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Chocolate Chestnut Dessert Hummus

Chocolate Chestnut Dessert Hummus

Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword chestnut, chocolate, dessert hummus, hummus
Author Liz Bissell

Ingredients

  • 1- 6.5 oz package of chestnuts, peeled and steamed I used the brand, Melissa's
  • 2 tbsp 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water
  • tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • sprinkle coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add more water 1 tbsp at a time if a smoother consistency is desired.

  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve with fresh fruit and/or graham crackers.

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Cucumber and Avocado Gazpacho

If you’ve been following me over on Instagram, you know I’ve had a plethora of cucumbers this season from my garden. I’m not complaining! BUT it has been a little challenging keeping up with consuming them and avoiding waste. So I had to get a little creative. I mean don’t get me wrong I can munch on raw cucumbers but a girl can only eat so many salads and snack so often.

I already pickled a crap ton of them for standard pickles and different condiments so I opted for a cold cucumber soup. A nice little cucumber gazpacho on a hot September afternoon hhhmmmmmmm yes. Please and thanks. This cold soup also makes for a nice little appetizer for a summer dinner party.

I had to test it a couple times to get it just right and I encourage you to adjust as needed to your flavor preference because when you make it, it’s YOUR dish 🙂 What I really love about this soup is how easy it is. You don’t have to peel the cucumbers. Let me repeat, do NOT peel the cucumbers. I did so on my first go-around and ended with beige-colored soup and despite it tasting good, I just couldn’t get over the color. So wash the outside of the cucumbers, chop, and you’re good!

Cucumber gazpacho 2.jpg

Another bonus of not having to peel the cucumbers (outside of the saving time), is the extra fiber boost! My husband doesn’t love the texture of the skins of cucumbers so this was a great way to utilize the skins and sneak in a bunch of extra fiber! Skins of any fruit or vegetable is where the money is. Americans in general struggle to get adequate daily fiber in due to the processed nature of American westernized food. Fiber is commonly found in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, seeds, and also whole grains.

What is the daily goal for fiber intake you may be asking yourself?

Women should shoot for 25 grams per day, while men should aim for 38 grams per day. To provide you with an example for comparison, one large pear with skin provides about 7 grams of fiber. Many Americans only get about 15 grams in per day. Fiber is so important for so many reasons!

  1. Helps keep us all regular! I ain’t ashamed to have the poop talk!
  2. Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease due to it’s potential to lower blood cholesterol.
  3. Keeps us satiated between meals and helps avoid overeating, which in turn helps us maintain a healthy weight.

The health benefits of this gazpacho alone should be reason enough to try this recipe. Did I mention, you put all the ingredients in a blender and that’s it? Oh yes, that’s it. Refrigerate and voila, you’re good to go. Hope you guys enjoy!

-EAB

Cucumber and Avocado Gazpacho

Course Appetizer, Soup
Author Liz Bissell

Ingredients

  • 6-8 small cucumbers (or 2-3 large English cucumbers), washed and diced
  • 2-3 tbsp red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 slices day-old bread, cubed (crust removed)
  • tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar

Instructions

  1. Crust and cube the bread and place in a medium bowl. Pour water over and let it soak for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Chop the red onion, garlic, shallot, bell pepper, salt, cucumber, and 2 Tbsp of olive oil and stir to combine in a medium bowl. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.

  3. Squeeze the water out of the bread and add the bread to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.

  4. In a large blender or food processor, add the bread-vegetable mixture in parts. While blending, add the avocado, sherry vinegar, and the last 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add salt and additional vinegar as needed. Blend until smooth.

  5. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Serve chilled.

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Healthy Tzatziki Sauce

I have been obsessed with making sauces or aioli’s lately to bring an average dish to the next level. In college, one of my girlfriends did a study abroad in Greece for the summer. She came back bragging about this amazing cucumber-dill sauce that she ate constantly over there. When she made the tzatziki sauce for us, I COULD NOT stop eating it. We ripped off pieces of French bread and dipped it into this thick, creamy goodness…over and over and over again.  Tzatziki sauce

Although I woke up the next morning breathing fire from the garlic (despite brushing my teeth thoroughly the night before), it was so worth it! Since then, I have made this sauce several times and it is a must-make in the summer, especially with the abundance of cucumbers I have growing in my garden. This sauce pairs beautifully with anything Greek (for obvious reasons), such as a Greek salad, gyros, or just plain old baked chicken breast.

Tzatziki sauce 1

This sauce also makes for a great high-protein, low calorie dip served with vegetables and crackers…perfect for football season right around the corner! The high protein content of the Greek yogurt will help you feel full for longer and keep your grazing in check. This sauce can be made a few minutes before serving but it truly tastes the best if it has had at least an hour or even overnight to let the flavors marinade. The key to avoiding this tzatziki sauce from getting too watery is salting the chopped cucumbers and letting them sit for an hour or two. This extra step pulls water from the cucumbers making the sauce extra creamy instead of watery.

Print this recipe off because you’re going to want to add it to your regular rotation 😉 Enjoy!

Tzatziki Sauce

Course Appetizer
Servings 2 cups
Author Liz Bissell

Ingredients

  • cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, coarse More as needed to salt the cucumber.
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel cucumber and slice lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the all the seeds of the cucumbers out. Then chop the cucumber.

  2. Cover a baking sheet with paper towel. Spread the cucumber over the paper towel. Sprinkle the cucumber with sea salt and set aside. Allow this to rest for 1-2 hours.

  3. While the cucumber is resting, combine the Greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cucumbers are ready.

  4. Once the cucumbers are ready, add into the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Best if refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.

-EAB