Hummus Trio Platter!

Every time we eat at a Mediterranean restaurant we order the Hummus Trio Platter. Not only is a trio platter delicious and healthy, it’s just plain fun to have a dipping platter in the center of the table! My Hummus Trio Platter includes traditional, black bean and roasted red pepper hummus.
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Hummus Trio Platter: Traditional, Black Bean and Roasted Red Bell Pepper

THE STORY OF HUMMUS:

Hummus is a staple food from the middle east. And like all staple foods it has a history. Back in the day when people had to travel long distances on foot or animal they had to carry their food with them. It needed to be lightweight, nutrient dense and easy to make….dried chick peas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans fit the bill. When travelers arrived to their destination they could soak the dried chick peas in water, mash with olive oil, add a little lemon juice and sea salt and they had a protein packed meal loaded with energy producing healthy fats!

Hummus Trio Platter: Traditional, Black Bean and Roasted Red Bell Pepper

The How To:

Simply place ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth. Yup that is it. We are talking less than five minutes to make traditional hummus! But we are making a trio, so we will be adding a roasted red bell pepper and black bean version as well.

Hummus Trio Platter: Traditional, Black Bean and Roasted Red Bell PepperMaking It a Trio:

To make the trio we make the basic hummus recipe three times and then add a roasted red bell pepper to one, and a can of black beans to the other. Serve all three on a platter with pita bread, chips and veggies. I like to garnish mine with a little tomato and basil but that is totally optional. Food bloggers gotta make everything Pinterest worthy, but you don’t! Btw you can use a store bought jarred red bell pepper or roast your own!

Hummus Trio Platter: Traditional, Black Bean and Roasted Red Bell Pepper

Want Different Flavors?

You could also try my Roasted Beet Hummus or Sun Dried Tomato Hummus!

The Recipes: Hummus Trio Platter!

Tips and what you will need: to make hummus easily, use a food processor. If you don’t have one you can use a potato masher but it requires a little more elbow grease and a few more minutes. You can use a jarred roasted red bell pepper, or learn to make your own!

5 from 3 votes
Hummus Trio Platter
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A delicious Middle Eastern appetizer or side dish! Because you are making three different versions you will have left overs! Be sure to use them in wraps, sandwiches, salads and for dipping throughout the week!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Middle eastern
Keyword: crowd pleaser, easy appetizer recipe, party recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Ingredients
Trio platter:
  • 3 small cloves garlic peeled
  • 3- 15 oz cans organic garbanzo beans rinsed and drained of water
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 cup give or take extra virgin olive oil (use 1/3 cup for each recipe)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper store bought, or click link above to learn to make your own
  • 1- 15 ounce cans organic black beans
Garnish:
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 6 basil leaves
Serve with:
  • Warm pita bread, fresh veggies, chips or whatever floats your boat
Instructions
Traditional Hummus:
  1. Put 1 peeled garlic clove in food processor and pulse till minced. Add rinsed garbanzo beans and juice of half a lemon. Start processor and while processor is working, slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil (give or take) until hummus is smooth and reaches desired consistency. Add sea salt to taste.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  1. Put 1 peeled garlic clove in food processor and pulse till minced. Add 1 can rinsed garbanzo beans, juice of half a lemon and 1 roasted red bell pepper. Turn on processor, while processor is working slowly add olive oil until hummus reaches desired consistency. Red bell peppers are filled with liquid so you may need less olive oil than you use for traditional hummus. Add sea salt to taste.

Black Bean Hummus
  1. Follow directions for original hummus. When hummus is desired consistency add half a can of black beans and whirl till almost smooth. If you feel like you need more olive oil, add it. Then add more beans and pulse a couple of times. Add remaining whole beans and mix by hand. I leave some of the beans intact so you can clearly see it's black bean hummus. If you make all the beans smooth the hummus just looks grey, which isn't so appetizing yo. 
Garnish: 
  1. If desired, garnish with tomatoes and basil, serve with pita, veggies and chips
To Save: 
  1. Cover and place int he fridge for up to five days. Use in sandwiches, wraps, salads and for dipping all week!

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Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

I have been meaning to post the recipe for these Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto for a while now. I don’t know what took me so long, they are seriously the best potatoes ever. And so easy!
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Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

 

Gorgeous Aren’t They?

Roasted until the skin is crispy perfection and then tossed in the freshest basil pesto, these baby spuds make the perfect side dish for chicken, fish or beef!

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

 

The Pesto Offered Two Ways: Traditional and Dairy Free

Homemade pesto literally takes two minutes to make and it stands head and shoulders above any store bought or jarred pesto.To avoid waste and get the freshest possible pesto I prefer to buy/grow a basil plant and use what I need as I need it. When I buy cut basil it always browns and dries out before I can use it all. For my Traditional Pesto recipe using Parmesan, click here. For my  Whole 30, Vegan and Dairy free version click here!  Both are amazing.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

So How Easy Is It Really?

While potaoes roast, simply place garlic, basil, parmesan or (nutritional yeast), pine nuts, a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor and process until the pesto looks like a paste. So quick and easy, and it tastes and smells heavenly!

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

Once you learn how easy it is to make homemade pesto you will use it for so many things. I use pesto on pasta and pizzas, in sandwiches and wraps, to top salmon, and for salad dressings, it’s very versatile. And so good for you!

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

When tossed with these creamy warm potatoes the pesto adds a ton of flavor. These potatoes are great served as leftovers too!

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto: Traditional and Whole30, dairy free, vegan option

 

The Recipe: Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Tips and what you will need: See recipes for traditional pesto here, and dairy free pesto here.  Use ‘new’ or baby potatoes for best results. You will need a food processor or a blender (<—I love my Blendtec!) to make pesto, a microplane to grate parmesan (if using), and a cast iron skillet or  rimmed cookie sheet covered with unbleached parchment paper. As always you need a good knife! This recipe is gluten free. 

5 from 7 votes
Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

A simple side dish with a vegan, dairy free, Whole 30 option! See link above and in recipe for pesto options.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy side dish recipe, vegan recipes, Whole30 recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds baby or 'new' potatoes pierce each with a fork once
  • 6 large size shallots peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil give or take
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper 
  • Pesto click for traditional pesto, or dairy free pesto
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place oven rack in upper third of oven
  2. Place potatoes and shallots on a parchment covered cookie sheet or in a cast iron skillet
  3. pierce each potato with a fork
  4. drizzle with olive oil and toss (use enough olive oil that potatoes and shallots are coated)
  5. sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper
  6. place in oven and cook for 40-45 minutes or until potato skins are crispy and browned and centers are cooked through
While potatoes cook, make pesto:
  1. When potatoes are done remove from oven
  2. Spoon pesto onto potatoes and toss until potatoes are covered with pesto
  3. Leave potatoes as is or mash potatoes with a metal spatula or wooden spoon, serve 

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Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter!

It is rare to see a naturally bright pink food. But thanks to the good old beet, this hummus is a delicious exception! This Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter is a cinch to make and the color will have everyone asking how you did it.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter! #hummus #beethummus #hummus #appetizerplatter

 

The Hummus:

If you have ever made my Traditional Hummus, you know it only takes minutes to make your own, and it’s so much better than store bought. This beautiful fuchsia hummus takes minutes to process as well, but first you have to pop a beet in the oven for a little roasting.

 

 

Serve with Simple Pita or Make a Platter!

You can put any vegetable you desire on this platter. I used tomatoes, thinly sliced radishes, Marcona almonds, sliced carrots and cucumbers. Broccoli, cauliflower, and jicama work great too!

Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter!

Amp Up The Pita:

I used a store bought naan, brushed it with olive oil, sprinkled it with rosemary and Parmesan and put it in the oven for a few minutes. Warm and soft, this bread is the perfect accompaniment to the hummus and veggies! BUT for you die hard “from scratch” bakers out there, I offer you my Homemade Flatbread Recipe.

Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter!

The Recipe: Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter

Tips and what you will need: you need a food processor to make hummus, and as always you need a good knife! If you want to turn this into a complete meal salad, click here.

5 from 6 votes
Roasted Beet Hummus Appetizer Platter!
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
A gorgeous bright pink hummus surrounded by veggies and rosemary parmesan naan
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy appetizer recipe, easy lunch recipe, easy snack recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Hummus:
  • 1 small beet 2" in diameter if you can't find one that small use half of a bigger one)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 can garbanzo beans 15 oz
  • juice of half a lemon
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil give or take
Platter:
  • assorted veggies of your choice I used carrots, radishes, peeled and sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes but broccoli, cauliflower and jicama work well too
Naan:
  • store bought naan bread 4 usually come in a pack
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in center position
  2. wash beet well, cut off ends, wrap in foil and place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until soft enough for a fork to easily pierce
  3. Remove beet and allow to cool
  4. place garlic in food processor and mince
  5. add garbanzo beans, beet, sea salt and lemon juice, process while slowly pouring in olive oil
  6. check consistency, if needed add a little more oil
  7. When consistency is to your liking, taste and see what you think. If needed add more salt
  8. Brush brrad with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and rosemary, place in oven and cook until golden and cheese bubbles
  9. Place hummus in a bowl and surround with veggies and flatbread
  10. Enjoy!

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Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip

When I really want a healthy meal that feels like it’s a treat, I go for these Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew dip! Whether you eat them alone or alongside a delicious green salad or roasted chicken, you can’t go wrong.
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Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip! Paleo/Whole 30 #sweetpotatofries #bakedsweetpotatofries #chipotlelimesauce #whole30 #paleo

 

 The Sweet Potatoes:

The sweet potatoes are cut in half lengthwise and then carefully cut into wedges. Don’t go too thick or they will take longer to cook. Drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pop in the oven and roast until the edges are crisp and browned. The secret to getting those browned edges is a hot oven and placing the pan close to the heating implement!

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip! Paleo/Whole 30 #sweetpotatofries #bakedsweetpotatofries #chipotlelimesauce #whole30 #paleo

 

 The Cashew Dip:

This chipotle cashew dip is really easy to make. Simply soak the nuts for a few hours (or overnight) and then place in a food processor with garlic, lime juice, sea salt and chipotle chilis in adobo sauce then process until smooth. Then just dip away! If you have leftover dip you can make this crispy veggies tomorrow!

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip! Paleo/Whole 30 #sweetpotatofries #bakedsweetpotatofries #chipotlelimesauce #whole30 #paleo

 

 Paleo/Whole 30

These baked wedges and dip are grain free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Paleo and Whole 30 compliant! So enjoy with no guilt whatsoever, just pick up a wedge and dip! That said, I noticed one brand of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce that contained sugar, so be sure to read the label if you want to stay Whole 30/Paleo compliant.

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip! Paleo/Whole 30 #sweetpotatofries #bakedsweetpotatofries #chipotlelimesauce #whole30 #paleo

 

 The Recipe: Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip

Tips and what you will need: I use chipotle chilis in adobo sauce to bring the heat. You will need a food processor, a rimmed cookie sheet and parchment paper.

5 from 3 votes
Easy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Cashew Dip
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A delicious side dish to roasted chicken or a green salad! I use chipotle chili powder in this recipe to keep it simple but if you prefer more heat use chipotle paste or using actual chipotle chilis in adobo sauce starting with 1/2 a teaspoon and working your way up.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy side dish recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Allow 3 hours time for soaking cashews
  • 2 cups simmering water
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 3 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil, separated (some for potatoes, some for dip)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 pinches sea salt
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (or less if sensitive to heat)
  • 1/4  to 1/2 cup water, start with a 1/4 cup and add more if needed
Instructions
  1. Bring water to simmer in small pan, turn off heat and add raw cashews to pot, allow to sit at least three hours
  2. When cashews have soaked for at least three hours and you are ready to eat: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place rack in upper third of oven. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment

  3. Peel sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half into wedges. About 1/2" thick

  4. Place wedges on parchment covered cookie sheet and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Use enough oil that each wedge is glistening with oil, toss

  5. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground pepper and sea salt, toss
  6. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes, turning potatoes halfway through cooking time
While potatoes cook, make cashew dip:
  1. Place peeled clove of garlic in food processor and process until minced
  2. Strain cashews and discard cooking water
  3. Add soaked cashews, 1 tablespoon olive oil,  lime juice, sea salt, 1/4 cup water and 1 pepper in adobo sauce (or less if sensitive to heat) 

  4. Process for one minute, if needed add up to another 1/4 cup water for thinning (I prefer mine a little thinner, some people like it thick, totally up to preference)

  5. When dip is the consistency you want and nice and smooth stop processing. Taste and decide if it needs more sea salt or chipotle, then make adjustments accordingly

  6. When potatoes are done, remove from oven and serve with cashew dip

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Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Three of my favorite foods combined on one gorgeous platter… Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese!

Fruit, Cheese and Chocolate Platter

HOLY. COW.

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Gasp…

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Sigh…

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Swoon…

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Drool…

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

I am in love…

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

How to Make The Ultimate Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Platter

It’s so simple really. We start with dried fruit “crackers” and then either dip in chocolate or top with cheeses, nuts, honey, berries etc… Incredibly gorgeous! Unfortunately the company that made the dried pears and apples went out of business three years after I posted this recipe, BUT you can find dried oranges here. You may be able to find crispy dried apples and pears in the gourmet section of grocery stores or dehydrate your own.

Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

The Recipes: Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

Tips and what you will need: Unfortunately the company that made the dried pears and apples in this post went out of business three years after I posted this recipe, BUT you can find dried oranges here. You may be able to find crispy dried apples and pears in the gourmet section of grocery stores or dehydrate your own. You will need wax paper. This platter is gluten and grain free.

 

5 from 6 votes
Fruit, Chocolate and Cheese Dessert Platter

A lovely fruit, chocolate and cheese platter that requires very little prep. You can make all the suggestions or just one. Keep dried fruit in wrappers until just before serving so they stay crispy. The oranges stay crispy for days so no worries there!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy appetizer recipe, easy dessert recipe, party recipe
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Dried fruit crackers:
  • I use Simple and Crisp pear apple and orange.
Fresh Fruit:
  • Ripe Strawberries washed and dried, kiwi, blackberries
Cheeses:
  • Soft goat cheese chevre
  • mascarpone a soft, sweet Italian cream cheese
  • five year aged gouda
Toppings:
  • walnuts chopped
  • peach preserves
  • vanilla paste
  • roasted salted pistachios chopped
  • dried cranberries chopped
  • honey
  • melted dark and white chocolate
Instructions
Orange Crisp Suggestions:
  1. Melt good quality chocolate according to package directions, when melted stir and the dip orange crisps (covering about 1/3 of crisp) Set on wax paper, leave plain or sprinkle with chopped pistachios and cranberries. Allow to cool and firm up before serving.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries:
  1. Melt white or dark chocolate according to package instructions, stir well. Dip berries and place on wax paper until chocolate cools and begins to firm up. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Apple Crisp Suggestions:
  1. Spread apple crisps with mascarpone and top with diced strawberry and kiwi.
  2. Mix two parts soft goat cheese with one part peach preserves and a drop or two of vanilla paste. Spread on apple crisp, dab with a little more preserves and top with chopped walnuts.
Pear Crisp Suggestions:
  1. Spread with soft goat cheese, top with a blackberry and drizzle with honey
  2. Top with aged gouda and drizzle with honey.

For more information about Simple and Crisp please visit their website.

IMG_6392

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