Hibiscus Hummus with Baked Pita Chips

This Hibiscus Hummus has a classic hummus taste with subtle tangy hibiscus flavor and a pink hue.  The additional flowers on top add a nice pop of color as well.

Hibiscus Hummus About a month ago, our friend Beto reserved a campsite for 2 nights at the campground that is right next to where we live.  I was so excited because no one has stayed there ever since we have lived here.   They showed up this past Wednesday afternoon along with Jill’s long time friend Maili.  After they had set up the tents and pulled out all the cooking supplies, our friends Erin, Leif and Taj showed up for a potluck BBQ.  We sat around the picnic table chatting while sipping on wine and watching Jill the master griller at work.  She cooked up a huge BBQ feast.

Maili had brought a whole lot of homemade sushi and a clam dip.  Erin brought a salad, chips and guacamole and I brought this hummus with baked pita chips.  Everyone also brought wine, of course.  It’s pretty cool when all your friends are really good cooks because the spread is always abundant and delicious. As always, there was a lot of great conversations and laughter.

The next day, our friend Jean showed up around lunchtime and Leif and Taj returned for round two.  The kids had the best time playing together.  It was another fun day of beach, food, wine and great conversation.

Hibiscus Hummus I enjoyed this hummus with my hibiscus tea and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s also great with a nice Rose.

Hibiscus Hummus Thanks for stopping by CaliZona! To see what’s going on, you can follow me on  InstagramFacebookPinterest, TwitterBloglovin‘ or subscribe by e-mail to get the latest recipes.

Hibiscus Hummus Recipe:
Approx. 2 1/2 Cups
  • 1 Cup Dried (2 Cups Cooked) Garbanzo Beans – soaked – cooked
  • 1 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 Large Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Pita Chips
  • 8 Pita – cut into 6 to 12 wedges for each pita
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Instructions:
Preparing garbanzo beans
You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is a quick way, the other is by soaking the beans overnight which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them, plus if you are going to make falafels, this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.

Quick method
Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.  Follow cooking the beans instructions below.

Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add soaked chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.
(I have also removed the skins one by one by squeezing them between my fingers. Without the baking soda.)
or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.   They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.  Pinch each bean to remove skins if desired.
Hibiscus
Put the hibiscus flowers and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil then remove from heat.  Let sit until it has cooled.
Strain the flowers and set the water aside.  Add the flowers and garlic to a food processor and mince as best you can.
Hummus
Add all the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.  Scrape the sides at least once.
Optional – If you want to garnish with extra flowers you can repeat the hibiscus/water recipe.  It looks pretty but it does change the texture.
Baked Pita Chips
Turn down the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 11 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

Hibiscus Hummus Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack, as well as help, prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus

This Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus is freakin delicious if I do say so myself!  The hummus has wonderful roasted pepper flavors in and of itself and when topped with the Multi Roasted Pepper Salsa it gains an extra depth of flavor and texture.  The salsa can also be served alongside the hummus with pita and corn chips.

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus Ever since Robby fixed up our bikes we have gone bike ride crazy and loving every minute of it.  We also inspired Jill and Beto to get their bikes working so that we could all go on a bike ride together including Paloma and Severin.  They suggested a couple places that would be nice and we decided on the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve.  We rode on a paved bike path for part of the way and then on a dirt path alongside the marsh.  There were a lot of birds and I believe that it’s considered one of the best places to bird watch on the West Coast.  It is an insanely beautiful spot that I highly recommend checking out.

 It’s always awesome to be in nature with Beto because he is a biologist and is well versed in animals, plants and sea life.  There were bright orange patches of what I thought were flowers from a distance, but Beto clarified that it was a sort of bacteria called Salt Marsh Dodder that looked like spaghetti.  It was so pretty with the yellow mustard flowers and all the blues and greens.  This was Severin’s first bike ride and boy was he excited.  He ended up passing out during the ride, which was way too cute!

After the ride, we headed back to Beto and Jill’s to enjoy some good company, a lovely cheese platter served with some wine that was the perfect end to such a beautiful day!  Have you been to the Baylands before?  Where do you like to ride bikes?

*
This hummus is best with a white wine in my opinion.  I like it with a White Rioja, Verdejo or a Rueda.
*
Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus Multi Roasted Pepper Salsa Hummus Recipe: 
Approx. 3 Cups
  •  3/4 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 1 1/2 Cups Cooked
  • 1 Cup Roasted Multi-Pepper Salsa – or to taste – recipe below
  • 2/3 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Roasted Multi-Pepper Salsa: Approx. 2 3/4 Cup
  • 2 Poblano Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1 Anaheim Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 2 Red Bell Pepper  –  roasted – diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 1/2 Large White Onion – blanched
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 2 Cups Cilantro
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
 Pita Triangles
  • 8 Pita – cut into 6 wedges each
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Preparing garbanzo beans
You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is a quick way, the other is by soaking the beans overnight which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them, plus if you are going to make falafels, this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.

Quick method
Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.  Follow cooking the beans instructions below.

Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add soaked chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.   They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.  Pinch each bean to remove skins if desired.

While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the salsa.

Roasted Multi-Pepper Salsa
Turn oven to broil.
Put all the peppers, jalapeño and onion on a baking sheet and place on the top rack of the oven.  Set the timer for 5 minutes and turn everything over,  Set timer for 3 minutes, then check on the onion, anaheim, poblano, and jalapeno.  If they have a nice char, take them out.
 Flip the bell peppers over, roast for 12 to 18 more minutes and check on them a couple times.  You want them to be wrinkled and charred.
Put into a covered dish or a rolled short paper bag to steam for at least 10 minutes. 
Add the garlic into a food processor and turn it on until it sticks to the sides.  Add the onions, cilantro and jalapeño and pulse until slightly chunky.  Pour into a medium sized bowl.  Add the lime and salt.
Remove the skin, stem and seeds from all the peppers and dice into small squares, add to the onions and stir well.
Hummus

In a food processor or blender, add 1 cups of the salsa and all the ingredients for the hummus and puree until really smooth. Pour into a bowl and smooth out the top then add some salsa on top.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Baked Pita Chips
 Turn down the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack, as well as help, prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Bell Peppers are extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight especially night vision.  It is also very high in vitamin C, which is really important for the skin.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum, and manganese.  Red peppers are one of the veggies highest in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, that are great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium.

Anaheim Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, a half-cup provides over 100 percent required daily intake for adults.  They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which is helpful for skin and eye health.  Anaheim peppers contain phenols; flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss.  The bioflavonoids are a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen blood vessels.  They aid the immune system and contain vitamin E that helps to protect cells from oxidative damage.  They also contain vitamin K, which increases bone mass more than any other pepper.

Oregano Feta Hummus with Greek Pico de Gallo

This Oregano Feta Hummus and Greek Pico de Gallo is Greekalicious!!!  The oregano and feta add a nice twist on the classic hummus while the Greek Pico de Gallo adds a delightful fresh quality.

3u9a4320 As you may know from my prior post, my dear friend Brian passed away a couple weeks ago and it was time to pay my respects.  Beto and I drove down to Venice Beach for his paddle out last weekend.  On our way down we met our friend Carl and went for a really spectacular hike at Pinnacle National Park.  The cool thing was that we all felt like we could feel Brian’s presence with us during the hike.

 Every time someone in our Venice/Santa Monica community passes on we have a paddle out to celebrate their life.  A paddle out is when a whole group of surfers paddle out into the ocean and form a large circle.  They say a prayer; offer flowers and splash the water vigorously while the lifeguard shoots out a huge stream of water into the air from the lifeguard boat.  They then spread the ashes into the water and everyone cheers.  It’s quite beautiful.  Before the paddle out, everyone gathered around some of Brian’s closest friends who each told stories about experiences they had with Brian.  All of the stories were very funny because Brian was hysterical. The stories helped to lighten the mood.  It was an overcast morning, yet the sun came out during the storytelling and then quickly retreated once again behind the cloud cover once the storytelling ended.  After the paddle out, everyone headed to a local bar and we continued to tell stories of our many experiences with Brian.  There was a lot of laughter and a lot tears.

3u9a4355 Life is so precious and easy to take for granted.  When we lose someone close, we tend to realize how precious life really is.  A few post back I talked about the bike Brian and Beto gave me.  I was thinking how I wanted to call Brian to tell him that Robby had fixed it up and to show him on Facetime.  Unfortunately, I procrastinated and then it was too late.  If you have a feeling that you should call someone, don’t hesitate, just do it!

3u9a4314 I like a crisp dry white wine with these dips.  Like a Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling or even a Dry Rosé.

3u9a4363 Oregano Feta Hummus Recipe:

Approx. 2 Cups

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 1 1/2 Cups Cooked
  • 1/3 Cup Feta Cheese
  • 2/3 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Oregano
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
 Greek Pico de Gallo Recipe:
  • 1 Cucumber – diced
  • 1 Container Cherry Tomato – halved – or quartered
  • 1/4 Red Onion or 1/2 Cup – minced
  • 1/3 Cup Feta – crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Oregano – roughly chopped
  • 1 – 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt – or to taste
Baked Pita Chips
  • 4 – 6 Pita – cut each pita into 24 wedges
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Instructions:
Preparing garbanzo beans

You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is a quick way, the other is by soaking the beans overnight which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them plus if you are going to make falafels this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.

Quick method

Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.  Follow cooking the beans instructions below.

Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.   They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

Hummus

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Greek Pico de Gallo

Mix all ingredients together and set aside to let flavors incorporate.  I like to serve it at room temperature.

Baked Pita Chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 24 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until crispy.

3u9a4379 Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Oregano is one of the highest sources of antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is great for the respiratory system. It helps to get rid of phlegm in your lungs. Oregano is a rich source of dietary fiber that helps to control blood cholesterol levels. Oregano can help liver function and helps speed up toxin elimination.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Bites

This Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Bite appetizer is everything!  There is a textural depth to these appetizers not to mention an incredible flavor!

The hummus is heavenly and creamy, which is the perfect contrast to the crunchy pita chips.  The feta adds a touch of saltiness while the lentils add the perfect bits of crunch!  Top it off with some pomegranate seeds and you have yourself an awesome appetizer for your next get-together!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Pita Bites

This appetizer stirred up memories about how Robby and I first got together.  I don’t think I have told this story yet!  I came back to L.A. In October 2007 from Oregon and Robby came back in 2008 from Massachusetts.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were teenagers and we both showed up to our mutual good friend Christine’s house for dinner.  In the next few weeks Robby and I had gone on a few bike rides and the last time he came up to my tiny studio apartment for some water.  We started looking through old photos and he says he felt something, a spark all of a sudden, which he told me years later.  I felt it too but I ignored it thinking we were just old friends.  I called him a few times but never heard back.  It turned out that his mom had passed away and he needed to be alone.

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Hummus-Pita-Bites

A year went by and unfortunately our good friend George’s mom had just passed.  Robby and our friend Antonia drove down from Santa Cruz.  They had a conversation about relationships and Robby told her he was fine being by himself.  We all showed up to Saint Sophia’s Greek Orthodox church at the same time.  After the ceremony, everyone went across the street to a Greek restaurant Called “Papa Cristo’s Greek Grill and Catering”  We started off with Greek appetizers including hummus. Everything was phenomenal!  After everyone headed to the cemetery but me, I had to do some work and I met up with them later at the Moose Lodge.  I had a couple glasses of wine when our friend Christine said ” Steph, why don’t you and Robby get together? And I said, “because I didn’t consider it was an option since he never returned my phone calls.”

After a few cocktails, we all went to George’s house.  Antonia was going to be flying back to San Jose but everyone was guilt tripping her so she left to see if she could stay another night.  When she returned I was sitting on Robby’s lap.  It was pretty funny, Antonia was all “wait? what? I left for thirty minutes, what happened?  Well, as you can see the rest is history!

_Red-Pepper-Hummus-Bites

These cuties pair well with a light Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Albariño

or a White Rioja.

Hummus-Bites

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Bites Recipe:
48 Bites
  • 1/2 Cup or as needed Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – recipe below
  • 1/4 Cup Crispy Black Lentils – recipe below
  • 48 Pita Chips – recipe below
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese – crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup Pomegranate seeds – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar – reduced – optional
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – makes about 1 cup – for the whole recipe click here
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 3/4 Cups Cooked
  • 1 Small Red Bell Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemmed
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoons Chili Olive Oil – homemade or store-bought – can sub regular olive oil
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Hot Paprika (can sub for regular paprika)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Crispy Black Lentils – adapted from Life and Health – for the whole recipe click here

  • 1/4 Cup Black Lentils – cooked
  • 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch Sea Salt
 Pita Triangles
  • 8 Pita – cut into 6 wedges each
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano – minced – optional
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 Cup High-Quality Balsamic Vinegar
Instructions:
 Prepare garbanzo beans for the hummus
 You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is the quick way, the other is by soaking the beans overnight which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them, plus if you are going to make falafels this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain.

*
Quick method

Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.

*
Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes to 1 hours or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until tender.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

When the garbanzo beans are cooked and cooled, measure everything and put in a food processor or blender and puree until the desired texture.

*
 Peppers

Roast peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems then dice them.

*
Crispy Black Lentils

Preheat oven to 400°F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl toss the lentils, oil and salt together then spread out on the parchment.
Roast lentils for 25 – 30 minutes, stir in between.  Roast until crunchy.  Watch them closely at the end so they don’t burn.  Let cool.
 *
Hummus
When the garbanzo beans are cooked and cooled, measure everything for the hummus and put in a food processor or blender and puree until the desired texture.
 *
Balsamic Reduction

Pour balsamic vinegar into a small pan and turn heat to medium-high then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally until it coats the back of your spoon.  Keep an eye on it because it can happen fast and burn.

*
Baked Pita Chips
 Turn down the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Sprinkle on the oregano and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

*
Assemble
Spoon a dollop of hummus onto each pita triangle then top with a little feta, pomegranate seeds and lentils.  Serve with a side dish of balsamic to let your guest drizzle over the top of each pita.  You will have about 1/2 cup of hummus leftover.  I usually make the whole recipe and extra pita chips for serving or for my snacking purposes.
*
Health Benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Red Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

Roasted Poblano Kale Falafel Salad Bowl with Tahini Jalapeno Vinaigrette

This Kale Falafel Salad Bowl is the epitome of comfort food.  It is spicy and it is hearty enough to be considered a meal.  It has so much flavor, texture and nutrition and the tahini jalapeno vinaigrette puts it over the top!

Kale Falafel Salad Bowl

In my early 20’s I would daydream about things I wanted in my life and what it would feel like to have them.  Without realizing it I was practicing the art of positive thinking aka “The Law of Attraction”.  In the last 8 years, I have really stepped it up and have been making it a part of my daily thought process.  It hasn’t always been easy but the more I practice, the easier it becomes.  It is almost second nature to me now.

 I first started with the phrase, “I am happy, healthy and safe”.  I would say it over and over again.  Now, I catch myself saying it without even realizing it.  While on my daily walk, I talk to the universe (God), and say thank you so much for everything in my life and I list out whatever comes to my mind at that moment.  It usually goes something like this; thank you for my amazing husband, my wonderful family (especially my mom and dad), thank you for my incredible friends and this magical place we get to experience and live in, thank you for my ability to work on my blog and all the inspiration and creativity in my life, etc.   If there is something specific I am trying to draw to myself, I say thank you for it as if it already existed.  I focus on what it would feel like with thoughts of gratitude and I do this continually.  Some things happen fast and others take time.

You might wonder how this has any effect in your life but trust me it changes everything.  What you focus on expands!  Being grateful for the things in your life attracts even more to be grateful for.  When we stress out or think things like “I could never do that” or “that’s impossible” or even being jealous of someone else’s life, you will attract stress, failure and jealousy into your life. Our thoughts and feelings are like magnets.  Have you ever had a bad day and things just seemed like they kept getting worse?  Have you ever stopped yourself and noticed things getting better?  It’s amazing to me, the many experiences I have drawn into my life.  One of those things was Robby!  We are both constantly saying thank you for all the blessings that have come into our lives.  One of those things is our health; we have made many changes to our diet and lifestyle. This falafel bowl is not only delicious but makes you feel good and has become a staple in our diet!

Roasted-Poblano-Falafel-Salad-Bowl

Because this dish is spicy, it pairs best with a slightly sweet or fruity wine like a Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Albarino,  or a sparkling wine.  For a red, you want a spicier wine like a Grenache or Syrah.

Poblano-Falafel-Salad-Bowl

Kale Falafel Salad Bowl Recipe:

4 – 5 servings – 4 – 5 balls per salad

  • 1 Recipe Roasted Poblano Falafel – approx. 20 balls
  • 1 Recipe Roasted Poblano Jalapeno Hummus or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • 1 Recipe Tahini Jalapeno Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 Head Lettuce – your choice – chopped
  • 1 Cucumber – peeled – cut in half – deseed  – thinly slice
  • 2 Tomato (I used Orange Heirloom) – diced
  • 2 Pita Breads – each cut into 12 triangles
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Soak the garbanzo beans for both the falafel and the hummus overnight.  Cook the beans for the hummus while you roast the poblano for both the falafel and hummus.  Next, make the falafel mix and tahini vinaigrette (recipe below) then refrigerate them both.

Veggies and Hummus

Prepare the lettuce, cucumber and tomato and set them aside in the refrigerator.

When the hummus beans are soft, drain, rinse and let cool.

Make the hummus and set aside in the refrigerator.

Falafel

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Scoop the falafel up with a spoon and toss them from hand to hand to form a 1-inch ball and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes then carefully flip them over for another 5 – 7 minutes.

 Pita

Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each pita into 12 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

Make the vinaigrette – recipe below

You can serve everything separate and let your guests serve themselves or arrange it for them.

Tahini Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Tahini Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Recipe:  1 1/3 Cup

  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1/4 Cup (about 1) Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Vinaigrette

 Measure all ingredients and puree in a food processor or blender for about 1 – 2 minutes, you just want to make sure the garlic is pureed.

Roasted-Poblano-Jalapeno-Falafel

Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber, they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is an antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transport oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Tahini is one of the best sources of calcium and a good source of methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It is high in alkaline minerals helping in weight loss and high in vitamin E, which promotes healthy cell growth and maintains healthy skin and muscle tone.  It is super high in iron helping to prevent anemia.  It’s high in protein, lecithin, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.