Welcome the weekend with hummus.
We think that this dip is the perfect weekend food as you can take it along to potlucks and parties, make a batch and snack on it all weekend or eat it for lunch when you’re feeling lazy. Due to the fact that we like to keep things interesting, we’re offering you a roasted broccoli hummus, something a little unique to your usual choices.
We have some beautiful broccoli from Johnson’s Backyard Garden that’ll make this recipe drool-worthy. This recipe isn’t just unique because of the broccoli, it also calls for water instead of oil, which lowers the calorie count and allows for the flavors of garlic and broccoli to shine through.
Happy eating (and happy weekend!)
Roasted Broccoli Hummus
From: Not Without Salt
- 15 ounces of cooked white beans
- 1/2 pound roasted broccoli
- 6 garlic cloves, roasted (these are roasted with the broccoli, sweet on the outside with a pleasant garlic heat internally)
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1 pound broccoli floret
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Cook your white beans. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Scatter the broccoli across a parchment lined sheet tray. Do not overcrowd the tray as this will cause steaming rather than roasting. Add chili flakes, 2 Tbsp garlic, olive oil and salt. Stir to coat.
Roast 20 minutes or until cooked through with parts of the florets having a nice bit of char. Let cool slightly.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Add a little bit of water, 1 Tbsp at a time, to help blend and to achieve desired consistency. Taste and add salt. Season to taste. Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
We feel like celebrating. It’s almost Mother’s Day (make sure you call your mom!) and we have fantastic events planned this weekend. It looks like this rainy weather might stick around for awhile, so it’s the perfect evening to make a cake. Carrots are still going strong in central Texas, and not only are they perfect for snacking they also make a mean baked good.
This recipe goes one step beyond simple carrot cake with the addition of orange frosting. While a good carrot cake should be able to stand on its own, it’s always nice when you pair it with the perfect frosting. We still have some local citrus, which will be out of season soon, so grab it while you can.
We enjoyed that the author made it slightly healthier by adding goat cheese to the frosting, which is easier to digest than cow’s milk and adds a bit more tang. She also added less sugar and used olive oil instead of butter, which makes for a cake that you feel a little less guilty about eating, right?
Who are we kidding, guilt and delicious (real) food shouldn’t go together.
Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting
From: The Kitchn
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- Whole walnuts, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line both with a round of parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the olive oil, buttermilk, sugars, eggs, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With a spoon, fold in the grated carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them out of the pans, peel off the parchment, and set them right side up to cool completely on the rack.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency.
To frost the cake, first spread a small dab of icing on the cake plate. Cut narrow strips of parchment or paper and place them in a grid on the cake plate, leaving the center open. They should be close enough together that the cake layer sits on top of the paper with no part of the diameter exposed directly to the plate.
Using a serrated bread knife, carefully carve off the domed top of one of the layers as evenly as possible. Center this first layer on the plate. Using an offset spatula, apply a “crumb coat”: a thin layer of frosting meant to keep the crumbs down. (Refrigerate the layer at this point if the crumbs are coming up.)
Stir the frosting and place about 1/3 of it over the bottom cake layer. Spread the frosting with the spatula until even and smooth. Make sure that the frosting is thicker around the edges.
Place the second layer on top and apply a crumb coat. Refrigerate. Place about half of the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake, working the frosting around the edges. Spread the remaining frosting across the top of the cake, dipping the spatula in warm water and wiping it off between strokes to keep it warm and clean for a smoother finish.
Remove the strips one at a time, pulling it out in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Garnish the cake with walnuts, herbs, flowers and/or birthday candles.
We just got in some local peaches, the first of the season. The joy of eating your first local peach is some sort of magic. Something as exciting as fresh peaches in May deserves a dish where the peaches are the main attraction. True, we paired them with strawberries in this tasty treat, but it you think peaches are delicious alone, try them with ripe strawberries… heavenly. With the weather heating up, popsicles are the perfect snack to have waiting for you. They’re also extremely easy to make, which results in a winning dessert/snack/treat. Happy eating!
Peach & Strawberry Popsicles
- 4 small ripe peaches (or 2 big peaches), pitted
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup almond milk
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 3 hours. Serve!
We’re feeling green today. What that means exactly, we’re not sure. All we know is that it’s beautiful, it’s Friday and we have some delicious vegetables to offer. Word on the street is that greens are good for you, so we’re all about the dishes that are made almost entirely of the stuff. This salad calls for broccoli and avocado, a fantastic pair if we do say so ourselves.
The recipe comes from The First Mess, which is one of our favorite food blogs. It’s a resource you can turn to again and again, with each recipe satisfying your hunger and health quota for the day. If you have yet to check out her page, visit and be inspired. She writes about things she loves: cooking with natural foods, eating seasonally and sharing wholesome meals with the people in her life. She has a lot of experience with food and the culinary world, and you can tell. Her posts are informative, beautiful and every single recipe we’ve made from her collection has been delicious.
We’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe based on what we have available in the store. Either way you make it, you’ll be a happy camper.
Broccoli & Avocado Salad
From: The First Mess
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 bunch broccoli, large stems removed
- 1/2 cup wild rice, soaked, sprouted and drained
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- Salt and pepper
Make the dressing: Combine all of the dressing ingredients except for the basil and oil in a blender. Blend on medium-high speed until a smooth and creamy mixture is achieved. You may have to stop the motor and push the avocado down a couple of times. Add the basil leaves and oil to the blender pitcher. Put the lid on and slowly bring the speed up to medium-high. Once you have a creamy consistency similar to mayonnaise, you’re set. It should taste sweet, tangy and rich. Adjust seasoning to your liking and set aside.
Chop the broccoli into very small florets. They shouldn’t be bigger than the end of your thumb (see photo above). Place florets into a large bowl with the sprouted rice, raisins and sunflower seeds. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the broccoli mixture. Give the salad a good seasoning with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Place salad into your serving bowl of choice.
Everybody loves a salty snack, and everybody should love kale. We just got in lacinato (also known as dinosaur, black or Tuscan kale) from Tecolote farm and it’s the perfect choice for making kale chips. Making chips is one of our favorite ways to use kale, as the flavor combinations are endless. The folks from Whole Life Nutrition are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to kale chips (and all health food, for that matter) and have a good recipe index to explore when you’re looking for healthy meal options.
We liked the addition of almond butter in this recipe as it adds some protein and gives the chips a unique flavor. Happy eating!
Sweet & Spicy Kale Chips
From: Nourishing Meals
- 2 large bunches kale, stems and inner ribs removed
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp creamy almond butter
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Use a knife to cut out the tough inner rib that runs lengthwise through the center of each kale leaf. Then cut the kale into large pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Place the kale into a large bowl, or two, and pour the mixture over the kale. Use your hands to gently massage the mixture in, coating each leaf.
Use one very large cookie sheet or two medium-sized sheets and distribute the kale evenly so they are in one layer. Bake for about 40 minutes, removing the pans every so often to stir and flip the leaves. You should only need to do this 2 to 3 times during cooking. If they are not crisp and dry at the end of cooking time just put them back in until they crisp up. Once they are done, let them cool on the cookie sheets and then transfer to a bowl to serve.
Happy National Bike Month! Whether you’re an avid cyclist or the thought of biking terrifies you, throw any hesitation out the window and get yourself on a bike.
The first bike was invented in 1817 by Karl von Drais, a German baron who invented a horseless carriage that would help him get from place to place. Drais’ two-wheeled, pedal-less invention was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground. He named it the laufmaschine (which means running machine in German) as he would use the contraption to “run” up to 25 miles a day over the country roads. His invention led to the creation of the modern-day bike, although the term bicycle was not introduced until the 1860s in France.
The invention of our beloved bicycle was acknowledged and admired, but it took some time for the bike to catch on. People seemed to prefer having both feet on the ground, thank you very much. There were a number of designs that came about during the early 1800s, each of them modifying Drais’ idea of a two-wheeled machine that will get you from point A to point B.
Initially, there wasn’t much to be said for the safety of the bicycle, with the majority of the riders being young men who had a propensity for danger. All of that changed in 1885 with John Kemp Starley’s creation of a bike design that featured a rider close to the ground, with two wheels of the same size and a chain system that drove the bike from the rear wheel.
By the year 1900, with bikes being safer and more accessible, cycling became a popular form of transportation and recreation. It was rumored that our 28th president, Woodrow Wilson, was crazy about cycling but had to give it up for security reasons when he moved into the White House.
The fascination and love affair with the bicycle has continued. In 1972, bicycles outsold cars in the US (13 million to 11 million). And according to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the share of Americans commuting by bikes has grown by 47% since 2000. Austin has received a silver rating (only a few awards away from being platinum!) by the League of American Bicycles and our fair city has seen a dramatic rise in bicycle commuters since 2000.
We’re happy to see that so many people are getting out of their cars and embracing their bicycles.
Biking is really a win/win situation. You improve your health and take a step towards reducing your personal carbon footprint. As a cyclist, you aren’t burning non-renewable fossil fuels and you don’t produce air pollution or other harmful emissions. Did you know that the U.S. Census estimates that about half of all Americans live within five miles of their workplace? According to an article published by National Geographic, if you were to bike those five miles every day you could reduce your total household emissions by six percent, and who doesn’t want that?
Go ahead, get on your bike and ride. Sure, it will be tough initially and you’ll probably start cursing as you climb your first big hill, but it’s all worth it. You’ll take in a new view of your city, get all the exercise you need and form a great community with other cyclists. Lucky for us, Austin has a lot of incredible events to celebrate National Bike Month, with opportunities for cyclists of all ages, experience and interests.
Bike Month Events in Austin, Texas
Bike to Eat Week, May 1st – May 5th, All you have to do to celebrate is go to the participating businesses, show them that you rode your bike (show off your helmet or lock) and they’ll give you a 10% discount on your meal.
Global Women’s Cycling Day, May 12th, Sponsored by CycloFemme, this is a worldwide event to celebrate women on bikes. This is an annual Mother’s Day ride that happens all around the world, and Austin’s own Bikin’ Betties will be hosting a beginner friendly, co-ed social ride around town. Stay tuned on their Facebook page for the details.
Celebrate Bike to Work Week, May 13th -17th . The Austin Cycling Association will have eight bicycling hubs around town some set up for breakfast, others set up for happy hour. If you’re a new cyclist you’ll get a free gift for getting yourself out there and on your bike!
Viva Street Austin, May 19th from 12-5 pm. A two-mile length of sixth street will be closed to motor vehicles and be open for biking and other fun activities. Viva Street is an open street festival so you can bike, walk, tango or skip down the street. 6th street is yours for those 5 hours, make the most of it.