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Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

I was overwhelmingly swooned by the carrot-tahini combination in last week’s soup (kind of like when I stumble across cute, solo boys picking up veg at the farmer’s market). Ever since, I’ve been dreaming up ways to give the duo another go. It seemed almost obvious that I turn to hummus.

Tahini’s never been shy of chickpeas, but the flavors that resulted from this weren’t forecasted to me at all. It’s incredible what a little roasting can do to draw out taste, and what a simple addition to a classic recipe can do to entirely reinvent it.

Hence, I bring you Carrot Hummus.

Roasted carrots

I should’ve known from the soup, but if you haven’t caught my gist yet, this creation surpassed my expectations. Even more so after I wrapped it up in an almighty collard leaf and threw in a lemony quinoa tabbouleh. If I were to ever open a cafe, this is the kind of lunch I would offer.

Healthy, complex and portable.

Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

The lemon quinoa bestows a pleasant dichotomy between the sweet roasted garlic and carrots of the hummus. It adds a little crunch, too, but don’t worry, some toasted walnuts carry that idea out to its completion.

Wrap in aluminum foil if taking these on the go, or if you’re like me (a spill-food-all-over-my-white [insert article of clothing] kind of person) and simply want a less messy lunch to handle.

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Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

When I get eggplant, it heads straight to the oven. Forget stir-fry. Forget sautés. Forget the grill. Forget anything else you’d ever do with the purple beauts.

Like wine is made for sharing, eggplant’s made for roasting.

This applies 95% of the time in my kitchen. Nothing beats a soft and caramelized, creamy bite of eggplant. And nothing’s worse than an undercooked bite, either.  This happens all too often in stir fry, often with restaurants that don’t know what they’re doing.  Stick with baking and give yourself ample time, and you’ll be golden. Your eggplant too.

Heirloom eggplant

Baba ganoush is a classic, Middle Eastern dip. It’s similar to hummus, but swaps the chickpeas for roasted eggplant. It’s creamy, cumin-y, and the perfect smearer for a slightly toasted pita. Try it out while you can because the summer season’s quickly coming to an end, and along with it, farm-to-table eggplant.

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Prevention RD’s Lightened-Up Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

There are a few bloggers I’ve been following since the near beginning of my own blogging path. Prevention RD is one of them.

I’ve watched Nicole’s photography grow into art, her fan following progress, and her pouty dog Lily grow cuter by the minute. Her site has always been fun to follow, and a countless source of inspiration for my own recipe development.

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Prevention RD turn into a published cookbook author. I can’t describe this as anything other than awesome. I love, love, love seeing fellow food bloggers use their site as a platform to kill it in arenas outside of the blogging world. Congrats girl!

Apple Crisp

Nicole’s style is what I consider comparable to Cooking Light mag.  Many of her recipes involve transforming traditional dishes into lighter and healthier versions, including classic comfort foods too. Sometimes she crafts these recipes herself, like those within her cookbook. Other times she gathers and adapts them from other blogger’s sites. Regardless, Nicole has a knack for choosing recipes that lend themselves well to a wide audience.

I remember when Nicole went through a baked doughnut phase. I don’t even like doughnuts, but I admit she nearly convinced me to go out and purchase a doughnut pan. I mean, wouldn’t you be curious to try ones with a Blueberry Lemon Glaze? Or a Whole Wheat Banana Doughnut with a Banana Chocolate Glaze? Perhaps that’s why I don’t like doughnuts. Because few places sell any variations similar to those.

Anyway, I was thrilled to receive Nicole’s cookbook, and to see her jump into print. There’s nothing like flipping through hands-on pages filled with food photo after food photo.

Currently I’m eyeing her version of Baked Falafel, but the first recipe I decided to whip up was her Lightened-Up Apple Crisp. In my own book, apple crisp is an indispensable part of fall. You simply can’t let the season pass without baking a batch. Or two. Or three. To do so would be a near atrocity.

I didn’t want to waste much time. A week into fall, apple crisp was coming from my oven. This leaves a few months left to continue making more. Thanks for the season’s first recipe, Nicole!

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Baked Salmon with Creamy Dijon Dill Sauce

Salmon with Creamy Dijon Dill Sauce

Another salmon recipe coming your way. This one’s surely graced the blog before, but seeing as though it’s a definite go-to of mine, I felt it worthy of a second post.

There’s something about yogurt (esp. Greek) that turns recipes into effortless creations. Overnight oats, stuffed baked potatoes, and this “cream sauce”, formed from a handful of ingredients stirred together in a bowl, are all great examples. Here, yogurt makes a surprisingly smooth, rich-feeling sauce without any heavy cream or butter needed. Another reason why the ingredient shines in my kitchen – it’s a trickster in all the right ways.

When it comes to the kitchen, there are definitely good occasions to be tricked and bad ones. Finding an empty pizza box put back in the fridge – killer. Discovering your cupcake is stuffed with peanut butter mousse – win. I’d say turning low-fat yogurt into a successful, creamy sauce undoubtedly goes on the plus side. You tell me your thoughts after giving this one a try.

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Garlic Thyme Roasted Asparagus

Here’s another asparagus recipe coming your way because let’s face it, these are the prime months for smelly pee and green stalk deliciousness. My mom’s garden is growing asparagus taller by the minute and my local farmer’s market can’t seem to ever sell out of the spring favorite. It’s a veggie that grows fast, and for anyone tending their own garden with this item, you know that rows can go from foot-tall to forest within just the time span of a week.

All the more reason to make these types of recipes on a regular basis. Roasting asparagus is one of the most classic methods of preparation. This one’s simple, with a touch of fresh oregano and the opposite of a touch of garlic. I love, love, love roasted garlic, and by using 10 cloves, you can ensure that each person can enjoy at least 2 of those pungent perfections all to themselves. Make extra if you’re batches are coming in by the basket and use all week by adding the roasted spears to salads, wraps and more.

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