Tag Archives: olive oil

Onion Roasted Potatoes @ NancyC

Onion-Roasted Potatoes

Onion Roasted Potatoes @ NancyC

This is a super-easy recipe I found a while back on the box of a Lipton® Onion Soup package. It’s so good! And I also like it because you don’t have to peel the potatoes–just leave those skins on and cut them into chunks! This is a very versatile side dish–you can serve these potatoes at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Many friends have asked me for this recipe over the years, and I posted it several years ago but didn’t have a very good photo of it– so this is a re-post of the recipe with a new photo. I also added suggestions on other ingredients you can add to these potatoes if you want.

ONION-ROASTED POTATOES adapted from Lipton®

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 lbs. of potatoes (about 4 medium or 3 large), cut into large chunks
  • Optional: 1/3  to 1/2 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup non-GMO canola or light olive oil

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Add all ingredients in a gallon-size plastic ziploc-type bag. Seal bag and shake until all the potato chunks are evenly coated with the oil/onion soup mixture. Then put potatoes in a 13 x 9″ baking or roasting pan and discard the bag. Bake, stirring occasionally, 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

FOR BREAKFAST OR BRUNCH: These potatoes are great served with a breakfast casserole and fruit salad for a filling breakfast or brunch. After roasting them, you could add 1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh chives and/or mix in some crumbled bacon if you want to make the potatoes a little fancier.

FOR LUNCH AND DINNER:  For lunch, these potatoes are great with just about any hot sandwich that you would serve french fries with–and they’re probably healthier than fries. It’s a great potato side dish for dinner, too. If you have cheese-lovers in your family, you could sprinkle some cheddar cheese on the potatoes after they’re done roasting, and pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, just to melt the cheese a little. Yum!

These potatoes get eaten up pretty quickly, so you may want to think about making a double batch in a larger baking pan if you’re cooking for more than 4 people.

Hope you enjoy them! Have you made roasted potatoes before?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Sunday Features, Create With Joy, Show and Share, Handmade Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Inspiration Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Share Your Style, Feathered Nest Friday, Fabulous Foodie Friday.

CucumberDillHummus@NancyCreative.com

Cucumber Dill Hummus

CucumberDillHummus@NancyCreative.com

If you’ve ever grown cucumbers in your garden, there’s a good chance you end up with more than you know what to do with! So here’s a recipe you can use some of those cucumbers in. If you’ve never tried making hummus before, this would be a great time to try it out–you can whip it up in a blender or food processor–it’s very easy to make! This hummus has a mild cucumber and dill flavor–if you really like dill, you might want to add in a little more for a stronger flavor.

CUCUMBER DILL HUMMUS by NancyC

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • Half of a medium-size cucumber, washed, peeled, and coarsely chopped (about 1  cup)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 Tablespoon fresh dill (for a stronger dill flavor, add a little more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional garnishes: a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh or dried dill, a sprinkle of paprika, 1 1/2 Tablespoons finely chopped cucumber

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add the Garbanzo beans, cucumber, and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Add in the olive oil, tahini, dill, salt, paprika, and minced garlic; blend all ingredients until smooth.

Spoon hummus into a small serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh or dried dill, a sprinkle of paprika, and/or some finely chopped cucumber. Serve with toasted pita bread, crackers, or veggies–cucumber slices are great with this! Cover and refrigerate any leftover hummus for up to 5 days.

It’s hard to believe there are just a few weeks left of summer! I’m really going to miss those long, sunny days and the abundance of home-grown fresh fruits and veggies. Have you grown any cucumbers in your garden this year?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Sunday Features, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Handmade Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Inspiration Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Share Your Style, Feathered Nest Friday.

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Olive Oil Soap

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Photo courtesy of The Best Homemade Natural Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps by Mar Gomez, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Have you ever made your own soap before? I really like the idea of using homemade soap with natural ingredients and have been interested in trying to make some myself. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to review the new book, The Best Natural Homemade Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps (Robert Rose, softcover). 

UnknownThe book starts off by sharing some interesting history about soap making. In ancient times, soap mainly consisted of a mixture of boiled fat and ashes. The first people to make olive oil soap were the Syrians, several thousand years ago in the city of Aleppo. “The women of Aleppo realized that by adding ground bay leaves to soap, skin infections were reduced considerably; the leaves from the bay plant possess an extraordinary natural antiseptic.” And other soap-making discoveries continued over the centuries.

This book also includes preparation tips and utensil and ingredient guides so you have everything you need to make your own olive oil-based soap. The step-by-step instructions seem easy to follow and include information on therapeutic qualities of the natural soap additives in each particular recipe–additives like essential oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, kaolin clay, seaweed, and goat’s milk. Some of the 40 different soap recipes include Kiwi Soap, Lavender Soap, Marigold Soap, Seaweed Soap, Green Tea Soap, Chocolate Soap, Coconut Soap, Cinnamon Soap, Rosemary Soap…and many more great-sounding versions!

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Image from The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

I was going to try making the basic Olive Oil Soap recipe. The ingredients are simple and basic enough–mineral water, lye (caustic soda), and extra virgin olive oil. However, I wasn’t able to find lye in any stores near me, so I guess I’ll have to order some from a soap-making supplier (there’s a list at the back of the book). In the meantime, I have permission from the publisher to share the recipe with you! Note: You’ll need safety goggles, a large saucepan, and a kitchen thermometer to make this soap.

OLIVE OIL SOAP from The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

  • 7.5 oz. mineral water
  • 3 oz. lye (caustic soda)
  • 1.5 lbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Scent (optional), store-bought or homemade
  1. Wearing gloves and goggles, pour mineral water into a large saucepan. Add lye slowly, stirring gently until it is dissolved.
  2. Using a thermometer, monitor the temperature of the lye mixture until it is between 120˚F and 140˚F.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat olive oil to between 120˚F and 140˚F.
  4. Remove olive oil from heat. Add lye mixture to olive oil, stirring slowly and trying not to splash.
  5. Stir occasionally, every 15 minutes or so, until the mixture thickens and congeals (it will have a texture similar to that of light mayonnaise).
  6. Stir in scent (if using). Stir for 1 minute with a spoon (or with a whisk, taking care not to create foam).
  7. Pour into a greased or paper-lined soap mold. Gently tap mold to remove any air bubbles.
  8. Cover with a blanket or towel and let stand for 2 days. Uncover and let stand for an additional day if the mold is very large.
  9. Turn soap out of mold. Wait another day, then cut into bars as desired.
  10. Dry bars for 1 month, turning occasionally to ensure they are drying uniformly.
Soap recipe from The Best Homemade Natural Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps by Mar Gomez, 2014 © http://www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

 

This sounds like a great soap for your skin! Homemade soap is a great DIY gift idea, too! Do you use or have you made any olive oil-based soap, or any other kinds of soap?

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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It’s been awhile since I tried a new hummus flavor. I’ve made quite a few different kinds of hummus already–like Avocado Hummus, Lemon Artichoke Hummus, Black Olive Hummus, Black Bean Hummus, Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Pumpkin Hummus, and good old regular Hummus! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus was next on my list. It was worth trying–the roasted red peppers, blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and other spices give this hummus a nice flavor and a creamy consistency that’s great for spreading on pita bread or other breads (I also like it on sourdough) and also for using as a dip with veggies, tortilla chips, or crackers. If you’re a hummus fan like I am, you just may want to try this out!

ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 cup roasted red bell pepper pieces from a jar, drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil (start with 2 and add 1 more if consistency is too thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 to 2 Tablespoons additional finely chopped roasted red bell pepper from jar, for garnish

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and mix until everything is well blended.

Spoon hummus into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped roasted red bell pepper if desired. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, fresh veggies, or warmed or toasted pita bread. Note: the garlic and pepper flavor get a little stronger the day after this hummus is made.

I’m glad hummus is healthy, because it’s one of my favorite things to eat or snack on. What’s your favorite healthy snack or dip?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me MondayShow and Share Tuesday, Let’s Get Real Friday.

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Avocado Hummus and a Featured Soup!

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Avocados are so good and since I was making some more homemade hummus, I decided to experiment by making an Avocado Hummus. It came out pretty much like I thought it would–really smooth and creamy, with that great avocado flavor, but also the traditional flavor of hummus mixed in. It makes a great dip, served with pita bread, tortilla chips, or crackers– or spread it on some crusty bread and top it with tomatoes and some crumbled feta cheese for a light lunch! If you like trying different flavors of hummus, you’ll have to make this sometime!

AVOCADO HUMMUS by NancyC

Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 to 2 fresh cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Put all ingredients, except the salt, in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If mixture is too thick, blend in an additional Tablespoon or two of water. Stir in the salt, to taste, if desired, then spoon hummus into a small bowl and serve with pita bread, tortilla chips, or crackers.

I’ve also made Lemon Artichoke Hummus, Black Olive Hummus, Black Bean Hummus, Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Pumpkin Hummus, and a basic Hummus. I never seem to get tired of eating it!

I wanted to mention, too, that I have a healthy soup recipe featured in Raw Food Magazine, in their latest September/October issue!

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It’s a digital magazine filled with lots of healthy recipes and articles on fitness, nutrition, and living a healthy lifestyle. You can find out more about it at RawFoodMagazine.com.

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You can also find my recipe for Tomato Basil Avocado Soup on my blog right here. It’s an easy, delicious, raw food recipe. Do you use raw food recipes often?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

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Tomato Cucumber Salad with Feta

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If you like tart and tangy, savory and salty flavors, then this is a salad you may want to try! I decided to make this when my friend Greg gave me some cucumbers from his garden. You can’t go wrong combining cucumbers with tomatoes, but when you add in some feta cheese and Kalamata olives, that really gives this salad a special zing! The “dressing” in this salad is very simple…just some lemon juice and olive oil. So there are lots of healthy ingredients in this. If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can chop up larger tomatoes into chunks and that should work fine. If you have a garden, it’s a great way to use all those cucumbers and tomatoes you’re growing this summer!

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD WITH FETA by NancyC

Makes about 5 servings

  • 1 pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese (about 1/4 lb.)
  • 2 small to medium cucumbers, diced into 1/2″ chunks (about 2 cups diced)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (slice both the white onion part and green stems)
  • 1 cup pitted and sliced or halved Kalamata olives
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

In large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the thyme, salt, pepper, and feta cheese.

Add in the cucumber, green onions, and olives; toss with the tomato/feta cheese mixture, tossing everything together well (you can let this mixture sit at room temperature up to 1 hour before serving). Just before serving, add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss everything together well. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

I love using fresh veggies from the garden or farmer’s market in summer recipes! Are you growing any veggies this summer?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday/Create with Joy, Show and Share/Coastal Charm.

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Rosemary Garlic White Bean Dip

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This white bean dip was one of those happy accidents that happen every so often. I thought I had bought a can of garbanzo beans on my last trip to the grocery store, which I use for making hummus, but discovered instead that I had mistakenly bought a can of cannellini beans! So instead of hummus, I made some white bean dip. I hadn’t ever made this kind of dip before, but I’ve purchased it many times and have always liked it. So this was the perfect time to try making my own! I came up with this recipe, using olive oil and lemon juice like I do when I make hummus.

I thought some garlic and rosemary would be great in this white bean dip, too. I love the garlic-rosemary combination, and lemon juice gives the dip a nice zing. I also used two cloves of garlic but if you just want a light garlic flavor, one clove may be enough for you. This recipe makes a little over a cup, so if  you need a bigger batch you’ll want to double the recipe.

ROSEMARY GARLIC WHITE BEAN DIP by NancyCreative

Makes 1 heaping cup

  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can Cannellini Beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (if using fresh, you’ll need 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • additional fresh or dried Rosemary for garnish

Combine  beans, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and minced Rosemary in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Spoon dip into a small bowl and garnish with fresh or dried Rosemary. Serve with fresh veggies, crusty bread, or crackers.

I really like this white bean dip–I think I’ll be making it pretty regularly, along with the hummus that I love to make! Have you made white bean dip before?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Favorite Things Thursday, Foodie Friday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

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Black Olive Hummus

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I have another hummus recipe for you! I often make a basic hummus recipe, but I’ve also made Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Black Bean Hummus, and Pumpkin Hummus. So this time I thought I’d try an Olive Hummus, because I love olives, especially Kalamata olives! I found a recipe at About.com that I tweaked a little, adding a little more lemon juice, some garlic, and more olives.

BLACK OLIVE HUMMUS by NancyCreative, adapted from About.com

Makes about

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained
  • 2/3 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives (or substitute another kind of black olive–can also use canned black olives-you would use most of a 4.25-ounce can–not quite all of it)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Optional: 1 to 2 Tablespoons water if a thinner consistency is desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • whole or sliced black olives for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or high-power blender) and blend until creamy and smooth. If consistency is too thick, add a Tablespoon or two of water. Put hummus in a small bowl and garnish with whole or sliced black olives.

Serve hummus with pita bread, pita chips, or veggies–I especially like it with celery sticks! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Are you a fan of hummus like I am? Do you make your own?

Linked to New Nostalgia, I’m Lovin’ It, Foodie Friday, Inspire Me Monday.

A Taste of Provence-Tomatoes Provençal

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DownloadedFileHave you ever been to Provence? I have never been to France but if I have the chance to go, Provence will be one of the areas I want to visit! This region of southern France stretches from the Mediterranean to the hills of Haute Provence, and from the Rhone River valley to the Italian Alps. It was the site of the first Roman colony beyond Italy and today it’s known for fragrant lavender fields, beautiful beaches like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice, quaint small villages, and fine wines and food. The cuisine of this area includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts–basically the core of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

I learned these things and more about Provence as I was looking through my review copy of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska. This softcover book introduces you to the geography, history, traditions, wines, and recipes of the region. Here are some images of Provence you’ll find in the book:

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Above images used with permission © François Milo.

Isn’t it beautiful? You’ll find more full color photography of picturesque Provence as well as many of the 47 recipes in the book, which are traditional favorites of the region…like Niçoise Salad, Fougasse with Tomatoes, Olives, and Peppers, Artichokes Barigoule, Tapenade, Swiss Chard Tart, Mediterranean Cod with Caramelized Onions, and Lemon Tart. The recipes are organized by the different areas of Provence that they’re popular in–Aix-en-Provence and Haute Provence, Marseille, La Cote Varoise, and Nice and the Riviera.

I decided to try the recipe for Tomatoes Provençal, because I love tomatoes and this is a simple yet delicious way to fix them–fresh tomatoes topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic. This makes a great side dish and would even work nicely for a spring or summer brunch. The book recommends serving “as a light meal with other Provençal delicacies and some crusty bread, or with meat.” For best results, use fresh, sweet, ripe tomatoes!

 TOMATOES PROVENÇAL from Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living

Makes 4 servings

This traditional Provençial dish relies on the quality of the tomatoes used; they must be fresh and ripe. It’s best to prepare this dish in the summer, when tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness, sweet, and full of flavor….

  • 4 small to medium ripe tomatoes, halved and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian flat leaf parsley)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs (I used the very fine breadcrumbs you purchase, but I think fresh breadcrumbs would be even better!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: I added some additional chopped parsley for garnish

Lightly dust the cut sides of the tomatoes with the sugar.

In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cut sides down, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until they caramelize.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the parsley and garlic.

Flip the tomatoes and distribute the parsley and garlic mixture evenly onto them, pressing down so the mixture adheres to the tomato. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Distribute the breadcrumbs evenly among the tomatoes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and fully cooked through. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and serve warm. Note: I drizzled the remaining olive oil from the sauté pan over the tomatoes and garnished them with additional chopped parsley.

I thought the blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and touch of sea salt made a great flavor combination as a topping for the tomatoes.

Have you made or tasted this dish before? And are you ready to take a trip to Provence now?:)

Black Bean Hummus

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When I was at the grocery store the other day, I saw some Black Bean Hummus. I hadn’t noticed that flavor before and it  sounded great ! Instead of buying some, I decided to make my own.

You use black beans instead of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) in this hummus, but it still has many of the same ingredients you would use in your typical hummus recipe…like olive oil, garlic, and tahini. It also has a little cayenne pepper in it, which adds some spiciness–but if you prefer a milder flavor, leave it out.

This is a smooth and creamy hummus, and I love the flavor combination of the black beans with all the other spices. If you like hummus and black beans, keep this recipe in mind!

BLACK BEAN HUMMUS by NancyCreative

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Optional garnishes: 10 to 12 Kalamata olives, 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place all ingredients, except for the garnish ingredients (olives and cilantro), in a food processor or high-power blender; process until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with olives and fresh cilantro. Serve with pita bread, fresh veggies, or tortilla chips.

I’m enjoying trying out and creating different hummus recipes! I’ve also made these other hummus recipes: basic HummusSun-Dried Tomato Hummus, and Pumpkin Hummus.   Do you have a favorite hummus flavor?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.