Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is great because it makes a nice, light snack or it can be part of a meal. I love to eat it with pretzels or pita and there are so many different varieties. I found this roasted red pepper hummus recipe that tastes amazing and is really easy to make. Plus, if you leave out the red peppers, it makes a great “plain” hummus. (Though you may want more garlic for flavor) It only stays good in the refrigerator for about a week, but at my place, it’s usually gone by then!

I’ve posted the recipe below for convenience, including my modifications. I usually choose not to include the cayenne pepper, too.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole red bell peppers
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt

Instructions

  1. Move your oven rack to be 5 inches from the broiler. Put broiler on high.
  2. Remove core of peppers and cut into large, flat pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet, skin side up.
  3. Broil 5-10 minutes, or until skin has charred.
  4. Add roasted peppers to a resealable plastic bag and let cool for 10-15 minutes. (You could also use a bowl covered in plastic wrap.)
  5. Gently peel skin off roasted peppers and coarsely chop. If you want, save some for a garnish.
  6. Combine tahini and lemon juice in a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and process for another 30 seconds.
  7. Add olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and process for another 30 seconds.
  8. Drain the can of chickpeas and rinse well.
  9. Add half of chickpeas and process for about 1 minute. Scrape sides and add the second half. Process for 1-2 minutes, until thick and smooth.
  10. Add peppers and process for another 1-2 minutes, until peppers are fully combined.
  11. If the hummus is too thick, add 1-3 tbsp of water until desired consistency.

Easy Mashed Potatoes

While not the healthiest, mashed potatoes are a great side dish to many meals. Growing up, my mother served potatoes with almost every meal. This recipe is how she used to make them and the way I continue to make them now. This recipe is good for 2 people, so feel free to double it if you need more.

The great thing about mashed potatoes is that you can add whatever you want to make them creamy and delicious. I personally use butter and milk or heavy cream, but if I have some sour cream or even cream cheese in the refrigerator, I’ll use some of that too. I might add a little salt and pepper for taste, too.

Ingredients

  • Your favorite potatoes (I like to use either 2-3 large russet potatoes or 4-5 small white potatoes)
  • 1/2 tbsp of butter
  • A few splashes of milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Peel your potatoes and chop into small chunks. Wash them thoroughly to remove starches.
  2. Put the potatoes in a pot that is large enough but will still have extra room. Fill it with water so it is covering all of the potatoes.
  3. Place over the stove on medium-high heat and boil for about 15-25 minutes, or until they are soft.
  4. Drain potatoes but keep them in the pot. Turn off heat. Add butter and milk or heavy cream.
  5. Begin mashing! Your potatoes should be fairly smooth and creamy. If they’re too dry, add some more milk/heavy cream. If they’re too wet, turn on the heat again and cook for a few extra minutes. stirring constantly.

Steak Tacos and Black Bean Corn Salsa from Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas is a food blogger who also has her own cooking show called Food for Thought. Her blog, The Kitchy Kitchen, has a bunch of great recipes, tips and beautiful photos of food.

She also has my favorite “Taco Night” recipes, from an episode of her show. (Click here for all the recipes) I haven’t tried all of them, but I have tried the Carne Asada Tacos and the Black Bean Corn Salsa recipes and they are my go-to recipes for when I want tacos. I combine both the steak and the black bean corn salsa on a warm flour tortilla and top with cheese and some tomato salsa. It’s perfection!

Here are the two recipes I love the most. I adjusted the steak recipe for 2 people, so I halved all the ingredients.

Steak Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank or skirt steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalepeno, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (just grab a small handful)
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except steak) in a bowl. Put the steak in another bowl or dish, pour marinade over it and then seal with plastic wrap.
  2. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
  3. Pre-heat and prepare your grill as you normally would. (I use a small George Foreman grill)
  4. Season both sides of the stesk with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill each side for only a few minutes, until your desired doneness. I like the inside of my steak to be pink.
  6. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Cut into slices before serving.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Ingredients

  •  1-2 ears of corn or 1 8oz can of corn kernels
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup of canned black beans, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry kernels until they are browned.
  2. Combine all other ingredients with the corn in a bowl.