Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust

We let me say right off the bat that I didn’t attempt the warm pizza crust. I just didn’t have time. But, I did make the hummus, and it was really good! It had a good flavor and the tomatoes and oil on top added a little something something, but I am on the fence about the drizzle of balsamic at the end. We ate this with some garlic crostini I got at the grocery store.

rating: 8.5

Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarelli)



1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Pizza Crust:

1 pound pizza dough
All-purpose flour for rolling
Olive oil for brushing
Sea salt


For the hummus: Combine beans, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Adjust seasoning to taste and transfer to a bowl. Top with chopped tomato and basil, and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm pizza crust.

For the pizza crust: Preheat the oven to broil. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about ¹⁄8 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet, brush both sides with oil, and season with salt. Broil for 2 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, then flip using tongs, and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned in spots. Cut into triangles and serve warm with hummus.

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“Meatball” Sliders

Oh. Em. Gee. These little sliders are incredible! If I had had some leftover, we would have eaten them (does that makes sense?)! These were easy to make, and they just tasted so meaty! My 7 year old LOVED them (even though he hates mushrooms- shhhh!). I opted to use jarred pasta sauce for the tomato sauce, to make things easy. Next time I make this I am doubling the recipe. And I can’t wait to get Chloe’s cookbook! If all the recipes in it are half as good as this one, it will be awesome!

rating: 9.9

Meatball Sliders
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarellli)

made 10 sliders for me


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups cooked brown rice, cooled
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Canola oil for frying
Slider buns or dinner rolls
1 cup tomato sauce, heated
Classic Pesto Sauce (page 233 from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen) – I used a jar of tomato basil spaghetti sauce
Fresh basil leaves for assembly – I omitted


For the meatballs:
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onion and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Reserve skillet for later use.
Add cooled brown rice, bread crumbs, flour, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper, if using, to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. If necessary, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix with your hands. Season to taste and let cool slightly. Form the mixture into 1- or 2-inch balls to fit your bun size. Heat canola oil in the reserved nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and pan fry meatballs in batches, adding more oil as needed.
Slice slider buns in half and brush the insides with olive oil. Toast in a sauté pan over medium heat until lightly browned on the edges. Layer a spoonful of tomato sauce, a meatball, a spoonful of pesto sauce, and a basil leaf in each slider bun. Stick each slider with a party pick to hold it together. Serve immediately.

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Product Review: Amy’s Taquitos: Black Bean & Rice and Cheesy Ranchero

I love coming across new veggie products at stores! I was looking for a Gardein product at Target the other day (Beefless Tips- hard to find now for some reason!), and I saw several new products from Amy’s (Amy?). Last night for dinner we had Fesper (German for whatever is in the fridge, or lots of appetizers, kind of like tapas), and I included these. The Black Bean & Rice Taquitos are vegan (and I think I preferred them over the Cheesy Ranchero!). I baked mine in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, and then they are ready to be picked up and dipped in salsa or guacamole, or just eaten plain! These are nice because you don’t have to use a fork, just pick them up!

rating: 9


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Secret Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My 7 year old hates mashed potatoes (so weird!), but he LOVED these! He said they were the “best mashed potatoes ever!” I did have to use Parmesan instead of romano (couldn’t find any vegetarian romano). These were really good, and easy to make. Garlic!

rating: 9

Secret Garlic Mashed Potatoes
(All Recipes magazine, Oct./Nov. 2014)

serves 10
time needed: 1 hour


5 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
13 ounces butter, room temperature
5 ounces Romano cheese, grated (I used Parmesan)
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 45 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer.


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Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole

This is a new twist on an old favorite. No French-fried onions on top of this casserole! This was pretty simple to make, and both my little kids loved it. The buttery crackers on top are a nice change.

rating: 9

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole
(All Recipes magazine, Oct./Nov. 2014)

serves 10
time needed: 55 min.


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
3. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.


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Pantry Puttanesca

Here’s a great recipe that can be made in a flash! And if you leave out the anchovies (like I did), it’s vegetarian/vegan! We all liked this dish, even though Liam picked out all his capers. Since I did leave out the anchovies, I added a few more capers and olives. Easy-peasy.

rating: 9

Pantry Puttanesca
(All Recipes magazine, Oct./Nov. 2014)

serves 4
time needed: 21 min.


1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 anchovy fillets, chopped, or more to taste (I omitted)
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers, chopped


1. Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
2. As the water heats, pour the olive oil into a cold skillet and stir in the garlic. Turn heat to medium-low and cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant and begins to turn a golden color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, and anchovies. Cook until anchovies begin to break down, about 2 minutes.
3. Pour tomatoes into skillet, turn heat to medium-high, and bring sauce to a simmer. Use the back of a spoon to break down tomatoes as they cook. Simmer until sauce is reduced and combined, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water. Drain when still very firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
5. Stir the olives and capers into the sauce; add pasta and toss to combine.
6. Toss pasta in sauce until pasta is cooked through and well coated with sauce, about 1 minute. If sauce becomes too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin.


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Down East Maine Pumpkin Bread

I sure do love me some pumpkin bread! This recipe got awesome reviews so I tried it. And yes, this is some great pumpkin bread! I added some chopped walnuts to mine. This makes 3 loaves, but I poured some into 1 loaf pan and poured the rest into a bundt cake pan. That turned out fine! The bread is very flavorful and moist, and a friend that tried it said it “tastes like fall”.

rating: 9.5

Down East Maine Pumpkin Bread
(allrecipes magazine, Oct./Nov. 2014)

makes 3 loaves
prep time: 15 min.
cook time: 50 min.


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


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