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Muhammara (Hot Pepper Dip)

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This spicy vegan dip originates in Syria and I didn’t discover it until my friend, Pia, introduced me to it.  It’s her favorite dip and she recommended it to me when she found out I enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine.  I knew it was right up our alley simply because it’s spicy, and since I’d seen some of the pomegranate syrup the recipe calls for at a market attached to our favorite Lebanese restaurant, I snapped a bottle up next time we were there and set out to make this dip.

It is great simply as a dip, but I’m also going to include a “recipe” for a veggie wrap that I’ve incorporated it into for quick lunches.  The first time I served this to my husband, he raved, and it wasn’t until afterward that I realized he had eaten an entirely vegan meal with no complaints. Score!

Muhammara (Hot Pepper Dip)

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Printable recipe with picture

1 (12 oz) jar of roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs — 1/2 cup (I turned pita bread into crumbs in the food processor)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses/syrup/concentrate
1 tablespoon sriracha hot chile sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Chop the peppers roughly and place them, along with all the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, into a food processor or blender. Pulse to roughly chop the ingredients, then slowly pulse in the olive oil. Try not to purée the ingredients too much. You want the dip to have a little texture.  Adjust seasoning to taste and serve as a dip or spread with pita wedges, vegetables or kebabs.

*Veronica’s notes: the original recipe calls for four fresh red peppers which you roast before processing.  Click the recipe source link below for instructions on this if you would like to do it this way.  The original recipe also calls for red pepper flakes instead of sriracha, so that can be used in place of sriracha if you desire.  As for the pomegranate syrup, my bottle is actually a pomegranate juice concentrate and I know that Pom is now selling this so you might be able to find it where Pom brand pomegranate juice is sold if you don’t have a market that sells ethnic foods in your area.

Recipe source: Inato lang Filipino Cuisine and More


Muhammara Veggie Wrap

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Printable recipe with picture

You will need:

  • Muhammara
  • Black beans
  • Parsley
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded carrots
  • Tortilla, flat bread, or pita bread*

Spread muhammara down the center of your tortilla or bread, then sprinkle on some beans, a little parsley, a handful of spinach and shredded carrots.  Wrap tightly and cut in half to serve.

*I used a pita “tortilla” for my wrap bread:

Recipe source: inspired by My Kitchen Adventures

***For those who wish to participate in BSI this week, don’t forget to submit your cream cheese recipes to me by Sunday night!  Details here.***

Restaurant-Style Tabouli

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Hummus and tabouli are my favorite sides to serve with Lebanese fare.  Not only are they simple to make, but crazy delicious!  My Mom’s tabouli consists predominantly of bulgar wheat, and most recipes I’ve found are the same, but I noticed when I ordered it at restaurants, it was mostly parsley with a tiny bit of bulgar in it.  Not only is this lower in calories (bonus!), but I actually prefer the taste.    The parsley and lemon make for a very refreshing salad!  Here’s my version of restaurant-style tabouli.

Restaurant-Style Tabouli

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Printable recipe with link

3 bunches parsley, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fine bulgar wheat
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and let sit overnight before serving.  There is no need to cook the bulgar, as it will absorb moisture from the salad and become tender in a few hours.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 76 calories; 3 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 3.5 g fiber; 3 g protein

Recipe by Veronica Miller

I used red onions in the first picture, and white onions in this one. You can also use green onions, if you prefer.

On a personal note: I’m leaving to visit friends in Texas so this is the last recipe I’ll be posting for a while.  I know I’m not a regular poster anyway, so you guys won’t even miss me!  Nevertheless, I will return later next week with some sweets & savories for you. You’re in for a few treats! :)

Hummus and Baked Flour Tortilla Chips


Somehow, over time, hummus has become my favorite food.  The food I think I could live on if I had to choose just one.  I eat it almost every day, sometimes with pita chips, sometimes with baby carrots, and sometimes with homemade whole wheat tortilla chips. I often replace whole meals with it!

Hummus is essentially a white bean dip that originates in the Middle East and usually contains chick peas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cumin.  Most basic recipes contain all these and the only difference seems to be the amount used and the preparation methods.

I’m going to share my own recipe for hummus with you, one that is not only approved by me (a lover of all hummus), but by my husband, who used to detest hummus.  I tried countless times to get him to like it, making him sample it every time I ordered it at a restaurant or bought some from the store, but he never enjoyed it until I started making it at home.  I had almost given up hope and it does me good to have converted him, because now that we’re both eating it, it doesn’t hang around as long, tempting me to eat it all in one sitting.

You can always add less or more of any of the ingredients to make it to your own tastes, and there’s no reason you can’t have some fun and make variations on this basic recipe.  I’ve made it into a sauce by adding yogurt, and I’ve also added pesto for a sandwich spread, inspired by Debbi’s recipe.  My foodie twin, Melissa (so called because we have often cooked up the same thing in our kitchens over a thousand miles apart without realizing what the other is up to), likes to mix balsamic vinaigrette with hummus for a salad dressing and I can’t wait to try it that way.  My blogger buddy, Biz, has made a beautiful beet hummus, and of course there’s always classic variations like roasted garlic & red pepper.  Let your imagination run wild!

Hummus

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and water reserved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
salt to taste

Toast the cumin by placing it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for one minute or until fragrant. Combine all ingredients in food processor with 1/2 cup of the reserved water and turn on. While it is running, slowly add more reserved water (I use another 1/2 cup or more) through the feeding tube, stopping to scrape down the sides, until the hummus is your desired consistency. Continue processing until smooth. Taste and add salt if desired. I like to sprinkle mine with paprika and drizzle with olive oil for a pretty presentation, and you can also use sesame seeds and additional garbanzo beans on top. Serve with pita chips, baked flour tortilla chips (recipe follows), or baby carrots. Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container.

To make your own baked tortilla chips, cut wheat tortillas (I like whole wheat, or use corn if you’re making them for another dip, like salsa) into desired shapes and put in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Spray the tortillas with oil and sprinkle on some salt. Bake at 350 until edges are starting to brown, about 5 minutes depending on size of chips, turn them and bake for a few more minutes until browned. Chips will crisp upon cooling. Store leftovers in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.

Per serving (based on 16 servings and calculated without chips or carrots): 115 calories; 6.5 g fat; 11.5 g carb; 3.8 g protein

Recipes by Veronica Miller

This recipe is linked with The Balance Broad for BSI: Cumin.

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