Mediterranean hummus and veggie wrap

Mediterranean hummus and veggie wrap

Sometimes the simplest combinations are the most delicious! Trying to use up our “pandemic canned goods”, my husband and I decided to try our hand at hummus. How hard could it be?

Hummus is a traditional Mediterranean spread made with chick peas that’s often used as a dip with vegetables, but we’ve used it before as a spread in place of mayonnaise or mustard. You can change the flavor quite a bit by adding roasted red peppers, olives or cayenne pepper. We decided to use it in place of meat for a wrap.

We used whole wheat tortillas, 2 Tbsp. hummus, red pepper strips, 1 tsp. feta cheese, 4-5 grape tomatoes cut in half and a handful of chopped olives in our wraps. Whole wheat or regular pita bread would work as well. Keep in mind I am a food neRD. Store bought hummus would be just as tasty in this wrap.

Hummus uses tahini (sesame paste), which may or may not be in your pantry. Never fear! Peanut butter makes a great substitute. You will need a food processor or high powered blender to get the hummus nice and smooth. We used bottled lemon juice in place of fresh lemons. If you’re out of garlic, use 1/2 tsp. garlic powder instead. We added extra cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper to give the hummus a little extra kick.

Recipe credit to http://cookieandkate.com

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
½ teaspoon baking soda (if you’re using canned chickpeas)
¼ cup lemon juice (from 1 ½ to 2 lemons), more to taste
1 medium-to-large clove garlic, roughly chopped
½-1 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
½ cup tahini
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, more as needed
½-1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the baking soda. Cover the chickpeas by several inches of water, then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling, reducing heat if necessary to prevent overflow, for about 20 minutes, or until the chickpeas look bloated, their skins are falling off, and they’re quite soft. In a fine-mesh strainer, drain the chickpeas and run cool water over them for about 30 seconds. Set aside (no need to peel the chickpeas for this recipe!).
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Process until the garlic is very finely chopped, then let the mixture rest so the garlic flavor can mellow, ideally 10 minutes or longer.
3. Add the tahini to the food processor and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy, stopping to scrape down any tahini stuck to the sides and bottom of the processor as necessary.
4. While running the food processor, drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water. Scrape down the food processor, and blend until the mixture is ultra smooth, pale and creamy. (If your tahini was extra-thick to begin with, you might need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons more ice water.)
5. Add the cumin and the drained, over-cooked chickpeas to the food processor. While blending, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary, about 2 minutes. Add more ice water by the tablespoon if necessary to achieve a super creamy texture.
6. Taste, and adjust as necessary—I almost always add another ¼ teaspoon salt for more overall flavor and another tablespoon of lemon juice for extra zing.
7. Scrape the hummus into a serving bowl or platter, and use a spoon to create nice swooshes on top. Top with garnishes of your choice, and serve. Leftover hummus keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week.

And that’s a wrap!

Spring spinach salad with berries

Spring spinach salad with berries

Despite not being at the grocery, you’ve likely been able to get some beautiful berries through Instacart or Click list. Personally, I miss picking out my own produce, but in the age of COVID19, I am fine to stay home and let someone else do the shopping. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my produce.

Strawberries are one of my favorite seasonal fruits and I will eat them daily until August when the season is more or less over. I’ve always been a huge fan of adding fruit to salad and this spinach salad is a keeper.

The combo of spinach and strawberries is a nutritional powerhouse. Both contain a heavy dose of vitamin C (good for your immune system these days), as well as fiber, antioxidants such as lutein (good for your eyes) and anthocyanin (good for your heart). I like to toss in either blue cheese or feta cheese and drizzle a sweet dressing over it such as honey mustard or poppy seed. Poppy seed dressing also goes well over kale salad as it tends to be more biter and the sweetness balances it well. I added a few chunks of leftover grilled chicken, which made the salad more satisfying.


2 cups cleaned spinach leaves

4-5 large strawberries, cleaned and cut in half

1 Tbsp. feta or blue cheese

1 Tbsp. poppy seed dressing


1.Place greens in a bowl and add strawberries and cheese. Drizzle poppy seed dressing over salad and toss.

Pandemic tuna salad on toast

Pandemic tuna salad on toast

Maybe you’ve got a few extra hard cooked eggs from Easter and a can of tuna sitting dormant in your pantry. And, then again, maybe you don’t! We didn’t boil eggs this year. It didn’t exactly feel like a holiday last week, sadly.

Nonetheless, you might be craving simple comfort food like I am right now. My dad used to make tuna salad after Easter, and honestly, about once a month in our house. I found myself craving it this week when his birthday passed on Tuesday. He would have been 92 this year. RIP dad.

This is a simple recipe using ingredients you probably have on hand. I used dried dill and chopped green onions, but chopped white, purple or yellow onions or chopped celery (or any of them) work to add flavor, color and texture to your salad. I also like to add dried dill for flavor. Dad used to add black olives, but I didn’t have any in the house.

My dad always ate his tuna on rye toast, which remains my favorite. It’s also great on any other whole grain bread, stuffed into a pita or served with tomatoes in a big green salad. Thank you Dad for this fond memory meal. I miss you.


One egg

One (5 oz) can tuna packed in water

3 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

1 tsp. dried dill

1 green onion, minced


  1. Boil egg for 15 minutes, then rinse under very cold water to cool.
  2. Drain tuna and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Using a fork, break up the tuna into smaller pieces.
  4. Add mayonnaise, dried dill, green onions and peeled egg.
  5. Using a fork, mash up the egg and blend it in with the tuna and other ingredients.
  6. Serve tuna salad on your favorite bread or with crackers or add to salad.

Makes 4 servings. 


Smoky beans and turkey sausage

Smoky beans and turkey sausage

Desperate for something different to eat during this COVID19 mess, we grilled some turkey kielbasa Saturday night and served it with sauerkraut, potatoes and salad. And like every meal we make, we ended up with leftovers.

On Sunday, I decided to try something different with the kielbasa. Typically, we’d reheat it and enjoy the same meal twice. But with more thyme (haha) on my hands, I thought I’d try something new.

This recipe could be made with andouille sausage, kielbasa or kept meatless if desired. The sausage adds a savory taste as well as protein. Normally I would add diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with green chilis, but one of my daughters hates cooked tomatoes. I subbed a can of tomato sauce and it worked out well.

This dish was made in my Instant Pot, but it could easily be made on the stove. Chipotle chili powder adds a smoky taste, but regular chili powder or liquid smoke could be used, too.


1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil

1/2 white or yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder or liquid smoke

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

3-4 oz. turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 (30 oz.) can pinto or red beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Set your Instant Pot on sautee function and add the oil, onions and garlic.
  2. Sautee with the lid open for ~3 minutes until onions become translucent.
  3. Add the Cajun seasoning and chipotle chili powder and sautee another minute until onions and garlic are coated.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, turkey kielbasa, and beans and stir.
  5. Close the lid to the pot and change setting on Instant Pot to “beans or chili”.
  6. Place the release valve to airtight and allow to cook 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Release steam when done and serve over rice or quinoa.

Makes 6 servings. 


Instant pot white bean and spinach soup


Instant pot white bean and spinach soup

The cooler weather does not seem to be going away any time soon, but that means you've got 'thyme' to enjoy lots of great soup recipes! This a version of something my mother made during winter months in Youngstown, Ohio. It's a combination of "beans and greens" (a frugal Italian dish that my parents ate as kids), plus the addition of carrots, celery, onions and garlic. I made mine in an Instant Pot, but this can be made fairly quickly on the stove. If you're making it on the stove, use your microwave to steam the carrots and celery before sauteeing them. This helps soften them and reduces cooking time.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings 6


  • Cutting board, chef's knife, Instant pot, measuring spoons, measuring cups


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 ribs celery peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans Navy or Great Northern beans drained and rinsed


  • Turn your instant pot to sautee mode. Add the canola oil and then the Italian seasoning, carrots, celery and onions.
    2. With the lid open, sautee the vegetables and seasoning for 3 minutes until vegetables start to get soft. Add the garlic last.
    3. Switch the Instant pot to "soup" mode. Add the block of spinach, broth and 2 cans of white beans and turn the pot on.
    4. Close the lid and place it on airtight mode until the soup "beeps" and the cycle is completed. Release the pressure and open the soup.
    Serve with shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.

Chicken Cacciatore- cross post

I love the network of dietitians I have met over the years through work, school, at workshops and most recently, online. I am all about supporting other RDs in the profession (especially when they share their great recipes)!

This recipes comes from Jenna Volpe from Austin Texas. Jenna owns and operates Wholeistic Living, Inc. http://wholeisticliving.com

I’ll be sharing a few from her site this month. Enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore

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