The perfect healthy snack or appetizer!

I have been reminded lately that it is never too late. Often we might find ourselves thinking it is too late to make up with an old friend or lover, make healthier choices, change your career, go back to school, etc. The only time it is truly too late is if we are so sick or physically impaired we are unable to do certain things, if something happens to the person you reach out to, or of course the day we die. Until then, try to rework your frame of mind– you probably just think you can’t/shouldn’t/or that it is too late. In relationships, time can definitely grow some walls between people or create some dust on the way things “used” to be. It is never too late to call for no reason, apologize, or say “Hey, I miss you.” Time and time again, people lose friends, have fights with their siblings, or lose a lover because something happened and then neither person did anything, and time elapsed between the two people until both consider it “too late.” Life isn’t a highway: If we take an exit we don’t like, we can’t get off at the next exit and return where we started. Our lives are more like boats on a river, where the current is shifting, and there is little sense in trying to fight the current. My lessons have been in realizing that rather than trying to go back, that I can recreate the past and make things different, even better. It is up to the individual to realize that it is never too late to deal with the things we have been putting off– the little things that sit in the back of our mind: dreams, love, memories, desires, and wants.

Recently I have been inspired by other women that I go to school with whom have chosen to change their career. In her 40’s one woman just decided Microsoft wasn’t a fit for her and left her home in Seattle to take a huge risk and embark on her journey here in the Bay Area. Two women have four kids at home. They could have said they were too busy or too old, but instead they decided to take the risk and tell themselves it isn’t too late. The time is now. So learn that hobby, take a pottery class like you’ve always wanted to, start working at finding new options for a different career, pick up the phone and just call. I think some of the best examples are the people who get engaged to the wrong people and deep down have strong doubts, and the week of the wedding they finally listen to their gut and bail.  Better late than never, always (unless you are dead).

Now, I guess you could take this too far and come up with an unrealistic idea. I was going through photos of my road trip through Yellowstone the other day and came across the hundreds of photos I have of wild buffalo. My favorite burger is a buffalo burger, and there is something about them as animals; they are so mystic and I love the rate at which they consume food. They eat grass the same way an industrial vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt. Recently, I saw this video on You Tube showing a man riding a buffalo and I have never laughed so hard (get outta here kitty cat!). The picture below I am wearing my new favorite shirt from Maggie’s Organic  with a buffalo on it. After watching the guy ride the buffalo, my  recent “idea” was to (someday) take over the farm and become the only (female) buffalo rancher in Michigan. Now it may never be too late to make that happen, but approaching situations realistically is another thing. Who knows someday I might find a cowboy who wants to dig some serious post holes and find myself equipped to make my own hay….

Until then, I’ll stick with homemade crackers. Whenever I bring or prepare these crackers people are impressed and nothing short of shocked that it is possible to them from scratch (homemade crackers are mystic like buffalo). People forget that you can actually make your own crackers like creating any other dough– bread, cookies, etc (as opposed to out of a box). I like these because they are easy and cheesy. Perhaps the selling point is that you would never know these are gluten-free- they are not that “weird” gluten-free texture/taste that can sometimes happen without the protein gluten in baked goods. So far no one has ever suspected they are gluten free (my little secret until now). The recipe is from my Natural Chef Program at Bauman College. To check out pictures of other delicious dishes that I’ve made at school, check out my public facebook profile here and “like” me.

Making falafel with my cousin over Christmas...testing to see if they had browned enough. Accompanying the falafel was homemade tahini, tzikyi sauce, cous cous, and a Morroccan lamb tajine.

Recipe

Reminiscent of  cheese-its, these are a healthy, crispy, cheesy cracker. For Thanksgiving, I cut them out in the shape of hearts– they would be perfect for a wedding shower appetizer. The rustic hummus turns out a shade of green from the parsley, looking and tasting very fresh. 

Have fun experimenting with different shapes!

Cheese Crackers

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbs potato starch
  • 2 Tbs tapioca flour
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
  • 2 cups hard goat cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Hummus

  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 3″ strip kombu
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tbs cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 pinches cayenne
  • paprika, for garnish

Procedure – Cheese Crackers

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, starch, and xanthum gum, whisking to combine. Add the cheese, stirring to combine.
  3. Melt the coconut oil over low heat and then cool it enough so that it won’t cook the egg when mixed. Add to a separate bowl.
  4. Add the egg, water, salt, and pepper to the coconut oil. Mix to combine.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until if forms a solid dough. Cut the dough in half and shape each half into a disk using a sheet of plastic wrap. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 40 minutes.
  6. After the dough has rested, get out 2 baking sheets and cut 2 pieces of parchment paper large enough for the baking sheets. Put each ball of dough onto a sheet or parchment and place a piece of plastic wrap on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out very thinly, as thin as you can without breaking it. The dough will break a little around the edges and this is fine. You can use your fingers to press it back together. Once the dough is rolled out, score it with a knife in desired shapes. Transfer each piece of parchment with dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. The crackers should be golden brown. Allow to cool, then break off into pieces.

Hummus

  1. Drain the soaked garbanzo beans and place in a pot with the kombu and enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour, or until tender. Drain, remove the kombu, and reserve the cooking liquid. Allow the beans to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice until light and fluffy.
  3. Place the cooled garbanzo beans, the lemon-tahini mixture, and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning in necessary. If more moisture is needed, add a little of the reserved bean liquid. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish.

If you do not have kombu, just cook the beans as normal. For more information on why it is best to soak beans and cook with kombu, check this out. I add extra lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne to amp up the hummus, but taste and adjust according to your taste. 

About these ads