Witness to Beauty – It’s All About Perspective

“The conclusion I have reached is that, above all, dogs are witnesses. They are allowed access to our most private moments. They are there when we think we are alone. Think of what they could tell us. They sit on the laps of presidents. They see acts of love and violence, quarrels and feuds, and the secret play of children. If they could tell us everything they have seen, all of the gaps of our lives would stitch themselves together.”
Carolyn Parkhurst, The Dogs of Babel

Meesha is the latest member of our family. <3

Meet Meesha, the latest member of our family. ❤

As a teacher I tend to mark the passing of time in marking periods and school events. This week we are hot-on-the-heels of semester one exams and last weekend finished winter homecoming festivities. The students that I have helped mentor as a class adviser are seniors and I was proud of their efforts decorating their hallway and winning the spirit pep jug for the fourth year in a row. My husband showed his support by offering to help chaperone the homecoming dance Friday night (in spite of a full day of work and an early wake up the next morning). It was entertaining to watch Lukas (seven) try out his slick dance moves and Avalon (ten) was pleased that for the third year in a row that she got to help with hallway decorating. As always, I am thankful that my place of employment is family friendly and I love that our kids get to interact with my high school students and their education stakeholders.

Lukas trying out his slick moves on the dance floor.

Lukas trying out his slick moves on the dance floor.

In my last post, Making Time For Ourselves, I shared my January goals. While I am happy to report that I am knocking my sleep, vitamin, and food journal goals out of the park – the formal exercise and water is still a work in progress. It is always perplexing to me that it is so difficult for me to consume water. I am ashamed to admit that many days the final bell sounds and I have not even touched my water bottle. At home I have been drinking herbal tea (my newest favorite Yogi brand Honey Lavender Stress Relief) so I am thinking that maybe I need to stock my classroom with tea as well.

My food journal has helped me be mindful of what I am eating and I have been keeping a pot of Three Bean Vegetarian Chili in the refrigerator (a filling option for dinner with a veggie burger or salad) and last week I made one of my favorite Mason Jar Salads, Israeli Feast, for my work lunches. Many of the messages that I receive are from people who are tired of eating salads and “rabbit food”. One of the goals of this blog is to help others try a wide-range of ingredients – and that salads do not need to be boring. My best advice is to fill your plate with a rainbow of fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only does eating the same thing over and over get boring, but it also prevents our bodies from getting a wide-range of nutrients. In order to keep myself from repetitive meals, I like to try different combinations. The Israeli Feast is a non-traditional salad recipe that uses hummus and quinoa tabouli in place of salad dressing. For last week’s version I added avocado to the hummus to amp up the nutritional content with healthy fats.

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fullsizeoutput_1139fullsizeoutput_113afullsizeoutput_113cWhile I still need to work on moving more, my Fitbit is showing increased activity. On Saturday and Sunday I made a concerted effort to get outside and make the most of the sunshine and blue skies. In fact, the views from our property were so inspiring that I have to share them with you. The recent addition to our family, Meesha a two-year-old German Shepherd, is a bundle of frolicsome energy. She made an incredible subject for an impromptu photo shoot and her and Lukas made the best workout buddies. We did not even both to put on our snowshoes but traipsed around in the snow. Let me tell you, it was a workout and I sure can feel it today in my legs and back end. 😉

I cannot believe how much energy Meesha has!

I cannot believe how much energy Meesha has!

My step son Lukas loves to play outside - he is 100% Yooper and farm boy.

My step son Lukas loves to play outside – he is 100% Yooper farm boy.

On sunny days we open up the chicken coop so our sweet hens can sun themselves.

On sunny days we open up the chicken coop so our sweet hens can sun themselves.

John has put HOURS into setting up our new hoop house. We are eager for spring to start planting vegetables.

John has put HOURS into setting up our new hoop house. We are eager for spring to start planting vegetables.

Run Meesha!

Run Meesha!

I hope you are doing well on meeting your healthy goals. If you are struggling, do not give up – each day (every hour) gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. This week I am going to work on my water intake and will be striving to get in more activity. Join me in making time for yourself. Do something that you enjoy doing and seek out beauty. When I grab my camera and go for hike it is much more enjoyable than the gym. Not only am I doing something good for my body, but I am also nourishing my creativity and filling my senses.  It is all about perspective. While winter is not my favorite season, I cannot afford to miss the beauty around me. Especially when I have a gorgeous, energetic dog and adorable seven-year-old to keep me motivated and inspired. ❤

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Our little guy Lukas is always up for an outside adventure.

Our little guy Lukas is always up for an outside adventure.

It's a winter wonderland in our backyard.

It’s a winter wonderland in our backyard.

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Italian Hummus Spread with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Capers, and Olives

Italian Hummus Spread with Sundried Tomatoes, Capers, and Olives by Produce with Amy

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
― Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year and I hope that today finds you full of hope and commitment for a productive 2015. I always love the positive energy that ushers in a new year and this year is no exception. A fresh calendar provides us with the opportunity to dream and live our days with intention.

Today holds a very special place in my heart (and not just because it is the first of the year). Today marks the two-year anniversary of Produce with Amy and I am thrilled to celebrate it with a brand new recipe. I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion for healthy food with my on-line community and I could not do it without the inspiration, feedback, and comments from my readers.  I cannot begin to explain how much your support means to me. Thank you!

One of the things that I love about blogging is the connections that I make with people across the globe. Living in the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan it is easy to feel isolated and I love that when I click publish on a post all distance is erased. Instantly I can unite with other health enthusiasts and share ideas as we inspire each other to make positive choices in our lives.

HummusDuring the holiday season I received many inquiries about plant-based dishes to pass at a party. Since I try to follow a plant-based diet, social gatherings can be tricky. I have found that it is important to go beyond the standard fruit or vegetable tray and bring something that is filling.

While protein packed hummus is often my go-to choice – it can get a little bland and boring – so I try to give it a boost with a variety of ingredients. If your hummus needs a little interesting nudge, I think you will enjoy this recipe.

Hummus dip with olives and capers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITALIAN HUMMUS SPREAD WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, CAPERS, AND OLIVES

*Hummus (you can use store-bought or find the recipe that I use here)
*1 teaspoon of dried oregano
*1/2 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes
*1/2 cup of chopped Kalamata Greek olives
*1/2 cup of chopped Italian parsley

*1/2 cup of chopped artichoke hearts
*1/4 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
*1/4 cup of chopped green olives
*3 Tablespoons of capers
*3 Tablespoons of olive oil
*3Tablespoons of pesto
(store-bought or homemade. In place of pesto you could also use finely chopped fresh basil)
*Loaf of crusty bread (you can also use crackers, pita bread, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables for dipping)

Artichoke Hearts and PestoStir in oregano, sun-dried tomatoes,Greek olives, and parsley to hummus.

*Note – in place of raw garlic I added one head of roasted garlic to my hummus.

Spread hummus evenly on platter. Sprinkle on artichoke hearts and bell peppers. Drizzle with pesto and add the green olives and capers.

Slice bread, brush with olive oil, and toast in the oven or broiler until crisp. Serve and enjoy!

 

Pin this recipe HERE.

Toast

Hummus Spread

If you are looking for other ideas to bring to a gathering you may be interested in my recipes for Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki Sauce and Layered Refried Bean and Guacamole Dip.

I hope that you join me in celebrating Produce with Amy’s two-year anniversary with a burst of productivity and healthy choices. Make sure you stay up to date with my recipes by following my posts by email, by liking my Facebook page, and connecting with my other social media links on the right of this page.

I wish you health, peace, and plenty of laughter. Let’s thrive together in 2015!

Hummus and BreadHomemade Bread

 

 

 

 

 

Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki Sauce

Layered Greek Dip with Hummus & Tzatziki by Produce with Amy“Variety in your diet is health in your life.”
― Toni Sorenson

One of the reasons that I started this blog in January of 2013 was to challenge myself to come up with new recipes so I could avoid a food rut. Instead of being limited by a plant-based diet, I wanted to branch out and find new ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables and share my ideas with others.

To save both money and time, I am committed to prepping my lunches at home on the weekends. It is the healthiest routine that I have established for myself since I joined Weight Watchers in 2006 and one way that I help keep myself on track. I plan my menu and shopping list on Wednesday or Thursday, shop on Friday night or Saturday after my WW meeting, and prep on Saturday and/or Sunday.

A few weeks ago I found myself not thrilled about the lunches that I was transporting to work. With the cooler weather my salads felt a bit lackluster and I decided to make something that felt a little more special. I contemplated making my Layered Refried Bean and Guacamole Dip recipe, but instead decided to create a new version. I thought that a Greek dip that combined a plant-based tzatziki sauce and hummus would give my lunches a little sparkle.
Layered Greek Dip
Years ago I purchased three cup Pyrex glass containers with lids and I have found them perfect for portion control. I have over a dozen and they have held up well. Pint sized Mason jars would also work for these individual dips.

I made seven individual dips – five for me and two for my husband Mike. I cut up raw vegetables to scoop up the dip.  Mike loved his so much that he ate one straight out of the container with a spoon.

Before I started following a plant based diet, feta cheese was one of my favorites. I really crave feta so I was THRILLED when I discovered Jackie Soban’s blog, Vegan Yak Attack, and her recipe for  Herbed Tofu. I added a bit more vinegar to the recipe and also added dried dill. Because of this recipe I discovered Raw Coconut Vinegar (I bought it at our local food co-op) and I LOVE it. Thank you, Jackie!

Make sure you check out Jackie’s other recipes and follow her on Facebook and other social media. Her meal ideas are phenomenal and she incorporates stunning photography into all her posts. Doesn’t her photo of Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad make you drool? Trust me, you need some of this herbed tofu in your life.


LAYERED GREEK DIP WITH HUMMUS & TZATZIKI SAUCE

Layer the following in your containers. You can decide how much of each ingredient you want to add. I added 1/4 cup of hummus into each dish and divided the tzatziki sauce up between the seven containers.

*Note – next time I will add a little more hummus and less of the tzatziki sauce as the tofu based sour cream was very rich. 

*Hummus (recipe to follow. Store bought would work as well)
* Tzatziki sauce
(recipe to follow)
*Chopped romaine lettuce
(amount depends on how much you want to use. I used approximately three cups)
*Chopped green bell pepper
(I used one medium pepper)
*Chopped kalamata olives (I used approximately 1 cup)
*1 pint of halved grape tomatoes
*Pepperoncini peppers
(I used a couple of Tablespoons per individual dip)
*Vegan Yack Attack’s Herbed Tofu (I used half of her recipe divided between the dips)
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Layered Greek Dip by Produce with Amy

My Vitamix blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

My Vitamix blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

 

 

HUMMUS
*2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
*1/8 cup of tahini
*1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
*1 clove of garlic
*Cumin to taste (I used close to a teaspoon)
*Salt to taste
(You can add a little water to blend)

 

 

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

Seeding the cucumbers by running a spoon down the middle will keep the sauce from getting runny.

TZATZIKI SAUCE

*2 seeded and finely chopped cucumbers
*1 container of Tofutti Dairy Free Sour Cream 12 ounces (if you eat dairy you could substitute plain fat-free Greek yogurt. I recommend the Greek Gods brand)
*1/4 cup of fresh chopped dill
(could substitute a couple teaspoons of dried)
*1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
*1 clove of finely minced garlic
*1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
*1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (Vegan recipe)
*Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure that you cut up a lot of raw veggies for dipping. I used carrots, cucumbers, celery, and colored bell peppers. Pita chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels would also be great for dipping.

Printable recipe: LAYERED GREEK DIP WITH HUMMUS & TZATZIKI SAUCE

Pin it HERE

The dip stayed fresh throughout the week and was exactly what I hoped it would be. I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it is worth it when you taste how fantastic it is. I plan on making a large platter of this dip to bring to my mom’s house for Christmas. The ingredients for this dip also make a wonderful wrap.

If you are like me, variety truly is the spice of life and rotating my meal choices keeps me reaching for healthy food. Thank you for stopping by and make sure you check out all my other recipes. I love being able to share my passion for healthy cooking with you!

Athena, the sweetest little photo bomber.

Athena, the sweetest little photo bomber.

Fennel, Cabbage, and Apple Salad with Avocado Hummus & Ginger Vinaigrette

11Queen Anne’s Lace

Her body is not so white as 
anemone petals nor so smooth–nor 
so remote a thing. It is a field 
of the wild carrot taking 
the field by force; the grass 
does not raise above it.
~William Carlos Williams

Last week as I drove to Marquette, I marveled at the sea of Queen Anne’s Lace growing with wild abandon along the side of the highway. They catch at the slightest breeze and perform a delicate dance for those who pay attention.

Years ago when Mike and I moved into our house there was not a flower to be found in either our 12front or back yard except for a few crocus and johnny-jump-ups. When we went for walks around the neighborhood I noticed masses of Queen Anne’s Lace and hoped that one day they would grow in our yard. When we started planting a flower bed I toted a few stems home and stuck them in the dirt. Nothing. They wilted and died. I brought home more flowers that had gone to seed and shook them in violent hope. Imagine my excitement the next year when the filigree flowers appeared.

I think it’s the texture of Queen Anne’s Lace that enthrall me. It is the same reason that I10 was first drawn to fennel in the supermarket. The bright green fronds (even though I do not eat them) make for a pretty composition. If you have never had fennel before I challenge you to try it. It has a very mild anise flavor and is common in Mediterranean dishes. It can be eaten raw or cooked and I love it sliced thinly on a green salad with orange and grapefruit segments.

Last week I bought a fennel bulb and decided to use it in a cabbage salad. Fall seems like the perfect time for slaw since the local cabbage is in season. I thought the fennel and cabbage would go well with crisp and juicy fall apples.

SlawInstead of a heavy mayonnaise laden slaw, I decided to combine these fresh flavors with a ginger vinaigrette. The combinations of flavors work so well together. Sweet apple juxtaposed with the tartness of vinegar, crunchy cabbage, spicy ginger, and the faint licorice taste of  fennel sounds like a perfect marriage to me. To add even more to the flavor and texture explosion I wrapped the slaw in romaine leaves and topped them with creamy avocado hummus and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. How much more healthy, satisfying, and flavorful can you get than that? I think this slaw makes a fantastic side dish, would be a great sandwich topping, or would stand on its own with an addition of nuts and even dried fruit (I think apricots would make a beautiful mix).

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Fennel, Cabbage, and Apple Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette

  • 4 cups of finely chopped cabbage (depending on the texture you desire)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped red apple (the apples that I used were organic so they were small)
  • 1 chopped green apple 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup vinegar (depending on how tart you want the salad. I used 1/2 raw apple cider vinegar and 1/2 white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of sweetener (I used local raw honey but you could use your sweetener of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tamari (soy sauce would work as well)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger root
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of finely chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinaigrette well (You could use a blender but I just used a whisk). Pour over salad and toss well. While I tasted the salad immediately after making it yesterday, the flavors really bloomed overnight in the refrigerator. Makes 10 cups.

I left the pieces of apple and even the cabbage in rather large chunks. Though you could aim for a more fine slaw and use a food processor.

I left the pieces of apple and even the cabbage in rather large chunks. Though you could aim for a more fine slaw and use a food processor.

The Romaine Lettuce Wraps with the Avocado Hummus were easy to make.

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The recipe that I use for Hummus is from the Vitamix Whole Foods Cookbook.

  1. 230 ounces of chickpeas (it says to reserve one can of liquid. Though, I always make my own from dried beans)
  2. 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (I used jarred tahini)
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice (again I used the zest and for this recipe I increased it to a whole lemon)
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin

In addition to the above ingredients I added one avocado, a few green onions, and fresh1 chives.

The hummus was delicious and the perfect, creamy accompaniment to the crunchy slaw. The wraps are messy (I recommend a fork) but such a nice break from a traditional salad. Plus, if you are trying to watch your intake of bread it is a much slimmer option.

When I buy romaine I do not buy the bagged but instead buy the large heads in the produce section. I find this often a better bargain and they are more green, fresh, and I think they taste better. Other greens work well for wraps as well such as collard greens, large spinach leaves, and red lettuce.

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I have to confess that normally I wait until I publish my post to dive into my creation, but today I had to take a break for lunch because my plate was so tempting. For the past few weeks I have been a food rut and I think yesterday’s Red Lentil Sloppy Joes and today’s Fennel, Cabbage, and Apple Salad have helped me break free!
7I hope you enjoy this salad just in time for fall’s bounty of vegetables. I eagerly await the selection of Michigan apples at the farmers market and in the stores. This recipe and others can be found at Pinterest on my Produce with Amy board. Also, please join the conversation on my Facebook page.

My summer holiday is nearly over and I will be going back to teaching soon, but blogging will help me to stay committed to my healthy lifestyle. I hope that I can help you do the same. Enjoy the last few fleeting weeks of summer and remember to stop and pay attention to the nature around you. Who knows, you might catch a spirited Queen Anne’s Lace ballet. Or whatever wild things grow in your backyard!

I found this vintage tumbler while thrifting this summer. Disappointed there was only one, I know think it is a gift. Now I will have to keep my eyes open for matching treasures! :)

I found this vintage tumbler while thrifting this summer. Disappointed there was only one, I know think it is a gift. Now I will have to keep my eyes open for matching treasures! 🙂

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Romaine Lettuce Wraps with Fennel, Apple, and Cabbage Salad and Avocado Hummus

Avocado Hummus by Produce with Amy

Fennel, Cabbage, & Apple Salad by Produce with Amy

Israeli Feast ~ Mason Jar Salad (with Tabouli, Hummus, and Olives)

2“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
― Henry Miller

I am enamored with Mason Jar Salads on many levels:

1. One of my obsessions is having a food plan for the week. During the school year I cook a huge stock-pot of soup or chili on Sundays and I also take time to cook/prep lunches, dinner entrees, and snacks. This helps immensely with my weight management and keeps Mike and I sane with our busy schedules. Even though I am home for the summer I plan to still make the Mason Jar Salads because they are so handy to grab when I am right in the middle of a project. I am hoping to come up with a plethora of recipes this summer to get me through next school year with healthy and satisfying lunches that involve fruit and vegetables.

2. As a visual person the salads entice me. It may sound silly but I find the Mason Jar Salads extremely visually appealing. They look like pretty terrarium gardens and always make me anticipate diving into the salad.

3. They really stay fresh. I have friends who have in the past few weeks reported that their salads have kept for OVER a week in the refrigerator. (The glass keeps the lettuce more crisp than if stored in plastic.)

4. The Mason Jar Salads eliminate wasted produce. I tend to be thrifty and utilize every fruit and vegetable I purchase, but I have many people say that these salads have helped  prevent them from tossing out expensive produce. (It is incredible how many vegetables you can stuff into a jar). Try it and you will be a believer!

5. The jarred salads are igniting my creativity. Since I follow a plant-based meal plan salads are a daily staple and variety is key. It is so easy to fall into a food rut and this new concept in food preparation is helping me come up with new tastes and flavor combinations.

Sue courtesy of: Sue Anderson

Sue courtesy of: Sue Anderson. Click on photo for a larger view.

The outpouring of response from my Weight Watchers members and readers of my blog has been immense over the past few weeks. So much so that on my Produce Facebook Page I declared that June was Mason Jar Salad month. I have had so many people share fantastic ideas. My friend Sue ran with the Mason Jar Salad idea and came up with a recipe for a mouth-watering beet salad. Sue used extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the dressing. She then added roasted beets, celery, leeks, carrots (she doesn’t normally include those, but wanted more of a barrier between dressing and cheese), goat cheese, walnuts, sprouts, and red and green leaf lettuce. Oh my!

Photo courtesy of: Brenda Aldrich (click on photo for a larger view)

Photo courtesy of: Brenda Aldrich

Brenda, my friend and Weight Watchers Receptionist, yesterday shared a recipe that used extra virgin olive oil, Mojito-Style Chickpeas: which is ~ 3 TBSP Lime juice, 1 TBSP honey, 1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt, 1/4 cup fresh mint, 15 oz chickpeas & 2 cucumbers all mixed together and then divided between the jars. She then added carrots, radishes, yellow pepper, orange pepper, tomato, and baby lettuce. Brenda got the recipe for the chickpeas (which I cannot wait to try) from greenlitebites.

Photo courtesy of: LeeLa Heinzel (click on photo for a larger view)

Photo courtesy of: LeeLa Heinzel (click on photo for a larger view)

LeeLa  incorporated a Weight Watchers recipe for Santa Fe Salad with Chili Lime Dressing. Her salads use hearty beans and corn. The recipe can be found here on Pinterest. I am going to try these with my plant-based Tangy Avocado Dressing.

Photo courtesy of: Cheryl Alexander (click on photo for a larger view)

Photo courtesy of: Cheryl Alexander (click on photo for a larger view)

Cheryl made Mason Jar Salads for using: radishes, zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, two types of lettuce, and bottled dressing (one of them being a raspberry vinaigrette dressing with added grapes, strawberries, and some raisins.) 

Ladies, thank you for the terrific Mason Jar Salad combinations, keep the recipes coming!

On Produce so far I have shared two recipes for Mason Jar Salads: Classic Salad Bar in a Jar and Waldorf Inspired Slaw. Here is the link on Pinterest.
Classic Salad Bar in a JarToday’s recipe was inspired from a trip that I took to Israel last spring. In my very first blog post, back in January, I highlighted how easy it was to maintain a plant-based diet in Israel. The food was fresh and every dish was brimming with vegetables. I found myself eating salads for breakfast with dollops of hummus and avocado salad (similar to guacamole). One of my current breakfasts of choice is a salad or a vegetable filled plate.

Photos that I snapped of food in Israel.

Photos that I snapped of food in Israel.

In honor of the opportunity I had to travel to Israel, I wanted to create a salad that would bring me back to that sacred time and place in my life. Here is my creation…

ISRAELI FEAST MASON JAR SALAD: (I made six jars of salad)

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I layered in the following order:

  • 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in each jar (I used raw apple cider vinegar)
  • Thinly sliced cucumber (I used one large cucumber and divided it between the six jars)
  • 1/2 cup of Amy’s Twist on Tabouli (recipe to follow)
  • Tomato (I used three medium tomatoes; 1/2 in each jar)
  • Olives (I used two large green olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and 4 Greek olives)
  • 1/4 cup of hummus (recipe to follow)
  • Green pepper (I used one large green pepper)
  • Lettuce (I used romaine and red leaf lettuce)

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Israeli Feast Mason Jar Salad

AMY’S TWIST ON TABOULI

  1. 1 generous cup of quinoa (While most recipes call for bulgar, I opted for protein rich quinoa. In the past I would have used much more quinoa. The tabouli that I had in Israel was heavy on parsley and did not have as much bulgar as the tabouli I have had in the states)
  2. 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  3. 1 clove of finely minced garlic
  4. 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped (it ended up being two cups chopped)
  5. 1 lemon juiced (I also used the zest. I highly recommend using citrus zest in recipes because it really amps up the flavor. The zest is where all the essential oils are contained)
  6. Few fresh mint leaves
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (normally I would put in 2 additional Tablespoons of oil but I knew that the hummus would have oil as well)

Tabouli ingredients

Tabouli ingredients


Quinoa is an ancient seed that is a complete protein and can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

Quinoa is an ancient seed that is a complete protein and can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

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VITAMIX HUMMUS RECIPE (from the Whole Food Recipes cookbook)

10(I made 1/2 of the recipe for the six Mason Jar Salads)

  1. 30 ounces of chickpeas (it says to reserve one can’s liquid. Though, I always make my own from dried beans)
  2. 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (I used jarred tahini)
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice (again I used the zest)
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. salt
  7. I also added freshly snipped chives since I an abundance in my garden.

Hummus

Here's information on cooking your own garbanzo beans/chickpeas.  Click on image for a larger version

Here’s information on cooking your own garbanzo beans/chickpeas.
Click on image for a larger version

13The Israeli Feast salads turned out exactly as hoped and I have enjoyed two already. For those who eat cheese, feta would be a flavorful layer. The next time we grill I plan on planking and grilling eggplant and zucchini to add to the salad.

My trip to Israel was life-changing in so many aspects of my professional life as an educator. However, it greatly impacted my personal life as well both spiritually and physically. It helped me further embrace a lifestyle that is surrounded by plant-based meals.

Hummus and Tabouli are two of my go-to meal additions. You will love the flavor that they impart and will want to make them both alone and to enjoy in a lettuce salad, in a wrap, or on a sandwich. Imagine making a large version of this layered salad for a picnic or BBQ.

Hummus can be infused with endless herb combinations. Great additions are: caramelized onions, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, olives, capers, and artichoke hearts. Sometimes I like to add a little bit of nut butter and I love to whirl in pumpkin, roasted squash, or eggplant.

Here is the pin to the Israeli Feast Mason Jar Salad on Pinterest.

Quinoa Tabouli by Produce with Amy

Let me know what some of your favorite jar salad combinations are. I hope you are enjoying summer and the fresh produce in the supermarket, road-side stands, and at your local farmer’s market. Remember to let today involve beauty. Create it and seek it out. It is all about perspective. Cheers to health, fresh produce, and  thriving! ❤
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Here is a sampling of the hundreds of photos that I snapped in Israel:

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