Rosemary Hummus & snack platter

This is my kids favorite way to eat lunch.  Throw some food on a platter: pick, dip and eat!  I usually make this simple rosemary hummus to go along with the veggies and pita chips.  The fruit and cheese are just to round things out!Rosemary Hummus:1 can garbanzo beans (or any white beans you like), drained and rinsed1 tbsp dried rosemary or 2-4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leafs stripped1 clove garlic1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oilsalt and pepper to tastePut everything but olive oil in food processor and blend for a minute.  Then add oil a little at a time, blending as you go until everything is incorporated.  Salt and pepper.  To kick it up a notch, use crushed red pepper flakes instead of black pepper. That's it!  Serve with sliced celery, carrots, bell peppers, pita chips or tortilla chips.* Beans kind of have it all.  Fiber, check.  Protein, check. Iron, vitamin B, antioxidants and other trace minerals.  Check.  Remember that obnoxious song you used to sing when you were a kid.  "Beans, beans, the magical fruit the more you eat. . ."  You probably know the rest, but as obnoxious as that song was it's remarkably accurate :) It's true that the more beans you eat "the better you feel."

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Cool Cucumber Salad

 

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Creamy Saffron Vegetable Soup

    I first made this soup almost a year ago and after making it for dinner recently I knew I had to give it the spot light.  This soup is light yet so savory.  And here's my tricky little secret...it's creamy without using any cream.  So good for you and good tasting!  1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 yellow onion, diced2 clove garlic, minced2 celery ribs, chopped4-5 cups chicken stock (however thick you want it)2 bay leafs1 tsp turmeric1 pinch saffron threads, about a quarter of a teaspoon2 carrots, chopped2 red potatoes, cubed1 can great northern beans, pureed1 small yellow crookneck squash, slicedchopped parsley Heat olive oil in pot.  Add onion, garlic and celery.  Saute until onions are caramelized then pour in your chicken stock, bay leafs, turmeric, carrots and potatoes.  Bring to a low boil and let cook for about 5 minutes while you puree the beans (you may need to add some of the stock from your pot into the beans in the food processor) Mix pureed beans in until well blended.  Add squash and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and top with fresh parsley. *I'll just say if up front, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, about $800 a pound!  Don't worry you don't need near that much.  You'll probably pay about $13 for a packet of these tiny red threads, but the flavor and benefits may make it worth it.  http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/saffron.html The active components present in saffron have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines since long time ago as anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic. Research studies have shown that, safranal, a volatile oil found in the spice, has antioxidant, cytotoxicity towards cancer cells, anticonvulsant and antidepressant properties. Αlfa-crocin, a carotenoid compound, which gives the spice its characteristic golden yellow color, has anti-oxidant, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer properties. 
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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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