Spicy Black Bean Hummus + Grilled Zucchini Tostadas ~ I am a chip girl. Some people don’t like to crunch on chips during a meal but for me I love having something crunchy to snack on alongside a great sandwich or an easy meal. This week, however, for our “traditional” Taco Tuesday dinner I put the crunch into the dish –– don’t worry we still had our usual chips and queso to coincide (thank goodness!). Tostadas are a crunchy, open-faced taco of sorts and fun to eat –– and did I mention it’s also entertaining to watch little ones trying to eat them too. Crunching food everywhere –– it’s ok, it’s bath night and the dog is on floor patrol. For these tostadas, I made my spicy black bean hummus, grilled up some fresh zucchini, then topped them with some cilantro, lime juice and crumbled cotija cheese. They are a healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian dinner option minus the chips and queso, of course.
Start with the spicy black bean hummus then top your tostadas.
Let the crunching begin.
Spicy Black Bean Hummus and Grilled Zucchini Tostadas
Make spicy black bean hummus (see recipe) and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Slice zucchini into 2" strips and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place into a grill safe pan and grill for 5-8 minutes, or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Once golden, remove from heat and begin tostada assembly.
Place 6 tostadas out onto a flat surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of black bean hummus onto each one. Top with 1/4 cup of the grilled zucchini, a Tablespoon of sliced red onion, a Tablespoon of cotija cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over each one, then serve.
Drain the black beans by half and place into a food processor. Next add in the tahini paste, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, cumin powder, and salt and pulse together until well combined and smooth.
Use this as a sandwich spread or a dip with your favorite vegetables or chips.
Savory Corn Bread Pudding ~ Living in the big state of Texas we are lucky to have loads of sunshine. At least, I think we are lucky –– some of us might not agree when all of that bright yellow light equals long days with well over 100 degree temperatures. Sure, it’s hot but it’s manageable. In the current issue of Austin Monthly Magazine, there is an article about the rise and use of solar energy throughout the city and the fact that more and more people are turning to our glorious sun and incorporating it into their everyday lifestyle. What if you could take this very idea to the dinner table? Solavore –– the solar oven company –– is out to prove that you can do just that (and more) from anywhere in the world. With all of the burn bans around and environmental conditions, why not pack a lightweight and durable solar oven on your next camping trip? The Solavore oven weighs all of 9 pounds and can also be easily used for everyday cooking in your own backyard or packed up for an effortless meal on the beach. I recently met Anne Patterson, the inspiring founder and CEO of Solavore –– who lives off-the-grid a few times a year, and uses her own solar powered oven on both land and sea. Anne, made a carrot cake with the Solavore (wow!) and after one delicious bite I knew I had to try this oven for myself. She was kind enough to give one to me to try out and the observation and testing began.
Having two very curious boys, they were just as excited to learn more about using sunshine to cook our next meal as I was. “Really mom? We can cook dinner outside with sun? Cool!” my eager beavers exclaimed. We started our investigation simply by adding some summer vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper to one of the pans that comes with the oven and after about 2 hours in the heat they turned out perfectly tender and delicious. A few of my favorite things about this cooking tool is 1.) You don’t need to add any water –– so the veggies are more concentrated with flavor. 2.) Set it and forget –– no need to fear that your house might burn down from using an old crockpot (gah!) or leaving the oven on while you run out. AND 3.) The outside never gets hot so it’s super kid-friendly.
After some tinkering I opted to step up my cooking game and made a Savory Corn Bread Pudding with delicious results. Don’t have the oven yet? You could make this in your slow cooker but I have to say sunshine cooking is a lot more fun.
Mix, load, and let the sunshine do the work.
Savory Corn Bread Pudding ~ serve it as a side dish or top it with a big dollop of sour cream and salsa for a main course.
To learn more about the Solavore oven, the benefits of solar cooking, and to get more sunshine-y recipes visit them HERE!
3Tablespoons unsalted buttermelted and divided 1+2
Servings: -8 servings
Use one Tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 9" baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, gently whisk together corn meal, baking powder, onion powder, salt. Next add in the fresh corn, eggs, milk, heavy cream, remaining butter, and honey and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover and place into solar oven. Cook for 90-105 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*** If using a regular slow cooker -- butter the inside with one Tablespoon of butter, then pour mixture in and place on low heat for the same time.***
Greek Tomato Bites ~ Whether you are still having poolside parties, or celebrating back-to-school days, these Greek Tomato Bites are a cool appetizer to serve at your next gathering. Scoop out all of the tomatoes and serve them alongside the greek salad for a more interactive dish or stuff them ahead of time for easy, party poppin’. Last week, KXAN’s Studio 512 show invited me in as a special guest to help celebrate their one year anniversary ~ hooray! I have been on the show monthly since the show first started last August and it has been a true delight getting to know the fabulous group of people behind the scenes that put together this fun, locally inspired show –– include it’s amazingly sweet and lovely host, Amanda Tatom. I decided to bring these little nibbles to the birthday celebration since they are a real crowd pleaser, healthy (it’s still swimsuit season after all) and gluten free, not to mention they pair well with a glass (or two) of champagne. Balance, right?
Make the simple salad, chopping everything small so it can be put inside the tomatoes.
Scoop out the cute tomatoes––I recommend using the handle of a small spoon––then fill.
Remove tops from the tomatoes and cut off a small 1/4" slice off of the top. Next, gently scoop out the insides with a small spoon (handle works best). Rest tomatoes on a flat surface if needed trim a tiny sliver off of the bottom to insure it sits flat then set aside.
In a medium bowl combine cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, onions, basil, olive oil, vinegar, and pepper and combine together well. Using a small spoon or hands stuff each tomato with about a teaspoon of the cucumber mixture. Once they are all stuffed serve or cover and chill until ready to serve.
Giveaway! Slow Food Grub Trivia Spectator Tickets ~ When it comes to food I consider myself a bit of a nerd. I love to learn about things such as rennet, cattle varieties, vegetable origins, and crema –– it’s all very fascinating to me. If you think that way and multiply that idea by 6 and […]
10 Easy Back-to-School Weeknight Dinners ~ Hallelujah! The week has come for us and we are officially back in school. We had a g-r-e-a-t summer –– saw a lot of friends, did a little bit of traveling, lots of swimming, and of course copious amounts of summertime eating. I will certainly miss those lazy mornings when […]
Grilled Peach Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette ~ We made it. We made it through summer. There were a few moments when I wasn’t so sure but, here we are with one week left and it’s time to scoop up our back-to-school supplies ~ woohoo! My kiddos are in a year round school-ish type of program […]
Grilled Oysters with Jalapeño Mignonette ~ I love oysters. Years ago, when we lived in Vancouver, Canada, these were a mealtime staple –– fresh from the ocean, shucked and devoured by the dozen. I must admit we were spoiled by all of the Pacific Coast seafood back then and now I wasn’t too keen on […]
Spicy Peach Chicken Kabobs ~ I realized the other day that we have only had our grill going a few times so far this season –– waaaa? How is that possible? Oh, right, all of that rain kept us from using our outdoor open flame. Soon after realizing this, and seeing some glorious peaches at the market, I […]
Watermelon Feta Bites 20+ Delicious Ideas for the 4th of July ~ Whether you are sitting poolside, lakeside, beachside or just hanging out in the backyard for this year’s 4th of July celebration, you are going to need a few tasty ideas to celebrate. I have gathered a list of a few of our family favorites, […]
Cucumber Fennel Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs ~ I have always been a fan of fennel but this year in particular my love for them seems to have grown. Well, it’s either my love or I just really missed having them on the table. Does that ever happen to you? Anyway, here we are surrounded by the […]