Beet Hummus

The color is enough to make this recipe something to get excited about. Sure, plain hummus never gets old, but sometimes it’s fun to jooj things up a bit in the kitchen and bring some personality to old-time favorites. This recipe brings an earthy flavor to regular hummus and some sass to an ordinarily blah, neutral tone.

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Beat this glow:

Beets: contain folic acid necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells, which benefits pregnant women and those undergoing physical healing, guard against colon cancer, protect against heart disease, are high in sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorous, are available all year round, contain cancer-fighting pigment betacynin, cleanse the blood, strengthen the gall bladder and liver, and can be used to treat acne.

Roasted Beet Hummus

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Keywords: bake side dish snack vegan vegetarian chickpeas tahini beets

Ingredients (Makes 2 cups)

  • 1.5 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas
  • 1/2 roasted beet
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions

Roast half a beet wrapped in aluminum foil in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Let cool before putting it into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend all until smooth. You may have to add 2-3 tbsp of lukewarm water to help things smoothen out, but this depends on the juiciness of the beet, lemon and chickpeas.

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Serve with toasted or grilled pita bread.

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Candied Ginger No-Bake Cookies

My new favorite obsession is candied ginger. Last week I added it to my traditional banana soft serve and today I decided to pair it with chocolate. Chocolate covered no-bake cookies, that is. These guys are easy to make and come in a small batch, so you don’t overdose…

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Candied Ginger No-Bake Cookies

by GK

Prep Time: 30

Ingredients (6-8 cookies)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • dash of salt
  • 4 drops liquid stevia (or 1 tbsp honey)
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

Instructions

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Mash the banana with a fork until creamy.

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Stir in tahini, stevia (or honey), and salt. Add liquid mixture to 1 cup whole-wheat flour. With clean hands, mix together the ingredients until dough is formed.

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Roll 6-8 individual balls from dough, and flatten them to resemble shape of cookie. Place on a glass pan and put in the freezer to harden slightly, approximately 10 minutes.

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While the cookies are in the freezer, on a double broiler melt chocolate.

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Remove the cookies from the freezer. One by one, dip the cookies on both sides in chocolate. While the chocolate is still melted, pat both sides of the cookies with chopped candied ginger. Place all cookies back on the glass plate and transfer them to the freezer again to harden the chocolate.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

 

Eggplant & Tomato Tahini Twist

There are few things I wouldn’t put tahini on. This recipe is an acceptable pairing, but you should just see the ways I’ve found an excuse to use tahini. From breakfast to dessert, it has become a mainstay these days. Last night I mixed the tahini with honey and melted chocolate and ate it by the spoonful. So good.

You can’t go wrong with a recipe as simple as this. The eggplant’s mild flavor is accentuated by a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and the sun-dried tomato adds a comforting texture. The tahini makes the dish a bit more unique for the palette and gives some earthy overtones.

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Eggplant & Sun-Dried Tomato Tahini Twist

by GK

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp tahini

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in lukewarm water for at least an hour, or until they are soft and plump. Drain them from the water and put them in a serving dish. Let the sun-dried tomatoes sit in the dish with 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick discs and lay each one out onto aluminium foil. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil atop the eggplant pieces so they are evenly covered. Cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

When the eggplant is slightly browned, remove from the oven and put into the dish with the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chopped scallions. Toss the ingredients together until olive oil evenly coats them. Season with salt and pepper to taste with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

As a finishing, but delicious touch, drizzle the dish tahini.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Staple Seaweed & Spinach Salad with Tahini Glaze Dressing

With the weather getting colder, I’ve been all about the soups.

Raw (but warmed) tomato soup:

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Lentil Soup:

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But the outdoor dining and Bosphorus views are still in the cards:

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It’s rare I come across anything remotely ethnic in Istanbul, so seeing Wakame was quite the surprise. I adore seaweed, but it has to be paired with a dressing that cuts the “fish” or, well, “sea” taste, or else its a bit overwhelming for me. Seaweed weighs the salad down, but not in a bad way; in fact, in a very, very good way. Something as simple as this recipe is filling enough for a meal.

 

Spinach & Seaweed Salad w/Tahini Glaze Dressing

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Ingredients:

For salad:

Spinach

1/2 cup dried Wakame seaweed, soaked in 1 cup of filtered lukewarm water

For dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

Servings: 1

 

Directions:

Soak the Wakame in water. 1:2 ratio.

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In less than 5 minutes, it will soften up and be ready to drain, then eat!

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For the dressing, combine the tahini, soy sauce, and honey.

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Toss together the components of the salad.

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Voila! So easy, so delicious! The seaweed gives the salad some bulk, filling you up with protein and essential fats while the tahini glaze provides a creamy twist. You barely realize spinach is a main player. Light, healthy, but oh-so-satisfying!!

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Chomp chomp chomp….bowl licked clean in less than 5 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Roasted Garlic Hummus

What’s not to like about hummus? It’s deeply satisfying, nutritious and an all-around crowd pleaser. And while few people, I among them, ever get sick of the go-to version, it’s always fun to try some new things (have you tried my roasted red pepper hummus?)

Tonight I was in the mood for a rounder flavor, so I pulled out the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes and tossed ‘em in a wonderfully warm (the roasted garlic was still steamin’) and taste-bud gratifying hummus.

Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

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Ingredients:

– 1 head of garlic, roasted (it sounds like a lot, but the flavor tempers when roasted)

– 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 can chickpeas (14.1 oz)

– 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for at least 15 minutes and then chopped

– 1 1/2 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp salt

– Juice of 1 lemon

– 2 tbsp tahini

– 1/4 extra virgin olive oil

– up to 1/4 cup room-temperature water

Serves: …Please. One.

 

Directions:

Start with the garlic since it will take about 30-45 minutes to roast to perfection. First, take a head of garlic, chop off the tip of one end to expose the garlic.

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Place the garlic in the center of aluminum foil, which you should scrunch up the sides of to mimic a bowl.

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Drizzle about 1 tbsp of extra virgin atop the garlic.

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Pop in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes.

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While that roasts, prepare the rest of the hummus.

To a food processor, add the drained/rinsed chickpeas…

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Next, chop the soaked sun-dried tomatoes and add to the chickpeas.

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Next come the cumin and lemon juice.

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When the roasted garlic is soft (you can check by poking it with a fork), then you can use a fork to comfortably pull out the cloves.

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Add to the food processor with the other ingredients.

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Some salt…

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And, don’t forget the tahini and olive oil, as I almost did Winking smile

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Pulse away until creamy. Depending on the dryness of chickpeas, the lemon and other various factors, you might want to add about 1/4 cup of room-temperature water to thin out the hummus, as it could be too thick for you taste. This won’t affect the taste.

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And serve!

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Eat with vegetable crudités or pita.

Bon apetit!

x Aylin

Guilt-Free Falafel

I am a huge fan of chickpeas. I grew up addicted to hummus (GK version of this recipe to come…), and while I always enjoyed falafel, I wasn’t too gung-ho about the frying, the flour, and the oftentimes used egg. Hence, the birth of my GK version of falafel.

Guilt-Free Baked Falafel

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup dried chickpeas (2 cups canned chickpeas)
– Water (to soak and then to boil chickpeas)
– 1/2 white onion, diced
– 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
– 2 green onions, peeled and diced
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp coriander
– 1/2 lemon, squeezed
– Salt & pepper to taste
– About 1/4 cut extra virgin olive oil
– About 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tbs olive oil to coat baking dish
– 1-2 tsp tahini (sesame oil) to drizzle for presentation
– Parsley for garnish

Directions:

Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.
Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.
After boiling the chick peas, drain the water and transfer them to a food processor.  If you are using canned chickpeas, skip directly to this step.
(Note: canned chickpeas will make the mixture moister than if you soak, boil, and drain them yourself)
Time for the flavor! First the onion.
Parsley time! I love the color contrast that parsley brings to the dish. It also adds a big boost of fresh flavor. Into the bowl goes a big handful of parsley, chopped finely.
2 green onions, diced.
Next come the fixin’s. These boys bring flavor, spice, and the familiar tastes of falafel we’re all used to–paprika,  cumin, coriander, lemon, and salt & pepper (not pictured).
Extra virgin olive oil…
…and Worcestershire sauce! I use Worcestershire sauce in the most random of recipes, but it really makes a difference, and in a good way at that! Just a big ol’  jooooj should do it.
That’s all there is to it!  Now comes the fun part–getting your hands dirty. I started mixing with a spoon, but in order to really get the consistency you want…
…you gotta use those hands! Dip your clean hands in some water first to prevent sticking. Start like this:
Finish with this:
Shape the mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
Coat the bottom of a glass baking dish with olive oil, and place the falafel balls in the dish.
Drizzle with olive oil.
I could eat ’em just like that (and I did…2 to be exact). BUT, they’re better cooked. So pop those babies in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until they look like this:
The tops should be browned, crispy and bite-worthy.
You can crumble this GK version of falafel over salads, eat them in a variety of sandwiches, or have them plain! I love mine drizzled with tahini (sesame oil) and garnished with parsley to accent the flavors of the falafel itself.
Guilt-Free Falafel has the taste of its original counterpart without the excess oil or addition of eggs and flour.
Bon Apetit!
xoxo