As the days get sunnier, my soul longs for summer-like foods. I literally dream of cookouts and berry cobblers and friends. Oh that beautiful smell. (Ok, maybe not the friends 🙂 )
This salad is a wonderful side for a pot-luck, BBQ, or just to have in the fridge for a lunch. It’s easy to double the recipe to make for a large group.
Maybe if we all make this next week, we’ll shooooo the cold weather away and bring on the heat! Who’s with me?!
For the dressing, we use the Soy-Free version of Vegenaise so that our Beckham can eat it, but if you have no allergy to soy, you can use the regular kind. It makes a little too much for this salad, so you can save some of the dressing for another salad for the week if you like (or add more broccoli).
*If you’re a bacon lover, add some crumbled bacon to this salad for some extra flavor. Just make sure to buy bacon without nitrates from a humanely raised animal. Check your local health food store or local farmer’s markets for the good stuff!
2 large heads broccoli, de-stemmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
½ cup raisins
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
2-3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (optional, see note)
Mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined.
Fold in desired amount of dressing (I don't put all of it in there) until combined.
Best if chilled for about an hour (but not necessary).
I don't put bacon in mine, but you can! Just make sure are getting "good" bacon without nitrates from a humanely raised animal! The best option is to buy from a local farmer through a co-op or at your local farmer's market.
This soup has the feel of chili but with a twist, and it perfectly satisfied my need for a “feel good” soup on our first (and only?) winter snow here in SC. I made two batches in case we were “snowed in” (which doesn’t take too much down here)! It lasted less than 24 hours—wait, the snow or the soup?? I’ll let YOU guess 🙂
I love how the flavors in this soup blend together, but still emit a slight hint of jalapeno, fresh cilantro, and lime.
It doesn’t take too much work to put this soup together–and if you can get up a little bit earlier, you could let it simmer all day in the crockpot while at work….Dinner made easy!
Before you make the soup, you’ll need to roast the red pepper. I suppose you could leave this step out (or throw them in with the onion when you saute), but I just love the flavor the roasted pepper gives the soup!
The steps are simple.
How to Roast a Red Pepper:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Cut the pepper into fourths and de-seed
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and roast for 25-28 minutes. It won’t matter if the tops of your peppers get black because you’ll be peeling the skin off anyways. (If you are stretched for time, try roasting at a higher temperature or even broil!)
Place peppers in a brown paper bag and roll down a few times
Let steam for about 10-15 minutes
Take the peppers out and peel back the skin and remove
Just a little while ago, I didn’t know what hummus was, and upon more research found out that it was made from Chickpeas. Ok, great. I still didn’t know what those were either! And back then, if I didn’t know what it was, I wasn’t about to try it. I was the girl who ate buttered noodles, Spaghetti-os from the can, and Laffy Taffy until I was full. I ate chili for the first time after I got married at age 21 and gagged if I could even taste a HINT of peppers or celery.
I actually have a little confession to make–I once thought chickpeas were somehow related to chickens. I can hear you chuckling now–in fact, I’m laughing at myself for how sheltered I really was. But if you thought it, too, hey–at least you aren’t the only crazy one!
I tell you part of my backstory to say, if you are there now, you aren’t alone. So let me help. Hummus isn’t weird; think of it as a dip or spread–a very flavorful one at that! Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are legumes, a plant-based protein.
I know there’s lots of hummus brands in the store, but most brands have some very bad ingredients and preservatives in them that have been linked to various health issues. It’s so quick and easy to make this at home, so give it a try, and don’t let those toxins in your body!
I could eat this stuff with a spoon (maybe I do??), but there are many ways to eat it. I love having hummus sitting out with raw veggies because it helps me get a few good servings of my vegetables in! It’s incredible on wraps, sandwiches, salads, or with some tortilla chips.
I’ve made lots of hummus recipes, but this one I created has all the flavors I love. This one’s so good, Beckham licks it off his carrot stick, and then throws it at me screaming, “MO!” (which is toddler translation for “more”). I love that he licks hummus, but I’m working on him actually eating the carrot, too! Picky kids!
Before you make the hummus, you’ll need to roast the garlic. I will say it again, ROAST THE GARLIC. If you don’t, you’ll blow away the neighborhood. I made several mistakes getting to the perfect recipe, and let’s just say, my husband had a hard time kissing me for several days after my last batch.
How to Roast the Garlic:
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
-leave the whole head of garlic intact, peeling away the outer layer
-cut the tips off, just enough to expose a tiny amount of the garlic
-wrap the head of garlic in tin foil, and bake for 30 minutes
-when it’s done, peel the garlic (this should happen easily) & you are ready to start your hummus!
1 can chickpeas, drained & liquid reserved (see note)
3 T reserved liquid
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
5 cloves roasted garlic (save the rest for something else!)
½ t cumin
½ t smoked paprika (see note)
½ t salt
Put all ingredients in the food processor & blend until creamy.
1. Reserve the liquid by putting the strainer over a bowl to "catch" the liquid. If canned items are an issue for you, you may also get dry chickpeas in the bulk section of your health food store & soak them prior. 2. You can find this at health food stores, usually in the bulk spices, but if you can't, regular paprika will work. I just LOVE the smokey flavor in my hummus!
**Please use all organic ingredients when possible
Allergen Information: Free of all top 8 allergens. Gluten-free, dairy-free. Contains: corn, coconut
I. Love. This. Snack. #1 It’s cheap. #2 It’s easy. #3 It’s sweet AND salty. #4 It’s like kettlecorn with a cinnamon kick! The coconut gives it a slightly sweet flavor, but it’s mainly used as a butter substitute. Even if you aren’t dairy free, you still will love it–AND benefit from the wonderful properties of coconut oil!
Tips for buying ingredients:
~Please, please, please–whatever you do, buy organic corn kernels. (You can find them in the organic section of your grocery store or at your local health food store). Corn is one of the United States’ biggest GMO (or genetically modified) crops. We don’t want to be walking science experiments here, so let’s be smart! You can ensure you have a pure corn kernel if you buy it organically! We will have a whole post about GMOs shortly, so just hang tight….
~White refined sugar sure isn’t good for you, even if it’s organic. The only difference between organic sugar & regular sugar is that you can guarantee your sugar isn’t from a GMO sugar beet and wasn’t grown used synthetic chemicals. This recipe features Coconut Sugar, which is still a sweetener, but is harvested with a little bit more natural process and still retains some nutrients, while white sugar has virtually no nutritional benefit for our bodies. I wouldn’t suggest Coconut Sugar for our sweet tea 😉 but it’s a great substitute for baking if you like the taste!
To cook the popcorn, we use this Popcorn Trick recipe from 100 Days of Real Food, although our cooking time varies. You simply pour 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag, fold the bag down a few times, and microwave it until done! Alternatively, you can pop your popcorn on the stove. Feel free to add more spices if you like!
You will never believe these cookies don’t have any wheat, egg, or dairy! They are perfectly crispy & addicting! My husband and I collaborated to make this fit both of our needs–mine? Gluten free. His? A random craving for chocolate chip cookies! Oh yeah, I should add–mine? A daily serving of chocolate. When we make food, we always try to make it allergen friendly so at least one of our children can eat them….These were a huge hit with Beckham!