(Family Features) Whether you enjoy your spring meals al fresco or simply turn to warm-weather dishes at the comfort of your own dining table, the season brings with it a perfect excuse to shake up your menu.
Lighter fare is often the way to go as temperatures climb, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a regular sandwich or a boring salad. Instead, enhance these springtime classics by rethinking tradition in tasty (yet easy) ways.
This Sabich recipe calls for a multitude of fresh flavors including Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and Onions and hard-boiled eggs plus a variety of veggies, hummus and ethnic seasonings. Or, if a quick and easy salad calls your name for an outdoor meal, this Tossed Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette requires only READ Bean Salad, mixed greens and a handful of other ingredients.
Tossed Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 package (about 10 ounces) mixed salad greens with carrots
- 4 slices bacon (about 1/4 cup), cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
- shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)
- Drain bean salad well; in small bowl, reserve 1/2 cup liquid.
- To make dressing: Whisk reserved bean liquid and lemon juice then whisk in oil. Add pepper, to taste.
- Place salad greens in bowl. Add bean salad and bacon. Add dressing, as desired. Toss gently to coat. Arrange on platter; top with shaved cheese, if desired.
Variation: Top salad with sliced grilled chicken then top with cheese.
Recipe courtesy of eazypeazymealz.com
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and Onions
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons za’atar, plus additional for serving, divided (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac, plus additional for serving, divided (optional)
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- 4 whole-grain pita breads with pockets
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Amba pickled mango sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- Drain beets and onions; set aside.
- Wash eggplant. Slice into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Place slices on cooling rack. Add 2 teaspoons salt to slices to draw out extra moisture. Let sit 10 minutes. Pat extra moisture off.
- In large 14-inch skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot, place eggplant slices in oil; fry until browned, about 3 minutes per side, in batches of four pieces. Place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb additional oil.
- Season hard-boiled egg slices with salt and pepper, to taste. Season with 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and sumac, if desired. Set aside.
- To make salad: In medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice and remaining za’atar. Set aside.
- Gently slice one end of each pita and open pocket. In microwave on high, heat pitas 10 seconds. Place equal amounts fried eggplant in each pita. Spread 2 tablespoons hummus in each pita. Gently layer one-fourth of egg slices, beets and onions, cabbage, Israeli salad and green peppers in each pita.
- Drizzle each sabich with about 1 tablespoon amba sauce, if desired, and 1 tablespoon tahini. Season with additional salt and pepper or sumac and Za’atar, if desired.
(Family Features) Whether you’re hosting a houseful of guests or simply keeping your family’s hunger at bay before dinner, appetizers can be a home chef’s best friend. Simple options like dips allow for personalization while keeping cook time to a minimum.
The next time you’re looking for a quick fix, consider this Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus recipe that’s ideal for pairing with pita bread, veggies or crackers. With the layered flavor, color and texture of onions serving as a key ingredient, it’s a nutritious substitute for less health-conscious appetizers and snacks.
In fact, onions can be called nature’s ninja because of their many “skills.” Onions add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods with just 45 calories per serving as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and other key nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. They are also rich in heart-healthy nutrients and have been shown to help prevent some cancers.
Find more recipe ideas at onions-usa.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus
Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association
- 1 whole garlic head
- 4 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/2 cup tahini (toasted ground sesame seeds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Cut top of garlic head off and place cut-side down on pan; drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until garlic is soft. Once cool, squeeze garlic from each clove.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir onion frequently until slices begin to brown. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until onions are soft and reach medium brown color.
- Rinse and drain chickpeas; reserve 3 tablespoons liquid.
- In food processor, blend chickpeas, reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, remaining olive oil and onions until combined and smooth. Serve with pita bread, veggies or crackers.
Source: National Onion Association