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Quick & easy dinner: healthy hors d'oeuvres

Preparing a platter of healthy finger foods has become one of my favorite dinners to make. It involves absolutely no cooking (hooray), just a little slicing, dicing and spooning. I'll peel and slice some carrots and broccoli, cut wedges of whole wheat pita bread and dump some homemade hummus into a bowl. I might add some Greek olives (my weakness), slices of cheese and fruit. My kids absolutely love these meals because they can pick and choose what they want. They will always go for the carrots and pita wedges dipped in hummus (veggie, whole grains and protein) and will gobble up cheese like it's chocolate. These are probably the healthiest meals they eat because the food is mostly raw, unprocessed and whole. And they eat a lot of it.

Hummus is one of those healthy, delicious dips that I can totally gorge on, and I've found a basic recipe that is super easy. The one investment is a jar of tahini, which can often be found in the peanut butter aisle. You only need a little, however, and it will last a long time. The other thing I'd like to do is NOT buy chick peas in cans, but I'm not sure I've ever seen bulk, dried chick peas. Do they exist? Well, here's the recipe:

  • 2 large cans (approx. one pound each) of chick peas, drained w/ liquid reserved
  • 2/3 cup tahini
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I usually start w/ half that amount and add more until I like the taste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Toss it all into a food processor and add a little reserved chick pea liquid to get the consistency you like. Add salt to taste. You can also add things like toasted pine nuts, paprika and parsley. I seldom think to buy these items, so we usually just eat bare bones hummus. I'd like to try it with roasted red peppers sometime. Have a favorite hummus recipe to share? Does your family enjoy hors d'oeuvres for dinner?

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