Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Hummus

Healthy dips are always in style and in season. Hummus is a crowd pleaser so always a good idea for the kids after school, camp and/or for a party. No need to buy it when it is so inexpensive and simple to make. Enjoy!
1 cup chick peas
6 TBS olive oil (more if necessary)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 TBS tahini (can get at most supermarkets, Whole Foods)
1-2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS water (more if necessary)
optional: a little cayenne pepper or 1/2 a roasted pepper or 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes)
Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Add more water or olive oil if too thick and adjust spices. Enjoy!
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Parmesan and Leek Tart

If you’re in the market for a light brunch, lunch or dinner item that will both impress and take very little time and effort, you have come to the right place. Oh, and did I mention it is exceptionally delicious? Enjoy!
Parmesan and Leek Tart with Whole Wheat Crust:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBS sugar
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup organic vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
Pulse all crust ingredients together in a food processor until crumbly. Press into a pie dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Make filling while you wait. Remove from oven and set aside.
1 1/2 cups of leeks finely chopped and sauteed in 1 TBS butter (this is the amount, roughly, from one big leek, whites and some of the green )
3 beaten eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (or another cup of whole milk)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Whisk all the above filling ingredients and pour into the prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 35-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean in the center.
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Chick Pea Salad with Mango

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Are you looking for a VERY large salad for your upcoming BBQ that will be healthy, delicious and won’t have you break the bank? Try this simple and tropical chick pea salad and you’ll never have to be be that person who brings macaroni salad again.
Chick Pea Salad with Mango:

1 HUGE can of chick peas-6 cups
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 scallions, chopped
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 mango, chopped
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp smoked paprika

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir to combine and chill.
Serves a crowd!
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Tuna Salad with Celery and Dill

Summer is here which means it is time to turn off the hot stove! Try this fresh summer salad that will taste great and keep you trim in your bathing suit!

Tuna Salad with Celery and Dill:
3 cans white tuna in water
1 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped cashews
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Drain the tuna and place in a large bowl.
Add in the other ingredients and stir to combine.
Serve chilled over leafy greens or on multigrain bread.
Serves 5- 6
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Collard Greens with Toasted Almonds and Raisins

Earlier in the week I received a big bunch of collard greens from my local farm box and I quickly prepped them for cooking later in the week. I sauteed them up tonight and was able to just wash them since most of the hard work was done earlier. Try them with any kind of dried fruit and nut as a side dish or by adding some more protein like sausage, shrimp or even tofu.
Collard Greens with Toasted Almonds and Raisins:
One bunch of washed and chopped Collard Green Leaves. Rinse and trim their stems and dry them with a towel
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/3 cup Golden Raisins
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Heat up the avocado oil in a large saute pan.
When the oil is hot, add the chopped Collards and saute for a few minutes until they start to wilt a little. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
Throw in the raisins and saute a bit more.
Remove from pan and top with the almonds and grated cheese.
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Indian Coconut Curried Vegetables

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Sometimes the bulk of a dish is really the spices. If your pantry has a good selection, just adding a few other ingredients can make dinner a breeze. This is very true of Indian food which relies heavily on curries which are just a lot of spices mixed together. Enjoy this vegetarian dish that will satisfy even the most carnivorous in the bunch!
Indian Coconut Curried Vegetables
1 head cauliflour chopped into bite sized pieces and steamed
7 medium sized potatoes, cut into 1/2″X 1/2″ pieces, steamed until almost fully tender-keep checking so they don’t get mushy and put into ice cold water to stop cooking.
3 cups cooked chick peas
1 onion, chopped
1 TBS canola oil
1 inch ginger, grated
2 TBS yellow mustard seeds
1 TBS cumin seeds
3 tsp salt
3 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 TBS curry powder
1 tsp garam masala spice (can get at Whole Foods or any Indian Market)
4 curry leaves (can pretty much just find in Indian food stores-not vital)
4-5 whole cardamom seeds (can get at Whole Foods or any Indian Market-they are for flavor so do NOT eat them)
1 cup golden raisins
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
Yoghurt sauce:
Mix fat free yoghurt with any Indian condiment like chili sauce, mango salsa or coriander chutney
In a very large saute pan or big pot, heat up the oil.
When hot, add mustard seeds,cumin seeds, curry powder, garam masala, cardamom pods and curry leaves and stir for a minute or so.
Add ginger and stir.
Add chopped onion and keep stirring until onions wilt and become translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
Add coconut milk and stir until combined with all the spices .
When it starts to simmer, add cooked cauliflour, chick peas and steamed potatoes.
Add raisins and salt and pepper.
Keep cooking until all the vegetables are hot.
Serve with brown rice and some yoghurt sauce. Dee-licious!
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Red Quinoa with Buttery Leeks and Mushrooms

Although quinoa can be a wintery comfort food, when combined with fresh greens it is a healthy dish that can be an unexpected, delicious addition to a Spring or Summer BBQ. Add in some contrasting flavors and textures and you have yourself a real treat. Enjoy!
4 cups cooked red quinoa
6 cups washed chopped romaine lettuce or any other lettuce
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cups chopped leeks
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup seasoned vinegar-I like fig flavored from Olive That and More in Montclair but any kind will do
2 TBS cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp butter, divided
In a medium sized frying pan over low heat, add 1 tsp of the butter.
When it is melted, add in the leeks and saute for about 10 minutes until wilted. Set aside.
Add in a second tsp of butter to the hot pan and when it is melted, add in the mushrooms.
Cook for about 10 minutes until wilted. Set aside.
In a separate pan, dry toast the cashews, stirring and taking care not to let them burn. Remove from the pan when toasted.
In a large bowl, add in the cooked quinoa, leeks, mushrooms, raisins, cashews and stir.
Drizzle in the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and stir until fully combined.
When about to serve, add in the copped greens and enjoy.
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Take Back the Kitchen: Spicy Lentils with Grated Beets

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I love leftovers! I made some delicious beet burgers and used the prepared leftover ingredients to make this very simple and flavorful salad. Did I mention how incredibly healthy it is? Serve as a side salad or even as a main dish with some nuts thrown in if you like. Enjoy!
Spicy Lentils with Grated Beets:
1 large beet, peeled, washed and and grated
1 cup cooked green lentils
1 TBS chipotle flavored olive oil or olive oil plus 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl, mix the grated beets and the cooked lentils.
Drizzle on the chipotle oil or the olive oil and chipotle powder if you are using it.
Salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine and serve.
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Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Dominican Flan

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I recently went to the Dominican Republic and learned how to make a Dominican style flan which is very different in texture from a Spanish flan, much more dense. Technically it is supposed to be prepared in a water bath on a stove top with a smaller pot inside a larger pot which I did not have. I decided to improvise and bake it and it came out great. I also decided to add a little Caribbean flair so I poured in some Kahlua. It is frighteningly easy so be cautious! This might be a weekly addiction!
Dominican Flan:

4 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Kahlua
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oil (I used avocado oil)
In a blender, combine the eggs, milks, vanilla and Kahlua. Set aside.
In a non stick pan over medium heat, heat up the oil and the sugar and stir until it is liquid caramel-about 3 minutes.
Quickly, while still a liquid, pour the caramel sauce into a glass 9″ pie dish and spread it all over the bottom and sides of the dish. Act FAST! before it hardens.
Pour in the egg mixture and place on the middle rack in the preheated oven.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Let sit for a few minutes until it cools and then go along the sides with a butter knife to loosen it.
Jiggle it from side to side, gently until it starts to move away from the sides.
Place a large plate on top of the flan and then invert it.
Place in the fridge to serve cold and serve with a caramel sauce if you like.
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Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

Spring is in the air which means grilling on the BBQ. Assembling healthy food without the use of an oven can be the preferred method of preparing meals. The beauty of these tacos that my sister just made me is that you can prepare the protein any which way-grilling, steaming, baking, boiling, etc., and just use the counter top for the rest. Nice and cool.
Katy’s Tilapia Tacos with Red Cabbage slaw:
For the tacos:
4 tortillas, flour or corn
1 cup refried beans or black beans mashed with a fork
1/2 lb tilapia, steamed grilled or baked, salt and pepper to taste
Red Cabbage Slaw:
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped jicama, peeled
one lime, juice squeezed
salt to taste
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.