Hummus

Everybody has a favorite hummus recipe, right?  Well…sometimes the answer is ‘no.’  This post is for those poor deprived souls who don’t already have their own go-to recipe for hummus.

This is super easy and so much cheaper than buying a tub of it in the store ~ some of them are quite pricey.  (And have you checked out the ingredients lists on some of those?  Ick.  I don’t like canola oil or vinegar.  I want healthier choices.)

Hummus

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2-2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. tahini (Joyva is my favorite brand – for taste and ease of stirring)
  • 1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (2-3 for garlic hummus)
  • 1/4-1/3 c. chopped onion
  • heaping 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c. water (depending on how watery your onion is, and desired thickness)

Blend either in food processor or blender until very smooth.

Variations:  add in one or more of the following ~ roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green onion, dillweed, spinach, etc.  Look at the flavors in the store and experiment with add-ins.  If you are adding in a slightly liquidy item, decrease your water.

General Tso’s Sauce

What do you do when you can’t find an inexpensive bottle or two of General Tso’s Sauce for your supper plans?  Well, either you go without, or spend the big bucks, right?  *BEEP*  Wrong answer.  ;D  You go to the website of your favorite brand of sauce and look at the ingredients list…and then use it to approximate amounts to create your own!  Or…at least…that’s what I did last night.  It was either that or use the veggies I had already purchased to make a very mundane stir fry instead.

My only fear came when I tasted the sauce.  MAN!!…was it salty!!!  But since I had never actually tasted the purchased sauce straight out of the bottle, I really didn’t have anything to go by.  My tofu had nothing flavoring it except the coconut oil in which I sauteed it and my veggies had no salt on them.  I took the risk.  I poured it over the tofu to marinate since it was finished first.  Once the veggies finished cooking I tossed it all together.

SUCCESS!  Best tasting General Tso’s yet!  Now that I realize just how much sweetener goes into it, I think that I will have to play around to make it more savory and less sweet just for health’s sake.  But for wow factor, this is the way to go.  😀

For comparison, here is the ingredients list from Iron Chef’s General Tso’s Sauce:  Sugar, soy sauce, water, vinegar, food starch, tomato paste, fresh garlic, dried garlic, red peppers, soybean oil, dried minced onion.

I made some substitutions and added some minced ginger.  I made a triple batch of this for my crew (and the teens were circling the empty serving dishes whining wishing for more.)  That’s why the measurements sometimes seem a bit odd.  It’s tough to split 1/2 tsp. into thirds!  Just for the sake of those of you who like to make large batches as I do, I’ll put the large batch’s measurements in parentheses after each ingredient.

General Tso’s Sauce

  • 1/4 c. evaporated cane juice crystals (or sugar) (3/4 c.)
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp. honey (1/4 c.)
  • 1/4 c. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (3/4 c.)
  • 1/4 c. + 2-3 T. water (1 1/4 c.)
  • 1 T. fresh organic lemon juice (3 T. – 1 small lemon)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch (2 T.)
  • 4 tsp. organic tomato paste (4 T.)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (6 cloves; 4 T.)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (3/4 tsp.)
  • 1/8 tsp. (rounded measure) dried red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil (1 tsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried minced onion (3/4 tsp.)
  • scant 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced (scant 1 T.)

Measure 2-3 T. water, mix in the cornstarch, and set it aside.  Place all other ingredients in a saucepan (making sure the tomato paste is thoroughly “dissolved”) and heat to just boiling.  Add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until it loses it slightly milky color and begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and set aside until stir fry is complete and ready for sauce.

Makes approximately 1-1 1/4 c. of sauce.

Cheesy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

I was going to make baked potatoes and have bunches of toppings from which everyone could choose.  Then I remembered how much my husband hates “working” to “prepare” his food.  If it doesn’t hop onto his plate ready for immediate transfer to his mouth with no visible effort on his part, then he’s not really interested ~ especially if it’s a work day (he’s in construction and works hard all day.)  And he doesn’t like baked potatoes that much even if I spoiled him and fixed it for him.  So…scratch that idea.

Next idea.  Some kind of scalloped potatoes.  They went over very well.  And no one had to “fix” their own.  😉

I made these the day before so that when we came home from church, they would be in the automatic oven already toasty and ready for us to sit down to eat.  I baked them for 45 minutes at 350° on Friday, then the next day I set the timer for another 45 minutes at 375°.  We got home a little early and I began to wonder if they would get done fast enough, so I cranked the oven up to 400° for the last half hour.  They were hot all the way through – but not crispy on the edges at all (like I prefer!)

Per usual, this makes A LOT!  It’s perfect to take to a potluck, or a big family get together, or so you can have leftovers the next night (if you don’t have a human 17-yr-old vacuum like I do.)  Or you could cut the recipe in half if your family hates leftovers.  Another option is to split the recipe into 2 separate pans and share with another family who is having a tough time, is ill, or just brought home a new baby (like my son and daughter-in-law just did ~ making me a 1st-time grandma!)

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

  • 1 onion (at least baseball sized or larger), cut up into large chunks
  • 1 c. nutritional yeast flakes (NOT baking yeast)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (more to sprinkle on top, if desired)
  • 2 lg. garlic cloves
  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 3-4 drops hickory smoke liquid
  • 1/4 c. melted virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk (not vanilla)
  • 5 lbs. boiled, peeled potatoes

Preheat oven to 400°.  Dice or slice the cooked potatoes and place in a 4-qt casserole.  (Mine ended up not quite sliced OR diced, because I left the whole potatoes boiling too long and a large number of them fell apart as I sliced them.)

Whiz the remaining ingredients, except the non-dairy milk, in a high-powered blender until smooth.  Add the milk and whiz briefly just to stir.  Pour over the potatoes and gently mix things together so that the potatoes get coated with the sauce.  Sprinkle with extra paprika, if desired.

Cover with lid or foil and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours (depending on how crispy you would like it to be.)

Optional:  Bake for 45 minutes, cool, and refrigerate until the next day.  Then reheat for 30-45 minutes at 400°.  If you are using an automatic oven, do calculate in some extra oven-heating time and add it to your 30-45 minutes.

NOTE:  If you choose to halve this recipe into a 9″x13″ pan, please remember to decrease the cooking time or the temperature of the oven.