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Basil and Black Soybean Hummus

Herb and Black Soybean Hummus

Slowly. Day by day. I’m getting one step closer to turning into a cucumber. A cucumber who’s getting married to a bottle of vinegar. Sometimes the onions walk in, and the tears of joy cry down on this union. I’m just waiting for the tomato to make it official.

Unfortunately, tomato season rarely coincides with cucumber season, except for a few dangling days at the latter one’s end. But that’s okay. I don’t want to be officially wedded to vinegar. And I don’t I very much like the sound of calling myself a cucumber either. Nor do I really like where this paragraph is going. So let’s cut it at that.

However, I have been eating a ton and ton of cucumbers. Averaging 1-2 per day. And still waiting on the perfect tomato to join them in my bowl of vinegar.


Though I’m longing for tomatoes to come join my cukes, it’s hard to say eating gets much better than now, in the late months of summer. Fortunately I live in a city submerged with farmers’ markets, and can also retreat to my mom’s house, currently flooded with cucumbers.

With all of the summer produce coming in, this calls on the need for protein-packed dishes to pair with it.

Nearly as easy as slicing a cuke, hummus forever remains one of my go-to’s.

Summer basil

This particular hummus differs from your classic chickpea version by using black soybeans, a high protein legume that tastes kind of like black beans. For that reason, this to me naturally went very well with guacamole and salsa, too. Feel free to swap the basil for cilantro to stick to a full-blown Mexican theme.

Herb and Black Soybean Hummus I went with basil because that’s what was in the garden, and I was initially envisioning this spread on a sandwich with thinly sliced cucumbers. Also snapped a few photos of my lovely friend Laura while picking it. You choose what to put it on. Just don’t forget the scallions on top.

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Snow Pea and Mushroom Tacos with Mango Salsa

Between interning in D.C. with the Discovery Channel, working at the Lancaster CSA I farmed with last summer, teaching yoga, and some other odd jobs, I’ve been having one crazy, busy summer.  Cooking has actually been pushed somewhat to the back burner. (Hence the numerous salads I’ve been whipping up lately.)  But don’t worry, getting creative in the kitchen will always be a part of my life, busy or not.  With nearly every bit of free time I do have, I’m still at it, slicing, dicing, spicing, and enticing.

The food-filled art form is one of my favorite ways to spend my downtime in the evenings.  It’s even better in the accompaniment of good friends and conversation, and when I can enjoy the results outside, amidst those warm summer sunsets. This past weekend, I found some time to do just that with a few friends after work.

I decided on making tacos, a dish I generally always find to be a safe bet, especially when you have some skeptical meat-eaters in the mix. However, I quickly strayed from the Mexican-styled vegetarian tacos I usually make.  I came home from my CSA job with a bag full of snow peas, my first of the season, and was eager to put them to use right away.  So somehow I settled on throwing them in with the taco idea.  It wasn’t necessarily a playing-it-safe kind of move, but it turned out to be a winner among my friends.

My classic refried bean filling went abandoned for a much lighter and more summery taco creation.  I sauteed the crispy snow peas with some chewy mushrooms, and placed the duo with an easy pairing of straight up, soft black beans.  And best of all, I topped it all off with a fresh mango salsa. The sweet and cilantro-y island take on salsa never fails to shine through.

This was a real treat, and combined so many flavors of the season.  If you can’t find the garlic scapes used in this recipe, simply swap them out with a couple cloves of garlic.  Garlic scapes are currently a hot item at most farmer’s markets right now, but they won’t last long.  They have an appearance similar to ramps, but are actually the stems that grow off of the stalks of garlic.  The scapes have a slightly less pungent, but still notably unique garlicky taste, which is why garlic cloves are a suitable substitute if you can’t find them.

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