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Crave-Worthy Recipes

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Creamy Roasted Beet Hummus: Your new favorite snack

Hummus has taken hold over most of America. Just a few years ago, most people had never heard of the traditional Mediterranean dip. Today, we can’t get enough of this creamy snack spread made from chickpeas, sesame seed paste and seasonings. Millennials, in particular, tend to gravitate toward new and unusual flavors. A new generation paired with a strong commitment to healthier dietary choices paved the way for the unusual light brown spread that packed a nutritional punch. Americans have been so receptive of hummus, in fact, that sales have started to creep towards those of other popular dips like salsa and guacamole. According to the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, hummus sales in grocery stores now top $725 million annually — up from $5 just 20 years ago. It is estimated that one in four homes now regularly stock hummus in the fridge. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have been cultivated in Middle…

How to: Easy method for roasting beets can’t be beet

After years of being banished to the back of the salad bar, beets are having a resurgence. The popularity of the bright red taproot comes as part of an overall increase of interest in health and nutrition. A study published in the American Medical Journal in 2016 found that the number of Americans with poor diets fell from 56 percent to 46 percent between 1999 and 2012. For many health conscious consumers, beets have been enjoying their rightful place center-stage of a balanced diet. They’re chock-full of essential nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium and manganese, and have all kinds of positive impacts on the human body. Consuming just one glass of beet juice per day has been found to lower systolic blood pressure by several points, while also lowering chances of heart disease and artery damage overall. Nitric oxide found in beets relaxes and dilates blood vessels, increasing blood to the brain and…

Try these wines at your next backyard barbecue

Barbecue season is in full swing, but there’s no reason why beer should be the only alcohol available to guests in your backyard. July and August are the perfect time for wine-soaked weekend cookouts. Since these late summer days can be scorchers, it’s important to find wines that will keep you feel refreshed and not contribute to your heatstroke (be careful out there!). BBQ wines also need not be expensive — chill summer nights don’t sit well with anything too stuffy. The search can be difficult, but wines ready for grill days are out there. Here are a few of my favs — whites, rosé, and reds, too! Clos Beylesse Cotes De Provence Rosé 2016 You’ll find nothing more refreshing at a backyard summer soiree than a glass of chilled rosé. Readily available in most wine stores throughout American and Europe, this soft yet zesty wine is extremely light and delicious. $26 Bieler Family Daisy Pinot…

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tortellini with creamy spinach and cheese sauce

It’s a classic combo that never disappoints: Sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil, garlic and fresh mozzarella. This modern variation on those Old-World flavors is easy to make, but tastes like something you would order at your favorite Italian restaurant. Be sure to serve with some slices of crusty bread to soak up the creamy mozzarella sauce. The fresher the ingredients, the better your dish will be. Since it’s summer, definitely go for fresh basil — maybe grown in your own yard. And pro tip: always spring for fresh cheeses, particularly parmesan. Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tortellini with creamy spinach and cheese sauce Serves 3-4: 30 minutes Ingredients 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes separated from oil (I like to visit my local grocer’s antipasto bar for freshness) 2-3 tbsp oil (drained from sun dried tomatoes, see above) 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 big handfuls of spinach (about 3-4 ounces) 1 and 1/4 cup half and half…

Celebrate National Piña Colada Day with Boozy Piña Popsicles

If you haven’t made it to the beach recently, you might be lacking on your piña colada consumption for the summer. Today, we fix that. July 10 is celebrated annually as National Piña Colada Day, and what’s best is you don’t have to be sitting on a beach or the deck of a cruise ship to celebrate. Just mix some rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice, and shake with ice. Try this delicious recipe from Bon Appétit. For  a more unusual take on the classic drink, try these easy five-ingredient piña colada popsicles! Boozy Piña Colada Popsicles Serves 4 Ingredients 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple 2 tbsp coconut rum + some 1/4 cup coconut milk 3 tbsp organic sugar 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional) Directions Add pineapple to blender and pour rum over top. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to help the pineapple soak up the rum.…

Citrusy, cilantro pasta salad with peas, green beans and almonds

Pasta salads are one of the most simple and versatile dishes around. There’s a seemingly endless combination of delicious pastas, veggies, herbs and spices out there. With fresh ingredients, they rarely fail. This pasta salad uses whole wheat penne for a hearty base and matches it with the snap of green beans, the pop of peas, and the crunch of almonds. Yet, it’s the citrus and cilantro that take it to the next level. Enjoy this light and summery pasta salad with chicken, fish or even on its own. (Use fresh green beans for best flavor. You may substitute Royal Burgundy (Phaseolus vulgarism) for a purple pop along side the green peas and oatmeal colored pasta. The color combo is a real show stopper!) Citrusy Pasta Salad with Peas, Green Beans Prep time: 30 minutes, Serves 3-4 Ingredients 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (I like the shape of penne to match the beans) 4 cups…

How to perfectly cook a pot of rice

It’s one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world. It’s also seemingly one of the simplest to make. So how is it that we are still perplexed over how to make a perfect pot of rice? Sure, you can purchase a rice cooker, but that will run you from $30 to $200. And unless you’re cooking rice every day, it could just become another cumbersome appliance. Cooking basic, fluffy white rice, where each grain is separate and slightly firm, is possible if you know a few pro tips. Step 1: Rinse or soak your rice Rinsing rice in cold water helps for two reasons. Some rice mills outside of the U.S. may coat the grains in glucose or talc, so this step is extra important for imported rice. Although safe to eat, the coating could cause your rice to become downright gluey if not properly rinsed. Rinsing will…

Watermelon, mulberry, lime smoothie is light and refreshing

Smoothies are a great way to use up extra watermelon. With so much juice inside, there’s no need to give your blender any more liquids to power through the other ingredients. Mulberries are about 85 percent juice anyway, so be prepared for a light, refreshing summer smoothie. And don’t let the dark color fool you. Mulberries aren’t as strong as other common berries, so they won’t crowd out the watermelon flavor. The two flavors are enjoyed in perfect harmony — and hopefully outside on a sunny porch somewhere. Enjoy! Watermelon, mulberry, lime smoothie Serves 2 Ingredients 4 cups ripe watermelon, seedless 1 – 1 1/2 cups mulberries 1 half lime, juiced 2 cups ice Directions Combine all ingredients in blender. Mulberries have a dark juice that easily stains, so be sure the lid is on tight! Blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour over ice and enjoy this…

Watermelon layered popsicles are a perfect summer treat

Kitchens with appliances and gadgets for everything tiny task bring to mind one thing — A&E’s Hoarders. Not to say all are appliances are bad, but unless you have unlimited shelf space, surely you don’t have any real need for an separate appliance for making hotdogs. This week I broke that rule — but I’m not even ashamed. I now own a popsicle mold. But in defense of my new purchase, it seems like a perfect opportunity to make healthier version of the sugary store-bought treats, but also as a great way to use up leftover fresh squeezed juices and smoothies. (More on that in a coming post). I had a giant watermelon already cut in my fridge, so I decided to start there. Watermelon is a perfect popsicle fruit since it has such high water content. It purees and freezes easily. In one bite, I became a believer. The sweet watermelon pairs perfectly with just the…

Simple watermelon salsa is sweet, mildly spicy

Who would have thought watermelon and jalapeño would be such a delicious pair? What’s better, is that this quick condiment only requires six ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of watermelon lately, so get ready for quite a few juicy recipes coming up.. This one was one of my favorites, since it’s a perfect match-up of sweet and spicy, combined with saltiness from the chips. I’ve only tried it as a salsa so far, but I could see this going great with grilled chicken or fish, or atop a grilled vegetable dinner. Watermelon Salsa Serves 6-8: Prep time 10 min Ingredients 4 cups watermelon (seedless, or seeds removed and chopped) 1 cup cucumber, chopped 1 cup red onion (about 1/2 large onion, chopped) 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat, chopped) 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut in half salt (to taste) Directions Add watermelon, cucumber, onion,…