Spring Lemon-Herb Orzo Salad

The BEST spring lemon-herb orzo salad! It’s so easy to make and packed with fresh flavors from tons of herbs, lemon juice, feta cheese and crunchy peppery radish! I love to make this for potlucks, tailgating and make ahead lunches. It’s a vegetarian pasta salad everyone will love!

Read More

Vegan Peanut Ginger Cauliflower Veggie Burgers

Vegan Peanut Ginger Cauliflower Veggie Burgers

Homemade veggie burgers can be hit or miss. This recipe for vegan peanut ginger cauliflower veggie burgers are a hit! Made with a combination of quinoa, oats, chickpeas and rice cauliflower seasoned with ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter and fresh herbs. Enjoy over a salad on in a bun with an easy sriracha mayo!

Read More

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard stuffed acorn squash with za’atar and tahini drizzle is a show stopper, but is surprisingly weeknight friendly! You could serve this as a vegetarian main for holiday entertaining! Simply roast acorn squash halves seasoned with za’atar, a Middle Eastern seasoning mix, and stuff with chard, feta, chickpeas, pistachio and top with a quick tahini drizzle!

Read More

Goat Cheese Polenta with Mushroom Chickpea Ragu

Goat Cheese Polenta with Mushroom Chickpea Ragu

Would you believe you can have this bowl of creamy goat cheese polenta with chickpea mushroom ragu on the table in less than 30 minutes! Made with instant polenta and an easy protein packed vegetarian ragu, this is some serious Italian comfort food!

Read More

One Dish Vegetarian Greek Rice Casserole

One Dish Vegetarian Greek Rice Casserole

This one dish vegetarian Greek rice casserole is so easy to make! Just bake rice with chickpeas, spinach, sauteed garlic and onions, tons of fresh herbs and lemon! Top it off with feta cheese and bake until the rice is tender and crispy on the bottom of the pan! Easy to make with shelf stable ingredients so it makes the perfect pantry meal.

Read More

Spring Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Za'atar Croutons

Spring Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Za'atar Croutons

This spring Caesar salad is packed with seasonal produce like sauteed asparagus, crispy cucumbers and peppery radish mixed with arugula! Crunchy roasted chickpeas and za’atar seasoned croutons balance out the meal with protein and carbohydrate. One of those salads that will be on repeat all season!

Read More

Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces

Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces

Make this easy baked green falafel, packed with tons of herbs and pistachios! I serve them with three different dipping sauces for you indecisive folks - a spicy harissa tomato sauce, a creamy tahini yogurt, and a green herb chutney, along with pita bread. Vegan and gluten free too. 

Read More

Harissa Roasted Butternut, Cauliflower and Chickpea Bowl

Harissa Roasted Butternut, Cauliflower and Chickpea Bowl

If you love sweet and spicy, make this harissa roasted butternut, cauliflower and chickpea bowl immediately! It's really simple to throw together. Just roast fall vegetables and chickpeas in a glaze of harissa paste and pure maple syrup and serve over quinoa with feta, pomegranate and herbs for garnish. A totally nourishing vegetarian meal for winter or fall! 

Read More

Pasta with Shredded Squash and Yogurt Sauced

Use up your bounty of summer squash with this pasta with shredded squash and yogurt sauce! Trust me on the yogurt sauce, it's delicious!

Are you swimming in squash right now?

We're not....because we managed to kill our squash plants yet again. Womp womp. We've spent an ungodly amount of money on plants and seeds at the Hartley household, only to watch them wither up and die. Still, every spring we set out to have a garden plot any doomsday prepper would be proud of. When will we ever learn?

If you're better at keeping plants alive than we are, or at least know someone else who is, then maybe you'll appreciate this pasta with shredded squash and yogurt sauce. It's the perfect way to use up lots of summer squash or zucchini, which melds right into the yogurt sauce.

I know the yogurt sauce sounds kinda weird, but trust me on this one. It's takes on a rich and almost sweet flavor mixed with the caramelized squash and parmesan cheese. Plus, it's a heck of a lot easier than whipping up a cream sauce from scratch! Do be sure to use full fat yogurt. Not only does the fat help keep you satisfied but it tastes a heck of a lot better too.

Pasta with Shredded Squash and Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium-large squash, shredded on the large grates of a cheese grater
  • 1 cup plain, full fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • More parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking liquid then drain pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in a large sided skillet on medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add squash, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Decrease to medium heat and stir in yogurt, parmesan, nutmeg and a little reserved pasta water (start with about 1/3 cup). Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chickpeas and pasta and warm through a couple minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and serve garnished with almonds, scallions and more parmesan cheese.

More tasty ways to use up summer squash:

Millet and Quinoa Crust Pizza with Grilled Squash and Pesto
Millet and Quinoa Crust Pizza with Grilled Squash and Pesto
Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce
Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce
Grilled Zucchini and Gruyere Panini
Grilled Zucchini and Gruyere Panini

Spicy Hummus Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

A tub of hummus, a seasonal veggie and pasta is all you need to make this spicy hummus with roasted eggplant! Tastes like baba ganoush in pasta form! 

Hum. MUS. What is it good for? Absolutely everything

But really, it is. And I think this hummus pasta proves it.

Do you have pasta in your house? Of course. What about hummus? Duh, always. Some kind of seasonal veggie that likes to hang out in a hot oven and get all sweet and tender and caramelized? Darn it, you should! Because that’s really all you need to create this crazy delish and crazy easy dinner.

This pasta was the result of one of those days you come home, realize you didn’t plan anything for dinner and just can’t seem to drag yourself to the grocery store. Although my unreasonable fear of throwing away food has made me a pro at meal planning, sometimes I think my best creations come from days like this.

To make the sauce, I used Sabra's supremely spicy hummus. It creates a creamy, spicy and flavorful sauce that perfectly coats the pasta. Roasted eggplant takes on this buttery, melt in your mouth consistency. When the two combine, it kind of tastes like baba ganoush pasta! Not a bad thing as all my fellow baba ganoush lovers can surely attest.

What’s cool about this dish is that you can easily switch it up with different flavors of hummus and vegetables. Here’s some ideas:

Lemon hummus + roasted asparagus + peas + goat cheese

Jalapeno hummus + halved cherry tomatoes + roasted zucchini rounds

Horseradish hummus + smoked salmon + tomatoes + capers

Roasted garlic hummus + roasted zucchini + sun dried tomatoes

Olive hummus + spinach + oven roasted tomatoes

Possibilities = endless

Spicy Hummus Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a cheese grater
  • 12 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 10-ounce tub of spicy hummus
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss eggplant with olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1/3 cup salty cooking water. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add shredded zucchini and saute until tender and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.
  4. Toss pasta with hummus, thinning with reserved cooking water. Toss in zucchini and eggplant. Serve garnished with cilantro, scallion and basil.

More hummus friendly recipes:

Pita with Yogurt Chickpeas and Muhammara
Pita with Yogurt Chickpeas and Muhammara
Chickpea Hummus Salad Sandwiches
Chickpea Hummus Salad Sandwiches
Hummus Smorrebrod
Hummus Smorrebrod
Long-pin-template.png

Sweet Potato Hummus

Creamy sweet potato hummus is perfect for dipping raw veggies or with crunchy whole grain crackers! 

I love this summer.

If you've been following my adventures on instagram, then you know I just got back from a long weekend in Asheville. Before that, it was Tybee Island, Greenville and a week and a half in the northeast. Coming up, we've got Charleston, NYC, and Charlotte. With my practice, I've been running our first group of Joyful Eaters, working with a pretty full load of clients and wrapping up a few other big projects. Phew!

Even though the past few months have been packed to the brim with work and play, there's still been a leisurely feel to this season. After focusing on work and growing my practice, now that I'm finally settled and stable, I've really tried to prioritize rest, relaxation and self care...err, at least try to fit it in!

One of my favorite ways to do that is with reading. I'm pretty proud of myself for slowing chipping away at the pile of books by my bed! My latest read - My Fat Dad, which I'm participating in a blog tour for today.

My Fat Dad is part cookbook, part memoir. It hilarious and poignantly tells the story of Dawn Lerman's youth, growing up, hungry for pleasure and nourishment in a household with her yo-yo dieting father and a mother who couldn't care less about food or cooking. An incredibly successful marketing exec, her father was unable to replicate his work success in his attempts to lose weight. As he jumped from diet to diet, everything from Atkins to the grapefruit diet to a stay at an adult fat camp, she was essentially forced to live off his diet foods. She compassionately shares her dad's dieting stories, which was fascinating to read with an intuitive eating filter. With no family meals, eating was chaotic. It could have easily set the stage for developing eating issues of her own.

Thankfully, she had her grandmother, Beauty, who would spend hours with her, teaching her how to cook, instilling a love of real food and cooking, as well as an appreciation of her Jewish heritage and how food can connect you to it. This influence served as a protection against developing eating issues herself, and now Dawn is a nutritionist and columnist at The New York Times.

I usually don't do book reviews on the blog, simply because it's hard for me to commit to reading a book by a certain time. But I've been such a huge fan of Dawn Lerman's Fat Dad column at the Times, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate! Being half Jewish, growing up (partly) in New York, with a marketing exec father who yo-yo dieted himself (although not NEARLY on the scale as this book!), there was so much I related to. Although really, I think any food lover would relate to the story of falling in love with food and learning that it is so much more than fuel.

Reading Fat Dad got me thinking about all the things in my life that could have triggered eating issues. It gave me new appreciation for the love of food my family instilled, because I think that was my saving grace in becoming the intuitive eater I am today.

Also a cookbook, Fat Dad is peppered with recipes from her youth, everything from rich and decadent flourless peanut butter blondies to traditional Jewish dishes like kugel to recipes from her dad's diet adventures, like gazpacho and Pritkin-approved lentil stew. I chose to share her sweet potato hummus, since hummus was one of the first dishes I learned to make myself!

Connect with the author: Dawn Lerman, MA, C.H.H.C, LCAT, AADP

NY Times Column

DawnLerman.net

Facebook: Author Page

Twitter: @dawnlerman

Sweet Potato Hummus

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Reprinted from MY FAT DAD: A Memoir of Food, Love, Family, and Recipes By Dawn Lerman Berkley Books/2015

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Prick a sweet potato all over with the prongs of a fork. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 5-10 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Place chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and nutmeg in a food processor. Cut sweet potato in half and scoop the flesh into the food processor. Blend until pureed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with fresh vegetables and whole grain crackers.

Mediterranean Cobb Salad

For a twist on the traditional Cobb salad, try this Mediterranean Cobb salad with roasted asparagus, roasted red peppers and crispy chickpea croutons! 

Time for another round of Recipe Redux! This month's theme:

Limping Along for Lunch

Do you ever find yourself in a lunchtime rut? I quickly get bored of eating the same thing again and again. Packing leftovers from dinner for the next day's lunch has been my method for preventing lunchtime boredom for years! It works well for us since most recipes serve four,  there's always enough for our lunch.

Last month the hubs got a promotion that means a lot more travel the leftovers routine that I had down pat. If it's just me, I don't want to cook something and eat it for lunch and dinner, two days straight

For lunch, as stereotypical as it is, I love salads. They're bright, refreshing and don't leave me feeling groggy when I've got a ton to do the rest of the afternoon. But I also like tasty salads - no boring 'berg lettuce with ranch and cheese!

Last week I tried something new and planned a 'fancy' lunch salad then used some of the ingredients in making dinner the rest of the week. It was basically the reverse of my usual plan of using leftovers for lunch! This Mediterranean Cobb salad topped with roasted red peppers, crispy chickpeas, hard boiled eggs and roasted asparagus is what I came up with.

Here's how I extended my salad to dinner:

Asparagus: Roasted up two bunches and used the rest as a side dish with lemon and garlic chicken kebabs, roasted carrots and skillet potatoes.

Hard boiled eggs: One of my favorite snacks! I sliced them up over rye crispbreads with spicy mustard (one of my clients turned me onto this mustard and it's my favorite!)

Crispy Chickpeas: Roasted 2 cans and enjoyed the rest as a crunchy, salty snack!

Dressing: Leftover dressing is great drizzled over roasted vegetables for bright flavor, or over a side salad at dinner. I had this drizzled on roasted broccoli and it was heaven!

Here's some more ideas with some of my favorite salads:

Asian Tempeh Quinoa Salad with Wild Greens // Make extra tempeh-quinoa salad to serve with brown rice crackers as a snack.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Tempeh Bacon // Make an extra batch of tempeh bacon to scramble with eggs in the morning, or stuff into a vegan quesadilla with refried beans and guacamole. Use extra lemon dressing over roasted or sauteed veggies.

Black Rice Salad with Crispy Kale and Coconut // Make extra black rice for fried black rice with bok choy. Double the amount of dressing and use the other half to marinade chicken or tofu.

Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Soy-Miso Dressing // Double the batch of quinoa and use the rest to make a grain bowl or quinoa tahini bars. Make extra ginger orange carrots and swap for the plain carrots in my creamy carrot coconut soup! The dressing is also great over roasted salmon or a simple bowl of brown rice, roasted broccoli and chickpeas. 

One note, there are anchovies in this dressing but PLEASE don't let it deter you! I've got a recipe in the que that will talk all about anchovy goodness, but until then, please give this a try! Know that they're a totally sustainable and delicious source of omega 3s that also packs a nutty, briny flavor into dishes. You can try it in my roasted cauliflower pasta with browned butter (and secret anchovy) sauce ;)

Mediterranean Cobb Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salad: 

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 8 cups arugula

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 3 anchovy filets, very finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss chickpeas with 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, Roast for 20 minutes, toss with a spatula, continue roasting 15 minutes more until crunchy and toasted.
  3. Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on another baking sheet and roasted under the chickpeas for 10-20 minutes until browned and tender. Thinner asparagus will cook faster and thicker will take longer.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Mix all dressing ingredients together and whisk until combined. Season with pepper (it'll have enough salt from the anchovy)
  5. If serving individually, divide arugula between plates then divide chopped asparagus, chickpea croutons, halved hard boiled eggs, walnuts, and red onion down in lines.

Pita with Yogurt Chickpeas and Muhammara

This whole grain pita with yogurt chickpeas and muhammara is packed with fresh Middle Eastern flavors! 

Don't get me wrong. I love hummus. But sometimes it's necessary to switch things up. A few months ago, I stumbled on muhammara at Trader Joe's. I'd seen recipes for the Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut dip, but never tried it. It's deep red color and pretty package were calling me, so in my cart it went!

Holy smokes guys. Go out and grab some muhammara immediately! It's got a rich, deep and slightly smoky flavor that's enhanced with a bit of tart sweetness from pomegranate molasses. Spread on a piece of warm whole grain pita, it's pretty much perfect.

Actually, I take that back. Spooned into a warm whole grain pita along with creamy chickpeas with yogurt and crunchy vegetables, now that's perfect!

If you're packing this for lunch, you might want to pack the chickpeas and yogurt separately because the yogurt might make the pita soggy. The pita and muhammara would also make a great base for my green falafel or bulgur and lamb kofte

If you don't have a Trader Joe's or other store that sells muhammara, this recipe from The New York Times looks pretty simple.

Chickpea and Yogurt Salad Pita with Muhammara

Makes 4

Ingredients

Chickpeas:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pitas:

  • 4 100% whole grain pitas
  • 8 ounces prepared muhammara, or 1 cup homemade
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into thin half moons
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 2-3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together chickpeas and red onion, Add yogurt, dijon, parsley, lemon juice, zest, and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Warm pitas in a toaster until lightly toasted, or microwave 20 seconds. Cut pitas in half and open each half to make a pocket. Spoon 2 tablespoons muhammara into each pita half and spread evenly. Stuff with salad greens, carrot, cucumber and spoon in 1/8th of the chickpea mixture. Sprinkle in goat cheese and serve.

More pita friendly recipes:

Zucchini Chickpea Balls
Zucchini Chickpea Balls
Lentil Veggie Balls
Lentil Veggie Balls
Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces
Baked Green Falafel with Three Dipping Sauces

Gluten Free Nutella Blondies

You'll never guess the secret ingredient in these moist and dense gluten free nutella blondies!

Clemson football is a fall tradition in our house. The hubs and I both graduated from Clemson, and Scott's actually a third generation grad. We used to get season tickets, right up on the 40 yard line, but we stopped a couple years ago because with travel, we were missing all the big games. Still, whenever we can, which is most home games, we make it back to our 'happy place' to see friends, family, and cheer on our Tigers.

This year is a little sad because the way our schedule has worked out, I'm not going to make it to a game until November. We missed a couple games for weddings, a couple more when we go to Vietnam, and FNCE (our national dietitians conference) is scheduled when we play Notre Dame for the first time since the 70s. Seriously Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, why didn't you consult me?

While watching the game on TV with friends this past week, I realized how much I missed Clemson tailgating. I miss having all my friends together in one place. I miss driving through downtown Clemson. I miss post game beers at the Esso. I miss having happy college memories flood back to me as we walk around campus. And I miss these incredible gluten free blondies my friend makes for tailgates (hi Tara!).

It's been a couple years since I had them, but I do remember two things. One, they were gluten free. Two, they were the best blondies I've ever had. Ever. And I've been around the block a time or two with blondies.

When I decided to create my own version, I remembered how my absolute favorite brownies are made with black beans. If you haven't done much gluten free baking, it probably sounds absolutely nuts, but trust me, it does not taste like you're biting into a bean burrito. You barely get the flavor at all and the pureed beans provides a moist and dense texture. For blondies, it seemed natural to try with garbanzo beans.

The nutella spin was a happy accident when I realized I was out of almond meal and didn't feel like running to the store. Since I had a bag of hazelnuts on hand, I pulsed them in the food processor to create a flour. Really, you could use any type of nut flour and you wouldn't go wrong!

After baking, store these brownies in the refrigerator, since the beans will cause them to spoil at room temperature. The hubs learned that one the hard way.

Gluten Free Nutella Blondies

Makes 12.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted

  • 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar, like turbinado)

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place toasted hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and rub together to loosen the skins. Place 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts (leaving the skins behind) in a food processor and blend until they are a flour consistency.

  3. Add chickpeas, coconut sugar, eggs, coconut oil, and salt to the food processor. Process until blended together. Roughly chop the remaining half cup of toasted hazelnuts and stir that in along with the chocolate chips.

  4. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper or grease generously with coconut oil. Scrape batter inside and spread the top even with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are golden and the middle is firm. Remove from oven and set aside to cool room temperature before cutting into 12 squares.

More gluten free baked goods:

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies

Almond Trail Mix Cookies

Almond Trail Mix Cookies

Banana Oat Bites with Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Banana Oat Bites with Peanut Butter and Chocolate