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Loaded Greek Salad Hummus For a Crowd

What’s your favorite appetizer to snack on at parties? One of my go-to choices is a hummus! It’s a humble yet nutritious food, packed with plant based protein and healthy fats. You can use veggie sticks, better-for-you crackers or whole wheat pita for dipping to up the nutrition factor. Pulses, which include beans, lentils, peas (and the chickpeas found in hummus) are substantial sources of important minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium, and they are also rich in fiber. Many of the world’s longest living populations eat diets rich in pulses!

Recently, someone asked me to bring an appetizer to a holiday party. When bringing a dish to a gathering, I like to choose something nutritious to balance out some of the heavier foods that will be served. Naturally, I thought of hummus! Store bought hummus usually gets the job done, but homemade is ALWAYS better. If you haven’t made your own before, you are missing out! Think about how creamy, smooth and fresh the hummus is at your favorite Mediterranean restaurant. You can have that at home in about 5 minutes with this recipe! To up the “wow” factor, I added some delicious toppings to this hummus, so it was a really beautiful presentation to show off. Your guests will never know this took you less than 20 minutes to make 🙂 This recipe makes A LOT of hummus, so make sure you have a hungry crowd ready to dig in.

Ingredients:

Hummus

  • 1 28 oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • ¼ cup reserved chickpea liquid
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste

Toppings

  • ¼ cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 5-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • Paprika and extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Veggie sticks and crackers for serving (I used Simple Mills Sprouted Seed crackers)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for hummus in a high speed blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until creamy. Add a few tbsp of cold water if needed to aid blending.
  2. Move hummus to a medium shallow serving bowl. Arrange toppings on hummus so they cover about half the hummus.
  3. Serve with veggie sticks, crackers or whole wheat pita immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika before serving.

I hope you guys try this easy, beautiful recipe! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations 🙂

Featured

The Daisybeet 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

Happy Holidays, friends! I absolutely love the holiday season – especially Christmas! I’m looking forward to cooking family recipes with my mom and spending time with my sisters who live in different cities.

I put together a little gift guide this year to share some of my favorite products with you guys! While it looks like my life revolves around food on Instagram (and let’s be honest, it pretty much does), I also enjoy other things, like finding new beauty products and interior decorating! I’ve been trying to live an uncluttered lifestyle since moving to Boston, so items I don’t use frequently get the boot. You can be sure I regularly use and love the items on this list, save for a few goodies that I don’t own, but have been coveting 🙂 I also included a wide price range, so many of these gifts are quite affordable!

What are you guys looking forward to most this holiday season?

1. Aerie Chill Seamless Sports Bra

I was given this as a birthday gift, and pretty much haven’t stopped wearing it since! It is THE most comfortable bra I own. I actually have not worked out in it – I wear it under regular clothes! It is definitely better suited for smaller chests and low impact workouts like yoga. I went to order more, but they were sold out in my size!

2. Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag

I also received this bag as a gift! I absolutely love it. It is the perfect size to hold all your skincare and makeup essentials for traveling. I love the smaller pouch it comes with – I’ve been using it to organize my purse!

3. Hu Kitchen Chocolate

One of my favorite chocolates to snack on after dinner. Each super dark flavor is delicious. My current fave is the crispy quinoa!

4. Aritzia Blanket Scarf

Those closest to me know that I’m always cold, which makes winters in the Northeast quite the challenge. I love layering this scarf under my jacket. It is super warm, covers your face, and can be used as a shawl or blanket if your destination is chilly. I use to bring this to the NYU library to study when I was a student there!

5. The Ordinary Rosehip Seed Oil

This is one of my recent beauty finds! I’ve been dealing with perioral dermatitis and very sensitive skin for the last 6 months or so. My usual cream moisturizer was no longer working for me, as it left my skin feeling stingy. My sister happened to have this product, and it’s been a total game changer. It’s pure rosehip seed oil, and is incredibly moisturizing. I use 5-6 drops on my face once or twice a day, and after every shower. It really sinks into my skin, so it doesn’t look or feel greasy, and I can easily layer my powder mineral foundation over it.

6. Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp

This is another gift I recently received, and I’m already in love! This Himalayan pink salt lamp is a gorgeous addition to our apartment – it looks like a giant crystal! I love that this lamp has a dimmer, so we can lower the lighting for movie night.

7. Resistance Band Loops

Resistance bands are one of my essentials for at-home or hotel room workouts. I bring these with me when I go visit my family on Martha’s Vineyard and work out in our yard. They take up no space in your suitcase, you can do so many moves with them and they can make your workout more challenging than using just your body weight.

8. Succulents

I’ve become such a plant mom since moving to Boston. We already have 11 pants at our place, and that number will be growing! A plant lover will always find room in their home for more plants – so a few pretty succulents would be a welcome gift. I follow Fairy Blooms on Instagram, and they have the most beautiful, unique succulents! You can also find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or local plant stores.

9. NutriBullet Balance

This is one of my new favorite kitchen tools. This blender connects to a smartphone app using Bluetooth. The base acts as a scale to measure the ingredients as you add them in real time, and calculates nutrition information of your blend. I think this is such an innovative learning tool for those people in your life who are looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes! PLUS, my friends at NutriBullet were so kind to offer you all a discount code. Get 20% off your order until December 19 using the code 'ALEX'.

10. Madewell Hoop Earrings

Because who doesn’t love getting pretty jewelry as a gift!? These hoop earrings are the perfect size – not too big, not too small, and super lightweight. I have sensitive ears – these are 14k gold-filled and don’t bother me!

11. Le Labo Santal 26 Candle

My favorite scent to wear, in candle form. I want my entire life to smell like Santal! I would love this to fill my home with this iconic scent.

12. Primal Palate Spices

I seriously use Primal Palate organic spice blends every day! Some of my favorites include adobo seasoning, seafood seasoning, and apple pie spice. They now have a Spice of the Month Club, which ships 3 spice blends quarterly. The perfect gift for the healthy chef in your life!

13. Magic Weighted Blanket

I LOVE my weighted blanket. They were developed to help with anxiety, stress and even Autism Spectrum Disorder. The weight mimics deep pressure touch, and is similar to a strong hug. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this tool was a welcome addition to my home, and it really helps me feel calm and grounded when I use it.

14. Glossier Boy Brow + Haloscope Duo

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but these are two products I use regularly. I use Boy Brow every day to shape and add fullness to my brows, and use Haloscope to add a little bit of shimmer and dewy-ness when my complexion is looking a little “blah”. I have Boy Brow in brown and Haloscope in Quartz.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which helps keep Daisybeet running. I own and love each of the products with these links!

 

Chickpea + Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

The holiday season is in full force! Hanukkah began Sunday evening, and Christmas is just a few weeks away. I feel extremely grateful this year to be in Boston, so I don’t have to miss out on spending time with family. Both my parents and Ben’s live in the area, so we’re able to celebrate with everyone.

One thing I’m looking most forward to is helping my mom prepare everything for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I already spent a weekend helping her make homemade raviolis and decorating the house. She also follows a pescatarian diet, and we have a few other vegetarians coming to celebrate, so I wanted to create a quick and delicious meat-free entrée. I think being vegetarian for so many years, I am extra in-tune with dietary restrictions of others. I always appreciate when others go out of their way to make sure there are veggie friendly options for me, so I try to do the same!

These sweet potatoes are a perfectly balanced meal in themselves: they have filling fiber (sweet potatoes) and protein (chickpeas) paired with healthy fat (avocado) and a pile of greens for a little extra nutritious kick. The chickpea avocado filling takes 5 minutes to prepare, and you can prep the sweet potatoes the night before and just reheat. They’re also meat-eating boyfriend approved, so everyone at your table is sure to enjoy these.

Are you guys preparing food for people with dietary restrictions this year? I would love to hear what you are making!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few large handfuls of greens (I used Organicgirl Protein Greens)
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub sweet potatoes, then poke a few holes into them with a fork. Roast for about 1 hour until very soft.
  2. In the last 10-15 minutes of sweet potatoes cooking, mash together chickpeas, avocado, lemon juice, cumin, garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Mash some of the chickpeas, but keep some whole.
  3. Let sweet potatoes cool for 10 minutes after roasting. Cut in half lengthwise and mash with a fork to form a small well.
  4. Top each sweet potato half with a handful of greens and a few heaping spoonfuls of chickpea avocado mash. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a little heat, if desired. Serve warm.

Recipe makes 8 servings.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! Happy Holidays!

Green Goddess Tahini Sauce

What do you guys include in your weekly meal prep sessions? A couple protein sources, roasted veggies, and a big batch of grains are key. But how do you make your meals super flavorful and eliminate boredom as the week progresses? Sauces and dressings! I love to include one or two different sauces in my weekly recipe round up. It may seem intimidating, but you really can make your favorite peanut sauce at home in less than 10 minutes. I sometimes even wait until the night I cook a meal to whip up a sauce to go with it.

Why make your own sauces, instead of buying them pre-made? Making your own sauces/dressings at home is empowering from a nutrition standpoint, as it allows you to control exactly what ingredients you’re adding. You can eliminate pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars and preservatives.

I currently have a batch of mustardy champagne vinaigrette and this delicious Green Goddess Tahini Sauce in my fridge. This is the first time I’ve made this sauce, and Ben and I can’t get enough! It’s wonderful used as a dressing for kale salads and drizzled over roasted veggies. It would also be a great dipping sauce for homemade falafel or sweet potato fries. There are only a few simple ingredients, and all you do is add them to a blender! I created the recipe in my NutriBullet Balance blender and smartphone app, which calculated the nutrition information in real time! So, so easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup smooth tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over just about anything!

This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If you make it, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂