Savor and Flavor

Skillet Spiced Chickpeas

Skillet roasted spiced chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are all the rage as a snack, but I’m reluctant to heat up an oven for a can’s worth of chickpeas, if nothing else being baked! Oven roasting chickpeas can also dry them out, occasionally even making them explode. I’ve had better luck with skillet toasting, which yields good flavor and texture every time. These are good eaten out of hand as an appetizer or snack in place of far more caloric nuts. These disappear quickly, so if you’re serving a larger or hungrier crowd, double the recipe and use a larger skillet. They make a tasty salad topping, too.
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5 Great Ways to Jazz Up Hummus

Avocado Cilantro Lime Hummus

Everyone loves hummus these days; the basic traditional recipe is delicious straight up. And it’s so useful, too, whether as a spread for fresh pita, a dip for fresh veggies, and as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. The flavored varieties of store-bought hummus are nice but they don’t go a long way, and honestly, one flavor tastes pretty much like another. Use this simple recipe for basic hummus (it’s more economical, too!) and then use the suggestions below to boost the flavor and eye appeal. more→

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Chickpea, Avocado, and Spinach Spread

Chickpea, Spinach, and Avocado Spread

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and yummy spread for fresh bread, crackers, or tortilla chips, you’re in luck. This one combines tasty chickpeas with smooth avocado, and boosted with a good dose of baby spinach or arugula. Spread it on toast any time of day — even for breakfast, or scoop a little of the soft center from a fresh crusty baguette. It’s as good for everyday lunches as it is as a special occasion dip or spread. Makes about 2 cups. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Salsa Fresca with Lots of Variations

Salsa Fresca with Peaches

When tomatoes are at their best, it’s well worth making salsa at home, rather than buying it in jars. This is a simple and delicious appetizer to serve with tortilla chips. This makes about 1 1/2 cups. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Crispy Polenta Fries

Polenta Fries recipe

Making these addictive fries using polenta (cooked cornmeal) is super easy. You need to plan ahead to allow the cooked polenta to completely solidify in the fridge — a few hours or overnight. Use as an appetizer or side dish. Polenta is completely gluten-free, and though it’s a traditional Italian food, it goes with any kind of meal. Thanks to Colavita for the quick-cooking, super-smooth Instant Polenta used in this recipe, as well as the fruity olive oil and hot pepper spread we used to embellish the fries. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Hoisin-Glazed Eggplant

Hoisin eggplan

Here’s a simple way to prepare the abundance of Japanese eggplants or the mini eggplants of summer. The hoisin marinade cooks into these small eggplants and makes them irresistible! Serve with a cold Asian-style noodle dish and a simple tofu dish for a delicious warm-weather meal. Or, serve on its own as an appetizer or first course. Look for hoisin sauce in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets, or at natural foods stores or Asian groceries. more→

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Sophisticated Summer Rolls

Sophisticated Summer Rolls cropped

These summer rolls look fancy and sophisticated, but they’re so easy to make. Just stop, drop, and roll! A great appetizer or light meal for one, or make more for a crowd.Recipe from Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French Way with Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Season  © 2015 by Rebecca Leffler. Photos by Sandra Mahut. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. more→

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Chocolate Almond Spread

Chocolate Almond Spread

Move over hazelnuts! Almonds are equally delicious when paired with chocolate. By simply blending almond flour, cacao powder, and agave nectar, you can create a rich and luscious spread that rivals the popular stuff in a jar. Use this as a topping for toast, layer it with sliced fruit on sandwiches, add it to your favorite sweet recipes, or smear it on sliced bananas or apples. Of course, you can also just lick it directly off a spoon. This makes about 1 cup.from Almond Flour: The High Protein, Gluten-Free Choice for Baking and Cooking by Beverly Lynn Bennett, (© 2016 Book Publishing Company, reprinted by permission) Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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