Cilantro Hummus Veggie Wraps

I think we all agree that hummus is a necessity in life, and this cilantro hummus elevated my falafel recipe, and my daily snacking, to a new extreme. I hate feeling wasteful, I have finally found a solution to all of my extra herb problems (Get it? Colorado herb problems? Too bad I am as sober as they get). You know when you get all fancy and buy a bunch of cilantro, basil, or parsley for a specific recipe and then feel like you throw half away? It’s the worst. This recipe is a perfect use for those herb stems- they still contain all the flavor and get blended into creamy perfection. When paired into a veggie sandwich with your favorite snacks, whether that be falafel or sprouts and avocado, I know you will agree that this hummus is a winner!

Cilantro Hummus and Falafel Veggie Wraps

Cilantro Hummus (makes 3 cups)

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 cup chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • One lemon, juiced
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt

Cilantro Hummus in Food Processor

Begin by processing the cilantro leaves and/or cilantro stems and garlic together in the food processor. Add the remaining hummus ingredients, adjusting salt to your liking and adding extra olive oil if you prefer a smoother consistency.

Cilantro Hummus made with Cilantro Stems

To take this hummus to the next level, generously spread it on pita, lafa bread, or your favorite wrap and top with sliced cucumber, tomato, red onion, and any other crunchy veggies you fancy.

Falafel Wraps in Lafa Bread with Hummus

Top with falafel and tahini yogurt sauce (and french fries if you are Noah, or if you love Israeli street food).

Cilantro Hummus Veggie Wraps

Good thing I froze some of those falafel- these pictures have me salivating all over again.

Marisa

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Baked Falafel with Yogurt Tahini Sauce

I love falafel. End of story. As a snack or a meat-free meal, chickpea patties served in pita or lafa bread are one of my favorite Middle Eastern inspired eats. While I have yet to travel anywhere where I can get my favorite snack on the street (don’t worry, it’s on my list), making them at home can be just as tasty and far healthier. I chose the baking route for these falafel, instead of deep frying them to golden perfection. They still get a nice crust, and the tahini sauce is the perfect refreshing splash of yogurt to contrast the hot crisp falafel. Have you tried remaking some of your favorite ethnic grub before? Next up is gyros… I am guilty of looking out for those stalls in New York City even if I’ve already eaten a meal. Lots of yogurt sauce, please.

Baked Falafel with Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Baked Falafel (makes 22-26 falafel patties)

  • 1 cup dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans (turns into 3 cups soaked)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Yogurt Tahini Sauce (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/8 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

The night before (or at minimum 4 hours before), begin soaking 1 cup of dried chickpeas in 4 cups of cold water. They should expand to about 3 cups of soaked chickpeas by the morning and drain and rinse them before using them for this recipe. Note: You cannot use canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans for this recipe (traditional falafel) because they are too tender. There are many other recipes online if you only have cooked chickpeas!

Baked Falafel Ingredients using Dried Chickpeas    Baked Falafel using Cast Iron Pan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the falafel, pulsing into well incorporated. Oil a large cast iron pan or baking sheet with a lip so that there is a thin layer of oil, and begin forming falafel patties with your hands and setting them carefully onto the oiled pan. Bake them at 375 degrees for 24 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through to ensure even browning (add a tiny bit more oil here if they have absorbed it).

Yogurt Tahini Sauce for Baked Falafel

In the meantime, combine your ingredients for the yogurt tahini sauce. Make sure the tahini container is stirred well, as oil will rise to the top similar to peanut butter. You can use a blender or a food processor, or even an arm muscle building whisking session.

Crispy Baked Falafel

Once the falafel have come out of the oven, let them cool slightly and pat off any excess oil. Serve hot with the yogurt tahini sauce, pitas, hummus, and sliced veggies. They freeze exceptionally well, and the leftovers are best if reheated in the oven for a few minutes.

I have a hummus recipe to complement these falafel coming your way this week!

Marisa

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Wild Blueberry Oat Scones with Lime Glaze

To start off the New Year with a new challenge, I  joined the inspirational people over at The Recipe Redux for monthly recipes that focus on taking delicious dishes and improving their nutritional profile. As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, the group focuses on healthy eating with a taste-first approach. I love the idea and am excited to jump in head first with a recipe for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America!

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Dried Wild Blueberry Oat Scones with Lime Glaze

Wild blueberries have an intense blueberry flavor and double the antioxidants as regular cultivated blueberries. Adding the frozen wild superfruit to baked goods is a great way to get the health benefits, since they are available year-round and can be used right out of the freezer (and they get in every bite!).

I found dried wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s, you can easily find wild blueberries in the frozen fruit section of your grocery store. To keep the batter from turning blue, fold them into this recipe gently before baking. I hope you try out these tiny yet powerful wild blueberries in this scone recipe, packed with heart healthy oats, plain yogurt, and delicious flavor.

Wild Blueberry Oat Scones with Lime Glaze (makes 12 scones)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 cup dried or frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 lime (for zest and juice)
  • Optional Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, one cup of the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or food processor until it is broken up.

Wild Blueberry Oat Scones with Lime Glaze

Add the yogurt and milk, and stir until just combined. Add in the wild blueberries, zest of the lime, and the final cup of oats and give it a gentle stir. Adding some oats in last allows great scone texture without additional butter or buttermilk. You should have a shaggy dough, and use your hands to shape 12 biscuit-sized scones.

Wild Blueberry Oat Scones with Lime Glaze- made with yogurt

Bake the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet for around 15 minutes, checking the bottoms for medium browning before taking them out. In the meantime, whisk a few tablespoons of lime juice into the powdered sugar until you have a drippy glaze. Cool the scones on a rack for 10 minutes and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.

Wild Blueberry Yogurt Oat Scones

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

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Raw Vegan Cheesecake

This weekend was rather lame, besides going to the Santa Fe Art Walk on Friday night. I spent it lounging around in PJs and running errands and watching Netflix. That’s how it’s supposed to be sometimes, no? Especially with the snow in Denver (and the rest of the country! wow!) and the frigid temperatures, it is easy to curl into bed with tea and a book. I tried to go to the gym on Sunday morning, but both group fitness classes that I wanted to go to were already booked full (yep, I called them from bed). Dang January gym joiners. So instead, I trudged there in the dark this morning to fit in a Barre class before work. Because I am going to happy hour after work. Priorities. I know you have them too.

Cashew Cheesecake Tart

This raw cheesecake is a dessert I’ve had floating in my brain for awhile- creamy cashews set with coconut oil and flavored with lemon juice and maple syrup on top of a date and almond crust. This recipe is perfect for your next lazy weekend day, when you want to whip something up to keep in the freezer until friends stop by (insta-impressed!). I pressed these into 4 inch tart pans with removable bottoms for the pretty edging. You could also use mini springform pans, or press this into a small pie pan as one larger cheesecake. This recipe is light, creamy, and filling, and will open your eyes to the beauty of no-bake/raw/vegan desserts. They are fun to make, and good for you too!

Vegan Raw Cheesecakes (recipe makes 4 individual sized tart pans)

  • Crust (makes 2 cups total)
  • 6-7 Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/8 cup ground flaxseed
  •  1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • Cheesecake Filling (makes 2 cups total)
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Optional: 1 tbsp water

Prepare for this recipe by soaking 2 cups of raw unsalted cashews in cold water in the fridge overnight. They will soften and plump up.

Soak Cashews for Cheesecake Filling    Freeze Cashew Cheesecake

Begin by processing the almonds in the food processor until they are broken up into pieces (5-7 pulses). Process the rest of the crust ingredients together with the almonds until mostly ground and sticky. Press a half of a cup of the mixture into the bottom of each tart pan.

Raw Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. In a blender or food processor,  combine the cashews, coconut oil (heat it up if it’s not in liquid form), lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until very smooth- about 2-4 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if it is having a hard time processing, but don’t overdo it. It should still be very thick.

Raw Vegan Cheesecake

Pour a half cup of the cheesecake mixture on top of each crust, and freeze the cheesecakes until solid (about 4 hours minimum). Thaw for 15 minutes when you are already to eat and top with pomegranate seeds, blackberries, and/or additional lemon zest. I cut mine into 4 pieces each.

Marisa

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2013: A Year in Pictures

As you know through my What I Ate series, Instagram tends to document my friends, eats, travels, and daily life. I spent some time going down memory lane from 2013 on Instagram and reminisced on how good it really was to me. Enjoy perusing photos from my year, and feel free to share some of your favorite memories as well in the comments.

Inauguration Wine_Tasting_Party DC_Commutes Adams_Morgan_Pizza

I spent the first half of the year finishing out my time in DC, waiting for metro trains and walking all over the city. I felt lucky to be there at the time of the inauguration, and have a few more months to explore the sights and walk at graduation with friends. I spent my evenings with the best people, over wine or a meal made together, and with my first (and last) slice of Jumbo Slice pizza.

New_Belgium_Brewery_Tour Cirque_de_soleil Broncos Denver_Apartment

Starting in May, the Denver adventures have been amazing as well- from Cirque de Soleil to Santa Fe Art Walks. Shabbat dinners with family, ice cream dates with neighborhood friends, weekend farmers markets, brewery tours, plays, and a Bronco game that couldn’t end soon enough (sorry, Noah). My job keeps me motivated to stay in public health and academia, and I have been lucky to find such wonderful coworkers transitioned to friends. The weather has tested me on snowy days, but the 300 days of sunshine are legit (I do wish our apartment had better light in the evenings!).

Roadtrip Aspen_Maroon_Bells Cape_Cod Moving_to_Colorado

I traveled a lot this year- to Taos last New Year’s with Noah, to Cape Cod to visit family, to visit a best friend in Atlanta. I spent a weekend in Aspen while my dad was at a conference. Camping in the rain near Crested Butte for a weekend reminded us that we are creatures of comfort. Green Bay, Wisconsin hosted me for a work week (AKA: I spent time in my first casino). Of course, there was also our trips to Portland to visit my family, and more exciting- our trip to Vietnam and Hong Kong. In between, many friends have stopped through this mile high city and I have loved every minute of playing tour guide.

Crested_Butte_Mountain_Biking Yoga_On_The_Rocks DSC_0118 Hiking_Boulder_Flatirons

I have learned these past six months how to treat my body well, after recommitting myself to being healthy and confident. With exercise, I have been sweating more, from sea kayaking in Vietnam to Yoga on the Rocks to booty shaking in zumba (did I mention I have a new scar from my attempt at mountain biking?). Our urban neighborhood also allows us to walk to get groceries and lay out in the sun in Cheesman Park. I have learned how to cook new produce, plan meals to stay on track, while pushing myself to be creative with dinner after a long day at work.

Farmers_Market_Caprese Vegetarian_Tortilla_Pizza Bones_Denver Homemade_Macarons

The food has been excellent, the friendships vibrant, and the blog community my favorite. I hope we have an amazing 2014 together, talking about important things like whether kale will still be trendy and whether I should remake the above pictured macarons with blackberry or lemon buttercream. Thanks for being a part of my adventure.

Marisa

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